words // Nick DePaula

When I interviewed Jordan Brand's then-Design Director D'Wayne Edwards way back in 2009 about his career background, I'll never forget the declaration he made.

He told me he was going to leave his lucrative dream job in a year and retire when he was 40. Start a footwear design school. And help to shape, equip and train the minds of tomorrow, with the hope of uplifting the collective level of design throughout the footwear industry and give opportunity in the arts to talented kids that might not otherwise know that design is an achievable career.

It was one of the loftiest things I had ever heard.

And he did it. Every last part.

For the impact he's made in founding the Pensole Footwear Design Academy -- launched in 2010 with more than 60 alumni now working in the footwear industry -- D'Wayne Edwards was named one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People In Business.

It's an awesome recognization for an awesome guy who's helping to provide opportunity and tangible skill development to the footwear designers of tomorrow.

Read D'Wayne's full career arc here, and check out the full Fast Company profile here: Fast Co.'s 100 Most Creative People In Business: D'Wayne Edwards