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Former Walmart CEO joins board of Victory Electronic Cigarettes

BY Ryan Chavis

SPRING LAKE, Mich. — Victory Electronic Cigarettes on Monday announced that Bill Fields, former president and CEO of Walmart stores division, will join its board of directors.  

"My decision to join Victory’s board was driven by a shared philosophy on how to win, Victory’s established and efficient infrastructure and the company’s experienced and proven management team," Fields said. "Ninety percent of the growth of e-cigarettes is in front of us as the segment continues to take share from the nearly $800 billion dollar tobacco category. I am confident our team will accelerate Victory’s efforts and that we will quickly become a leader within this industry."

Fields is currently chairman of Fields Texas, Four Courners Sourcing International, and a managing partner of Strategic Brands. During his extensive career with Walmart, he held many senior executive positions including assistant to Walmart’s founder, Sam Walton; SVP distribution and transportation; and EVP Walmart, which culminated in the role of president and CEO of the Walmart stores division. Fields retired from Walmart in 1996.

"We are extremely fortunate to have Bill join our board. His deep knowledge of the retail industry and leadership on our board of directors will be invaluable as we work towards our goal of building the leading electronic cigarette company in the world," Brent Willis, chairman and CEO Victory Electronic Cigarettes, said.

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Target forms cyber-security coalition in wake of customer data hacking

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is investing $5 million in a coalition of cyber-security organizations to launch a marketing campaign to educate the public about phishing scams and security, the mass merchandise retailer said.

The coalition includes the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance, the National Cyber Security Alliance and Better Business Bureaus.

"Cyber-security is fast becoming one of the biggest marketplace challenges for businesses and a huge concern for their customers," Council of Better Business Bureaus president and CEO Mary Power said.

Target president, chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel published an open letter in newspapers across the country to announce the new campaign.

"In the days ahead, Target will announce a coalition to help educate the public on the dangers of consumer scams," Steinhafel wrote in the letter. "We also will accelerate the conversation — among customers, retailers, the financial community, regulators and others — on adopting newer, more secure technologies that protect consumers."

The announcement is being made in the wake of a massive security breach that took place between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 in which payment card data on some 40 million customers were stolen, along with other information, such as names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses on up to 70 million customers.

 

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Most adults didn’t get flu vaccines last season, analysis finds

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — Just slightly more than one-third of adults aged 18 to 64 got a flu shot last season, compared with two-thirds of seniors and more than half of children, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the Trust for America’s Health.

Analyzing public health data from the 2012-2013 flu season, the TFAH found that 35.7% of young and older adults received the vaccine, while 56.6% of those aged 6 months to 17 years did, as did 66.2% of those aged 65 and older. Overall, 45% of Americans were vaccinated, compared with 41.8% in the 2011-2012 season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu shots for everyone aged 6 months and older.

"The trend of low vaccination rates among younger adults is particularly troubling this year, when they are more at risk than usual for the effects of the H1N1 strain of the flu that’s circulating," TFAH executive director Jeffrey Levi said.

Among states, Massachusetts had the highest vaccination rate, at 57.5%, while Florida had the lowest, 34.1%. Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Tennessee were the other states that had vaccination rates of 50% or higher. Meanwhile, Florida, Kansas and Wisconsin saw their vaccination rates fall between the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons.

"It’s easy to become complacent about the flu," Levi said. "We’re used to it; it happens every year, so much so that we forget that it is largely preventable through a quick shot – which I might add is now free to most Americans thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The flu isn’t just an uncomfortable inconvenience; it is deadly and costly. And millions of Americans do not even have paid sick leave, so they either go to work sick – infecting others – or do not get paid."

 

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