Emerson Group makes flurry of exec appointments

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WAYNE, Pa. — The Emerson Group has announced a series of executive appointments, including the hiring of a chief operating officer and an expanded role for president Rick Wellinger.

The consumer products consulting and services firm, now in its 20th year of business, said late Thursday that Roger Gravitte is slated to join The Emerson Group on June 1 as COO. Based at the Philadelphia office, he will lead the company’s marketing, logistics and consulting capabilities.

Gravitte brings 30 years of industry experience to The Emerson Group. Currently, he serves as the operating unit head/general manager of Novartis Consumer Health in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Before that, he was the head of sales for Novartis OTC-Americas.

In addition to his current duties as Emerson Group president, Wellinger will become chairman of the executive committee and chair the Most-Valued Partner Board. He has served as president since 2008.

Wellinger started his career at The Emerson Group in 1997 as the central U.S. manager. Founder Scott Emerson noted that over the past 15 years Wellinger has built and led the company’s team at Walgreens.

“His leadership and passion for our business has been instrumental in growing our company to almost $2 billion in sales,” Emerson stated in a company memo announcing the appointments.

Set to join The Emerson Group on April 1 is Bob Nordman, who will serve as the Target team leader, with primary sales responsibility for over-the-counter products and nutrition. With 38 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods industry, he comes to the company from Bayer Consumer Healthcare, where he most recently was director of sales for the Target team.

Senior partner Marilynn Martin has been named to develop and head Emerson Group’s new special markets and natural channel expansion and cross-over brands from mass retail. Her responsibility will include the natural products channel, consumables and multicultural/alternative segment brands. She also will continue to work on the company’s specialty and pioneering businesses at Target, outside national categories and segments.

Martin joined The Emerson Group in 1998 as a partner and managed western U.S. sales.

“She has led our growth and development at Target, building this customer into our first $200 million business,” Emerson stated. “She has also managed our Costco business for her career at the company, as well as other retailers like Walmart, Safeway, Trader Joes and Albertson’s.  Additionally, she worked with many new startup ventures and helped develop them into much larger brands today.”

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