L-R: GMDC's Ann McConnell and James Engstrom
Ann McConnell, VP of finance and administration at retail industry trade association Global Market Development Center (GMDC) will retire at the end of the year and be succeeded by James Engstrom, who is new to the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based organization.
McConnell has been with GMDC for more than three decades, having joined in 1988 as an administrative assistant. Since then, she risen through the ranks until attaining her current position in February 2015.
“On behalf of everyone at GMDC, I want to express my deep appreciation for Ann, her leadership and her countless accomplishments during her tenure,” noted GMDC President and CEO Patrick Spear. “Her ability to adapt to the evolving nature of the industry while ensuring our financial health across all levels is unparalleled. Not only will we miss Ann’s business acumen, but also her presence in the organization. We wish her a happy and well-deserved retirement.”
Last August, the GMDC executive team tapped Engstrom to succeed McConnell in the role, in preparation for which he has begun the management transition of all financial aspects of the association, including its annual budget, investments and employee benefit programs. Before joining GMDC, he was engagement director at Minneapolis-based accounting firm CliftonLarsonAllen, and co-founder and president of Eagle Trace Consulting, in Broomfield, Colo.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to join GMDC and partner with the executive team to continually enhance our successful long-term financial strategy,” said Engstrom.
“Jim is the ideal team member to continue Ann’s legacy,” observed Spear. “Like Ann, Jim is a committed financial professional with more than 30 years of progressive experience in financial operations. He’s also a certified public accountant and has worked globally with manufacturing companies in Europe and Asia while stationed in the Czech Republic, Germany and Belgium. We look forward to his many accomplishments with GMDC.”
GMDC serves more than 600 general merchandise and health, beauty and wellness retailers, wholesalers, suppliers and service/solution member companies. The organization’s combined member volume represents 125,000-plus retail outlets and more than $500 billion in sales.