Local organizations named Employers of Excellence

Contact: Mary Beth Schubert, marybeth.schubert@co.dakota.mn.us

12 winners from Dakota and Scott counties

The Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board has recognized 12 area organizations as Employers of Excellence for their employee retention, compensation and training practices. The Workforce Development Board wanted to recognize some of the best employers in Dakota and Scott counties and provide vital information to companies about the practices they use to attract and retain employees. With the help of local sponsors, the board commissioned a study and asked area employers to participate. This year, 29 organizations took part.

Each participant completed a 40-question survey that allowed their employment practices to be analyzed by a consulting firm. Every organization participating in the survey received a 20-page report detailing the information on their company and the results of the survey. Employers were evaluated on numerous metrics: turnover, rate of growth, promotion rates, employee evaluations and feedback, percentage of employee injured, diversity of management, benefits offered, training expenditures, paid days off, and increase in pay.

The Employers of Excellence were recognized at a banquet on Thursday, Sept. 27. The winners are:

Small Employer (under 75 employees)

  • Carlson Capital Management, Hastings
  • Custom Drapery and Blinds by Esch, LLC, Burnsville
  • Hydra-Flex, Inc., Eagan
  • Reese Enterprises, Inc., Rosemount

Mid-Size Employer (75–200 employees)

  • Dakota Electric Association, Farmington
  • Firefly Credit Union, Burnsville
  • The Smead Manufacturing Company, Hastings
  • Apothecary Products, LLC, Burnsville

Large Employer (over 200 employees)

  • Entrust Datacard, Shakopee
  • Lifeworks Services, Inc., Eagan
  • Prime Therapeutics, Eagan
  • UTC Aerospace Systems, Burnsville

Matt Smith
County Manager

Mary Beth Schubert
Director of Communications

Scott Wente
Communications Specialist

Apothecary Products team - employer of excellence award

Apothecary Products Named One of MRCI’s Connections of Excellence

Burnsville, Minnesota – Apothecary Products is proud to be recently be recognized by MRCI as a recipient of a Connections of Excellence Award.  MRCI honors businesses/organizations this designation for excelling at providing innovative and genuine opportunities for individuals with disabilities or disadvantages.  Apothecary Products has had a long-standing relationship with MRCI providing on-campus work opportunities as well as job training opportunities at MRCI locations throughout the state.

Learn more about MRCI at https://www.mrciworksource.org.

bamboobies by SOFT Style, LLC

Apothecary Products Finalizes Acquisition of SOFT Style, LLC, Makers of bamboobies

Leading Consumer Health Products Company Expands Portfolio

NEWS RELEASE – For Immediate Release

MINNEAPOLIS, July 30, 2018 –  Apothecary Products, LLC, a leading innovator, manufacturer and distributor of consumer healthcare products, has announced the acquisition of SOFT Style, LLC based in Boulder, Colorado. SOFT Style, LLC develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of breastfeeding support products under the bamboobies® brand. SOFT Style will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Apothecary Products. There will be no significant changes to day-to-day business operations for the foreseeable future.

Nathan Hanson, President and CEO of Apothecary Products, stated, “We are very excited to bring these two complementary companies together. This strategic acquisition enhances APL’s go forward branded plans to help moms with young families take care of themselves. This acquisition joins the talent and capabilities of both organizations which significantly improves our ability to best serve our customers and consumers with innovative branded solutions. Through our increased scale, expanded portfolio and combined expertise in delivering consumer preferred solutions world-wide, we can provide a platform for future innovation, growth and increased value. I have great admiration for the SOFT Style team and their ability to nimbly deliver meaningful innovation that helps breastfeeding moms. I would like to personally thank Kerry Gilmartin, former owner and CEO of SOFT Style, for her leadership and vision in building a truly insightful brand.” Ms. Gilmartin will continue to support brand growth as a key strategic advisor to Mr. Hanson.

Kerry Gilmartin, SOFT Style’s founder and CEO, stated, “We are incredibly excited to partner with Apothecary as we enter our next phase of growth. The bamboobies brand will leverage their consumer products expertise and their financial and operational strength to scale more swiftly and gracefully. The bamboobies brand promise of supporting new mothers, babies and their world will be continued as innovation grounded in high quality and eco-friendly design are shared values.”

