New & Noteworthy

Shoe Savant Jeff Lewis Speaks to Ferris College of Business Students

February 1, 2019


Industry leader and shoe savant Jeff Lewis recently visited Ferris State University’s College of Business to share the insight he gained from his years as the VP of Marketing for the iconic brand Hush Puppies.

Lewis has perfected the formula for creating a consistently successful brand. His background is predominantly marketing and design-oriented, but he offered knowledge that could help any student in the College of Business, outlining the “do’s and don’ts” he learned firsthand.

“Know your customer and know their wants and needs,” was the point Lewis repeated to students. This user-centered, customer-centered approach to marketing shaped the path of his career success.

While speaking, Lewis walked students through his journey, including the bumps he experienced along the way. His story follows his humble beginnings as a stock boy for his father’s shoe store, through the revival of Hush Puppies brand, to using his experience and wisdom to springboard his own marketing consultancy business. Along the way, he earned degrees in marketing and communications arts and science from Michigan State University as well as many accolades and awards. His impact on the Hush Puppies brand was cited on page 1 of Malcolm Gladwell’s best seller, The Tipping Point.

Lewis was invited to campus by Graphic Design assistant professor and AIGA student group advisor Tim Powers. The two are former collaborators and good friends.

The Graphic Design, Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations programs were well-represented at the event, as it was hosted by Ferris’ student chapter of AIGA in collaboration with AMA, PRSSA, and AdGroup. These registered student organizations (RSOs), provide students opportunities real-world relationships with professionals.

“[This event] was an incredible opportunity to hear advice directly from a professional who worked with such a well-known brand,” said Sandy Hill, a senior in the Graphic Design program. “I will definitely carry his insight with me as I continue my senior year and into my professional career in the design field.”

The College of Business at Ferris State University provides career-oriented education, responding for over 100 years to the changing needs of the business world. The curriculum prepares graduates to deal with real issues as members and leaders of tomorrow’s workforce. More information about the Advertising/ Integrated Marketing Communications, Graphic Design, Marketing, and Public Relations programs can be found at their program pages. More information about RSOs within the College of Business can be found at the Student Organizations page.


Advertising/ Integrated Marketing Communications, Design, Marketing, Public Relations