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It's a first: Sammons, Ryan both honored with Fantle award
May 4th, 2011
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Mary Sammons, chairman of Rite Aid Corp., and Tom Ryan, chairman of CVS Caremark Corp., received chain pharmacy's highest honor last night as the National Association of Chain Drug Stores presented them with the Sheldon W. Fantle Lifetime Achievement Award.
NACDS said that the presentation, made during the NACDS Annual Meeting Dinner and Awards Ceremony in Scottsdale, Ariz., marked the first time in the association's history that two people were given the Fantle award.
Sammons and Ryan were described as "industry icons" by NACDS.
The association called Sammons "a visionary in the pharmacy industry for 37 years." She joined Rite Aid in 1999 as president and chief operating officer and in 2003 became chief executive officer, serving in that post until 2010. She was elected as Rite Aid's chairman in 2007 and continues to serve in that role.
Before Rite Aid, Sammons held several senior-level positions at Fred Meyer Stores Inc. and become president and CEO of that company in 1998. She served as NACDS chairman from 2003 to 2005 and continues to serve on the NACDS board of directors.
Ryan started as a CVS pharmacist in 1974. NACDS said "his passion for business and his strategic leadership style" lifted him into several senior-level posts with the company. He became president and chief executive officer of CVS Corp. in 1998 and held the same posts following the company's 2007 merger with Caremark. He served in the position of president until May 2010 and CEO through February 2011.
Ryan became chairman of CVS Corp. in 1999 and of CVS Caremark in November 2007, a post he currently holds. He served as NACDS chairman from 1997 to 1998 and continues to serve on the NACDS board.
"Both Mary and Tom have demonstrated incredible leadership in guiding their respective companies for nearly four decades," stated Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark and immediate past chairman of NACDS. "We applaud and honor them tonight with this award and express our gratitude for their outstanding contributions to pharmacy."
The Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1989 to recognize exceptional accomplishments in and contributions to the chain drug industry. In 1996, the award was renamed in honor of the late Sheldon "Bud" Fantle of People's Drug Stores.
"Bud was a personal friend and mentor," Merlo commented, "and I know he would appreciate the contributions of tonight's honorees."
Last year, NACDS presented the Fantle award to Charles Burnett, senior vice president of pharmacy at Costco Wholesale Corp.