Clarion Brands CEO named chairman CHPA

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Clarion Brands CEO named chairman CHPA

By Michael Johnsen - 03/15/2018
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Wednesday elected Gary Downing as chair of the CHPA Board of Directors at its Annual Executive Conference held March 11-14 at Turnberry Isle Miami in Aventura, Fla.

“We are delighted that Gary is taking on this role at such a critical time for the consumer healthcare industry. His broad experience within our industry will be extremely beneficial as the association helps its members navigate through a quickly changing regulatory and business environment,” Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO, said. “I’d also like to express my appreciation to Jeff Needham, CHPA’s outgoing chair, under whose leadership the association made tremendous progress on policy priorities and strengthened CHPA’s finances and organizational structure.”

Downing is currently the CEO of Clarion Brands, an over-the-counter products portfolio company of Swander Pace Capital, and brings more than 30 years of domestic and international consumer product management experience in both large and start-up environments. Prior to Clarion, Downing was CEO of Insight Pharmaceuticals, which was sold to Prestige Brands in September 2014. Previously, he was CEO of Lansinoh Laboratories and Medtech Laboratories.

Downing began his career at the Procter & Gamble Company (Richardson-Vicks), and later served in roles at Gillette and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer. For the past 15 years, Downing has served on CHPA’s board of directors, and currently serves on the board of directors for W.F. Young, Inc. and Lansinoh Laboratories.

“I am thrilled to be serving as CHPA chair during such an exciting time in the industry,” Downing said. “Over the next two years, I will continue working closely with the board to maintain a thriving environment for consumer healthcare products, as well as building value for our membership, reinforcing our vision of helping consumers lead happier, healthier lives.”

“Gary Downing’s energy and 30-plus years of consumer healthcare product experience will prove to be invaluable,” Melville said. “His enthusiasm and commitment to this industry is evidenced not only by his long and diverse career, but by the decades he has spent on CHPA’s board of directors.”

Downing has been a staunch advocate of OTC remedies. "The outlook for the OTC business is good – but it’s essential to always look toward the future. Generation Z is here – understanding them, their needs and the way they want to consume information about their health and wellbeing is key," he shared as part of a recent virtual roundtable published in the March issue of Drug Store News. "But you cannot ignore the millennials, gen Xers or boomers. They are all still important. You need to know your audience, where they are in in their journey, what they care about and how to reach each one of them in the appropriate way."

One-third of the CHPA Board of Directors is elected annually, with manufacturer members elected for three-year terms, and associate members elected for two-year terms. The new board members elected at this year’s conference include:

David Campbell, vice president, regulatory and government affairs, North America, RB;Ranjan Chaudhuri, head of Global OTC Commercial, Mylan;Donald Chizek, vice president, operations/customer service, Lil’ Drug Store Products;John Dowers, CEO and president, WellSpring Consumer Healthcare; andJames Medford president and CEO, K.C. Pharmaceuticals.

In addition, current CHPA board member J.P. Borneman, chairman and CEO, Hyland’s, was elected to the CHPA board of director’s executive committee.

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