News Briefs


Skai Expands Integration with Snap

snap skai

Omnichannel marketing platform Skai has expanded its partnership and integration with Snap Inc., creator of social media platform Snapchat, to make it easier for Skai clients to manage their Snapchat campaigns alongside all other publishers.

This expanded partnership elevates Snapchat to be an essential advertising publisher for Skai clients, as it garners more than 750 million monthly active users and reaches more than 75% of 13- to 34-year-olds in more than 20 countries, according to a media release from Skai, which calls it the “social platform of choice” for Gen Z and Millennials.

Skai says the move will give advertisers more ways to connect their full-funnel Snapchat campaigns with lower-funnel sales on retail media networks. Within Snapchat, the partnership aims to improve analysis and amplify programs with essential editing capabilities that help assess, automate and activate campaigns in alignment with all other performance media, per the release.

"Snapchat brings a unique consumer experience and audience,” Paul Vallez, executive vice president of business development at Skai, said in the release. “We've seen tremendous demand from clients who are looking to manage Snapchat alongside all of their advertising channels on our platform. Skai's extended support enables marketers to measure the impact Snapchat has on the customer decision journey so they can align marketing budgets with business impact."

Skai says it will help marketers enhance their Snapchat campaigns by:

  • Using Skai features such as dimensions, categories and tagging for organization; dashboards for visibility; Automated Actions for optimization; and cross-channel reporting.
  • Automating formerly manual processes using features like Skai's BuildURL, which allows for tracking and attribution across social publishers and helps identify which channel is working best.
  • Analyzing and optimizing creative using Skai's forthcoming Creative Center, which gives marketers AI-derived insights into creative performance across publishers and placements in one central location.
  • Helping marketers decide where to allocate budgets to reach the right audience with the right messages using upcoming capabilities like Skai's omnichannel Executive HQ, Creative Center and Instant Reports. 

“With this partnership, we will enable advertisers to leverage Skai's expertise in campaign performance insights, ultimately helping our partners achieve greater success with their campaigns and driving growth and innovation in the industry,” said Ali Rana, global head of product & revenue partnerships at Snap.


NACDS Ushers in New Leadership, Members


The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) elected new officers as well as one member to its board of directors for the coming year during its annual meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, in April. Additionally, NACDS re-elected six board members whose terms were set to expire. 

Mike Wysong, CEO of CARE Pharmacies Cooperative (pictured), will serve as the new chair of the NACDS board of directors, succeeding Brian Nightengale, president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, who completed his term and will remain on the NACDS board as a member. Wysong previously served as vice chair and as chair of the NACDS Political Action Committee.

In addition, Kevin Host, senior vice president of pharmacy, Walmart, was elected NACDS vice chair, and Rick Gates, SVP and chief pharmacy officer, Walgreens, was elected treasurer. Each officer will serve a one-year term.

“Mike Wysong will contribute strong and passionate leadership for NACDS at a time when the Association’s advocacy victories and business programming have never been more important for America and for the industry,” NACDS president and CEO Steven C. Anderson, said in a news release. “[Wysong’s] extraordinary energy, focus, insights, and passion are second to none. He will help NACDS sustain its tremendous momentum through this 90th anniversary and into the future. I am extremely confident that NACDS’ chain and supplier members will appreciate [Wysong’s] leadership, and that [he] will advocate effectively for NACDS’ pro-patient, pro-pharmacy agenda.”

David Warner, CEO of KPH Healthcare Services, was also elected to the NACDS board.

Six NACDS board members were also re-elected to three-year terms: 

  • Brad Cochran, EVP, retail distribution, Medicine Shoppe International;
  • Lynne Fruth, president and chairman, Fruth Pharmacy;
  • Nimesh Jhaveri, EVP and chief impact officer, Health Mart;
  • Brian Nightengale, president, Good Neighbor Pharmacy;
  • Luke Rauch, SVP and chief merchandising officer, Walgreens;
  • Mike Wysong, CEO, CARE Pharmacies Cooperative.

NACDS is a nonprofit organization that promotes and advances the interests of the chain pharmacy industry, representing traditional drug stores, supermarkets and mass merchants with pharmacies as well as their supplier partners.


Vanguard Companies Appoints New CEO


Vanguard Companies, a Kansas City, Missouri-based marketing and merchandising solutions provider, promoted company veteran James Beard (pictured) to the position of CEO in April. Beard has been with Vanguard for more than 15 years, most recently serving as chief operating officer since 2015. Prior to that, he served as general manager for six years.

