Rediscover America 2016

Paul Grangaard

President and CEO

Rediscover America 2016

Our CEO reflects on travel and his appreciation for this great land of ours.

At a very early age I remember sitting in front of the TV with my older brothers, watching the weekly episode of Bonanza. I thought that the iconic theme song and the way the map burst into flames in the opening credits was mesmerizing. I was too young to follow most of the show's storylines but I also loved the Chevrolet commercial that came on during the show and invited us to "See the USA in a Chevrolet."

To my parents' credit, that's just what we did a few times in my youth, like so many other Baby Boom Era families. Over the years, my mom and dad piled their five kids in an American station wagon, at first with no air conditioning, and drove us to Phoenix in mid-summer swelter to see Grandma, to Anaheim to see young Disneyland, to Boston to see Fenway Park and Paul Revere's house, and to Washington DC to see the White House, the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. My mom would constantly tell us to look out the window at the scenery along the way – my early exposure to the old adage that, in life, "it's all about the journey." I can still hear us kids at the end of hot days in the middle of the country, begging to stop at a nicer motel that advertised A/C, TVs in the rooms and a small pool to jump into.

It was the origin of my lifelong wanderlust, an affliction that became stronger in college when I began meeting people from all over the U.S., including my wife, an All American swimmer from Texas. Listening to her and others describe their hometowns, I realized how much more I still wanted to see and learn in this great country. Over the years I have been fortunate to see countless scenes of both spectacular natural American beauty and amazing urban architecture. I've learned an appreciation for the people, places, customs, accents, idioms and traditions that make this such a great country. This is part of why I feel so lucky to be part of the Allen Edmonds family that produces a very American product in a small town factory just down the street from Lake Michigan's stunning expanse.

The Rediscover America Sale is our chance to celebrate AE's great American heritage, our amazing shoemakers and our incredible customers. It's an opportunity to highlight the quality and beauty of American craftsmanship through the wonderful shoes, apparel and accessories we have on sale. Take a look and I'm sure you'll agree, given a chance, this country can still manufacture some really beautiful products.

~ Paul Grangaard

President and CEO