About SOFT Style
SOFT Style, under the bamboobies brand, develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of top-rated, eco-friendly breastfeeding support products. The portfolio includes nursing shawls, nursing tanks and bras, disposable and washable nursing pads, and organic nipple balm. bamboobies mission is to ensure that new mothers and babies are happier and healthier, and so is their world. Founded in 2010 and based in Boulder, Colorado.
Visit www.buybamboobies.com to learn more.

About Apothecary Products
Apothecary Products, LLC is a leading innovator, manufacturer, marketer, and supplier of simple self-care solutions, pharmacy supplies and wellness aids. Headquartered in Burnsville, Minnesota, the company has several strategic manufacturing partners in the U.S. and internationally.

  • Private Equity-backed by Norwest Equity Partners: a leading private equity investment firm with global presence and Midwest roots
  • Fully integrated infrastructure with significant scale and world-class management team
  • Strong market share in several product categories, many pioneered by Apothecary Products
  • Domestic and international presence – Apothecary Products can be found in 50+ countries.
  • Significant presence in top retailers
  • Innovation driven

Visit www.apothecaryproducts.com to learn more.


Meg Heitlinger
VP – Marketing & Sales
SOFT Style, LLC.
makers of bamboobies

Jean Roskam
Senior VP of Marketing
Apothecary Products

Innovation Lab Rolls Out Elevating Arm Sling Across Pharmacy Locations: Part of Strategy to Deliver Better Health Outcomes

Read the original Press Release

La Palma, CA – March 28, 2018 – Today, the Innovation Lab, a subsidiary of The Innovation Institute, which serves as its health care incubator, announced the rollout of the CVS HealthTM Elevating Arm Sling, a custom-designed hand elevation support. In partnership with Apothecary Products, LLC, the Elevating Arm Sling is now available in CVS Pharmacy locations across the U.S.

The Elevating Arm Sling was developed by Mark Elzik, MD, an orthopaedic hand surgeon for Mission Hospital, part of the Providence St. Joseph Health system. This health system is one of the six member owner investor health systems of The Innovation Institute.

Dr. Elzik said, “I couldn’t be more pleased to see this product now available to help the over 2,600,000 people who experience hand and wrist medical procedures annually.” He added, “While elevation is a key element of pre and post-surgical care, many patients don’t properly elevate their hand following an injury or after surgery. This can lead to swelling, pain and prolonged healing and follow-up visits. I designed the Elevating Arm Sling to target these problems.”

President and Chief Executive Officer for Apothecary Products, LLC, Nathan Hanson, said, “Our company’s purpose is to make life better for people and those who they care for. We do this by partnering with organizations like Innovation Lab and innovators like Dr. Elzik to make self-care solutions that are safe and simple to use.” He added, “the Elevating Arm Sling is an intuitive solution that is designed to make the time after surgery a little better for our consumers. We are proud to play a part in bringing this innovative new product to market.”

“The Elevating Arm Sling was developed by an innovative surgeon with fresh eyes who observed that a redesigned sling could significantly improve his patients’ healing,” said Ryan Kelly, Innovation Lab general manager. “We are excited to have partnered with Apothecary Products and see this product make its debut at CVS Pharmacy. We anticipate bringing to market many more medical products that are generated from ideas submitted by frontline health care professionals. These innovators witness, first-hand, where improvements can be made to improve the lives of the people they care for.”

The Elevating Arm Sling (also called WingSling™) is designed for patients requiring ambulatory hand or wrist elevation following surgery or injury. The device securely elevates the hand above the heart with an ergonomically sound design and custom fit that can be worn comfortably for long periods of time. The design incorporates an innovative pulley system to raise and lower the arm while the forearm sleeve supports the wrist with minimal pressure points, while preserving full range of motion for digits of the elevated hand. The proprietary elbow pocket creates the desired angle and tucks the arm in close to the body. The padded cross body support minimizes neck strain. The design allows for ambidextrous use and is easily adjustable to fit most people. The device is available at CVS without a prescription, and will be coming soon to health systems across the U.S.