Beard took the reins Chris Stoler, who had served as CEO since 2021 (per his LinkedIn) after Mark Mathes, son of Vanguard founders Jack and Bobbie Mathes, stepped away from the role, which he had held since 2007.

Beard will be responsible for continuing to grow Vanguard through its company culture, customer base, new strategic growth opportunities and continued operational excellence, per a news release.

Vanguard said Beard’s extensive knowledge within the corrugated industry and history at the company will drive Vanguard’s continued focus on its customers and strategic growth trajectory.

Vanguard, founded in 1975, specializes in P-O-P displays, signage, packaging, digital printing, fulfillment services and program management capabilities.


Frank Mayer Launches Customizable Self-Service Kiosk


Grafton, Wisconsin-based retail display manufacturer Frank Mayer has introduced the Streamline kiosk to its standard line of self-service kiosks.

The freestanding Streamline kiosk includes a 55-inch touchscreen monitor and can be outfitted with several optional peripherals, including speakers, a camera, a Wi-Fi antenna and PC/media player variants, according to a news release.

In addition, the front top panel can be manufactured flat or angled, depending on what peripherals are required.

The kiosk can also offer louvers for temperature control, a Wi-Fi antenna location option and a larger rear-hinged access door intended for ease of monitor installation and servicing, as well as customizable vertical panels on both sides of the unit for aesthetics.

The kiosk can be used to provide wayfinding instructions and offer endless aisle options to draw customers to its self-service abilities.

Frank Mayer and Associates specializes in developing interactive kiosks, point-of-purchase displays and store fixtures for brands and retailers nationwide.


Imperial Design + Display Makes Acquisition


Rogers, Minnesota-based Imperial Design + Display (IDD) completed its acquisition of MyCull Fixtures Inc., a fixtures manufacturer based in Princeton, Minnesota, on March 25.

Founded in 1999, MyCull specializes in custom retail displays, providing custom design, engineering and fabrication with a focus on laminate, solid wood, solid-surface and millwork packages for more than 7,000 hair salons and retail locations.

“Over the years IDD and MyCull have worked on several projects together with great success. The timing for the acquisition worked out perfectly,” IDD CEO Carroll Shipman said in a media release. “We had a need to increase our capabilities for wood and solid surface production and MyCull was a perfect fit for ID. Both entities will be under the IDD umbrella to provide one-stop shopping for custom retail store fixture programs for brands and retailers.”


CHPA Recognizes Jim Mackey for Lifetime Achievement

jim mackey

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) awarded its Ivan D. Combe Lifetime Achievement Award to industry veteran Jim Mackey on March 20 at its annual Self-Care Leadership Summit in Orlando, Florida.

Each year, the award recognizes the outstanding contributions of one individual who has created a lasting impact on the U.S. consumer healthcare industry and directly improved self-care for consumers. It is named after Ivan Combe, an industry pioneer who served on CHPA’s board of directors from 1958 until 2000. The honoree is chosen based on three core attributes:

  1. Professional excellence and a passion for improving the lives of healthcare consumers.
  2. Outstanding leadership and involvement in industry activities.
  3. A commitment to giving back to the community.  

Mackey started his career as a sales merchandiser for a pharmaceutical manufacturer formerly known as Sterling Drug before joining Whitehall Labs, a division of American Home Products, where he was named vice president of sales at the age of 28. In that role, Mackey helped launch one of the most successful Rx-to-OTC switches in U.S. history with the launch of Advil in 1984.

Mackey then spent nearly two decades at Schering-Plough, where he helped bring Claritin and MiraLAX to the OTC market. Following the acquisition of Schering-Plough by Merck in 2009, he capped off his corporate career by helping to negotiate the acquisition of Merck Consumer by Bayer in 2014.

Additionally, CHPA president and CEO Scott Melville, said in a media release, “[Mackey’s] service on CHPA’s board of directors, including as our chairman from 2013 to 2014, led to progress on key industry initiatives, including relaunching CHPA’s educational foundation and beginning the effort to modernize the OTC monograph system.”

Melville added that Mackey’s greatest mark on the industry was perhaps “his leadership in organizing an industry response to the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act, which placed OTC pseudoephedrine (PSE) behind the counter and led states to consider making PSE a prescription product.”

Mackey has also helped his community as a mentor, volunteer at nonprofit organizations, and as an advisor and board member to Ways 2 Wellness, a publishing venture focused on improving the lives of seniors, their communities and care givers.

View a list of past Ivan D. Combe Lifetime Achievement Award winners here.