In My Boots

We’re pleased to share the following story from Andy Friedman, a veteran Timberland account executive based in New York City:

On November 11th 2010, I had the pleasure of representing our brand at the 2010 Corporate Governance Awards dinner at Gotham Hall in NYC.  I was accompanied by my personal governance officer — my wife, Elana.

We were surrounded by notable companies such as Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Ann Taylor, FedEx.  All of us were making introductions, sharing what we do and, you never know how familiar your neighbor is with your company.  I have learned, many times over, to “just take it from the top” and share all of the exciting things the Timberland brand is involved in, to share the vision of the company and to share why I have committed the past 20 years to working for the brand.  Those who know me know that I don’t just tell a story, I tell the story.

People are always blown away by the product innovation, the community involvement, our brand’s staying power.  Everyone has a favorite story to tell about their 1st pair of Timberland shoes or favorite jacket, and everyone looks down at my feet to see what I am wearing.  I went against my personal governance officer’s advice and decided to wear my Abington boots with my tuxedo — a bold but proud move.

Unbeknownst to me, the gentleman to my right — a former Pfizer exec — happened to be on the evening’s panel of awards judges.  This coincidence reminded me, once again, how vital it is for the story of our brand and our business to be able to flow out of all of us, with whomever we are engaged with. It can only flow smoothly if we are informed, if we are passionate and if we are committed.  Earlier that evening I had shared with him that our Sales Team serves communities and schools in the Bronx—pre and post 9/11.  I shared that our employees are paid 40 hours per year to serve their community.

The nominees for the “Most Innovative Reporting” award were announced, and from across the table I heard, “we know who’s taking this one home”- he was looking directly at me.  The MC then announced that Timberland was, in fact, the winner.  I stepped up to the podium, proudly accepted the award, and returned to a table of congratulations.  I was extremely appreciative of the opportunity to represent Timberland in such good company, and proud to accept the award on our behalf.

Andy poses with the award and his personal governance officer, Elana

The honor didn’t stop there: the next morning, all nominees and winners were invited to be part of the “opening bell ceremony” at the NASDAQ exchange.  Wearing the same boots I wore the night before, I helped ring the bell to commence trading that day.

A truly amazing few days, wrapped around the recognition that Timberland strives for everyday – to be a responsible company that creates positive impact for our business, our consumers and our communities.  Based on my experience, I’d say we’re on our way.

I really am grateful that I was given this opportunity to accept this award.


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