About The Innovation Institute & Innovation Lab
The Innovation Institute is an independent, for-profit LLC structured to cultivate innovative solutions to transform healthcare delivery. The Innovation Institute is owned by non-profit health systems.  This collaborative taps into physicians, employees, and industry business partners to incubate and commercialize new medical products and ideas through its Innovation Lab. Comprised of three distinct elements – an innovation lab, an investment fund, and a shared services group (Enterprise Development Group), The Institute strives to “do more, with less, for more people.” For more information, visit www.ii4change.com

About Apothecary Products, LLC
Apothecary Products, LLC is a leading innovator, manufacturer, marketer, and supplier of simple self-care solutions, pharmacy supplies and wellness aids. With our Ezy Dose®, Ezy Dose Kids®, Ezy Dose Self Care®, and Flents® brands, Apothecary Products offers simple health and wellness solutions to consumers and healthcare professionals alike. The Apothecary team is focused on categories that make a difference in the lives of consumers, caregivers and the people that they care for: Medication Management, Eye and Ear Wellness, First Aid, and behind-the-counter Pharmacy Solutions. Apothecary Products offers both branded and private label solutions to our valued customers, including national and independent retail pharmacies, food, mass, and warehouse club retailers, as well as distributors and wholesalers worldwide.

Find more information about Apothecary Products, LLC at www.apothecaryproducts.com.


Media Contacts:

Francine Marlenée, 714.735.3767 or Francine.marlenee@ii4change.com

Jean Roskam, 952.890.1940 or jroskam@apothecaryproducts.com

Area Company Shows How Inclusion drives Innovation

Read the article on MRCI’s website

When Burnsville-based Apothecary Products needs to get orders packaged and out to clients quickly, they have a unique workforce standing by ready to help: MRCI.

Apothecary Products is a leading innovator, manufacturer, marketer, and supplier of simple self-care solutions, pharmacy supplies and wellness aids. Apothecary Products provides consumer packaged goods products found in major retailers worldwide. Products packaged, in part, by MRCI clients.

“There have been multiple benefits in using MRCI,” says Kristine Clausen, Director of Human Resources for Apothecary. “Through the relationship with MRCI, we are able to manufacturer our products achieving our customers’ expectations on quality and value. Plus, part of our culture here at Apothecary Products is our commitment to caring, as our corporate values spell out “We Care”. So we see this partnership as an extension of that.”

On average, 25 MRCI clients support the Apothecary Products team onsite daily at the Burnsville headquarters.

“Our team members here really do a good job of making the MRCI clients feel like an extension of the team,” she says. “They are not segregated, they are right on the floor with everyone else. They all eat lunch and take breaks together. They help make us better!”

Apothecary Products also hosts employment appreciation events that always include MRCI talent and staff which shows MRCI workers how much they are appreciated and truly are part of the team. Apothecary believes in MRCI’s mission and goes well “above and beyond” to ensure success with that mission.

Apothecary Forecast Manager Kent Halvorson has fostered the MRCI relationship for a number of years. “It’s a good way for APL to help the community by giving MRCI individuals the opportunity to work and in return we get a good value for the work, including price and quality”. Kent also said a benefit of the relationship is how pricing is structured. He indicates that pricing with APL is by the unit versus labor hour.”

Rhonda Kalal, who is in charge of business development for MRCI in the South Metro, says one of the best things about MRCI’s long-time employment relationship with Apothecary Products is the trust and reliability that has been built amongst the two teams.

“Through cooperation and good communication, almost all of our clients can participate at some level.” Kalal says. “Together we share needs and find solutions. We appreciate the cooperation, efficiencies and how well this company communicates with us.”

In addition to the onsite work crews, Apothecary Products also provides a great deal of work for multiple MRCI sites within the metro area and in southern Minnesota. At MRCI Shakopee alone they provide MRCI with around 50,000 different items per month to package.  The many employment opportunities provided through Apothecary are vital to the success of so many individuals, giving them a chance to become trained and skilled for community work.

