AAFES exchanges military commander for civilian CEO
DALLAS — Three weeks after being named the first civilian director/CEO in the nearly 117-year history of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, Tom Shull officially took the reins today of the $10-billion military retailer. Shull replaced the Exchange’s last uniformed Commander, Brig. Gen. Fran Hendricks.
With the official signing of the paperwork today, the Exchange has been disestablished as a major command and remains a joint nonappropriated fund instrumentality of the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force under the jurisdiction of the chief of staff of the U.S. Army and the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force.
Shull, a West Point graduate who received a Harvard University MBA, served in a variety of positions in the U.S. Army, including infantry company commander and assignments at the White House and National Security Council. He has served as CEO of Wise Foods, Hanover Direct, Barney’s New York and was most recently CEO of Meridian Ventures.
Shull will work with an executive team led by the Exchange’s COO Mike Howard. Howard has been instrumental in maintaining continuity since March 2011 when the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum on “Track Four Efficiency Initiatives Decisions” that were “designed to reduce duplication, overhead and excess, and instill a culture of savings and cost accountability across the Department of Defense.” In accordance with this memo, the Exchange was directed to convert the commanding general’s position from that of a Major General to a senior executive service civilian.
The Exchange, ranked 43rd in the National Retail Federation’s Top 100 retailers in the United States based on dollar sales, is responsible for more than 3,100 facilities worldwide in more than 30 countries, five U.S. territories and 50 states. The Exchange operates 180 main stores and more than 2,000 fast food restaurants, and also provides military communities with convenience, specialty stores and movie theaters on installations worldwide.
With just about two weeks to go before the big kick off of McKesson’s ideaShare 2012 Conference, DSN caught up with McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical SVP of marketing Kevin Kettler to discuss the vision behind ideaShare, how the annual conference has evolved over the years and why it is more important than ever for pharmacists to attend.
DSN: What is McKesson ideaShare?
Kevin Kettler: McKesson ideaShare is an opportunity for community pharmacy owners and representatives to network and inspire each other. McKesson facilitates this annual event to provide hands-on demonstrations, the latest in trends and technology, special deals and in-depth industry knowledge from thought leaders and peers. This year, McKesson ideaShare is taking place at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, June 24 to 28, 2012.
DSN: How did McKesson come up with the name ideaShare?
Kettler: Since our inception nearly 180 years ago, we’ve collaborated with retail pharmacists to deliver the best possible care to their communities. And for more than three decades, the best and brightest independent, small and medium chain pharmacists have joined together once a year to share in the education, excitement and success of community pharmacy at McKesson’s annual Trade Show and Conference. It seemed fitting to announce ideaShare as the name for our conference since it embodies the spirit of collaboration, involvement and learning that is unique to McKesson.
DSN: Why should community pharmacists attend McKesson ideaShare?
Kettler: McKesson fully believes in the future of community pharmacy and is committed to better business health of community pharmacies. By attending ideaShare, pharmacists can find solutions designed to help them grow their business. Attendees benefit from special purchase opportunities and key learnings from industry experts, while also having the opportunity to interact directly with their peers to share ideas focused on business growth. Every year, we hear stories from our customers about how they came to ideaShare with a specific business challenge in mind to address and left with an action plan for tackling it.
DSN: Can you provide a sneak preview of new services or solutions that will be unveiled at ideaShare?
Kettler: We’re excited to highlight solutions that will help community pharmacists become more efficient and profitable. By incorporating these solutions into their business, pharmacists can find additional sources of revenue, foster patient loyalty and grow their customer base. McKesson will also unveil new technology that will better connect pharmacists to their patients and healthcare providers in the community. One of the reasons why many of our customers attend ideaShare is to hear first-hand how our solutions contribute to business growth and the opportunity to engage in-person with McKesson experts on how best to implement them.
DSN: What will be some of the highlights of McKesson ideaShare 2012?
Kettler: McKesson ideaShare 2012 will feature dozens of expert-led sessions, including:
- Opening General Session with internationally sought-after business consultant Joseph Michelli, who will share his perspective on idea generation and best practices to fuel business growth.
- Public Policy Forum with Washington D.C. veteran Norm Ornstein, who will highlight the key political issues shaping this year’s election and how they will impact the retail pharmacy industry.
In addition, attendees can register for accredited CE courses on topics, including clinical services, new drug therapies, marketing, merchandising, financial management and succession planning.
More importantly, McKesson will provide the various opportunities throughout the week for pharmacists to hear real-life success stories from their peers on growing profits and enhancing patient care.
Driving growth of community pharmacy is focus of McKesson’s annual ideaShare conference
There is still time to register for McKesson ideaShare 2012 Conference, which is slated for June 24 to 28, at Las Vegas’ Venetian Resort Hotel. McKesson, the nation’s largest healthcare services company, expects thousands of independent pharmacy owners from across the nation will convene at ideaShare.
McKesson’s annual trade show and conference has emerged over the more than three decades in which it has existed, as the premier education and networking event for independent retail pharmacies, enabling pharmacists from all over the country to share best practices and learn about the latest trends, technology and clinical solutions to help them achieve better business results.
“Community pharmacies dispense nearly half of the nation’s prescription medicines,” said Brian Tyler, President, McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical. “McKesson is proud to provide the clinical, technology and business-building solutions community pharmacies need to help improve the profitability and efficiency of their businesses. For more than 30 years, McKesson has enjoyed hosting this event where pharmacists from across the country share in the ideas and innovation that are helping to drive the growth of community pharmacy.”
McKesson ideaShare 2012 will feature dozens of expert-led sessions, including continuing education courses, a Public Policy Forum and an Ownership Transfer Luncheon. There also will be a variety of targeted interactive seminars focused on helping pharmacies increase efficiency and profitability, with special emphasis on clinical services, reimbursement, front-end solutions, marketing, technology and pharmacy operations.
McKesson expects more than 200 exhibitors will be in attendance, displaying the latest solutions for retail pharmacy, including diabetes care and home healthcare products, retail accessories, and pharmacy technology and automation. Attendees also can take advantage of special deals.
In addition, Health Mart, the nation’s fourth-largest pharmacy network, also will be hosting its Annual Meeting concurrently with ideaShare 2012, and Health Mart executives will be on hand to help facilitate discussion and planning groups at the event. The Health Mart team will showcase core retailing principles that have resulted in the continued growth of the franchise, including being ranked as a Top Pharmacy Brand in the May 2011 Consumer Reports’ Drug Store Report and its recognition as a J.D. Power 2011 Customer Service Champion.