Arica Drummond-Clay (B.A. Finance ’00 and B.S. Zoology ’00, MBA Human Resources and International Business ’04) is senior director and human resources business partner for the customer distribution experience organization in the pharmaceutical solutions and services business unit at McKesson. She’s been with McKesson since 2017 and currently leads a team to provide strategic HR support to more than 5,000 field-based employees. On Oct. 21, she was featured as guest speaker in the fall 2021 Roy S. Pung Executive Speaker Series to share her expertise with MBA students.

Arica Drummond-Clay and Dean Sanjay Gupta at MSU

Arica Drummond-Clay (B.A. Finance ’00 and B.S. Zoology ’00, MBA Human Resources and International Business ’04) and Dean Sanjay Gupta

McKesson Corporation is an impact-driven organization that touches virtually every aspect of health. With nearly 200 years of experience, McKesson’s teams work to advance health outcomes for all by partnering with biopharma companies, care providers, pharmacies, manufacturers, governments and others to deliver insights, products and services that make quality care more accessible and affordable. In August 2020, McKesson was selected to support the U.S. government in distributing COVID-19 vaccines and ancillary supply kits.

It’s no surprise that health care is changing rapidly. For McKesson, that means having to adapt to changes now more than ever as technology is advancing, populations are getting older and chronic diseases are becoming more common. With an impressive 99% accuracy rate, distribution is McKesson’s core competency to ensure that patients’ time-sensitive needs are consistently met. Human resources play a vital role in keeping this 24/7 business up and running.

As a business partner to all departments within the enterprise, HR acts as a trusted advisor to support all people leaders. Drummond-Clay shared how continuous improvement is necessary to make progressive changes, and it’s fostered by quarterly conversations, performance management, promoting autonomy and providing routine feedback.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are also valuable components that have been brought to the forefront. McKesson CEO Brian Tyler has effectively advocated for DEI efforts and champions leadership behaviors such as embracing an enterprise mindset and being open and honest. Drummond-Clay explained how McKesson understands that diverse teams make better decisions and to think about diversity from a broader lens.

She also described how McKesson transitioned to an HR shared services structure. Although this was not an easy transition for some employees, this change allowed HR professionals to dedicate more time to focus on strategic HR work such as organization design, employee engagement and DEI. Some of their in-process initiatives include evaluation of the employee value proposition to attract today’s employees’ desire for flexibility, allocating one day off for all employees to pay attention to their own wellness and communicating a company-wide vaccine mandate.

Prior to joining McKesson, Drummond-Clay held a variety of HR business partner roles at Frito-Lay and Johnson & Johnson. Along with her experiences there, earning her Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification became a key differentiator for her. Earning the designation required her to demonstrate strong technical skills, such as those related to the statistics courses she took during her time at the Broad College. Achieving this certification also helped her establish unique credibility as an HR professional among her non-HR colleagues.

Drummond-Clay also got personable about her career path and life priorities. She provided honest advice to the students on how to approach their future careers while establishing a healthy work-life balance, such as setting boundaries early, continuously striving to learn and grow and taking care of yourself by using all your vacation time to relax, recharge and enjoy things outside of work.

Outside of her passion for HR, Drummond-Clay takes great pride in her family and dedicates her weekends to spending quality time with her husband, 8-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son. Like many, she shared the challenges of parenting during the pandemic with both parents working from home and two children learning from home who needed attention.

Over her career, she has been recognized for her outstanding work by receiving several HR Leadership and Excellence Awards, including the McKesson HR Impact Award after only 18 months with McKesson. Drummond-Clay exemplifies how you can balance a robust, successful career without having to sacrifice aspects of personal life that you value most.

More information on upcoming events in the 2021–22 Pung Speaker Series, as well as information on past events, is available at the Full-Time MBA program page.