The Global Market Development Center has promoted Mark Mechelse to VP of insights and communications following what association officials say has been a "tireless" effort to grow awareness of GMDC within the industry.
Mechelse—who joined GMDC in 2011 as director of research, industry insights and communications—is charged with advancing the association’s mission of advocating for the general merchandise and health, beauty and wellness categories on behalf of members.
"The initiatives he has launched have played a significant role in positioning the organization and its members as powerful innovators and thought leaders in the marketplace," Patrick Spear, GMDC president and CEO, said in a statement.
The initiatives Spear is referring to include leading the association's Education Leadership Council, in which Mechelse produced "breakthrough" industry research and developed strategies for driving new business, as well as advancing the Retail Tomorrow initiative to leverage innovation in the marketplace through development and advancement of unique and first-mover products, services and technologies.
“Consumers demand ideas, products, services and technologies that are truly revolutionary,” said Spear. “While many companies, and even other associations, are talking about innovation, Retail Tomorrow delivers these opportunities to our members.”
Research launched under the ELC that Spear said has positively impacted the industry includes Rethink Front End (February 2018), Click and Collect: Strategic Upside for Nonfood (August 2017), Center Store Matters (June 2017), Health and Wellness Next Practices (December 2016), Home Health (September 2016) and Food Prep (February 2016).
Mechelse began his career in marketing and advertising with the launch of a private ad agency in Toronto that focused on brand invention for local companies and corporate sponsorship in the motor sports industry. He later joined the social expressions trade, serving as creative and marketing communications director of Paramount Cards/Image Craft, the third-largest greeting card company in the world. Mechelse also led custom product and private label development teams for AIM Global of Nashville, producing successful consumer offerings for Costco, QVC, Barnes & Noble, Vera Bradley, Thomas Nelson and Dave Ramsey.