Wolverine Employees: Jim’s a Class Act

Gene McCarthy, president; Merrell
“While I’ve been with Wolverine World Wide for less than a year, I got to know Jim through an extensive courting process, not to mention that he has been my boss since the day I started. I feel like I’ve known him for years. Jim is the consummate professional, but even more so, he’s a really good man. I’ve worked with all kinds of people, and Jim resides in the top of my list as a real class act. When I joined, I had two rules for myself: I wanted to leverage my experience to help a brand and I wanted to work with real good people. Jim Zwiers is the reason I joined.”

Chip Coe, GM; Chaco
“I have been with Wolverine for four years, and have reported to Jim the entire time. [And] I have known Jim for almost 10 years. My interaction with Jim [has been] refreshing and valuable, as he is very inquisitive and progressive, and always pushes for progress and innovation. Jim is a very bright guy and a very quick study. Even on subject matter as to which Jim has little to no prior experience, he is a great thought partner — very curious, gently pushing, asking why and why not, and encouraging a reasonable level of risk-taking. Jim also is highly professional and operates with the highest possible level of integrity. His combination of intelligence, curiosity, work ethic, integrity and general high character makes Jim one of the most enjoyable teammates I have ever had.”

Don Grimes, SVP, CFO & treasurer; Wolverine
“The role Jim is going into is critically important in our company, and Jim will hit a home run in the job. He has a great combination of business acumen and intellect combined with great people skills, and he has great relationships with our most significant international third-party partners. I’ve observed Jim’s relationship-building skills firsthand over my six years with the company, and he’s got a very winning, engaging personality. People like doing business with him and as a result doing business with Wolverine. And he’s probably the second-most competitive person at the company — behind Blake, our CEO — which is not a bad quality to have.”

Michael Jeppesen, president, global operations group; Wolverine

“Jim truly understands the brand equity going into some of our prestige brands, and he can move that further into the international setting as he works with our international distributors.”

Seth Cobb, VP & GM; Merrell
“I’ve been with Merrell for 18 years and have had the privilege of working for, with and around Jim for 13 of them. Jim inspires on so many levels. He has the most intense work ethic I have ever seen and will stop at nothing to make progress for the company and for the team. He is completely approachable, and team members at all levels feel perfectly at ease bringing him both problems and new ideas. But above all, Jim’s signature is his capacity to think big. Whenever the team finds itself thinking about growth in a linear way, Jim blows open the doors so they can think about growth exponentially.”

Hilton Brett, CEO; RCG Corp. (owns the Australian distribution rights to certain brands)

“Jim is an exceptional partner who has fostered deep relationships with all of us at RCG and has been instrumental in our success. Jim is a great leader, brand builder and friend, [and his] passion, dedication, experience and extensive knowledge of the industry are testament to his accomplishments. We at RCG are confident that Jim, in his new role, will continue to drive the growth of Wolverine’s international business and look forward to his continued leadership, support and influence moving forward across our entire Wolverine portfolio of brands in Australia.”

Richie Woodworth, president; Saucony
“International has been and continues to be an important aspect for both Saucony and all of the Wolverine brands. Over his time at Wolverine, Jim has helped engineer some of the best relationships and partnerships in our global markets that have benefited us all. We run a complicated offense, and in order for the role to succeed, it has to have a deep understanding of the brands and their central positioning and markets. Jim has the capacity to know and understand those and bring them to bear around the world. His experience as a lawyer, brand builder and brand advocate will help elevate our brands and our positioning in what is becoming a more and more complex global marketplace.”

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