GMDC’s Finance And Administration VP Retiring, Engstrom Named As Successor

Ann McConnell and James Engstrom.

Ann McConnell and James Engstrom.

Ann McConnell will retire as Global Market Development Center’s VP of finance and administration at the end of the year. James Engstrom has been selected to join the GMDC team to succeed her in the role.

McConnell has served GMDC and its member community for more than 30 years, having joined in 1988 as an administrative assistant. Since then, she has advanced through the organization, earning numerous promotions including to her current role 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,” said 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.”

In August, the GMDC executive team selected Engstrom for the role. He has begun the management transition of all financial aspects of the organization, including its annual budget, investments, employee benefit programs and more. Prior to joining GMDC, Engstrom was engagement director at CliftonLarsonAllen and co-founder and president of Eagle Trace Consulting in Broomfield, Colorado.

“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.

Engstrom has a master’s degree in business administration from Regis University. He began his career at Leprino Foods and has held positions at Arthur Andersen, US West, MediaOne, @Link Networks, McData, Applied Films Corp., Tomkins plc and Gates Corp.

“Jim is the ideal team member to continue Ann’s legacy,” Spear continued. “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.”

Colorado-based GMDC serves an ecosystem of more than 600 general merchandise and health beauty wellness retailers, wholesalers, suppliers and service/solution member companies. Its combined member volume represents more than 125,000 retail outlets and more than $500 billion in sales.


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A word nerd, grocery geek and three-year member of The Shelby Report. She is a proud new homeowner and a great lover of avocado toast.

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