The Blog

Bill Sweasy, CEO of Red Wing Shoe Company, Recognized for Outdoor Inspiration Award

Jan 29, 2013

Red Wing, MN – January 29, 2013 – Bill Sweasy, CEO of Red Wing Shoe Company, the parent company of performance based outdoor footwear brand, Vasque, was awarded the Outdoor Inspiration Award during the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market on January 24, 2013. The Outdoor Inspiration Awards annually recognize individuals, groups and companies that motivate others to become active in the outdoors through their stories of personal achievement and an unending passion for the outdoors.

Bill Sweasy was awarded the individual award for his long time involvement in outdoor advocacy and for founding and working with the Red Wing Environmental Learning Center (RW-ELC). The RW-ELC is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping kids get exposed to and involved in the outdoors.

Throughout his career with Red Wing Shoes, the RW-ELC, and Vasque, Sweasy has committed his career to sharing the joys the outdoors can bring. "I never did it because I thought there was an award,” Sweasy states. “But it is nice to be recognized by those I admire so much in the outdoor industry. As I enter retirement, I feel immense gratitude to know that what I have done over the years has been so meaningful to so many. This award is truly the highlight of my career." Knowing how important it is to get youth in the outdoors, Sweasy is also involved with the organization Big City Mountaineers, a group that transforms the lives of under-served youth by taking them on wilderness mentoring expeditions. Just this past year, Sweasy chaperoned one of the expeditions with the organization.

According to Bill Sweasy’s wife Carol, "Bill is the real deal. He is a true inspiration to the people at Red Wing Shoes. He has always encouraged people to volunteer and to help others get outside.

After 21 years at the helm, Sweasy will retire from his post at Red Wing Shoe Company this year. When asked about retirement Sweasy responded that he looks forward to not being ‘on’ all the time and to getting out and enjoying the outdoors even more.

For more information on the Outdoor Inspiration Awards please visit

About Vasque

Vasque is a performance based outdoor footwear brand rich in heritage and deeply rooted in the outdoors. Owned and operated by the Red Wing Shoe Company, Red Wing, MN, the brand was created in 1966 by the company’s chairman; William D Sweasy. Today, just as Mr. Sweasy did some 45 plus years ago, Vasque understands the outdoors is a state of mind. It is this understanding that motivates Vasque to focus on fit and world-class performance in every purpose-built backpacking, hiking and trail running shoe they create. Vasque’s authentic footwear is designed and built to withstand harsh conditions, rugged wear and the tests of time while delivering the best fit and all-day comfort on the trail.






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