The North Face, which supplies exploration apparel, footwear, equipment and accessories, has shown its commitment to the footwear side of the business by appointing Renee Henry as national sales manager for footwear.

As the company's first product-specific national sales manager, Henry will lead the sales efforts in footwear as The North Face expands its footwear line. She will also work alongside One Step Ahead Enterprises - a consulting, design, development and sourcing company - to support the company's current footwear design, development and strategic growth efforts.

Henry brings to The North Face over seven years of experience in sales at Danner Shoe Mfg Company. Most recently, as vice president of sales, she led the company's national sales force, managed key accounts and set and executed the company's annual sales objectives.

"I'm excited to bring my strong footwear experience and customer relationships to The North Face sales team, and to help guide the development and marketing process for the new footwear line. Retailers are looking for technically innovative footwear from a strong brand like The North Face," explained Henry.

The first project between The North Face and One Step Ahead - which was founded by Rodney Gumringer and Todd Jennings, the former general manager and merchandise manager of Columbia Sportswear Company's footwear division - will be to design and develop an insulated, weatherproof footwear line for an autumn 2002 launch.