Fruit of the Loom® Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer
Story by Emily Robertson
Since moving to town three years ago to join Fruit of the Loom® as Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer, Terri Wiethorn has found Bowling Green to be a vibrant, unique place to call home.
“We have lived in two fairly large cities, Cincinnati and Louisville,” Terri says. “When considering Bowling Green as our next home, we were concerned this smaller city would not provide the services, activities and entertainment we were accustomed. Just the opposite! Bowling Green has a diverse infrastructure with a strong growth plan and a community of generous and kind individuals. This is a unique combination we have grown to love!”
Fruit of the Loom has been a part of Bowling Green since 1941, when a manufacturing facility was built on Church Street. Wiethorn believes that the relationship between Bowling Green and Fruit of the Loom is mutually beneficial and important.
“A company’s 76-year commitment to any community is important,” Terri says. “But, really, I think it’s the other way around. The Bowling Green Community is such an important part of Fruit of the Loom. This is one reason our leadership team serves on several boards and committees, like the South Central Workforce Development, Bowling Green Chamber, Western Kentucky University and United Way, to support the growth and development of this amazing community.”
How does Fruit of the Loom and its employees give back to the community?
I am proud to say Fruit of the Loom, and its employees are very active in giving back to the Bowling Green community. One such passion project, is United Way Employee Giving Campaign. Over the past two years, employees have given more than $300,000 each year!
Another important, and long-running, employee fundraising event is American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. This year, marks the 9th year employees have participated in the yearlong fundraiser to win the fight against cancer.
As a corporation, we have collected and donated thousands of nonperishable goods for Salvation Army’s local food pantry in collaboration with United Way Feed the Need. We also support United Way Day of Caring, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Stuff the Bus and our own corporate back to school backpacks initiative.
What new things are currently underway at Fruit of the Loom?
That’s a big question! The Fruit of the Loom®, Vanity Fair®, Russell Athletic®, and Spalding® brands are built on a culture of innovation. The new ideas and products each of our brands deliver is astounding, which is fascinating, because we are also steeped in the heritage of our brands, delivering known quality and comfort performance to customers for over one hundred years.
In addition to our recent Breathable Collection from Fruit of the Loom®, the brand just launched a collaboration with Paris-based designer Cedric Charlier. The line of unisex t-shirts was featured during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June. Cedric is a fan of our t-shirts and really understands our brand. He creates his line with comfort and mobility in mind, so it made perfect sense to work side by side.
Vanity Fair® recently debuted a full figure, medium impact sports bra which has been a true success! Combining support, comfort and moisture wicking properties. It’s the ultimate sports bra in a variety of colors.
Russell Athletic® just unveiled the 2017 Little League World Series uniforms and celebrates a more than 30-year partnership with the Little League Baseball and Softball World Series Tournaments. This year’s jersey features a dynamic, forward-thinking design, creating the illusion of movement, and is printed on a high-tech fabric. A decoration method called sublimation keeps the uniforms flexible and breathable.
Spalding® has partnered with ShotTracker to launch the next generation basketball using a technology system that tracks real-time data on the court, giving instant feedback on performance to coaches and players.
What sets Fruit of the Loom apart from other companies in the industry?
I think our commitment to corporate responsibility is another defining factor that sets us apart in the industry. In the past year, we have contributed more than $1.4 million to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of others in communities around the world and we have donated more than $3 million in new apparel to people in need.
Currently, we manufacture our products in 37 countries and 86% of our products are manufactured in our own locations by our own team members.
Tell us a bit about your family.
My husband, Mike and I have two sons, AJ and Dylan and are natives of Cincinnati, Ohio. As a family, we enjoy water sports and motor sports.
What is your favorite way to spend a nice afternoon in Bowling Green?
I enjoy working out and have found an excellent facility to support my fitness goals. I also enjoy finding local venues that serve unique varieties of tea.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you or Fruit of the Loom?
Fruit of the Loom has a strong sense of respect for people. I value the growth and development I receive, as well as the support from our incredible employees.