DSN Women Leaders 2014: Mary Kelly, Rexall Pharma Plus

There is only one thing you have full control of in your life — your own character. That’s one of the many important lessons Mary Kelly ever learned from her parents, she told DSN. And it clearly carries over into her leadership role today at Rexall Pharma Plus.

“I am fortunate to have had many mentors in my career. However, I am most fortunate to have had, and continue to have, a lifetime of mentoring and support from the very best parents one could ever have. They taught me core values and lived them every day. I aspire to carry that example forward,” Kelly said.

As EVP and chief merchandising officer of the Canadian pharmacy retailer, Kelly is responsible for category management, private brands, merchandising, supply chain, marketing, advertising and front-store strategy.

"I am fortunate to have had many mentors in my career. However, I am most fortunate to have had, and continue to have, a lifetime of mentoring and support from the very best parents one could ever have. They taught me core values and lived them every day. I aspire to carry that example forward.”

 It is a key role at Rexall Pharma Plus, and one Kelly finds especially interesting as the company reinvents its brand with a key focus on health, wellness and beauty, and  bringing the brand to life for shoppers with newly redesigned stores; fresh, new private brands; marketing; and in-store experiences.

With its reinvention of the brand, having successful supplier partnerships is especially critical, but it’s a challenge that Kelly believes can be the most rewarding.

“First, realize that we have the same objective: Winning our customers’ loyalty and purchase decision. Actually, nothing really stands in the way if you build transparent relationships, agree upon financial objectives and adjust when necessary. This is one of the most rewarding and fun parts of our jobs,” Kelly said. 

Kelly got her start in pharmaceutical sales at Eli Lilly before moving to retail. Prior to joining Rexall Pharma Plus, Kelly held leadership positions at Shopper Drug Mart, Target and Revco Drug Stores. 

To view the full DSN Women Leaders 2014 report, click here.

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