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Hammond native who's now Reebok's creative director to be honored by Purdue

Karen Korellis Reuther, a Hammond native and the creative director of Reebok, is being honored by her alma mater, Purdue University. She is shown during a talk at TEDx Berklee Valencia in Spain in 2015.

Hammond native and Hammond High School graduate Karen Korellis Reuther, who's served as creative director for some of the world's biggest athletic footwear companies, will be honored Friday by her alma mater, Purdue University in West Lafayette.

The Purdue University College of Liberal Arts will recognize Reuther, the creative director of Reebok, with four other honorees as distinguished alumni.

"Reuther is responsible for leadership and design implementation in areas such as brand identity, product and retail," Purdue University spokesman Joseph Paul said. "She previously spent 12 years at Nike, where she served as global creative director."

The 2019 Alumni Awards Banquet will be held at Purdue Memorial Union. The land grant university will honor Reuther, film sound preservation expert Robert Heiber, Nike senior global brand director Melvin Lenzy, Villanova University Professor and North American Society for Social Philosophy President Sally Scholz and X-Factor Consulting Group CEO and Catalina Art Foundation co-founder Carlos Paulet. 

Reuther is also a sought-after public speaker and university lecturer who gave a talk at TEDx Berklee Valencia in Spain in 2015. She spent more than a decade steering the creative vision for one of the best known global brands, overseeing designs Nike used in merchandising and new products including shoes, clothes, and equipment.

She now serves in that role for Boston-based Reebok.

"She is responsible for brand-defining and consumer relevant creative leadership and design implementation across all design disciplines, including brand identity, product, retail and mobile," Purdue University said in its Distinguished Alumni Award promotional material. "Karen guides Reebok’s design excellence, inspires creative rigor and craft, resulting in a unified global design strategy."

Reuther, who earned a bachelor of arts degree in industrial design, also has worked as a consultant with clients such as Puma, Vans, Timberland, Pantone, Piaggio Fast Forward, TJX Corporation and Everybody Fights. She's also served on the jury for product design at the iF International Design Awards in Germany.

Reuther is the daughter of George Korellis, who founded Korellis Roofing, one of the Region's largest and best-known commercial roofing companies.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.