Peter Panter, former VP of Wolverine World Wide Inc. and an employee there for more than 25 years, died on Sept. 28 in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was 80.
Panter was born in Desborough, England, and served in the British Army during the 1940s. After his service, he went to work in a shoe factory, where he discovered a passion for the business. Throughout the 1960s, he developed a global career in the industry, working in El Salvador, in the U.S. at Wolverine in international sales, and in Austria. In the 1970s, he was rehired at Wolverine, where he continued to work thereafter.
In the sales department at Wolverine, Panter worked to develop footwear brands in Latin America. He spearheaded the licensing and marketing initiative for Forus S.A. in Chile, as well as Grimoldi S.A. in Argentina. He moved his way up within the company before taking concurrent posts as VP at Wolverine and president of Hush Puppies, a division of the company. He retired in 1993.
Panter was well known for expanding Hush Puppies to a larger scale and is credited with creating a strong international presence for the brand. “Even when he was running Hush Puppies, you could sit down and have a conversation with him and never know he was running a multimillion-dollar business,” said his son James Panter.