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NACDS honors Mary Sammons, Tom Ryan with lifetime achievement awards

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — On the final evening of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, the association for the first time honored two individuals in the same year with the Sheldon W. Fantle Lifetime Achievement Award: Mary Sammons, chairman of Rite Aid, and Tom Ryan, chairman of CVS Caremark.

Sammons joined Rite Aid in 1999 as president and COO, and subsequently served as CEO until 2010. She continues to serve as chairman of the board for the company. Previously, Sammons held several senior level positions with Fred Meyer Stores and became president and CEO of the 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. His passion for business and his strategic leadership style propelled him into several senior level capacities with the company. In 1998, Ryan became president and CEO of CVS, positions he held until 2010. Subsequently, he also became chairman in 1999, a position he currently holds. Ryan served as NACDS chairman from 1997 to 1998, and continues to serve on the NACDS board of directors.

"Both Mary and Tom have demonstrated incredible leadership in guiding their respective companies for nearly four decades," said Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark and past chairman of the NACDS board of directors. "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 and contributions to the industry. It was renamed in 1996 in honor of the late Sheldon "Bud" Fantle of People's Drug Stores.

"Bud was a personal friend and mentor, and I know he would appreciate the contributions of tonight's honorees," Merlo added.