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Former President George W. Bush addresses executives at NACDS Annual

BY Michael Johnsen

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former President George W. Bush addressed attendees of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Annual meeting here Tuesday morning, followed by a question-and-answer session with new NACDS chairman Greg Wasson.

Wasson asked Bush to talk about the inclusion of prescription benefits to the Medicare program, which went into effect during Bush’s administration in 2006. "It makes no sense to have a system that does not change with the time," Bush said. "The market moved, but the government system didn’t," he said. "The benefit is Medicare in the first place. … To modernize it required prescription drugs."

The former president also spoke to the economy: "The goal ought to be private sector growth," he said, and any solutions to today’s economic malaise needs to incorporate a close examination behind what drives that private sector growth and subsequent job creation: small businesses.

The former president also shared several insights on leading corporations out of his mémoire, "Decision Points."

One of the key attributes of a successful leader included "knowing what you don’t know … and finding people who do know," Bush said. Incessant optimism also is a criteria for a good leader. "You cannot lead without being optimistic," Bush said. "[People need to know] the decisions you’re making will lead to a better tomorrow."

Also, Bush noted that "firm beliefs and principles" are prerequisites to help guide an organization toward continued success.

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Three new members join NACDS Foundation’s board

BY Allison Cerra

PALM BEACH, Fla. — The charitable arm of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has elected three new members to its board of directors.

The board, which now will expand to 23 members for 2012-2013, include Rite Aid’s SVP and chief communications officer Susan Henderson; GlaxoSmithKline VP channel development and sales Joseph Kucharski; and Pfizer Worldwide Pharmaceuticals VP corporate government customers David Moules.

"We welcome Susan Henderson, Joseph Kucharski and David Moules to the NACDS Foundation Board, and look forward to working with them in their new roles," NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger said. "The NACDS Foundation Board strives to implement the Foundation’s vision and mission to advance public health. Composed of leaders from all sectors of community pharmacy — retailers, pharmaceutical companies and consumer product businesses — the board will continue to utilize opportunities in education, research and charitable activities to help people improve their health and quality of life in the coming year."

In addition to the new members, NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson was elected to serve as chairman of the NACDS Foundation board of directors; Jaeger will serve as president; R. James Huber, NACDS EVP and CFO, will serve as treasurer; and Nicki Robins, NACDS assistant general counsel, will serve as secretary. All officers will serve a one-year term.


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Walmart executive to serve as NRF’s communications leader

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation has named Bill Thorne SVP communications and public affairs. He will join NRF on June 1 to oversee the organization’s industry and public affairs communications strategy, including NRF’s "Retail Means Jobs" campaign, a multimillion dollar initiative to demonstrate the power of retail to America’s economy and the career opportunities within the industry.

Thorne currently serves as senior director of community affairs at Walmart.

"Throughout his long career, Bill has proven himself to be an accomplished strategist with an incredible track record of creating and building successful campaigns," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "As NRF continues to invest in talent and resources to promote the retail industry both in Washington and around the world, bringing in an executive at the intersection of retail and government will help us tell the industry’s story in an even more compelling way."

During his tenure at Walmart, Thorne oversaw the creation and execution of campaigns for urban market entry, including budgets, strategy, and planning and development of both long- and short-term campaigns. He also served as senior director of advocacy outreach, where he created and successfully launched Walmart’s corporate, public and political advocacy network.

Prior to Walmart, Thorne served as VP at DCI Group, where he led grassroots advocacy, public relations, and communications programming for a number of prestigious corporate and association clients. He also spent four years as director of political and legislative grassroots at the American Medical Association.

Earlier in his career, Thorne worked in various political capacities at the state and national levels including several years with the National Republican Senatorial Committee and more than five years with Sen. Phil Gramm. A native of Georgia, he holds a B.A. in journalism and political science from the University of Georgia.

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