PHARMACY

DSN Women Leaders 2014: Mary Kelly, Rexall Pharma Plus

BY Antoinette Alexander

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.

 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.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

PHARMACY

DSN Women Leaders 2014: Eileen Howard Boone, CVS Health

BY Antoinette Alexander

CVS Health president and CEO Larry Merlo once told Eileen Howard Boone: “Never give up on success. Stay committed to winning, and don’t be deterred by obstacles. They make you stronger and more creative. Be persistent and do what it takes to win — the right way.” 

These words have proven invaluable in her professional development, Howard Boone told DSN.

While she has been in the consumer sector for her entire career, Howard Boone started in retail pharmacy in 2004 when she joined CVS/pharmacy as VP of corporate communications and community relations. Today as SVP, corporate social responsibility and philanthropy for CVS Health, and as president of the CVS Health Foundation, she oversees the foundation’s charitable giving and strategic nonprofit partnerships.

What keeps her excited about the business? “Helping people on their path to better health is the foundation of our corporate social responsibility platform and serves as a guidepost for all of our programs, partnerships and the work we are doing to build healthier communities across the country,” Howard Boone said. “It is also wonderful to see the dedication of our CVS Health colleagues who are actively involved in their own communities through volunteerism and the commitment of our nonprofit partners who share in our mission to build healthier communities nationwide.”

Today, one of Howard Boone’s biggest areas of focus is the company’s “CVS Quits” initiative. The retailer, which pulled tobacco from its store shelves in September, is working with a number of tobacco control organizations and those providing cessation and prevention services. The initiative aims to reach not only those who smoke but also those who don’t smoke to help ensure they don’t start. 

There’s no denying that Howard Boone’s schedule can get a bit hectic, to say the least, and finding the right work-life balance is essential, but she points to a quote by Julie Smolyansky, CEO of Lifeway Foods, that she says struck her as a fundamental truth for leaders on balance, in general: “Balance becomes easy when you are passionate about something. Nothing feels like work.” 

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

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

PHARMACY

DSN Women Leaders 2014: Susan Henderson, Rite Aid

BY Michael Johnsen

Susan Henderson, Rite Aid SVP and chief communications officer, is in charge of managing the message for the third-largest retail pharmacy chain in the nation. Henderson manages corporate communications — including media relations, financial communications, issues management, associate and supplier communications — as well as the company’s charitable giving initiatives, including the Rite Aid Foundation. 

 It’s a really exciting time at Rite Aid for a communications professional.. The company has a lot to say, standing at the forefront of an industry that’s assuming a greater role in the delivery and administration of health care in the United States. “The evolving role of healthcare delivery in the United States is a game-changer for all of us in the drug store industry,” Henderson said. “And while this evolution is challenging and placing increasing demands on our business models, it is also presenting us with enormous opportunities to grow, to expand the role of our pharmacists and to further support the health and wellbeing of the customers and communities that we serve. In short, it’s a tremendous time to be a part of this industry and to help rethink and re-engineer how we do business.”

Henderson has most recently been working on The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program, an in-store charitable giving program that enables Rite Aid’s wellness+ customers to round up their change to the nearest dollar to benefit a KidCents charity of their choice. “The program was introduced last year, and in September, we just distributed the first $2 million to more than 200 KidCents charities across the country,” she said. To learn more, visit kidcents.com.

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

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES