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NSRA NAMES TIMBERLAND 2016 VENDOR OF THE YEAR

Monday, November 28, 2016  
Posted by: NSRA
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TUCSON, AZ (November 21, 2016) – Timberland, a long-term supporter of independent retailers throughout North America and of the National Shoe Retailers Association (NSRA), has been named NSRA's 2016 Vendor of the Year. The award was presented during NSRA's Annual Leadership Conference held Nov. 10-11 in San Antonio. Hugh Lappe, Timberland Sales Director East, accepted the honor on Timberland's behalf.

In presenting the award, past NSRA chairman Phil Wright said, “Today, more than 1,000 independents are Timberland customers, and they are supported by an 'Independent Dealer Only' sales division, along with a dedicated Field Service team. It's a great personal pleasure to recognize Timberland as NSRA's Vendor of the Year.” Wright, owner and CEO of Vernon Powell Shoes in Salisbury, MD, also sketched Timberland's history, noting that the company has been in business since 1973, when the first guaranteed waterproof boot, now well-known as the wheat boot, was introduced in North America. Founder Nathan Swartz was followed as company leader first by son Sidney and then by grandson Jeff Swartz; it remained a family-controlled business until 2011, when it became a wholly owned subsidiary of the VF Corporation, a global manufacturer of apparel, footwear and accessories, with 60,000 employees.

Accepting the award, Lappe noted proudly that “85% of our footwear contains recycled, organic or renewable material. Our goal is to reach 100% by 2020.” He also said that, since 2009, some “233 million water bottles have been given new life in Timberland footwear through recycled PET,” or polyethylene terephthalate, a plastic resin that can be recycled into other products.

Timberland is known as an environmentalist and an active advocate of reforestation, planting millions of trees in China's Horquin Desert and on the island of Haiti. The company has also been a leader in community service for more than two decades. Its “Path of Service” initiative, begun in 1992, gives employees up to 40 hours of paid community service time annually. The company also organizes two global days of service: Earth Day each spring concentrates on protecting the environment and greening communities. In fall, Serv-a-pallooza events focus on both social and environmental needs, such as providing shoes and books to impoverished children, sponsoring job-readiness fairs to assist the unemployed, and refurbishing schools and transitional housing facilities.

“Timberland takes pride in being Earthkeepers – and we are very proud of the fact that Timberland has joined NSRA and Soles4Souls in community service, providing shoes and socks to people in need at NSRA's annual conference,” added NSRA president Chuck Schuyler.

Lappe said, “We as a company believe in the importance of community service, and in the importance of shopping locally – particularly with independent retailers, who are the heart and soul of their communities. It's a great honor to be recognized by the National Shoe Retailers Association for the fact that we believe in giving back. Independents are essential to our business – and so we thank you for this honor.”

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(Hugh Lappe, Phil Wright)


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