Often a thank you deserves its own thank you in return

Paul Grangaard

President and CEO

One of the things I like about my job is that I sometimes have the opportunity to present to a college or business school class about the market strategies that have grown our business, and especially about how Allen Edmonds' success is creating hundreds of middle class manufacturing jobs. In the audience are many men and women who will be leading our country in the next generation. I am always impressed and buoyed by the incredible amount of talent I see out there.

Recently, I had a chance to speak at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, where I earned an MBA 33 years ago. My talk was on corporate responsibility and giving back. Before the meeting I met with a smaller group of students over coffee and once again they were an impressive group. But one young man in particular really stood out, MBA candidate Alex Breinin, who shared his painful struggles with scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and explained how Allen Edmonds shoes have really helped him. We had a nice conversation and I was particularly impressed with his poise and intelligence.

Not long after our meeting I received a note from Alex. Of course I am thrilled that Allen Edmonds shoes have helped ease his back pain as he explains - but I think the note says more about the man who wrote it. Unfortunately it's no longer so common for someone to take the time to show their gratitude. Alex, you're a young man of promise and knowing that you will form part of tomorrow's business leadership is a comforting thought indeed.

Here is Alex's note:

I just wanted to thank you for visiting Chicago Booth on Monday and taking the time to speak with me. I'm the student who has scoliosis who told you about my physical therapist recommending Allen Edmonds shoes and how they've helped decrease my back pain. Before I bought a pair, I had custom-made pads fitted for my business shoes, but they did not provide me with adequate support. With your shoes, I've had dramatically fewer problems and feel completely balanced when walking. They've made such a difference and I like them so much that I now own several pairs. Please feel free to share my story. Thank you and your staff for making a great shoe.

Best regards,


~ Paul Grangaard

President and CEO