Entrepreneur & Author Ray Margiano started Foot Solutions at the end of 2000. From ground zero and 3 employees at the end of 2000, Foot Solutions has grown to 150 plus franchise retail sites and a corporate staff of over 50 people. Foot Solutions is an international franchise with over 150 locations focusing on a retail niche between comfort shoe stores and orthopedic facilities. Using medical technology in a retail footwear store he has redefined a new market niche. Foot Solutions is a self supporting company with no outside funding or angel investors, and it uses innovative methods to solve common business problems. To combat rising overseas costs, Foot Solutions set up its own lab in the United States to reduce cost and provide improved levels of service, eliminated all middle distribution and went direct to the manufacturer to receive exclusive products and reduce the cost of sales by 15 percent. Foot Solutions should continue to grow at a rate of 10% plus and dominates its market niche.
In 1984 Ray left the corporate world and started Heel Quik, a shoe repair and personal services franchise that he grew from ground zero to over 700 locations in 34 countries by the mid 90's. The first two stores Ray opened as Heel Quik operations are still operating in Cumberland Mall and Lenox Square, 25 years later. Prior to leaving the corporate world Ray held executive level positions at Sikorsky Aircraft, United Technologies, Sybron Corporate and the Bostitch Auto-Soler Division of Textron Inc.
He holds a bachelor's degree in Business from the University of New Haven, a master's degree in Business and Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a Ph.D. in International Business from Canbourne University. Ray also studied pedorthics at Temple University. He is a frequent speaker on international franchising, the footwear industry and pedorthics, and has worked with a number of franchising companies in an advisory role. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his achievements, including the Blue Chip Award, the Atlanta Business Person of the Year Award, Cobb Chamber Small Business Person of the Year, Vetrepreneur of the Year Award, and the Michael Minihane Award for Excellence in International Franchising presented by the International Franchise & Entrepreneurs Expo. He has also received numerous awards from the Shoe Service Industry of America. Ray is a member of the National Shoe Retailing Association, the Shoe Service Institute of America, and the Society of Master Shoe Repairers in England, the International Franchise Association, the Canadian Franchise Association and the Canadian Pedorthic Association.
Ray has received many awards in business and is a frequent speaker on franchising, footwear industry and pedorthics. He serves on the American Diabetes Association's advisory board, is a member of the Board of Governors at University of New Haven, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Shoe Retailers Association.
Ray has continued to provide many reach-out programs donating time and money related to children's obesity, diabetes, and Presidents Challenge program for getting Americans back in shape, retirement community programs, and international programs such as the Blue Planet Run for pure drinking water. Active participant of Soles for Souls, donating shoes for flood, fire and the needy and is also involved on a national basis on breast cancer walks, heart walks etc., to promote healthier living. Ray's philosophy for the company and all its associates is to always