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Native of: Kansas

Industry: Shoe Manufacturing

Region: San Antonio

Company profile

Tell us about your career at San Antonio Shoemakers.

I was at the company from 1986 through 1992. I ran the finance and accounting department.

I left the business for other pursuits. After the founders of San Antonio Shoemakers passed away, the family that owns the company asked me to assess where the business was.

As part of that process, I told them they needed to hire a CEO to run the company. They talked it over, came back and told me they agreed they felt that I was the person for the job.

 

What is your career background outside of San Antonio Shoemakers?

I went to St. Edward’s University in Austin, where I majored in accounting. I am also a Certified Public Accountant.

After I graduated from St. Edward’s, I went to work for what is now Ernst & Young. San Antonio Shoemakers was a client, and I joined them in 1986 to run their finance and accounting department.

After SAS, I went back to school, getting a master’s in business administration and a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

After law school, my career path took me through three broad areas: Practicing law, serving as a general counsel, and working as a chief financial officer. I have experience at both public and private companies.

I returned to SAS as CEO in March 2012.

 

Where are you from originally, and how did you wind up in Texas?

I am a native of Atchison, Kansas. I came to Texas to attend St. Edward’s.

 

What is your view of the business climate in Texas?

I think there is an entrepreneurial spirit in Texas. The state government has worked hard to be friendly to business. It’s a good environment here.

 

What makes San Antonio Shoemakers different?

We make our shoes every day. We take great pride in our manufacturing and in being shoemakers.

 

What issues are affecting your company that you are concerned about?

All the shoemaking talent is going overseas. The whole industry has moved to China. We are one of the few shoemakers left in the United States.

I think we face the same challenges that every other manufacturer does in the U.S., such as subsidies that foreign competitors receive.