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Influential Women: Jessica Kazmaier, Rite Aid

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PHILADELPHIA — As executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Rite Aid Corp., Jessica Kazmaier oversees all aspects of the retail pharmacy chain’s human resources strategy, including talent management, associate engagement, incentives and labor relations.

influential women“Each element of my role is just as important as the others when it comes to the success of the organization, but I have a particular fondness for associate wellness and talent acquisition, as that is where I spent many years prior to this role,” Kazmaier told MMR. “I find it rewarding when we’re able to empower associates by allowing them to operate more ­efficiently.”

“For our retail pharmacists, we’ve done this by investing in technologies that streamline processes and improve their daily workflow to enable them to engage more with our customers. Pharmacists are trusted health advisors in our communities, and providing them with the tools they need to counsel and engage with our customers is key to our growth strategy.”

Kazmaier has been Rite Aid’s chief human resources officer since early 2019. Since joining the company more than two decades ago in the associate benefits function, she has filled a variety of human resources positions of increasing responsibility, including vice president of total rewards and group vice president of compensation, benefits and HR corporate services, a role that allowed Kazmaier to focus on total rewards strategy; enterprisewide human resources policies, tools and compliance; and corporate headquarters talent acquisition and employee relations.

In recent months, Kazmaier has overseen investment in improving the associate experience by revamping associate wellness offerings and deploying Workday for talent management and payroll functions.

She says she’s particularly proud of the newly launched Associate Value Proposition (AVP), which rolled out across the company this spring.

“Our AVP statement was developed with the input of many of our associates. It outlines the benefits and experiences that make working here truly special and reflects our genuine desire to do the right thing for our associates, customers, clients, members and communities,” she says.

“We also recently introduced our Rite Aid career framework, Ready, Set, Grow. It serves as a foundation for how we hire talent into Rite Aid, a means to improve performance and associate engagement, and a way to build a new generation of Rite Aid leaders. We’re excited to move forward in our journey toward building a more robust culture of growth and development at Rite Aid.”

AVP and the career framework are examples of programs that Kazmaier sees as beneficial not only to existing personnel but also in bolstering recruitment at Rite Aid, which employs about 47,000 people, including more than 6,300 pharmacists, and operates more than 2,300 retail pharmacy locations in 17 states.

Kazmaier earlier was instrumental in a companywide reevaluation of core values that produced a detailed purpose statement, something the retailer previously lacked. One way that the new values identified by this process help Rite Aid is in giving prospective employees a clearer sense of the company’s culture.

The new values are:

• Hustle with humility. This is about listening, staying agile and adapting quickly, but also achieving results with determination.

• Earn trust and keep it. This encompasses gaining trust from both customers and teammates.

• Get there together. This emphasizes a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and seeking a diverse perspective to enhance customer service.


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