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CEO of Allen Edmonds to retire PDF Print E-mail
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Written by JOHN MORTON and KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 19:39

Paul Grangaard led comeback for Port-based high-end shoemaker

Paul Grangaard, who led Port Washington’s Allen Edmonds out of the economic downturn about a decade ago, has announced his decision to retire.
Named as interim CEO in 2008 and later becoming full time in the role, Grangaard turned the high-end shoemaker around quickly. Since 2010, the company has been reporting record sales and earnings each year and employment has grown to 750, according to the company.
Grangaard, whose main residence is in Minnesota, said he plans to focus on family and has interests in music and the Minnesota Orchestra.
“Those of you who know me (or have seen my posts in the web communities) are aware that I have many interests and a strong commitment to my family,” he wrote in a statement to employees. “I also like to think that I’m an entrepreneurial leader. When I came to Allen Edmonds as ‘interim CEO’ in 2008, I never imagined that I’d be here for nine years, commuting between two homes with many nights in hotels and sacrificing much of my social life and not-for-profit interests.
“I wouldn’t trade that time with you and Allen Edmonds for anything.”
In 2013, Los Angeles-based private equity firm Brentwood Associates bought Allen Edmonds for $200 million and in December 2016, they sold the company to Caleres Inc. for $225 million. St. Louis-based Caleres is a footwear retailer and wholesaler that owns Famous Footwear and other shoe brands.
Grangaard will remain an advisor to Allen Edmonds, the company said, and Malcom Robinson, newly appointed as Caleres president of the Men’s and International division of Caleres, will oversee Allen Edmonds.  
“So, it’s not good-bye, just see you around,” Grangaard said.
Port Washington Ald. Doug Biggs lauded Grangaard, noting he has led the firm through three changes in ownership and, under his leadership, employment at the company has doubled.
    “For him to do what he has done is phenomenal,” Biggs said, noting Grangaard has led the firm through “trying times,” including the economic recession.
    Allen Edmonds is one of the few companies in the U.S. that has actually discontinued overseas production, Randy Tetzlaff, director of planning and development, said.
    Biggs and Mayor Tom Mlada also commended Grangaard’s work with the city.
    “It can’t be overstated how big a partner Allen Edmonds is,” Biggs said, crediting Grangaard with that cooperation. “They, and Paul in particular, are generous supporters of the City of Port Washington.”

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