Vice President, Distribution and Planning
Stride Rite Children’s Group
Kevin Barker knew he wanted a career in retail when he started out as an Assistant Manager in a Jacksonville Payless ShoeSource store. He was looking for a company he could learn and grow with, and he pictured himself becoming a sales manager at some point. What he didn’t anticipate was how far he would go with the organization and what exciting opportunities he would find in the corporate part of the business, too.Kevin moved up the ranks in Jacksonville, from Assistant Manager to Manager In Training, Store Manager, then Training Supervisor. He even had the opportunity to help with the Payless expansion into Canada. Not long after that, the corporate offices were looking for someone with field knowledge, and they asked Kevin to consider the Distribution Analyst position. Again, he moved through distribution and merchandising management to eventually become the Distribution Planning Director. When the Stride Rite Children’s Group VP of Distribution and Planning position became available in 2008, he saw another opportunity to change and grow, and that’s where he is today.
"The company had a greater vision of opportunity for me than I had for myself. Management recognizes people who show they want to learn and grow as team members and people who give 100%. It’s your responsibility to demonstrate those qualities and then say, 'Hey, Coach, put me in.'"