After graduating from Northwestern University in 1964, Stan Carlson joined Jewel Food Stores as a management trainee. Two years later, the Osco merchandising group, under George Hilden and Glen Henricks, asked Stan to join the group in Melrose Park, Illinois as a buyer. Stan bought a variety of categories with a heavy concentration in seasonal, buying Trim A Tree and patio for most of seven years. In 1973 Stan was named Advertising Manager of Osco Drug, reporting to John Spurlock.
In 1975, Stan was named the Regional Marketing Manager for the Chicago Region of Osco Drug, reporting to Byron Luke and Haven Ready. For nine years, he helped develop and coordinate the marketing, advertising, and pricing programs for the 140 stores in this region. This was a particularly satisfying period in his career as the Chicago “team” turned these stores from money losers into a high volume, very profitable division. In 1985, Stan was named a Director of Marketing for American Drug Stores, responsible for many of the sundry categories, again with a heavy emphasis on seasonal.
In 1994, as American Stores consolidated general merchandise buying for all the divisions, including the grocery divisions, Stan was named Director of Seasonal Planning for American Stores. Later, from 1996 thru 1997 Stan was responsible for the Promotional Planning, Planogramming and Analysis departments serving all general merchandise departments in American Stores.
Stan retired in 1998, after 34 years with the company. He’s been active as a board member of the Alumni Club since then, and has contributed many Connections articles over the last 12 years. Stan and his wife Mary have been married for 41 years and live in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. They have two sons. Eric works for the University of Nebraska and lives with his wife Stacy, and their two children in Lincoln, Nebraska. Chris works for Jewel Osco and lives in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Stan and Mary have made a priority in retirement to do a lot of traveling, which never seemed possible while working. In addition to favorites Florida, Hawaii and Las Vegas, they have tried to work in one major overseas trip each year. They’ve enjoyed cruises to Alaska, Athens and the Greek Islands, the Panama Canal, Rome to Venice, and Tahiti. This last summer they took their first river cruise from Paris to Prague.
So far in 2010, vacation plans include going with the whole family to Disney in Florida. The grandchildren are at an age where this will be a fun trip, and one they’re looking forward to.