Three high-profile speakers headline the National Association of Chain Drug Stores' agenda at the 2011 NACDS Annual Meeting, which kicks off this weekend in Scottsdale. Ariz.

National Association of Chain Drug Stores, 2011 NACDS Annual Meeting, NACDS, NACDS Annual Meeting, Steve Anderson, retail pharmacy, drug stores, chain drug stores, J. Dennis Hastert, Karl Rove, Gary Hamel, Larry Merlo, Robert Loeffler, Colin Mackenzie, Jeff Strong,

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Hastert, Rove to keynote at NACDS Annual Meeting

April 26th, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Three high-profile speakers headline the National Association of Chain Drug Stores' agenda at the 2011 NACDS Annual Meeting, which kicks off this weekend in Scottsdale. Ariz.

The NACDS Annual Meeting, starting on Saturday, April 30, and running until Tuesday, May 3, is the retail pharmacy's top event, drawing more than 2,000 executives from retailers and their supplier partners in the drug, food and mass merchandising sectors.

NACDS said Monday that the keynote speakers will be J. Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; Karl Rove, former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush; and management expert, professor and business columnist Gary Hamel, author of the landmark books Leading the Revolution and Competing for the Future and, more recently, The Future of Management.

"The NACDS Annual Meeting is one of the most important meetings of the year for retailer and supplier executives. This business conference offers attendees high-quality business programming, valuable strategic exchange sessions and world-renowned keynote speakers," stated Steve Anderson, president and chief executive officer of NACDS.

Highlights of this year's NACDS Annual Meeting include the following:

• Two Business Programs will highlight pharmacy, pharmaceutical, front-end and over-the-counter executives, including Colin Mackenzie, president of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare North America; Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark Corp. and current NACDS chairman; Jeff Strong, global president and chief customer officer of the Johnson & Johnson Group of Consumer Companies; Robert Loeffler, chief administrative officer of H.E. Butt Grocery Co. and incoming NACDS chairman; and NACDS chief executive Steve Anderson.

• The Meet the Retailer program will showcase nine corporate executives from five major retail companies. Particularly beneficial for first-time attendees, the Meet the Retailer gatherings help spur dialogue between retailers and suppliers, NACDS noted.

• Strategic Exchange Appointments enable retailers and suppliers to meet face-to-face to discuss opportunities and strategies for ongoing and emerging business-related ventures and partnerships. The private appointments allow for an open dialogue among executives and senior managers, according to NACDS.

And again this year, NACDS is providing attendees with a free mobile application that links to the association's mobile website, which gives the latest information about the Annual Meeting and this meeting and all 2011 NACDS events. Unveiled earlier this year, the app serves as a "guide on the go" to NACDS meetings, advocacy and public relations. NACDS said 2011 Annual Meeting attendees will find an updated schedule, floor plan, list of participants and other key information about the event on the mobile website. 

NACDS' mobile app is compatible with most smartphone platforms, including the iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices, and it can be downloaded at the Annual Meeting website,

"NACDS prides itself on delivering top-notch education and business programming to NACDS members," Anderson added. "These member-driven and member-centric services, from our keynote speakers to our strategic business programs and exchanges, all seek to provide a great value to NACDS members and a healthy return on investment for every NACDS Annual Meeting attendee."