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B$Z: John Vance Back at Helm of Freewaters

July 20, 2012

B$Z: John Vance Back at Helm of Freewaters

Young Company Hires Old Sage to Lead Them Back to the Future

Freewaters Footwear today announced that well known industry executive John Vance has joined the company as President and Chief Executive Officer.

In this new position, Vance will oversee all aspects of the company in its mission to create innovative casual footwear and to provide clean drinking water to those in need around the world. Vance will report directly to its Board of Directors where he will hold a seat. 

Vance joins Freewaters after eight years at Sanuk where he served as President and Chief Operating Officer and oversaw the recent sale of the company to Deckers Outdoor.  Prior to Sanuk, Vance served as a Vice President at Quiksilver as well as holding executive positions at Op and Airwalk earlier in his career.

Martin Kim, Freewaters Co-Founder, commented, “We couldn’t have found a more perfect person to lead our efforts in becoming a growing force in the casual footwear sector.”

Co-Founder Eli Marmar added, “John’s understanding of the entire process from manufacturing to marketing to retail will pilot Freewaters to incredible new heights.  Beyond his impressive track record, we really dig his leadership style, passion and quirky personality.”
Vance sees huge opportunity in helping to shape the brand from an early stage. “Since first meeting Martin and Eli, I was struck with their strong design backgrounds and their commitment to thinking outside the box.  We have been working together around the clock on putting together a completely new product collection and new message management strategy for Spring 2013.  We will be introducing an extremely comfortable closed-toe footwear line which we are very excited about.”  He goes on to say, “Anyone who knows me knows that I am absolutely committed to the specialty shop community.  With that mindset, we will be putting a lot of resources into new in-store fixtures and effective POP.  To further support our dealers, we be rolling out our very first print advertising campaign as well as an entirely re-designed website that ties directly into our new social media strategy. The goal is to very quickly build brand and message awareness.”

In additional to his new role at Freewaters, Vance continues to sit on several industry Boards of Directors and gives speeches around the country about product innovation, how to stand out in a crowd and the importance of social media.

About the Company
Freewaters, founded by Martin Kim and Eli Marmar in 2010, was born out of their desire to make a difference.   As product designers they constantly seek to push the limits of how footwear looks and functions.  As humans and global citizens, they are helping to redefine footwear as a tool for good.

Freewaters believes that access to clean drinking water is a fundamental human right.  The global drinking water pandemic is a growing, complex and serious issue.  Our approach however, is simple and not so serious.  We make easy-going casual footwear that transports you into vacation mode the minute you slip them on.  Each pair helps support global clean drinking water projects.  Every pair of Freewaters has a story, a human story.

Based in California, Freewaters soaks up the Cali spirit of innovation, cruising down the open road and spreading good vibes.  Our mantra is ‘do some good’ – a call to make the world a better place, little by little, step by step.  So join us, jump in - the water is cool and clean.

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