Tony Ryan, a buyer/planner for Apothecary says MRCI’s willingness to be flexible and ability to adapt to changes has been crucial to the success of the partnership.

“MRCI greatly benefits APL by extending our internal and external Production capabilities by providing a very cost effective and flexible work force. Because of the type of products we sell and the customers we are in business with our demands for items will drastically increase or decrease from week to week, this makes planning very difficult but MRCI has a very large pool of clients at several different locations that gives APL a huge extension to our internal work capacity in a very short notice so we can fulfill customer demands,” Ryan says.

In turn, MRCI appreciates Apothecary’s willingness to reach out when needed.

Kalal says, “Apothecary’s inclusion mentality runs throughout the organization and is evident in the way they treat our clients like their own employees at the site. Their culture of inclusion is also evident in the way they take time to work with us if there is ever a problem. MRCI and Apothecary Products are definitely in this together and we so appreciate their partnership and dedication!”

Winners of NACDS Total Store Expo Product Showcase Announced

Boston – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) today announced the winners of the 2016 NACDS Total Store Expo Product Showcase. Products ranging from health and beauty to seasonal items were on display in the “Product Showcase” on the exhibit floor. The Showcase provided increased visibility for suppliers to market their products to retailers.

Evaluated by the retail attendees, winners of this year’s “Product Showcase” are:

Baby Care:
Company: Oilogic
Booth: Booth 1959
Name of Product: Oilogic Essential Oil Care

Company: Mondelez International
Booth: Booth 2133
Name of Product: Oreo Thins

Cosmetics & Fragrances:
Company: SinfulColors / Pure Ice
Booth: Booth 1041
Name of Product: SinfulColors

General Merchandise:
Company/Booth: Navajo Incorporated
Booth: Booth 1651
Name of Product: Qi Wireless Charger

Company: Apothecary Products
Booth: Booth 1153
Name of Product: Ezy Dose Easy Fill Pill Planners

Home Healthcare:
Company: 23andMe
Booth: Booth 2431
Name of Product: 23andMe Personal Genetic Service

Household Products/Non-Edible Consumables:
Company: EO Products
Booth: Booth 965
Name of Product: Everyone Aromatherapy

Personal Care/HBC:
Company: OraLabs, Inc.
Booth: Booth 881
Name of Product: Waterless by Gillette Venus

Pharmacy Operations Equipment & Services:
Company: First Databank, Inc. (FDB)
Booth: Booth 2446
Name of Product: Meducation

Pharmacy Products:
Company: Dexcom, Inc.
Booth: Booth 2923
Name of Product: Dexcom G5 Mobile Continuous Glucose Monitoring System

Photos of the Product Showcase, as well as of other aspects of the NACDS Total Store Expo, are available via Flickr.

This release can also be found on NACDS.org.

Apothecary Products Finalizes Acquisition of Health Enterprises

Leading Consumer Health Products Company Expands Portfolio

MINNEAPOLIS, August 2, 2016 – Apothecary Products, LLC, a leading innovator, manufacturer and distributor of consumer healthcare products and pharmacy supplies, has announced the acquisition of Health Enterprises, Inc. based in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Health Enterprises develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of consumer health products under the Acu-Life® brand, as well as private label. Health Enterprises will operate as an independent business unit of Apothecary Products.  There will be no significant changes to day-to-day business operations for the foreseeable future.

Nathan Hanson, President and CEO of Apothecary Products, stated, “We are very excited to bring these two complementary companies together. This acquisition reinforces our core market position in medication management while greatly enhancing our eye, ear and injury care portfolio. Additionally, through combined best practice and insight sharing, our abilities are greatly enhanced to provide innovative self-care solutions for consumers and greater growth to our customers. I have great admiration for the Health Enterprises team and their ability to deliver meaningful innovation that truly benefits customers and consumers.  I would like to personally thank Glenn Leman, former owner and CEO of Health Enterprises, for his leadership and vision in building a truly strong organization.”  Mr. Leman will continue in a consultative role within the new organization.

