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August 09, 2010 at 08:07 AM EDT
Jim Tompkins Named President of Spira Footwear

El Paso-based Spira Footwear announces the hiring of Jim Tompkins, the former President and Chief Operating Officer of New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., as President of the patented WaveSpring-inspired Spira brand.

For the past year, Tompkins has served in an advisory role to direct the development and expansion of product at Spira. Tompkins’ unique leadership delivered positive results in numerous executive positions, both in the United States and Europe for 25 years at New Balance. He served the past nine years as President and Chief Operating Officer until stepping down in June 2009. When Tompkins took the helm in December of 1999, New Balance employed more than 2,000 people and reported worldwide sales in 1998 of $630 million. Under Tompkins’ leadership, New Balance doubled its global workforce and reported worldwide sales in 2008 of $1.63 billion.

Spira founder and Chief Executive Officer Andy Krafsur initially hired Tompkins as a consultant to oversee product design, development, sourcing and manufacturing, and to spearhead by the company’s state-of-the-art energy return and suspension system -- compact WaveSprings embedded in the midsole -- and guide it to compete head-to-head with the industry’s dominant multinational corporations.

“We’re very excited to have Jim serve as President of Spira. He is one of the most well liked and respected executives in our industry and provides a unique combination of experience, leadership, passion and integrity,” said Andy Krafsur.

Spira offers Tompkins the rare opportunity to transform a revolutionary, under-the-radar shoe company into an industry powerhouse.

“The WaveSpring technology offers a unique opportunity to fine tune cushioning and energy return. With a credible technology and passionate Spira workforce, the potential for explosive growth is in place. I am excited to bring my expertise to the brand,” Tompkins said.

Tompkins joined New Balance in 1984 as a product manager. He moved to the United Kingdom in 1985 to serve as the Sales and Marketing Manager for New Balance Europe until he returned to the U.S. in 1988 to assume the position of Vice President of Research and Development. Prior to serving as President and Chief Operating Officer, he held the position of Executive Vice President of Global Operations.

Spira Footwear, founded in 2001 and headquartered in El Paso, Texas, is a manufacturer of patented technologically innovative running and walking shoes for men and women. For more information about Spira, visit www.spira.com.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6389637&lang=en

Contacts:

Spira Footwear
Holly Fields, 915-838-8640
Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations
Cell: 915-276-9912
hfields@spira.com
or
Andy Krafsur, 915-838-8640
Chief Executive Officer
Cell: 915 241-0885
akrafsur@spira.com
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