Executive in Residence 2014-2015
Suzanne Latvala Johnson is Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing for Wolverine Worldwide, Inc.’s Leather Operations in Rockford, Michigan, and is a member of the company’s executive leadership team. Wolverine Worldwide, Inc. is one of the world’s leading marketers of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, athletic, children’s and uniform footwear and apparel. The Company’s portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Merrell®, Sperry Top-Sider®, Hush Puppies®, Saucony®, Wolverine®, Keds®, Stride Rite®, Sebago®, Cushe®, Chaco®, Bates®, HYTEST®, and Soft Style®. The Company also is the global footwear licensee of popular brands including Cat®, Harley-Davidson® and Patagonia®. The Company’s products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in approximately 200 countries and territories.
As Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing at Wolverine Worldwide Leathers, Inc., Suzanne, 50, oversees the company’s pigskin leather sales, marketing and customer service operations at 6 tanneries located in the USA, Thailand, China and Taiwan, in addition to a salesforce in the UK, Italy, Spain, China, Vietnam and the USA.
As Suzanne’s role primarily focuses on business development and strategy, in this capacity she works with the top 50 footwear brands in the world to drive the company’s growth and nurture new business. She works on product development initiatives, color development, trend research, and selling in pigskin leather to make footwear. Her customers include: New Balance, UGG, Merrell, Nike, Reebok, adidas, Dansko, Vans, Clarks, Rockport, Teva, The North Face, Hush Puppies, Caterpillar, Cabela’s, LL Bean, DC Shoes to name just a few.
Suzanne has held the VP position since March 1997. She joined Wolverine in March 1988 as director of marketing for international operations and then held increasingly more responsibility until her appointment with leather operations.
Before joining Wolverine in 1988, Suzanne worked for Oxford Management Company in East Lansing, Michigan as sales manager, traveling a 4 state region to open and manage newly built apartment complexes in Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit and Indianapolis.
Suzanne is a 1986 graduate of Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising & Public Relations. She is a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt. She holds membership in the Two Ten Footwear Foundation, The Shoe Traveler’s Association, American Apparel & Footwear Association and the Outdoor Retailer Association.
Suzanne is a native Yooper, married, lives in Marquette and commutes from the UP globally.