Frestedt had been the company’s marketing director. He also spent 20 years with advertising agencies in Seattle and Los Angeles.
“Steve brings great experience to the role and is committed to our marketing effectiveness by using an evolving mix of traditional, social and digital media,” remarked Brian Unmacht, the company’s president and chief executive officer. “I’m confident he will help lead us in the journey ahead.”
Unmacht, who was named president in January, became the first person outside the Bartell family to hold the titles of president and CEO when George Bartell relinquished his title as chief executive in April. Bartell, whose father and grandfather ran the company for 100 years between them, continues to serve as chairman.
Unmacht joined Bartell’s board in 2011, when he was an executive at REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.), where over a 27-year career he held a variety of posts, including interim CEO after former chief Sally Jewell was picked by President Obama in 2013 to become secretary of the interior. Unmacht, who had helped take the outdoor gear and apparel retailer national during his tenure, left REI after the cooperative hired Jerry Stritzke, a former Coach Inc. executive, to succeed Jewell.
Family-owned Bartell Drugs is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. The company operates 64 stores in the Puget Sound area.