In this Leaders in Elder Care interview, I wanted to step back from residential and medical care and focus on something that many of us take for granted. The simple fact is that for seniors, foot comfort and correctly-fitted shoes can make the difference between independence and comfort or pain and immobility. As an athlete, I thought I knew a lot about shoes – the how and why the need to fit. When you talk to Ray Margiano, CEO and founder of Foot Solutions, you quickly learn the mind-numbing depth of science that goes into shoes. I’ve named Ray Margiano a Leader in Elder Care because of the passion he brings to his business and for the incredible impact that his work has on millions of seniors who want to keep moving forward. Kudos, Ray! And to the rest of our readers, I hope you enjoy the interview…with your shoes ON!
About Ray Magiano
Ray Margiano PhD, CEO and founder of Foot Solutions, established Foot Solutions at the end of 2000 with three employees and no funding, to provide custom orthotics and shoes to fit and provide proper support, and to address the individual foot health needs of a wide variety of consumers. By the end of 2008, he grew the company to more than 240 franchises worldwide and a corporate staff of over 50 people with sales around $100-million. Foot Solutions has already signed agreements in 16 countries with master developers and are projecting five new countries per year with a continuing growth rate of 50 new units a year.
Ray’s business philosophy is to give something back to the community and to be part of positive change and energy. As such, Foot Solutions provides many outreach programs donating time and money to organizations active in health and wellness, children’s obesity, diabetes and foot care. Ray also serves on the American Diabetes Association’s advisory board, is a member of the Board of Governors at University of New Haven and on the Board of Directors for the National Shoe Retailers Association.
Ray has received many awards in business throughout his career, including the 2008 Cobb Chamber Small Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year Atlanta 1994, Blue Chip Award Winner, and International Fran¬chise Award for International Excellence, University of New Haven Distinguished Alumni Award and Distinguished Bartels Fellowship Award University of New Haven, among others. He is a frequent speaker on franchising, the footwear industry, pedorthics and Balance Walking, a low-impact exercise using modified ski poles with wrist straps that increases circulation muscles and aerobic fitness.
Ray has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of New Haven, a Masters degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a PhD in International Business Administration from Canbourne University. Before founding Foot Solutions, Ray held high-level positions at Sikorsky Aircraft, Sybron and Textron and also founded Heel Quik, the world’s largest personal services franchise with over 700 operations in more than 30 countries. Ray is also the author of “Balance Walking”, which teaches about the physical benefits of Nordic Pole walking.
How Ray Margiano Described Foot Solutions
Foot Solutions is a leading multinational retailer of proper-fitting, comfortable, high-performance shoes, custom inserts and technology-driven health and wellness products to consumers across the globe. With more than 240 stores in 13 countries, Foot Solutions is the world’s largest health and wellness franchise dedicated to foot care.
CEO Ray Margiano PhD, founded Foot Solutions in 2000 after a 20-year career in the foot care and pedorthic industry to provide custom orthotics and shoes to fit and provide proper support, and to address the individual needs of a wide variety of consumers.
The company’s philosophy of better health through your feet is put in practice by providing a full line of quality shoes, arch supports and foot care accessories for all lifestyles. A key part of the Foot Solutions experience – and a core aspect of the company’s overall product and philosophy – is an individualized consultation for each customer to determine the proper shoe, orthotic or other foot care product for their specific needs.
Foot Solutions’ staff, versed in both foot pathology and properly fitting shoes, helps customers make choices that will support their foot care plan, accommodate foot problems, or simply offer both comfort and style. Foot Solutions offers foot care products specifically tailored to individuals with 18 health problems including heel and arch pain, diabetic foot disorders, arthritis, sports injuries, and back pain through expertly fitting footwear, arch supports and other foot pain relief products. It also provides shoes and other products designed to accommodate and alleviate foot injuries, products to optimize athletic performance, fitness and training aids, and corrective and occupational footwear, including nonslip shoes.
Part of Foot Solutions’ philosophy is to contribute in positive ways to the community on a local, national and global level. To that end, the company provides opportunities for its associates to participate in programs related to children’s obesity, diabetics, fitness, and retirement communities. Foot Solutions is also a consistent supporter of the President’s Challenge program for getting Americans back in shape and Soles for Souls, which donates shoes for flood, fire and the underprivileged.