OPERATIONS

Walgreens cofounds new worksite health company

BY Dan Berthiaume

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreen Co. has signed a definitive agreement with Water Street Healthcare Partners, a strategic investor focused exclusively on the healthcare industry, in which Water Street will acquire a majority interest in Take Care Employer Solutions LLC.

Take Care Employer Solutions is a Walgreens subsidiary that manages more than 360 worksite health centers nationwide. Water Street also has signed an agreement to simultaneously invest in CHS Health Services, a provider of more than 130 worksite health centers. Water Street will merge Take Care Employer Solutions and CHS to form a new company dedicated to providing worksite health centers. The new company will serve more than 200 leading corporations through nearly 500 worksite health-and-wellness centers located across the country.

“Walgreens, CHS and Water Street share a goal of maximizing employers’ return on their health care investment,” said Jeffrey Kang, Walgreens senior VP of health and wellness services and solutions. “This strategic decision to bring together our organizations’ expertise, capabilities and resources to create a leading worksite health and wellness company provides us an opportunity to play an even greater role in improving the cost and quality of workforce health care. Through our continued involvement in the business and as a preferred strategic partner with Water Street, Walgreens expects to accelerate tighter connections with employers – an important stakeholder in the health care delivery system.”

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FINANCE

Sam’s Club donates $2.5 million to female entrepreneurs

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – The Sam’s Club Giving Program is providing a $2.5 million grant to grow U.S. women-owned businesses and jumpstart job creation. Awarded to three non-profit organizations, the grant creates the WE Lend Initiative, a two-year investment in strengthening SBA-recognized Women’s Business Centers (WBCs).

The WE Lend Initiative leverages the networks and expertise of three national organizations dedicated to small business prosperity and growth: Accion, the U.S. Network, National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP). The $2.5 million investment enables the WE Lend Initiative to achieve three key objectives that will benefit women entrepreneurs:

• Train select Women’s Business Centers to become microlenders and provide capital for loans to women business owners.

• Strengthen the Women’s Business Center’s referral process, motivating them to more effectively connect women with microlenders and financing to grow their businesses.

• Increase the capacity of the Women’s Business Centers to provide the women they serve with solid financial literacy and loan readiness skills.

“Lack of access to capital and financing continues to be a leading deterrent to success for U.S. women-owned businesses,” said Rosalind Brewer, president and CEO of Sam’s Club. “The WE Lend Initiative seeks to bridge this financing gap and empower women entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams. We are excited to support our grantees and the Small Business Administration to advance Women’s Business Centers and provide hundreds of women-owned businesses with effective training and microlending resources.”

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OPERATIONS

The Pantry names Harris Teeter vet chairman of the board

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cary, N.C. — The board of directors of The Pantry Inc. has elected Thomas W. "Tad" Dickson, former chairman and CEO of Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc., to serve as chairman of the board of directors. He replaces Edwin J. Holman, who was chairman of the board since September 2009.

Dickson most recently served as chairman and CEO of Harris Teeter, from February 1997 up to the company’s sale to The Kroger Co. in January 2014, and as chairman of its board of directors from March 2006 to January 2014. Prior to serving as chairman and CEO, Dickson served in various executive posts at Harris Teeter and its former subsidiary, the textile company American & Efird, Inc., and as a director of Harris Teeter from February 1997 to January 2014.

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