Footwear brand hires president


Sue Rechner. Photo via

An executive with more than 25 years of global “brand-building experience,” mostly in the outdoor industry, is the new president of a footwear brand in the area.

Merrell, a brand of Rockford-based Wolverine Worldwide, a maker of footwear and apparel, said yesterday it hired Sue Rechner for the role.

The Merrell brand includes work boots, hiking boots, trail running shoes, active-lifestyle shoes and apparel.

Rechner reports directly to Todd Spaletto, president of the Wolverine Outdoor and Lifestyle Group.

“Sue has a consistent track record of building brands and delivering growth in the outdoor industry,” Spaletto said.

Blake Krueger, chairman, CEO and president of Wolverine Worldwide, added that Rechner is “a seasoned veteran and experienced brand-builder.”

“I am confident she will have a strong impact on the Merrell brand and its continued growth,” Krueger said.

Rechner’s background

For the past 10 years, Rechner has been the president and CEO of Confluence Outdoor, an American maker of canoes, kayaks and paddle-sport accessories. 

At Confluence Outdoor, Rechner had “tremendous success strategically aligning the brand in the industry," resulting in “strong financial growth and an increase in brand awareness.” 

Previously, Rechner served as president and director for Victorinox Swiss Army and concurrently held the position of CEO for the Global Apparel division of Swiss Army Brands.

Rechner is a board member for the Outdoor Foundation and recently served as vice chairman of the Outdoor Industry Association’s Executive Committee.

She holds a B.S. in health, physical education and sports studies from Rutgers University.

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