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Red Wing Shoe names a new vice president

Steve Pilla, Red Wing Shoe vice president, chief supply chain officer. Submitted photo

The company with a strong community heritage that has specialized in perfecting the working boot for over 100 years has welcomed a new face.

With only a few days under his belt, Steve Pilla, Red Wing Shoe's new vice president and chief supply chain officer, is starting to get a feel for his new position.

"Being here just two weeks, I have to figure out how does Red Wing work," Pilla said. "The deeper that I get into the business will help me develop that long-term viewpoint."

Pilla will be responsible for developing the vision for the company's global supply chain as well as organizational strategies.

Each day, Pilla commutes 50 minutes from Lake Elmo, Minn. Moving was not quite in the books for children Julia and Ryan and his wife, Lisa, he said. While Red Wing may not be home for him, getting to know the area and the people who live here will be instrumental to understanding his role, he said.

Looking forward, Pilla is excited about the new products and styles that Red Wing Shoe has in mind for the next few years.

"It's important that we meet the needs of our customers," he said.

Pilla's experience has helped demonstrate his ability to follow through on long-term goals as well as provide short-term results to help him stand out against the rest. Pilla led Pentair's global electrical enclosures business for 15 years. The industrial company is incorporated in Ireland with its main office located in Minneapolis.

"Steve's leadership ability and enterprise-level experience in supply-chain management is undeniable, and his success made him a perfect fit," Shoe CEO Mark Urdahl said.

The transition to a legacy like Red Wing Shoe, Pilla said, has a unique meaning compared to his work in the past.

"It's very different than what a publicly held company typically will talk about," Pilla said. "That's a big part of why I was interested in coming to work for the organization. There's a lot of people with history here who have a deep passion not only for the company but for the community as well."

Kit Murray

Kit Murray joined Red Wing Republican Eagle in Aug. 2016, covering government, transportation and public safety. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in photojournalism and philosophy. 

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