Gavel is passed at NACDS Annual Meeting

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Outgoing NACDS chairman Randy Edeker of Hy-Vee hands the gavel to his successor, H-E-B's Martin Otto.

NACDS CEO Steve Anderson talks with former Speaker of the House John Boehner.

New NACDS chairman Martin Otto

Former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey

Election guru Larry Sabato at the NACDS Chain Member and PAC Breakfast

Randy Edeker

Singer Paul Rodgers (center), of Bad Company and Free fame, performs at the Annual Meeting on Saturday evening.

Paul Rodgers and band in concert at the Annual Meeting.

Steve Anderson

Randy Edeker is honored for his service as NACDS chairman by Martin Otto.

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At the 2016 Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., the National Association of Chain Drug Stores officially passed the chairman’s gavel to Martin Otto, chief merchant and chief financial officer for San Antonio-based H-E-B.

Serving for the 2016-17 term, Martin takes over the NACDS chairman’s post from Randy Edeker, chairman and CEO of Hy-Vee.

On Tuesday, Otto addressed NACDS members for the first time as the association’s chairman during the morning Business Program. He credited the strong engagement of NACDS’ chain and supplier members, board members and staff for the association’s success.

“It’s a very well-run organization, and that really matters to me. Also, as was the case with Randy Edeker, the health and wellness pieces are occupying a greater portion of the energy of our team, and NACDS is the right organization for us to be actively involved in,” Otto said.

Regarding the effort to help improve health and wellness, he cited “interconnected issues” that require attention and present opportunities for NACDS members, including the public’s health knowledge and behavior, patient access to and time with health care providers, misaligned provider incentives, and obstacles to e-prescribing and electronic health records.

“There are a lot of structural issues in the health care system,” Otto said, “and my hope is that through NACDS we can be part of the solution.”

Also delivering keynotes Tuesday were Gen. Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and David Pothas, vice president of U.S. customer development and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.

As the NACDS Annual Meeting got under way this past weekend, Edeker spoke about what NACDS has meant to him and what the association brings to its members.

“NACDS provides transactional value to the business, but it’s much, much more. NACDS brings an intangible value: the inspiration I get when I come to events like this. As much as technology has advanced, it’s the relationships that really matter. It’s the knowledge and the strength that come from joining together,” Edeker said in his keynote speech on Sunday.

“Advocacy is definitely a key strength of this organization,” he added.

Editor’s Note: Photos courtesy NACDS.


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