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Former Walgreens exec Catherine Lindner named NEW board chair

BY Antoinette Alexander

DALLAS — The Network of Executive Women has elected Catherine Lindner, former VP retail marketing for Walgreens, to serve as board chair.

Lindner was elected at the network’s annual members meeting at the NEW Leadership Summit on Oct. 22 in Dallas. More than 1,000 industry executives attended the event.

Annie Zipfel, division VP customer marketing for retailer REI, was elected board vice chair. Zipfel most recently served as the network’s chair of marketing and communications.

"Catherine Lindner’s experience as a senior leader in one of the most successful retail companies and previous roles working with the industry’s largest consumer products companies will help take NEW to the next level," said NEW president and CEO Joan Toth. "Her passion and enthusiasm for developing women leaders and keen dedication to our mission to recruit, retain and advance women in the consumer products and retail industry is absolute."

As VP retail marketing for Walgreens, Lindner was responsible for marketing strategy, planning and execution for the $22 billion retail business. Lindner joined Walgreens in 1999 as category manager for the hair care category and served in roles of increasing responsibility. Lindner led Walgreens’ participation in the Retail Commission on Shopper Marketing. The commission of 28 retailers, manufacturers and agency partners developed a process for shopper marketing engagement designed to streamline the development of programs between retailers and manufacturers. Before joining Walgreens, Lindner spent 11 years at Information Resources. She held several positions in marketing mix modeling, client services and category management consulting, including VP tactical sales consulting, managing a team responsible for creating fact-based category plans for both manufacturers and retailers. Lindner helped found NEW Chicago.

At REI, Zipfel is responsible for customer insights, marketing planning, acquisition and retention initiatives, across all channels. Prior to this, Zipfel served as VP owned brands for Target. She has spent her entire career in consumer products brand management and retail, including roles at General Mills.

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Sam’s Club’s Simply Right brand donates $500K to vitamin program for the needy

BY Gail Hoffer

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam’s Club, via its Simply Right wellness brand, has donated $500,000 to Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing availability, access and use of micronutrients among at-risk populations in need. The monetary donation will help Vitamin Angels expand their efforts to reach at-risk children age five and under with vitamin A and daily multivitamins and pregnant or breastfeeding women with prenatal vitamins around the world and domestically.

"Sam’s Club is committed to supporting health and wellness awareness, chronic disease prevention and quality solutions for our members, families and communities," said Jill Turner Mitchael, svp health and wellness at Sam’s Club. "For 50 cents a year, Vitamin Angels can provide the two doses of vitamin A per year that a child needs to encourage good eye health and vision. When we learned about Vitamin Angels, our team knew it was ‘simply right’ to extend Sam’s Club dedication to health to as many at-risk children and mothers as possible"

Sam’s Club’s Simply Right private brand includes vitamins and supplements, baby care products, health and beauty aids and pet care products.

 

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American Greetings board considers privatization

BY Rebecca Haughey

CLEVELAND – Greeting card maker American Greetings announced last week that its board has formed a committee of independent directors to consider an offer to privatize the company, reported the Associated Press.

According to AP, CEO Zev Weiss and his brother, president and COO Jeffrey Weiss, along with other investors and executives, submitted a proposal to the board on Sept. 25. The group wants to buy all of the company’s common stock that it doesn’t already own for $17.18 per share, valuing American Greetings at approximately $581 million.

The new four-person committee of directors will be led by Scott Cowen, president of Tulane University. The committee has retained legal and financial counsel and will consider other options, the company announced.

American Greetings, which includes such brands as Recycled Paper Greetings and Papyrus, lost $4.3 million — or 13 cents per share — in its second quarter, primarily due to costs related to the acquisition of Britain’s Clinton Cards. American Greetings’ shares fell 7 cents to close at $16.99 last Friday.

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