Associate Line Manager, Converse, a subsidiary of Nike Inc., Boston, MA
Hometown: Bronx, NY
Current residence: Chelsea, MA
From the time he could dribble a ball Omarr Henry loved basketball and he loved Converse sneakers. He liked the classic design and the association with enduring greats like Michael Jordan, and how the shoes connected the Chicago Bulls legend to the athletes and entertainers of today.
He was so enthusiastic about the look and feeling he got from the sneakers that he knew in high school he wanted to work for Converse. Henry even put off college to work at two Converse and Nike stores in New York City to learn the retail end and get the attention of the corporate brass whom he hoped would one day hire him.
When it was time for college Henry was also clear on his wishes. He wanted to attend Saint Rose, where his sister Kelley Ann ’05 studied marketing and played Golden Knights basketball.
“It was the first school I saw and the choice was pretty simple,” says Henry, at the end of a day of work. “I didn’t want to go to a huge place, and wanted to connect with students and professors.”
At Saint Rose, Henry studied marketing and took psychology courses that together taught him how to tell stories, backed by data, to draw the consumer. He was involved in the marketing club, basketball intramurals, and various service projects. The highlight was spending his junior year in London, where he attended Regents College and, yes, worked for his favorite company.
“I was at NikeLab, one of eight locations in the globe at the time, where they roll out special products and make them come to life,” he explained. “The combination of going to school abroad and working was amazing. I was immersed in a new culture in London and definitely got my money’s worth from that experience alone.”
Henry should not have been surprised, but somehow he was, the following November when he was back at Saint Rose and got the phone call that Converse wanted to hire him to work in product management at the world headquarters in Boston.
Today, as associate product line manager, he helps tie such celebrities as rapper Tyler the Creator to the Converse brand. Reporting to work, (in the sneakers of his choice) Henry helps come up with product assortments, pricing and design to make products take shape and come to life. It’s a job that is equal parts fashion and business.
And while it’s true that he came with a destination in mind, Henry notes, Saint Rose unquestionably helped get him there.
“I learned that if I was passionate about something and put in the work, Saint Rose would make it happen,” he said.