For alumnus Kevin McDonald ‘06, one of his biggest takeaways from Chaminade University involves thinking globally and acting locally to make the world a better place. Now he applies that high-minded philosophy in his duties as vice president of international sales for the BEARPAW footwear company.
“Think global, act local perfectly sums up and applies to business and causes that are important to me,” says McDonald, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. “Instead of focusing outward, we have looked to help the immediate region surrounding our head office just outside of Sacramento.”
BEARPAW charitable activities include donating about 6,000 pairs of girls’ boots to the Ticket to Dream Foundation, which provides services for foster children. BEARPAW also sponsored and participated in the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event supporting WEAVE, a nonprofit group that helps victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and sex trafficking in Sacramento County.
And, yes, McDonald joined other men in completing WEAVE’s playful, mile-long charity walk while teetering on red, high-heeled shoes.
McDonald joined BEARPAW three years ago after receiving a phone call from company founder Tom Romeo and president John Pierce. Now that he manages all global sales outside the USA, McDonald is responsible for product selection, pricing, forecasting, marketing, presentations, customer service “and just about anything you can imagine.”
The alum gained an appreciation for international business between his junior and senior years at Chaminade when visiting China through the Hogan Entrepreneurs Program.
“This was my first time traveling outside of North America,” McDonald notes. “Fast forward to today, I have been to over 30 countries. Each has similarities, but being open and aware to the cultural differences has had a major impact on navigating these markets.”
Reflecting on his Chaminade education, McDonald is especially grateful for the knowledge shared by Dr. Margaret Friedman, an associate professor of marketing.
“I was not the best-in-class student,” McDonald admits, “but Dr. Friedman connected and always provided great nuggets of information that were easily digestible and applicable. These helped to expand the thought process when addressing a consumer or business need/want and outlining or brainstorming your strategic approach.
“All things truly come back to the 4 P’s” (price, product, promotion and place), McDonald says, pointing out that these simple marketing concepts “are often and easily overlooked.
Any career advice for current business students?
“Keep an open mind and be ready to jump if an opportunity presents itself,” McDonald counsels. “Absorb as much as you can from as many people as possible, from as many different walks of life and career paths.
“Have fun and enjoy the journey,” he adds. “It is just beginning and never ends.”
Chaminade’s School of Business and Communication offers undergraduate programs in Business Administration, Accounting, Communication, Management and International Studies (International Trade). The school also offers a Master of Business Administration graduate program with concentrations in Accounting, Island Business and Not-for-Profit Management.