“We are excited about the opportunity to leverage the strengths of both organizations to better serve our customers and consumers with innovative solutions,” stated Brendan Leonard, President of Health Enterprises. “Our expanded portfolio and combined expertise in delivering consumer preferred solutions will provide a strong platform for future innovation and growth.”

About Health Enterprises:
Health Enterprises develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of consumer health products under the Acu-life® brand, as well as private label. The portfolio includes pill reminders, oral syringes, ear plugs and first aid products. Health Enterprises was founded in 1973 and is based in North Attleboro, Massachusetts and currently partners with customers in over 50 countries globally.  Visit www.healthenterprises.com to learn more.


About Apothecary Products:
Apothecary Products is a category innovator offering both branded and private label solutions to customers that include the majority of the US retailers (food, drug, mass, club), independent pharmacies and wholesalers with an international presence in over 80 countries. Apothecary Products’ brands Ezy Dose®, Flents®, Protechs® and Wipe ‘N Clear® are market leaders in the medication management, pharmacy supply and eye, ear and injury care categories.  Apothecary Products is headquartered in Burnsville, Minnesota and has several strategic manufacturing partners in the U.S. and internationally. Visit www.apothecaryproducts.com to learn more.

Pills, Spills and Mix Ups: Tips for Medication Management

From Medline Industries

I will never forget her confusion, the sudden decline in being able to care for herself or function. Overnight, she became debilitated and aged. That “she” was my paternal grandmother, a woman who took on a bear by staring it down, ready to fire her gun if it moved. The bear knew she wasn’t kidding. When I rushed her to the hospital, I was shocked to learn that she had a severe electrolyte imbalance caused by three different doctors prescribing diuretics and blood pressure medications. None had checked to see what she was currently taking, none had told her what to stop.

That was in 1982. Fast forward to 2016 and a phone call from a dear friend of mine who had just rushed her mother to the hospital. Her mother had declined overnight and upon exploration, they found she was taking multiple medications that caused an adverse reaction. Medication reconciliation had not occurred from the hospital to the home setting which led to her taking all of her medications – past and present…[more]

Press Release – Apothecary Products® Expands Consumer Health Portfolio with Acquisition of Santa Barbara Medco

December 17, 2015, Burnsville, Minnesota – Apothecary Products LLC, a leading innovator, manufacturer, marketer, and distributor of consumer healthcare products and pharmacy supplies, has acquired St. Paul, Minnesota-based Santa Barbara Medco LLC (SBM) from Summit Medical, LLC. The acquisition closed on December 16, 2015.

SBM develops, manufactures and markets its Physicians’ Choice® brand of Ear products for both medical professionals and consumers. SBM’s broad range of products include ear wax removals, foam ear plugs, ear drops, ear putty ear plugs, neoprene head bands and ear healthy dietary protections. SBM was founded in 1980 and was originally based in Santa Barbara, California.

Nathan Hanson, Apothecary Products President and CEO, stated, “On behalf of the entire Apothecary Products team, we are excited to have SBM join our family of product offerings. Not only do the products complement and strengthen our consumer health business, but they also augment our presence within the Eye and Ear product categories within several of our key retail customers.”


Apothecary Products offers customers both over-the-counter consumer products and behind-the-counter pharmacy supplies, spanning across three categories, including pharmacy supply, medication management, and home healthcare. Led by its medication compliance line of products, Apothecary Products is a category innovator offering both branded and private label solutions to our customers who include independent and national retail pharmacies, food, club and mass retailers, distributors and wholesalers worldwide.
Apothecary Products is headquartered in Burnsville, Minnesota and has several strategic manufacturing partners in the U.S. and internationally. Please visit www.apothecaryproducts.com to learn more.

Study: Pharmacist adherence interventions help lower overall health costs

Drug Store News, PITTSBURGH – Community pharmacists can dramatically help their patients stick to their prescription regimens, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. The findings, reported Monday in Health Affairs, also suggest that greater adherence to medications can lead to a reduction in emergency room visits and hospital admissions, thereby lowering healthcare costs for a variety of chronic conditions, including diabetes and asthma…

Image attribution: Drug Store News