Vantage Apparel (PPAI 113235, S10), ranked the No. 17 supplier in this year’s PPAI 100, has announced that Fred Durand and Christopher Alfano have returned to the Avenel, New Jersey-based organization.

As chief operating officer (COO), Durand heads up all production, sourcing, IT, customer service and digital operations teams. His first tenure with the company lasted from 1999 to 2008, and he held several leadership roles, including director of customer service and vice president of e-commerce.

  • Durand has spent the past 15 years outside of the promotional products industry, acting as vice president of operations at Galanz Americas Limited Company, a home appliances manufacturer, and COO at GAR Products, which specializes in commercial seating.

“Fred has a strong technology background, experience running large-scale manufacturing operations and a passion for fostering excellence throughout an organization,” says Ira Neaman, MAS, founder and president of Vantage Apparel. “In his first six months, he implemented significant process enhancements to give our service and operations teams more visibility to real-time information, access to technology benefits, and ultimately an overall better order experience.”

Alfano has returned as chief digital officer (CDO). His first tenure with Vantage Apparel lasted from 2012 to 2020, and he served as director of information technology and then chief technology officer. He’s credited with modernizing the company’s ERP system and spearheading the shift toward more effective and efficient digital processes.

“I’m incredibly excited to return to Vantage Apparel and contribute to the ongoing digital transformation,” Alfano says. “I aim to use my experience and expertise to enhance our e-commerce capabilities, deepen our partnerships, and support our distributors with more robust and seamless integrations. It’s an exciting time for Vantage, and I’m thrilled to be part of it.”

“Chris’ experience and innovative leadership will now be channeled into enhancing Vantage’s e-commerce platforms, streamlining distributor integrations and cultivating strategic partnerships through their newly established digital sales operations team,” Neaman adds. “The recent hires are in line with Vantage’s commitment to bolstering its digital capacities in response to the evolving needs of the industry.”