The presidents of Lord & Taylor and Famous Footwear gave passionate speeches tonight at the 2017 Footwear News Achievement Awards.
Rick Ausick of Famous Footwear was inducted into the FNAA Hall of Fame for his work at the helm of the major footwear retailer.
Speaking at the 31st annual FNAA ceremony in New York, Ausick said that he “never looked back” after transitioning into the footwear industry from menswear in 1988.
“The first thing that came to my mind was, ‘What did I do to piss them off?'” Ausick joked.
He also thanked his family, coworkers and partners for supporting him at the helm of Famous Footwear since 2002.
“It has to be a partnership or we can’t get anywhere without it,” said Ausick.
As president of Lord & Taylor, Liz Rodbell was also recognized as a Hall of Fame honoree for her dedication to shoes. Rodbell spent the last year navigating through a struggling department store landscape.
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“One of the most exciting things that I have done at Lord & Taylor was really help grow and develop the footwear business at the store as one of the most important categories that we run,” said Rodbell.
She also talked about her passion for the footwear industry, which started as a teenage job selling shoes.
“I fell in love with the business of fashion because I always felt that when you look good, you feel good,” Rodbell said.