Next generation of career Kroger leaders assume new roles
CINCINNATI – Kroger on Tuesday announced the retirement of Houston division president Bill Breetz, and the promotion of Marlene Stewart to succeed him. Stewart currently serves as president of the company's Dillons division.
Subsequently, Colleen Juergensen will succeed Stewart as president of Dillons. Juergensen currently serves as VP merchandising of the Smith's division.
Kroger also announced the promotion of Pam Matthews to serve as president of the company's QFC division. Matthews currently serves as VP operations for Kroger's Delta division. She succeeds Dennis Gibson, who was recently named president of the King Soopers/City Market division.
"Kroger has an exceptionally strong team of leaders who are fueling our growth and improving our connection with customers," stated Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Marlene, Colleen and Pam bring unmatched depth and experience to their new roles. They will help Kroger continue to make a difference for our customers, associates and communities – and by doing so create value for our shareholders."
Breetz will retire from the company after 44 years of service, effective August 26.
"Bill's extraordinary career demonstrates a passion for people and a passion for results. He leads by caring deeply about associates and developing future leaders," McMullen said. "Bill's leadership has contributed to Kroger's success and growth. The entire Kroger family thanks Bill for his many contributions over the years and wishes he and his family all the best in retirement."
Breetz began his Kroger career in 1972 as a bagger in Louisville, Ky. After earning a degree at the University of Louisville in 1977, he joined the management training program and was named a co-manager in Cincinnati. He served in several leadership positions through the years, including store and district management and VP merchandising for the company's Cincinnati/Dayton division. In 2000, Breetz was promoted to EVP of Kroger's Southwest division with responsibility for operations in Dallas. In 2001, he assumed responsibility for operations in Houston as well. He was named president of the Southwest Division in 2002, and president of the Houston Division in 2015.
Breetz has been active in a variety of community organizations throughout his career, most recently supporting the Houston Food Bank, the Greater Houston Partnership, the Boy Scouts of America, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and other local charities. Breetz and his wife, Jo Ann, have three children and three grandchildren.
Marlene Stewart, currently president of the Dillons division, succeeds Breetz as president of the Houston Division, effective August 28.
Stewart started her career with Kroger in 1977 as a bagger in the company's Cincinnati division, where she worked full-time while attending the University of Cincinnati. She went on to serve in many leadership roles in Cincinnati, including store and district management, training and merchandising. In 2005, Stewart was named director of operations for Kroger's Mid-Atlantic division before being named VP operations in 2007. She was named VP merchandising in the company's QFC division in 2011. She was named to her current role in 2015.
Colleen Juergensen, currently VP merchandising at the Smith's division, succeeds Stewart as president of the Dillons division, effective August 28.
Juergensen began her Kroger career with the Dillons division in 1981. She served in various leadership roles of increasing responsibility including store manager, zone manager and director of advertising. In 2008, Juergensen was promoted to Dillons VP operations. She was named VP operations of Smith's in 2012, and to her current role in 2015.
Pam Matthews, currently VP operations for the Delta division, has been promoted to president of the QFC Division, effective August 1. She replaces Dennis Gibson, who was recently named president of the King Soopers/City Market Division.
Matthews began her career with the company's Fred Meyer division, based in Portland, Ore, in 1980.
Throughout her 25-year career with Fred Meyer, she held a variety of leadership roles in store management, corporate brand development and merchandising. Matthews also served as director of deli/bakery merchandising and director of floral merchandising and procurement at Kroger's general offices in Cincinnati before being promoted to VP merchandising for the Central division in 2006. She was named VP merchandising for the Delta Division in 2014 and to her current role in 2015.
APhA students make trip to DC to advocate for pharmacy
WASHINGTON – The American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists, with the support of Amgen, Cardinal Health and Rite Aid, held leadership and professional development programming this weekend in Washington for 240 student pharmacists. The schedule kicked off with 223 student pharmacists visiting 125 Congressional offices on Capitol Hill to advocate for pharmacists' recognition as 'providers' in health care.
"As a constituent and a student pharmacist, meeting in-person with Congressional representatives and/or their staff is the most effective way to promote pharmacy-specific legislative issues and develop relationships with lawmakers," stated Keith Marciniak, APhA senior director of student and new practitioner development.
"Members of Congress and their staff know that an issue is important when their constituents and voters take the time to travel all the way to Washington, DC, to meet with them in person and share their personal stories," Marciniak added. "These same offices also tend to put more stock into messages and opinions from those with whom they have relationships. Capitol Hill visits are that initial step toward developing those relationships."
Held July 15-17, the APhA-ASP Summer Leadership Institute is designed to help APhA-ASP chapter officers develop their leadership skills as they prepare to guide their chapter to continued success. The SLI provided attendees with interactive leadership sessions and discussions focused on team building and effectively connecting with their communities.
In addition, the APhA New Practitioner Network, with the support of Walmart Pharmacy, held the second annual A Day of NP L.I.F.E. on July 15 and July 16. The programming, designed exclusively for pharmacists within their first five years of graduation, included personal and professional workshops, as well as networking during dinner at APhA's historic headquarters and at a Washington Nationals baseball game. As many as 60 new practitioners were in attendance.
Walgreens Boots Alliance expands Boots banner to South Korea
DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreens Boots Alliance on Monday announced that it has signed an agreement to form a franchise partnership with Emart Company, a member of Shinsegae Group and South Korea’s No. 1 hypermarket retailer. Together, they will create a Boots branded pharmacy-led, health and beauty retail franchise in South Korea.
Under the terms of the agreement, Boots branded stores will be opened in shopping malls, on main streets and within the outbound areas of Shinsegae department stores and Emart hypermarkets. The Boots stores will each feature an independent pharmacy and a range of Boots owned products and ‘exclusive to Boots’ brands as well as leading Korean brands.
“South Korea is considered a leading market for skincare and cosmetics products in Asia today. We believe there is a significant opportunity to extend the reach of Boots own brands into this market and are thrilled to be doing so with Emart,” stated Ornella Barra, co-COO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. “Emart is the preeminent retailer in South Korea and their strong experience as well as their marketing expertise gives us great confidence in the long-term potential of this partnership.”
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to introduce the Boots brand, and offer pharmacy care as well as acting as a beauty and healthcare destination by also offering a wide range of both Korean and Boots product brands.” said Gab-Soo Lee, CEO Emart.
The first stores are expected to open before the end of the first half of calendar year 2017 and will include Boots highly regarded and exclusive No7 and Soap & Glory products.