All-star lineup of industry leaders gather for annual Industry Issues Summit

NEW YORK — The 15th annual Industry Issues Summit, presented by The Drug Store News Group on Dec. 3, proved to be a powerful, all-star lineup as some of the top minds in pharmacy retailing gathered for a candid discussion of the top issues and trends impacting the industry. On top of that, brand-building genius and TV celebrity Daymond John of ABC’s “Shark Tank” delivered an exclusive lunchtime keynote.

The all-day event was held at Manhattan’s historic New York Athletic Club, which is located directly across the street from Central Park.

“The Industry Issues Summit is an important event because it brings together industry leadership to talk about significant trends, opportunities and challenges in the drug retail industry … in a productive, open environment,” said Wayne Bennett, publisher of The Drug Store News Group.

The Industry Issues Summit, which was moderated by Dan Mack, EVP strategic business development for the Swanson Group and managing director of the Mack Elevation Forum, featured a powerful panel of retailer executives including:

  • Jason Reiser of Family Dollar
  • Mary Kelly of Rexall
  • Bill Bergin of Rite Aid
  • Carmen Bauza of Walmart
  • Robert Tompkins of Walgreens
  • Judy Sansone of CVS Caremark
  • Doug Stukenborg of Target
  • Jill Turner-Mitchael of Sam’s Club

“What is getting in the way of deeper relationships on a higher level? What gets in the way in your business in terms of elevating the business, the relationships, the engagements?” asked Mack as he set the stage for panelists.

How do retailers and suppliers overcome a roadblock? It starts with sharing risk and build a trusting relationship.

During the high-energy discussion, participants also touched upon such topics as hidden assets within their organizations, new and unique insights that suppliers could bring to the table and how suppliers can best work with retailers and strengthen the trust.

Meanwhile, keynote speaker John of ABC’s “Shark Tank” shared with industry players his strategies for becoming a “shark.” In sharing his story on how he became a brand-building success, John outlined some key pointers he learned along his journey:

  • Understand the “power of broke.” If you act like you’re broke, you get creative and remain creative;
  • Do your homework;
  • Love what you’re doing;
  • Remember you are the brand; and
  • Those who are successful keep swimming. As a shark, you must keep swimming.

Kicking off the day was the Health, Wellness and Technology panel discussion, which was moderated by Chris Dimos of McKesson. Panelists shared their insights on the rise of mobile apps and how they can help improve patient outcomes, drive patient engagement and close the loop between pharmacists, physicians and patients.

Retail panelists included:

  • Robert Thompson of Rite Aid
  • Jeff Brown of Walmart
  • John Fegan of Winn-Dixie
  • Craig Norman of H-E-B
  • Will Abbott of CVS/pharmacy

Following the discussion on technology was the Diabetes Leadership Forum, moderated by Dave Wendland of Hamacher Resource Group. Panelists discussed such topics as diabetes prevention and programs implemented at retail to help patients manage their condition.

Retail panelists included:

  • Tim Weippert of Thrifty White Pharmacy
  • Michael Mastromonica of Costco
  • Raymond McCall of Ahold USA
  • Michael Wolf of Walgreens
  • Debbie Hiller of Kerr Drug
  • Chuck Wilson of Health Mart
  • Leon Nevers of H-E-B Pharmacy

Sponsors of the event included Catalina, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Pacific World, Core Science Media, Pharmavite, GlaxoSmithKline, Similasan, WorkPlaceMedia, Hyland’s, Novartis, mscripts, SoloHealth, Pill Jogger, higi, Emdeon, Takeda, Novo Nordisk, BD, UltiMed, AccentHealth and Sundial Brands.



- 5:40 PM says

I must say, this was one of the best-ever events. An all-star line-up, terrific topics, and outstanding coordination. Hats off to the entire DSN team and to the participants and attendees at what has become a must-attend industry event!

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