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Retail veterans join Rite Aid management team

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CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. has appointed two retail veterans to its upper ranks.

David Abelman was named to the newly created position of senior vice president of brand development and innovation, while Dedra Castle joined the drug chain as executive vice president and chief human resources officer.

Abelman will oversee continued development of private label products as well as identifying and implementing innovations to enhance and grow Rite Aid’s business. He reports to president and chief operating officer Ken Martindale.

“David is a seasoned retail professional who brings broad-based marketing, merchandising and entrepreneurial experience to Rite Aid,” says Martindale. “His proven ability and experience will be a valuable asset to the company as an integral member of the management team focused on delivering the best products, service and care to meet our customers’ unique health and wellness needs.”

Abelman most recently was chief executive officer of Self-Health Nation, a health and wellness omnichannel start-up focused on providing nutritional advice and solutions, which he cofounded. Before that, he was executive vice president and chief merchandising and marketing officer for A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts Inc. He also held senior level marketing and merchandising positions at Michaels Stores Inc., Office Depot Inc. and Daymon Worldwide.

Castle will be responsible for all aspects of human resources, including training, recruitment, talent management, compensation and benefits, labor relations, leadership development, and diversity. She will report to Rite Aid chairman and chief executive officer John Standley.

“Dedra is a dynamic, seasoned human resources professional with a proven track record of success,” says Standley. “I am confident she will bring outstanding leadership to our organization of nearly 90,000 Rite Aid associates as we work together to continue to successfully grow our business and achieve long-term success.”

Castle has more than 19 years of experience in human resource management. In 2012 she became a founding member and managing partner of Castle Partners LLC, a human resources management services firm, and Level Mediation LLC, a multistate mediation firm.

Before that, she worked for the Sam’s Club division of Wal-mart, where she led the corporate human resources function and was the chief inclusion and diversity officer. While at Sam’s, she also served as vice president of its People division, with responsibility for field human resources for 110,000 associates in nearly 600 stores nationwide.

Prior to that, she held senior human resources positions at Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. and Auto Zone Stores Inc. Earlier in her career, she was employed by the Department of Defense, where she managed the civil service employment function for the El Toro and Miramar Marine Corps Air Stations in Southern California as each restructured under base realignment and closure directives.


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