Patagonia Footwear Names Whitney Conner Brand Manager

Patagonia Footwear, known for its commitment to designing and manufacturing the “best product with no unnecessary harm,” today named Whitney Conner as brand manager, effective January 1, 2007.
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Patagonia Footwear, known for its commitment to designing and manufacturing the “best product with no unnecessary harm,” today named Whitney Conner as brand manager, effective January 1, 2007. Prior to joining Patagonia Footwear, Conner served as head technical rep and grassroots coordinator for Merrell Footwear. Conner, who will be based in Patagonia's headquarters in Ventura, California, will be responsible for the overall strategic marketing direction, development of national programs and grassroots initiatives. Patagonia Footwear will be available for the first time at retail in January '07 in over 32 Patagonia branded stores in the U.S., Europe and Japan, at premium footwear and outdoor specialty stores worldwide and in Patagonia's distribution network.

"Whitney has the passion for our lifestyle and brings great enthusiasm and a proven track record,” said Craig Throne, general manager for Patagonia Footwear. “She will be a solid addition to our team that is working hard to make Patagonia Footwear a success. Whitney has the expertise to help grow the brand.”

“I am eager to jump in with Patagonia Footwear, a brand I have been using for a long time,” said Conner, brand manager for Patagonia Footwear. “My first piece of Patagonia apparel was a hand-me-down raincoat from someone twice my size, but I didn't care, it was my favorite jacket. I appreciate the brand's approach to doing business with its firm promise to be smart about its design and manufacturing process in order to leave the smallest footprint possible on the environment. Patagonia Footwear is equally committed to this approach. I am proud to be part of this team."

Patagonia, part of the Wolverine Word Wide Outdoor Group, was launched at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2006. The line is divided into three groups: The Performance Group, the Lifestyle Group and the Shore Group. Its hallmark components including Vibram® EcoStep™ 30 percent recycled rubber outsoles; all-natural latex; and better leathers from ISO-14001 tanneries (with the highest environmental standards).

Conner has a degree from Principia College in Elsah, IL and is active in trail running, mountain biking, climbing and surfing.

About Patagonia:
Patagonia, with sales last year of $260M, is noted internationally for its commitment to product quality and environmental activism. Its Environmental Grants Program has contributed over $26M to grassroots environmental activists since the program began in 1985, and its Environmental Internship Program allows employees to work for environmental groups while receiving their full paycheck. Incorporating environmental responsibility in to product development, the company has, since 1996, used only organically-grown cotton in its clothing line, and its most recent launch of synthetic fiber-to-fiber recycling – taking back its worn-out clothing and reincarnating it as new products, forever capturing the petroleum used in making virgin fiber. Known for a unique corporate culture, the company has been recognized for many years by Working Mother magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers,” and is a regular recipient of recognition by Fortune and Human Resources Management magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America.”

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