Dennis Burns

Dennis Burns

Class of 2008

Dennis was born in Philadelphia on September 17, 1956. He attended Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, and graduated from Penn State University in 1979 with a degree in management. He has three children, Dennis Jr., Catherine and John.

Dennis got his start in retailing in 1973, stocking shelves for Thrift Drug while he was still in high school. He paid his way through college working for the company and joined Thrift full time upon his graduation. Dennis was an assistant store manager and then store manager before becoming a candy buyer in March of 1988. He spent a total of 24 years with Thrift, eventually earning the title senior buyer.

When Thrift Drug’s owner J.C. Penney Co., Inc. bought Eckerd Drug in 1997, Dennis relocated to Florida where the candy buying was centralized and worked as senior buyer until 2005 when he joined The Home Depot.

Currently a senior merchant at Home Depot, Dennis was responsible for developing and implementing a candy and snack presence in the national hardware store chain.

Offering business advice, Dennis stresses the importance of being able to learn from every boss and co-worker possible, and recognizes Enzo Cerra, of Eckerd, as having a major impact on his career, leading by example and sharing insights on managing.

Dennis was part of the Eckerd team honored with a Professional Candy Buyer Retail Achievement Award in 2002, and was named the 2007 Professional Candy Buyer of the Year for his program success at Home Depot.

He also earned Merchant of the Month recognition from both Eckerd and Thrift on several occasions and is a member of the J.C. Penney HCSC Society, recognizing honor, commitment, service and cooperation. In the industry, he supports the National Confectioners Association and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and serves on various NCA committees.

In his free time, Dennis enjoys playing golf and is an avid supporter of Penn State football. He is also involved with Kaboom!, building playgrounds and parks in association with Home Depot, the Homer Foundation and United Way.

His personal motto is – Have a sense of humor. It makes almost everything in life a little more enjoyable.