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SoloHealth appoints Ryan Sloan as director of business development

BY Alaric DeArment

ATLANTA — A former employee of health insurer Aetna has been hired to direct business strategies for a maker of health kiosks.

SoloHealth announced Thursday the appointment of Ryan Sloan as director of business development, following his 12-year stint at Aetna. At SoloHealth, Sloan will focus on expanding the company across the health services and insurance fields, corporate worksite strategy and exploring new business, reporting to EVP and chief commercial officer Stephen Kendig.

SoloHealth operates its kiosk, the SoloHealth Station, at several retailers around the country and expects to have the kiosks in 5,500 locations by early 2014, including Walmart, Sam’s Club, Safeway and Schnuck Markets.

"Ryan brings tremendous experience across all facets of the managed care side of the business that will prove advantageous to our company and partners as we continue to rapidly scale our platform nationally and explore other strategic opportunities," Kendig said. "We expect 2013 to be a pivotal year for us across all aspects of our business, and Ryan will help us [innovate] and drive growth across the evolving healthcare services space."

 

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Gillette teams with Warner Bros. for ‘Man of Steel’ promotion

BY Jason Owen

BOSTON — In association with the June 14 theatrical release of "Man of Steel," Gillette, a Procter and Gamble brand, is launching an interactive website asking Superman fans, "Just how does Superman shave?"

Superman fans can visit the online theory hub, HowDoesHeShave.com, through June 30th, to check out theories from an esteemed group of Superman enthusiasts — including director, actor, and comic book aficionado Kevin Smith; Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, hosts and executive producers of the television series entitled “MythBusters;” beloved science guy Bill Nye; and “The Big Bang Theory” actress and real-life neuroscientist Mayim Bialik — and vote on their favorite.

In the movie, the young bearded Clark Kent goes through a transformation to become the fresh-faced Superman. But what’s powerful enough to give a super hero shave? Gillette has invited these experts to develop and share their  theories to answer the question.

The theories in their entirety are pitted against each other on HowDoesHeShave.com, and, not only are Superman fans encouraged to log on to vote for their favorite theory, they also can further join the debate by sharing their own theories in the Twittersphere using the hashtag #HowDoesHeShave.

“Even Gillette knows that despite being the best shave, our most advanced blade can’t stand up to Superman’s facial hair, so we’re really looking forward to seeing all these exciting theories,” said Elliott Wilke, brand manager, Gillette. “Whether you’re a longtime Superman fan or just excited by the upcoming film, HowDoesHeShave.com has great content from compelling theory contributors. If we’re really lucky, we may even get some ideas for the guys in R&D to create a product that brings us one step closer to the ‘best a Superman can get.’”


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Costco Q3 earnings beat analyst expectations

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale had sales of $23.55 billion in third-quarter 2013, an 8% increase over last year’s $21.85 billion, as well as a 6% increase in same-store sales, the club retailer said Thursday.

Profits for the quarter were $459 million, or $1.04 per share, compared with $386 million and 88 cents per share during the same period last year. For the three quarters of fiscal year 2013 so far, sales increased 8% over the same period last year, to $71.1 billion. The company saw a big boost in membership fees, to $531 million, compared with $475 million in third quarter 2012.

Wall Street analysts had expected the club retailer to have earnings per share of $1.03, and the company’s results compared favorably with those of retailers like Target Corp. and Walmart, which "haven’t hit their stride yet this year," according to investment website SeekingAlpha.com.

Still, some analysts were cautious, such as Guggenheim Securities analyst John Heinbockel, who gave the retailer’s stock a "Neutral" rating in light of higher expectations of its earnings in the next quarter compared with a more difficult quarter a year ago. "It would not surprise us to see a correction over the next 3-6 months, although the timing of this is uncertain," Heinbockel wrote in a note to investors.

 

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