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Lederer named Duane Reade chairman and chief executive officer

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Manhattan-based retailer Duane Reade has tapped former Loblaw Cos. president John Lederer as chairman of the board and chief executive officer. His appointment is expected to become effective within the week.

Lederer succeeds Rick Dreiling, who left Duane Reade in late January to steer the ship at discount store chain Dollar General.

Since that time, Duane Reade senior vice president and chief marketing officer David D’Arezzo and Alan Lacy, senior advisor to Oak Hill Capital Partners and, perhaps best known for his former role as chairman and chief executive of Sears Holdings, had taken the reins of the 242-store pharmacy retailer.

D’Arezzo, who most recently served as interim chief executive officer, will continue his responsibilities as senior vice president and chief marketing officer under Lederer once Lederer takes the helm.

“We thank Dave for his service as interim chief executive officer,” stated Tyler Wolfram, director of Duane Reade and a partner of Oak Hill Capital Partners. “Over the past three months, Dave’s leadership has allowed Duane Reade to sustain its strong momentum, and we expect that Dave will continue to be a key driver of Duane Reade’s success in the future.”

From 2001 to 2006, Lederer served as president of Loblaw, a Canadian supermarket chain with more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores under various operating banners. Under his leadership as president, Loblaw grew its reported annual sales from (Canadian) $20 billion in 2000 to more than $28 billion in 2006. Immediately prior to his appointment as president in 2001, Lederer served as executive vice president, responsible for the merchandising, operations and profit performance of all Loblaw businesses in eastern Canada. He currently serves as a director of Tim Hortons.

“I am joining a talented senior management team that has directed a very impressive transformation and is dedicated to delivering additional success,” stated Lederer. “I am committed to working with this team to enhance Duane Reade’s market leadership position in the New York metropolitan area and to helping the company achieve its primary objective to service the unique needs of the New York City consumer.”

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CVS presents at aging conference in nation’s capital

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark presented at the 2008 NCOA-ASA Aging in America Conference in Washington, D.C., for a discussion on the multigenerational workforce and the importance of mature workers.

Michael Ferdinandi, senior vice president of human resources and corporate communications, co-presented the session “Seizing Business Opportunities with the NEXT Workforce” at the NCOA/MaturityWorks Alliance Workforce Summit.

Ferdinandi spoke about the company’s mature worker initiatives, including creative and flexible benefits options, a welcoming work environment encouraging career advancement at all levels, and strategic public-private partnerships. In the past decade, the company has forged innovative partnerships with local and national agencies and organizations in order to actively recruit employees including mature workers. Currently, roughly 1-in-5 employees is age 50 or older. In addition, the company offers training, convenient locations and flexible work schedules—including a snowbird program that enables employees to shuttle between different store regions on a seasonal basis.

At the conference, Ferdinandi revealed the results of a survey on mentoring in the workplace among CVS pharmacists age 50 and over. The study shows that senior pharmacists view mentoring as personally rewarding, especially when mentoring college students and apprentice pharmacy technicians. The study, conducted by University of Vermont business professor Barbara McIntosh for CVS Caremark, also found that senior pharmacists who are interested in mentoring depend on having proper mentor training in order for the mentoring to be successful. These results reinforced the value of CVS Caremark’s Senior Pharmacist Legacy Mentoring Program.

The program—under which senior pharmacists, working and retired, mentor apprentice pharmacy technicians and high school students—was piloted in Chicago in 2006. Next year, the program will be expanded to Atlanta and Tampa. As the program continues, a tool kit will be developed to allow replicating the project across the country and in other allied healthcare professions.

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Fontana named director of advertising for Discount Drug Mart

BY Michael Johnsen

MEDINA, Ohio Discount Drug Mart on Friday named Anita Fontana its director of advertising and marketing effective April 1.

“We are very excited to bring Anita on board to join our team,” stated Tom McConnell, chief financial officer of Discount Drug Mart. “Her experience, business knowledge, and contacts in the industry will be most helpful in assisting our current and future goals of growing our business.”

Recently, Discount Drug Mart launched a company-wide customer service program called “We C.A.R.E.”, where Fontana took the lead in implementation and was instrumental in the launch across the company with training and education. “The goal of the program is to create awareness of our brand promise and to distinguish Discount Drug Mart as a store that is committed to our customers and communities, are accessible and accurate, are respectful and reliable and will exceed our customer’s expectations,” Fontana said. “Nowadays everyone is busy and sometimes we forget how important a smile and simple hello can brighten someone’s day. It’s critical to our existence we make the shopping trip not only an enjoyable one for our customers, but to train our employees that our most effective marketing tool is each and every one of us personally. By implementing our new “We C.A.R.E” program and brand promise, we are showing our customers we are committed to them 365 days a year,” she added.

Prior to joining Discount Drug Mart, Fontana spent 12 years as the senior vice president of marketing and operations at ECRM and served as the editor of their trade publication ECRM Focus. Following Anita’s time at ECRM she worked closely with the J Joyner Group/Joyner Sales Agency and the TABS Group managing marketing and PR efforts for them, as well as several of their clients.

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