The Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal calculates that individuals should walk 10,000 steps a day to stay physically fit. Raymond J. Margiano ’69 wants to be sure each one of those steps is comfortable. He has shaped a career around the notion that an active healthy lifestyle is rooted in proper footwear.
Margiano’s company, Foot Solutions, which he founded in 2000, is a leading international retailer of proper-fitting, comfortable, high-performance shoes and custom inserts, with more than 175 stores in 13 countries. It is one of several successful businesses Margiano started. For his entrepreneurial achievements, he was part of the inaugural class inducted into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, an Atlanta-based organization that recognizes the contributions of entrepreneurs from around the world. Margiano received the Veteran Entrepreneur Award.
He joined entrepreneurial luminaries including Truett Cathy, founder and chairman of Chick-fil-A; Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx; and Fred DeLuca, founder and president of Subway.
Margiano’s award is particularly fitting because it blends two key aspects of his life – entrepreneurship and giving back, particularly to veterans. For years, he has worked tirelessly on behalf of veterans, helping them transition into training programs as well as job and business opportunities. He is involved with the Arthritis Foundation, the International Council on Active Aging and Soles4Souls, a global nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty through the distribution of shoes and clothing.
Margiano says his first class at UNH changed the course of his life. “I learned how important desire is to accomplishing one’s objectives,” he says. After earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he went on to complete a master’s degree in business and computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in international business at Canbourne University.
He launched Heel Quik, a shoe repair franchise, in 1984, eventually operating more than 700 stores in 34 countries. Most recently, he started Balance Walking, a simple, 15-minute-a-day program aimed at helping people lead a fuller, more active lifestyle.
“Entrepreneurs don’t talk about it, they do it,” says Margiano, a member of the UNH Board of Governors. “All entrepreneurs are driven by a burning passion. It is in their DNA.”
Posted Summer 2013