The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Announces Honorees of Winter Wish Gala

New York, NY – October 23, 2014 – The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing teen substance abuse and supporting families impacted by addiction, announced new honorees for its 2014 Winter Wish Gala event on Thursday, November 20. These include Wenda Harris Millard, President and COO of MediaLink; and Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO of CVS Health. Helshi Lockwood Tunnell Hewson, Media Consultant at the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, will receive the inaugural James E. Burke Award. They will join Senator Gordon Smith, previously announced as a gala honoree.

Wenda Harris Millard joined MediaLink, a leading strategic advisory firm, as President and COO in April 2009. Prior to joining MediaLink, Millard was Co-CEO and President, Media for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. A veteran of the media industry, Millard is the former Chief Sales Officer at Yahoo!, where she was responsible for leading the team that drove revenue from $700 million to over $6 billion in six years. Prior to working at Yahoo!, Millard was Chief Internet Officer at Ziff Davis Media and President of Ziff Davis Internet. She was also a founding member of the executive team at DoubleClick.

Millard has received numerous industry awards including being named in 2012 one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Advertising in the Last 100 Years” In 2012.

Larry J. Merlo has been the President of CVS Health since May 2010 and he has served as the CEO since March 2011. Under Merlo’s leadership, the innovative pharmacy company is transforming health care by delivering breakthrough products and services that enable communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. In 2014, the company announced the landmark decision to be the first major retail pharmacy to eliminate tobacco sales in all of its stores, changing its corporate name to CVS Health.

Merlo has received numerous professional honors, including his past role as chairman of the board for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, where he currently serves on the board’s Executive Committee. He also serves on the University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees and is a member of the Business Roundtable.

“We would not be able to deliver on our promise of being the organization where families find answers without the incredible support of our partners and extraordinary individuals,” explained Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “We honor our friend Wenda Harris Millard of MediaLink for her many years of steadfast dedication to our work in helping families protect the health of their children; and Larry Merlo and his wonderful team at CVS Health for their commitment in joining us to educate families nationwide about the risks of abusing medicines while together making progress toward our goal to prevent half million teens from abusing medicine by 2017.”

Helshi Lockwood is the recipient of the James E. Burke Award for her dedication and commitment to improving the lives of young people. She joined the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids in June 2006 as a Media Consultant. She acquired pro-bono space for the nonprofit in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and in a number of magazines that reach parents and families. Lockwood has generated over $80 million in total print advertising donations for the organization.

Previously, she was the President of Emmis Publishing National Sales, which represented Texas Monthly, Atlanta Magazine, Cincinnati Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly; and Los Angeles Magazine under her leadership. She started her magazine career at Vogue in London in 1963. Lockwood was one of the first women to sell magazine advertising and now celebrates her 51st year doing so.

She was honored by Advertising Women of NY and Working Mother Magazine in 2006 with the “Working Mother of the Year” award in the Trailblazer category.

Pasierb shared, “Another great part of the evening will be the opportunity to recognize Helshi Lockwood with the James E. Burke Award for her volunteerism, dedication and deep humanitarian spirit. Thanks to her peerless passion and tenacity, Partnership messages continue to grace the pages of some of the country’s most-read publications which effectively connect the parents and families we serve to the resources they need.”

The gala is the Partnership’s largest source of support for its mission each year, raising nearly $2 million dollars in 2013. Past honorees have included Bill Koenigsberg, President and CEO of Horizon Media; Mark Lazarus, Chairman of NBC Sports Group; Clear Channel and more.

For more information on the 2014 Winter Wish Gala event, visit www.drugfree.org/events/2014-winter-wish-gala.

 

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