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LAKELAND, Fla., Nov. 17, 2022 — Drug Store News named three Publix associates to its annual list of Top Women in Health, Wellness & Beauty. The honorees in the Rising Stars category are Jacque Rusch and Julie Lalicon. Kathy Leonard is recognized with the Business Excellence award for the second year in a row.

The Rising Star Award recognizes women who are considered up-and-coming leaders in their profession. A recipient is someone to watch who has had significant accomplishments and/or achieved notable success. 

The Business Excellence Award recognizes women who have demonstrated achievement, growth and success. A recipient knows the importance of innovative ideas, education, decision-making, mentoring and community service.

“We are honored to see our leaders recognized for their outstanding contributions to our company and their communities,” said Publix Vice President of Pharmacy Dain Rusk. “We’re proud of the work Jacque, Julie and Kathy do to make the industry better and more inclusive. We know they will continue to do exceptional work to support Publix Pharmacy’s growth and success.”

Rising Star Award honorees
Jacque Rusch, Director of Managed Care
Jacque is the director of a complex area of the pharmacy business with a deep understanding of the industry’s intricacies. She continually thinks of new and innovative ways to improve the business processes, which support thousands of Publix Pharmacy customers each day. Jacque is the quintessential professional and leader of her team, taking time to invest in, mentor and develop her associates so they can grow personally and professionally.

Julie Lalicon, Senior Manager of Specialty Pharmacy
Julie is a board-certified pharmacist and a hands-on leader committed to providing optimal care and service to her associates and patients. She has in-depth knowledge of the specialty pharmacy industry and a knack for using innovation to identify solutions to complex business opportunities. Julie has helped significantly grow specialty medications sales at Publix. 

Business Excellence Award honoree
Kathy Leonard, Director of Retail Pharmacy Operations
Kathy is responsible for ensuring effective and efficient operations across all Publix pharmacies, including directing, coaching and mentoring pharmacy operations managers and administrative associates. Over the last two years, she spearheaded the implementation of a historical COVID-19 vaccination program. Her teams showcased the impact pharmacists can make when they are included as key contributors in the health care system. Kathy is a two-time Business Excellence Award winner.

To read about the recipients of this year’s Top Women in Health, Wellness & Beauty award, visit