Kinney Drugs announces retirement of industry veteran Wuest

Cognetti promoted to VP of marketing, merchandising

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. — Regional player Kinney Drugs, which operates operates 95 stores in central and northern New York and Vermont, announced on Thursday that Jim Wuest, VP marketing, plans to retire at the end of the year.  

Wuest joined Kinney Drugs in 2006, and has been an active member of the executive team and an influential part of the company’s success over the years. He is an industry veteran whose contributions as VP marketing have been paramount to the advancement of Kinney’s marketing and merchandising strategies, the company stated.

“We are thankful for all the contributions that Jim has made to the evolution of our marketing and merchandising operations over the last several years,” said Bridget-Ann Hart, R.Ph., president of Kinney Healthcare Services. “It was an honor to have had Jim as a colleague, and we wish him all the best in his retirement.” 

On the heels of Wuest’s retirement, Rick Cognetti, VP merchandising, has been promoted to VP marketing and merchandising. In this expanded role, Cognetti will bring together the marketing and merchandising functions to enhance and support the company’s comprehensive business strategies.

Cognetti joined Kinney Drugs in 1994 as a store manager, and has progressed through various positions that have provided him with a wealth of retail experience and knowledge of all aspects of the chain drug store business. He will continue to report to Jim Spencer, COO of the drug stores.

Also upon Wuest’s retirement, Jennifer Whalen, director of marketing, will assume an expanded role in overseeing marketing initiatives and managing the day-to day operations. Cheri Taylor, director of merchandising, will also expand her current role to include management of Kinney’s merchandise presentation.  Whalen and Taylor will report to Cognetti.

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