FACILITATOR: David Kahan
Our facilitator for this year’s May Event has over 20 years experience in the footwear industry.
He started working part time on the selling floor of a Macy’s store in Albany New York while in college. He was recommended for, and completed the Macy’s Executive training program eventually becoming their first ever “Footwear Coordinator”, a position where he acted as liaison between the Buyers and the actual stores. He traveled to every store and organized stock rooms, managed store by store inventory, and made assortment recommendations based on individual store needs. He likes to say he went from working 14 hours a WEEK in the footwear business, to 14 hours A DAY.
He was selected to become Macy’s first ever, athletic footwear Buyer and started the department from scratch. His team created “The Macy’s Athletic Club” concept shops which were the only department store in the US at the time allowed to carry Nike air products as well as the New Balance brand. This area proved to be a huge success and was expanded to all stores and was even the subject of a New York Times newspaper article.
Eventually he moved to the wholesale side of the business as a Sales rep for Nike, followed by Key Account Manager, and then into a series of leadership and management positions, eventually as a Regional Sales Manager in Nike’s largest territory.
He spent 8 years at Reebok in a series of roles, progressing from Vice President of Sales, to Senior Vice President of Sales, and eventually to Senior Vice President, Head of North America with complete responsibility for sales, customer service, finance, human resources, operations, brand marketing, and product merchandising.
After Reebok’s acquisition by Adidas, he was brought back to his roots in the brown shoe world, by being named Senior Vice President of their “sister” brand, Rockport. It was in this role that he focused on connecting with and becoming a vocal advocate for the independent footwear retailer. This was when he attended his first USRA May Event and ever since has been a featured presenter, and starting last year, our host. For the past 18 months, David has been in the role of President of the Footwear Group for ENK International. His team manages Footwear trade events including the WSA show in Las Vegas which has now become mainly focused on affordable fashion and global sourcing, as well as the very successful Sole Commerce events in NYC which cater to the fashion end of the business.
He has made presentations at numerous industry events including the May event and we are happy to welcome him, once again, as our facilitator. Please welcome David Kahan to the USRA May Event.