Favorites ()
Marc Kermisch headshot.

Applying Entrepreneurial Curiosity

Marc Kermisch of Red Wing Shoes is very familiar with the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at St. Thomas. He's known friends, colleagues, (and even their kids) who’ve gone through its program. So when his company needed an intern with a self-starter attitude, he knew where to look.

His team created an internal innovation group called The Garage within Red Wing Shoes. Their goal was to reinvigorate the spirit of innovation across all areas of the 100-year-old organization.

The Garage is truly like an internal start-up, so we needed people with experience developing and launching products," said Kermisch, Vice President and Chief Information Officer. His team found the entrepreneurial spirit of St. Thomas to be a great fit for their vision.

TJ McCabe ’19 was selected as a candidate for their summer internship program. His assignment was designing a new revenue stream service that Red Wing could offer their consumers at the time of purchase.

While McCabe had market research to pull from, everything else was up to him to figure out. He engaged with Red Wing’s store operations and sales team and worked closely with finance, IT, operations and marketing. Using his findings, he designed and presented a business plan recommendation to company leaders.

Kermisch was very pleased with his final result. “TJ impressed us with his ingenuity, creativity and critical thinking skills. He proved to us over and over that the skill sets gained at the Schulze School are really ideal for a corporate innovation center."