by Stephen Garner
Blake Krueger

The National Father’s Day Committee announced on Thursday that Blake Krueger, chairman of the board, chief executive officer and a director of Wolverine World Wide, Inc., and Brad Paisley, global country music superstar, have been named 2021 “Father of the Year” Honorees.

Krueger and Paisley will receive this honor alongside Dr. Albert Bourla, CVM, Ph.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer, who will accept the award on behalf of all Pfizer employees. The 79th Annual Father of the Year Awards will be presented virtually on Thursday, June 17, 2021, at 7 pm, ET. As part of the Council’s commitment to supporting meaningful philanthropies aiding mothers, fathers, and children, the event will benefit Save the Children’s U.S. Programs and Advocacy. For tickets and sponsorship, please contact the Council office at 212-594-5977 or www.fathersdaycouncil.org.

“We are honored to have Blake Krueger and Brad Paisley join Dr. Albert Bourla for this year’s Father of the Year Awards,” said Dan Orwig, president and CEO of the Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council. “In these incredibly trying times, we are grateful to have the opportunity to honor the work Blake and Brad have done in leading their respective communities through the pandemic, including Blake’s resilience in navigating unprecedented economic and business environments and Brad’s philanthropic efforts and commitment to virtually connecting with fans.”

Brad Paisley

Krueger, a father to four children and grandfather to six grandchildren (soon to be seven), has built a long and successful career at Wolverine World Wide, Inc., an international marketer of footwear, apparel, and accessories that owns 12 brands, including Merrell, Sperry, and Saucony, that are marketed in 170 countries and territories. Krueger has held several increasingly senior positions within the company since 1993. He was appointed CEO and president in 2007 and appointed chairman of the board in 2009. Prior to that, Krueger practiced law at Warner Norcross & Judd LLP. He currently resides in Michigan, where he graduated from Michigan State University, Honors College, with a B.A. in Business Administration and from Wayne State University Law School. Krueger serves on the boards of many professional, community, and charitable organizations, including Bissell Inc., The Right Place, Inc., West Michigan Policy Forum, Talent 2025, Michigan Economic Recovery Council, Two Ten Footwear Foundation, Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, Business Leaders for Michigan and The Economic Club of Grand Rapids.

Paisley, a father of two, has earned his place in country music history as one of the genre’s most talented and decorated male solo artists. Over the past 20 years, his songwriting and unmatched showmanship have won him numerous awards, including three Grammys, two American Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards and 15 Academy of Country Music Awards, among many others. A member of the Grand Ole Opry since 2001, Paisley has written 21 of his 24 No. 1 hits, and in 2008 became the first artist to achieve 10 consecutive Billboard Country Airplay No. 1 singles. The 2010 CMA Entertainer of the Year’s past works have amassed over 3.9 billion on-demand streams. A prolific entertainer, Paisley’s first prime-time special, Brad Paisley Thinks He’s Special, aired on ABC in December 2019 and has garnered over 18.1 million viewers to date. Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, are co-founders of nonprofit organization The Store, a free referral-based grocery store that aims to empower low-income individuals and families in the Nashville area. It opened on March 12, 2020, following the March 3 Nashville tornado, and was open for only four days when the COVID-19 pandemic became widespread and in-store shopping was not feasible. A new plan was needed and staff, partners, and volunteers all worked diligently to reach people in need as they sheltered at home. A home delivery system for the elderly was immediately put in place, with volunteers delivering to 48 elderly households the first week, and curbside pickup was implemented for households in need. The weekly deliveries are currently capped at 450 households and curbside pickup at 200 per week. This is six times the initial projection and in one year The Store has supplied over 1.3 million meals to the Nashville community.

The National Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council, Inc. has donated more than $30 million to date to meaningful charities nationwide.