Dansko hosts Meehan, Lawrence for tour

Elected officials get close up look at high tech Chester County business

By Kim Chiomento, Staff Writer, The Times


U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, Dansko’s Co-Founder & COEE -Peter Kjellerup along with Sal Agati – Executive Vice President of Design & Global Sourcing discuss Dansko quality and design inside headquarters, during a recent tour of Dansko’s West grove facility.

WEST GROVE – Congressman Pat Meehan (R-7), and State Representative John Lawrence (R-13) recently toured the Dansko shoe company’s award-winning “green” corporate headquarters, retail outlet and new state-of the art distribution center.

Highlights included participating in a roundtable discussion with Dansko employees, witnessing the high-tech, robotic inventory distribution system at work, learning about the company’s commitment to being an environmentally responsible, leading corporate citizen; and a lively discussion on the merits of, and business climate required, to operate as a 100% employee-owned company.

Originally known for their “heritage” stapled clogs, Dansko has grown into a market leader in premium comfort shoes offering a complete line of functional, stylish footwear.  Its product line includes boots, sandals, wedges, clogs and heels sold through over 2,500 premium and international retailers.


From left, State Rep. John Lawrence, Dansko Co-Founder & COEE- Peter Kjellerup, Congressman Meehan, Dansko COO-Philomena “MiMi” Curry, and Dansko Co-Founder, President & CEO -Mandy Cabot. Picture is taken in the warehouse where state of the art robots distribute inventory.

At Dansko, international success and millions of loyal fans grew from local, modest roots more than twenty years ago.  Wife and husband team, Mandy Cabot (Co-founder, President, & CEO) and Peter Kjellerup (Co-founder & “COEE” – Chief of Everything Else), discovered their first shoe – a clog, while on a horse-buying trip to Peter’s native Denmark.  Upon bringing the shoe home to Chester County, its unique design, comfort, and “wear-ability” made it a favorite wardrobe staple and top gift for Peter, Mandy and their friends.

Over time, a word-of-mouth following grew exponentially; enabling the couple to share their clogs out of the back of their station wagon.  Eventually, Mandy & Peter left the horse business and entered the shoe business full-time with a simple mission of being everyone’s favorite shoe company.

Today, great things continue to happen at Dansko as a result of their cutting-edge focus on innovative products and business practices.  Recent accolades include being honored by The Philadelphia Inquirer as one of the “Top Workplaces in Pennsylvania,” being ranked on “Inc.’s 500 List” of fastest growing private companies, winner of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia’s “Triple Bottom Line Award” and a multi-time winner of the “Footwear Plus Award for Design Excellence in Women’s Comfort.”


Dansko is proud of being an employee-owned company — something evident wherever you go in the building.

In 2012, Dansko announced it would transition to a 100% employee-owned company; with all company shares being held by an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) marking a continued commitment to its employees and focus on long-term sustainability.   Because the company offers significant employer 401kplans, as well as an opportunity to meaningfully participate in the growth of the company, employees can “cash in” on that growth when they retire.  Dansko believes that these two opportunities combined will help employees better plan for their retirement while reducing the federal government’s burden to support them in the future.

“Our long-standing commitment has always been to be our stakeholders’ favorite…our consumers, retail partners, the community we live in and our business community” says President & CEO Mandy Cabot, “The 100% ESOP structure allows all of our employees not only share in the joy of working at Dansko, but in the wealth created by the company’s vision and way of doing business.”  Today, Dansko is 165 employee-owners strong and thriving.

“Dansko is an example to businesses across Pennsylvania and the nation on how to treat employees and conduct business,” Meehan said. “I am happy to be here to experience this impressive operation first-hand and meet your employees, thank you.”

The Dansko Foundation has proudly supported over 80 organizations since its inception in 2002; with a clear set of core values:  “Protect our community, promote philanthropy and minimize negative impact on the environment.”

“We love to give back, although it’s not all about self-sacrifice,” says Cabot, “Volunteerism helps us widen our frames of reference, builds collaboration, leadership, confidence, personal satisfaction and of course, a bit of FUN getting paid to take time away from work!”  This is a direct nod to the company’s policy of paying all full-time employees up to 20 hours a year to volunteer.  Dansko, in turn, donates the equivalent of that individual’s salary back to the volunteer organization, in a sense, doubling their commitment to their employees’ development of deeper community relationships.

At the tour’s conclusion, Cabot commented, “It was very important for both me and my husband, Peter, to provide elected officials the opportunity to see the human beings behind the Dansko story, their commitment to this company and our surrounding community.”

For more information on Dansko, including the company’s environmentally conscious and award-winning business practices, product lines, retail partners and foundation visit:  www.dansko.com

   Send article as PDF   

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment