NACDS once again brings together retail, supplier execs at Annual Meeting

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It’s that time of year once again. Come April 30, more than 2,000 of today’s leading retail executives from food, drug and mass, and their supply partners, will convene at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., to gain new insights into today’s changing marketplace and explore future opportunities.

This year’s NACDS Annual Meeting, which will run from April 30 to May 3, will be held in Scottsdale at The Phoenician resort nestled in the Sonoran Desert in the shadows of Camelback Mountain. As in previous years, the packed program includes the “Meet the Retailer” program, a lineup of robust speakers, morning business programs and strategic exchange appointments.

The “Meet the Retailer” program, which will be held April 30 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., has become a significant part of the conference, and is designed specifically for first-time attendees from small and mid-size associate members. This year’s program consists of 40-minute sessions with a senior retail executive or team of executives from a handful of retailer companies, including Rite Aid, H-E-B, CVS Caremark and Walgreens, according to NACDS. The sessions will provide participating associate members an overview of the retailer, how the retailer uses the Annual Meeting to conduct business and topics the retailer expects to discuss with a supplier.

Another highlight will be this year’s lineup of speakers, ranging from political leaders and policy experts to best-selling authors and culinary connoisseurs. “Our lineup of influential and informative speakers at the NACDS Annual Meeting speaks to the importance of our industry and the composition of NACDS. It is a true honor to host these distinguished political and business leaders as this year’s speakers,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.

Among others, NACDS will host former speaker of the House of Representatives, J. Dennis Hastert; senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to former President George W. Bush, Karl Rove; author, blogger and management professor Gary Hamel; and TV host and do-it-yourself expert Sandra Lee.

Hastert was the longest-serving Republican speaker in U.S. history. He served as speaker from January 1999 to January 2007, and worked to lower taxes, improve education, increase defense spending and strengthen social security and Medicare.

Former deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to President George W. Bush — and current Fox News contributor and Wall Street Journal and Newsweek columnist — Rove has been given the moniker “The Architect” for his handling of Bush’s 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns. He operates his own public relations firm and is a widely read author and columnist.

Hamel is a visiting professor of strategic and international management at the London Business School, and has been an active leader and contributor to the Harvard Business Review. As the author of multiple best-selling books on management, and a Wall Street Journal blogger, Hamel has worked with multinational companies on reinventing management.

Lee is the editor-in-chief of Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine, the host of two TV programs, a best-selling author and a philanthropist. Lee, who was forced to live on welfare and food stamps as a child, has become an influencer for retailers and consumers who are looking to turn budget-friendly into beautiful and fabulous.

The entertainers at this year’s Annual Meeting are musicians Kenny Loggins, who is slated to perform April 30, and John Fogerty, scheduled to perform the evening of May 3. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Loggins became more famous than ever in the ’80s with a string of such hit movie theme songs as “I’m Alright” (from “Caddyshack”), “Footloose” (from “Footloose”), “Danger Zone” (from “Top Gun”) and “Nobody’s Fool” (from “Caddyshack II”). Fogerty is a rock singer, songwriter and guitarist best known for his time with the swamp rock/roots rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) and as a No. 1 solo recording artist.