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Sports lifestyle company opens European office, SPRL

Apr '08
Heelys Inc, the youth sports lifestyle company, announces the opening of its European office, Heeling Sports EMEA (SPRL). The new company, based in Brussels, Belgium, will serve as the company's European headquarters and extends Heelys' brand and business development in Western, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the CIS/Russian Federation and the Balkan Region.

Heeling Sports EMEA further solidifies the company's global growth ambitions. The office will serve to set provisions for increased support of Heelys' distributors and evaluate the distribution strategy and cooperative investment in the region.

Heeling Sports EMEA will initially employ five full-time staff and be led by John O'Neil, vice president of International, who will manage the business out of the EMEA office. Additionally, Bertrand Grimmonpré, who has extensive experience in distribution, joins the office as finance and operations director. Heeling Sports EMEA officially opened on Feb. 11, 2008.

“By expanding our European presence, Heelys can invest in staff and offer increased support of the current distributors in the region and evaluate future cooperative investments,” said Ralph Parks, interim CEO for Heelys. “Heeling Sports EMEA will enable the company to grow more aggressively and effectively in Europe and supports our goal of offering the highest standards in quality youth wheeled and non-wheeled footwear globally.”

John O'Neil joined Heelys in July 2006 and has more than 24 years experience in the sports footwear industry. For the past 15 years, he has been involved in international business development in distributor and subsidiary management roles with the European headquarters for Converse and New Balance.

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