If you email or call us, see us at a race or a trade show, come to Broomfield (in between Boulder and Denver) and stop by the office or join us for a run, here’s who you’ll meet.
Steven Sashen, CEO and Lena Phoenix, COO
Steven and Lena are husband and wife (I’m sure you can guess which is which) and life-long entrepreneurs.
Steven is the visionary and marketer for Xero Shoes. He is a Masters All-American sprinter (one of the fastest men over the age of 50 in the US) and former All-American gymnast. He was also a professional stand-up comic, cognitive psychology researcher, and taught Tai Chi and Zen Archery. Steven is also the creator of Scriptware, the industry-standard word processor for film and TV writers.
Lena is an avid hiker. In her previous life she created and sold a home mortgage company, and has managed the back-end of numerous companies. She’s the glue that keeps Xero Shoes from busting at the proverbial seams as it grows, taking care of all things logistical and numeric.
If you want a good laugh and some insight into Steven and Lena’s relationship, read the story of how Xero Shoes began.
Dennis Driscoll, Chief Product Officer
Dennis not only spearheads our new product development, but brings invaluable experience to Xero Shoes.
A 35-year industry veteran, Dennis co-founded Avia Athletic Footwear (which sold to Reebok) and, prior to joining Xero Shoes, was Global Design Director for Crocs. He started in footwear in 1978 with Osaga Athletic Footwear, was the Global Business Unit Director of Footwear for Wilson Sporting Goods, spent 7 years at Converse in senior product roles, and worked at Doc Martens Footwear as the Global Director of Product.
Says Dennis of Xero Shoes, “Xero Shoes are genuine, legitimate. We don’t need to create ways to differentiate our product… it actually IS different!”
Emilio Torres – VP of Sales and Marketing
Emilio brings 25+ years of Outdoor / Shoe industry experience to Xero Shoes. He was an original employee at Crocs Shoes and was promoted to Director of Sales Operations during their tremendous growth period of 2004 – 2009. Before Crocs, Emilio owned and operated Oilme Bikes & Boards, a successful Bicycle & Snowboard Shop in Niwot, Colorado. He likes to say, “I’ve been on both sides of the table, as a buyer and a seller of consumer goods.”
Most recently, Emilio founded “The Association of Slackline Professionals” and was the driving force behind the new and growing sport of Slacklining, hosting competitions around the world as a marketing effort to build awareness of a new product and fun activity.
Originally from Boston, Massachusetts he moved to Colorado in 1990 to pursue his goal of being more involved in an active, outdoor scene. He picked the right place.
Says Emilio, “Xero Shoes is an amazing new product line and team with so much potential. You couldn’t keep me away. Everyone is going to love the way these shoes make you feel.”
Melissa Page – Director of Business Development
We’re THRILLED to have Melissa on our team. She’s been watching us and helping us almost since Day 1. Melissa has more than 20 years experience in big brand management with a major in footwear. Choosing shoes over law school seemed logical since it afforded opportunity to work and learn from her father, an instrumental member of the early Nike and Deckers Outdoor Corp. teams. Melissa feels the same instinct and excitement with Xero as her father did when he brought industry game changers Teva and Ugg to market decades ago. Melissa has played a leadership role in helping to establish and grow the retail and wholesale businesses for J. Crew, Levi Strauss, Hawaiian Tropic and Wenger – maker of the Genuine Swiss Army Knife. She holds a BA from Boston University.
Janice – Customer Happiness Manager
Janice comes to Xero Shoes with a diverse background; from the military to elementary education, she has experience relating to a wide range of people. Janice summed it up to her dad when at 9 years old he asked the age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Her answer? “I just want to be happy!” Now as the Xero Shoes Customer Happiness Manager she brings her positive attitude to helping our customers get the most out of their Xero Shoes experience.
Janice is an active person and loves the outdoors. She enjoys hiking, mountain biking, weight-lifting, snowboarding and snowshoeing with her husband and their two dogs. They love that they can do most of these activities in their Xero Shoes! “I slip-on my Z-Treks when going into the mountains, but love my Clouds for everyday wear,” says Janice. Her husband wears his Z-Treks everyday and has even developed an arch in his previously flat feet!
<Chrisanthi Hatzantonis – Production Guru
Chrisanthi is a die hard University of Oregon Duck Fan and has over 20 years in the sportswear and footwear industries with companies such as adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Ryka, and Dr. Martens LLC.
Chrisanthi has a passion for all things fitness and travel related. When not forecasting, product testing, or wearing a variety of other hats at Xero Shoes, you can find her leading cycling, HIIT, and strength classes indoors or outdoors, hiking, biking, running, or laying on a beach in Greece, Australia, or Martha’s Vineyard. Chrisanthi has two smart and sassy daughters with her husband Alex.
Andrew – Retail Account Manager
A native Coloradan, he attended Metropolitan State College of Denver, and has a background in sales and customer service across a variety of industries. He is an avid painter, loves to run, and enjoys participating in obstacle course races such as Tough Mudder and Spartan Race. He lives in the Denver area with his beautiful wife and daughter, as well as a shadowy cat and a hyperactive dog.
Pam – Special Projects Manager
Pam lives in northern Colorado with her family, and is a 2nd generation Colorado native. A keen traveler and yoga enthusiast, Pam loves to explore other cities, countries, and cultures. She loves that her Clouds and Ventures allow her to practice yoga in exotic locations without needing a mat.
Pam has over 20 years in Sales and Customer Service, over a variety of industries, and is a valuable addition to our Xero family.
Marcus Hemopo – Technical Consultant
A NZ Maori, Marcus has been a shoe technician and designer for 35 years. Perhaps more importantly, he’s been a drummer for 42 years and hasn’t not stopped gigging since his first garage band when he was 15.
Marcus has worked in Asia for 17 years and, with his lovely wife, built a bar named after her, “Irene’s.” It’s like the Cheers of Houjie, China. Stop by for a pint or to watch rugby or footy.
We’re thrilled and honored to have Marcus helping us make Xero Shoes the best they can be.