More than a century ago, pharmacist Charles Walgreen opened his first store in Chicago and soon became known for the lightning speed of his home-delivery orders and how well he served his customers. Now, more than 100 years later, the company Charlie Walgreen started is America’s largest retail pharmacy chain with more than 56-hundred stores. And it’s still delivering on that great customer service earning the rank of number one most admired company among food and drugstores by fortune magazine…
You might think with all this success, the company Charles Walgreen started would rest on its laurels. Think again.
Instead, under the leadership of our speaker tonight Jeff Rein…Walgreens continues to pioneer many of the modern store and pharmacy features we all expect when we go to pick up our prescriptions and those necessities in life that we can’t find anywhere else. Walgreens has found the green space between technology and customer service. Go online and you can shop for all your pharmaceutical needs through Walgreens-dot-com. Travel and you can quickly be connected with your “home” Walgreens through the company’s computerized pharmacies system.
Webster University is benefiting tonight from the success of one of our alumni. Don Huonker, MBA-1999, is the Corporate Vice President of Pharmacy Service for Walgreens. Don played a key role in convincing his boss to be here tonight.
Jeff Rein knows the perfect prescription for success. