GMDC’s Mark Mechelse promoted to VP Insights & Communications

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Global Market Development Center (GMDC) has promoted Mark Mechelse to vice president, insights and communications. 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 (GM) and health, beauty and wellness (HBW) categories on behalf of members.

“Mark has worked tirelessly to grow the awareness of GMDC within the industry and his efforts have not gone unnoticed,” said Patrick Spear, GMDC President and CEO. “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.”

Those initiatives include leading the association’s Education Leadership Council (ELC), which drives an essential part of GMDC’s mission by providing strategic direction for retail insights. Within this role, Mechelse works with members to produce breakthrough industry research, provide unique perspectives and consumer-driven “next practices” designed to help members interpret research and trends, and develop strategies for driving new business. Research launched under the ELC that has positively impacted the industry includes: Rethink Front End (Feb. 2018), Click and Collect: Strategic Upside for Nonfood (Aug. 2017), Center Store Matters (June 2017), Health and Wellness Next Practices (Dec. 2016), Home Health (Sept. 2016), and Food Prep (Feb 2016). For more about GMDC’s enterprising research visit the association’s content library.

Mechelse has also been instrumental in advancing the association’s 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.” Launched in May 2016, Retail Tomorrow is opening pathways of discovery for provocative, product-and process-changing solutions in the marketplace.

Mechelse began his career in marketing and advertising with the launch of a private ad agency in Toronto, ON. that focused on brand invention for localized companies and corporate sponsorship in the motorsports 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, Tenn., producing successful consumer offerings for Costco, QVC, Barnes & Noble, Vera Bradley, Thomas Nelson, and Dave Ramsey.