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Keen Footwear today announced that Kirk Richardson, a longtime Nike executive of 27 years and former GM of Nike Outdoor business group has been named as President of Keen.
Richardson will replace the current President, Jim Van Dine. Van Dine, who played a key role in the Brand’s successful launch only 3 years ago, has made the personal decision not to move with Keen to Portland, Oregon where the company will be making its new home on April 24, 2006.
It was a difficult decision for Van Dine, a longtime resident of Alameda, not to make the move, but is supportive and extremely optimistic about the future of the brand and the company. Van Dine stated, â€œI am proud of all that we have achieved at Keen in the past 3 years and have confidence that the company will continue to enjoy great success.â€
Richardson, 52, is an Oregon native and lifelong outdoor enthusiast, climber, runner, and alpinist, with extensive experience in the footwear and apparel industry. His career at Nike started in Sales and over time he has held several leadership positions within Nike footwear and apparel product marketing, including the GM of Nike Outdoor business. He has also held several international marketing and merchandising positions in both Europe and Japan.
â€œThe future of the Keen brand is extremely promising,â€ Richardson said. â€œKeen has quickly established itself as not only an innovative outdoor and casual brand, but a brand with a social conscience. I look forward to contributing to the company’s growth and expansion, while maintaining its social and environmental efforts.â€
Richardson is on the Board of both the Conservation Alliance, which operates under the mantra â€œOutdoor Industry giving back to the outdoorsâ€ and the Oregon Natural Desert Association, an organization committed to saving the natural deserts of Oregon.
Other recent appointments to the Keen Executive Team include Kris Hamper as CFO, Bobbie Parisi, VP of Marketing and Kelly Wallrich as Director of Design and Development.
Keen will locate its new home in the Pearl District in the heart of downtown Portland.
Portland is home to a significant number of leading outdoor/apparel/footwear companies. It is a progressive and green city, with a strong social ethic, has tremendous outdoor recreation opportunities and is recognized for its great quality of life. All these aspects, makes it an ideal fit for Keen and its employees.
Founded in 2003, Keen Footwear is located in Alameda, California. Since its inception the brand has exploded in the outdoor and footwear industries by establishing itself as the leader of hybrid performance footwear. Known for its patented toe protection technology, Keen Footwear can be found in more than 1,400 retail locations nationwide. Keen Footwear has also established distribution networks in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Asia as well as Central America, South America and Europe