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The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) has recognized two industry icons with the chain pharmacy industry’s highest honor during the NACDS Annual Meeting Dinner and Awards Ceremony held yesterday in Scottsdale, Ariz.
For the first time in history, the association honored two individuals in the same year with the Sheldon W. Fantle Lifetime Achievement Award: Mary Sammons, chairman of Rite Aid Corporation, and Thomas M. Ryan, chairman of CVS Caremark Corporation.
“Both Mary and Tom have demonstrated incredible leadership in guiding their respective companies for nearly four decades,” said Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark Corporation and past chairman of the NACDS board of directors. “We applaud and honor them tonight with this award, and express our gratitude for their outstanding contributions to pharmacy.”
A 37 year-industry veteran, Sammons joined Rite Aid in 1999 as president and COO, and subsequently served as CEO until 2010, and continues to serve as chairman of the board. Previously, Sammons held several senior level positions with Fred Meyer Stores, Inc., and become president and CEO of Fred Meyer in 1998. She served as NACDS chairman from 2003-2005 and continues to serve on the NACDS board of directors.
Ryan started as a CVS pharmacist in 1974. His passion for business and his strategic leadership style propelled him into several senior level capacities with the company. In 1998, Ryan became president and CEO of CVS, positions he held until 2010. Subsequently he also became chairman of the board in 1999, a position he currently holds. Ryan served as NACDS chairman from 1997-1998 and continues to serve on the NACDS board.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1989 to recognize exceptional accomplishments and contributions to the industry. It was renamed in 1996, in honor of the late Sheldon “Bud” Fantle, of People’s Drug Stores.
“Bud was a personal friend and mentor and I know he would appreciate the contributions of tonight’s honorees,” said Merlo.
NACDS represents traditional drug stores, supermarkets, and mass merchants with pharmacies – from regional chains with four stores to national companies. Chains operate 39,000 pharmacies, and employ more than 2.7 million employees, including 118,000 full-time pharmacists.