Since November 1, 2011, Michael Schmitz has undertaken the newly created position of Commercial Director Lifestyle Europe for Collective Brands' members Keds, PRO-Keds and Sperry Top-Sider. He oversees the shoe labels’ expansion and progress within the EMEA area from the Collective Brands office in Cologne and their European headquarters in Heerhugowaard in the Netherlands. He directly reports to Collective Brands Managing Director Chris Bate.

The 34-year-old wants to push the development of the US-American brands in Europe as he comments: “I see enormous potential for the future of our authentic brands. The consistency of our Original Brands is appreciated by both retailers and end-consumers. I will focus my work on promoting the establishing within the markets and set new stimuli.”

Schmitz has already been working for Collective Brands for four years and had most recently been responsible for the same set of brands as Sales Manager for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Poland. Before that, he had held the position as Brand Manager for New Balance Lifestyle and PF Flyers.