Andy Polk


I am the Senior Vice President at the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), and co-host of the industry’s weekly free podcast Shoe-in Show. FDRA is a footwear industry’s business and trade association, representing over 80% of the entire U.S. footwear industry.  As SVP, I oversee the association’s communications, reports, events, and helps develop its advocacy strategies. I am also the head of FDRA’s innovation working group – helping develop education programs and bringing together innovation directors and executives across the industry to work together on common challenges. This is how I got to know The Footwearists and decided to join as a member of their innovation platform.


Over the past several years, I have been working to help companies understand emerging digital design and development programs, via 3D technologies, as well as software to help them better manage their development and supply chain management, from PLMs to blockchain technologies.


I am currently working with technology companies and brands to bring to life a new digital material database called Material Exchange (ME). ME will change how every company searches and selects materials for their projects, as well as solve communication challenges between material suppliers and brands that lead to wasted time and incorrect products.