Red Wing, MN – After 45 successful years in the footwear industry, Vasque isn’t about to rest on their laurels. To meet the rising demands for their premium outdoor footwear, they have invested in manpower, significantly increasing their design and development team. This commitment enables the brand to better serve customer needs, while staying in front of market demands and improving technological advances.
“We’ve assembled a powerhouse product development team that is already making a positive impact at Vasque,” says Rick Appelsies, Vasque General Manager. “As a company, we are excited about the advantages this enhanced department will provide the brand, and more importantly, our customers, as we prepare the 2011 and 2012 collections.”
Leading the team is Kyle Rackiewicz, newly promoted Director of Product Development for Outdoor Brands at Red Wing. Rackiewicz has more than 10 years of experience working directly with customers and product reps creating the products they desire. He’s been with the Red Wing group for over five years, first as product manager at Irish Setter and then overseeing design for both Red Wing Outdoor brands, Irish Setter and Vasque. Rackiewicz will coordinate design and development team activity and create the overall road map for product development. He has a keen eye for markets and a strong technical background coupled with an appreciation for the tradition and proven products that form the essence of the Vasque brand.
Chantelle Schneider, who has been with Vasque for close to a year, will continue in her role as product manager with an emphasis on the multisport and kids collections. New to the team is fellow product manager, Jay Kovacs. Kovacs further deepens the team’s product knowledge base with his hands on experience gained at recognized brands New Balance, Nike, Reef and Hurley.
Ann Tebbe, a 4 year veteran of the Red Wing lifestyle brand, rounds out the team and brings project discipline, experience and a vast knowledge of the internal systems.
“Working with such a strong and knowledgeable team within the Red Wing group is a win-win situation,” says Rackiewicz. “With the larger group we have more ideas generated, additional eyes on timelines and new strategies and tactics that are improving our overall effectiveness.”
Vasque footwear, a family-owned company rich in heritage and deeply rooted in the outdoor community, understands the outdoors is a state of mind and specializes in creating trail ready footwear for trail ready lives. For more than 45 years, their focus has been thoughtfully designed and carefully built performance footwear to take the next generation of trail users wherever the trail goes. Vasque focuses on fit and world-class performance as the core pillars in every backpacking, hiking, multisport and kids shoe they produce. Vasque’s authentic footwear withstands harsh conditions, rugged wear and the tests of time. www.vasque.com