Not every person wakes up when they are 20 and knows what they want to do. Sometimes they end up in a series of positions where they realize their passion. Diane’s footwear journey began in 1977, as a 7B shoe model for Brown Shoe Company. Her “sole” responsibility was to test fit all styles and brands in ladies footwear. She found shoes fascinating, fun, and very complex. Most importantly, she found her passion. This door of opportunity led her into a series of promotions — die buyer, last buyer, specification manager, assistant line builder and product manager.
After 8 years of learning the fundamentals of shoe making from Brown Shoe “University”, Diane began working for 5M International as line builder for Britannia. This new role would take her to sourcing shoes from Taiwan factories. Her passport is one of her most cherished possessions. Two years of international experience led her to her 17 year career with Footwear Unlimited. Through product design she successfully helped transform the company from a close out house to a national branded footwear company with product distribution in major retailers. She fostered the development of footwear in Taiwan, China, and Brazil. She also created and customized private product lines for department stores.
Diane’s path came full circle back to Brown Shoe Company as Director of Product Development for Original Dr. Scholl’s in 2002. She repositioned this footwear brand from its iconic heritage wood bottom “exercise” sandal to a 12-month business through the introduction of new product categories. In 2006, she moved to Jacksonville, FL to become Vice President of Product Design for Liz Claiborne.
Since 2007, Diane has been with Steve Madden, Inc., initially as Senior Vice President of Production. She was actively involved in the development of the first Steve Madden, Inc., sourcing office in China. In June 2014, she was promoted to President of Betsey Johnson Footwear.
Diane was born and raised in St. Louis. She grew up in the shoe industry with the love and support of her husband, Jim, and two sons, James and Joseph.
“If you do work that you love and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.” Oprah Winfrey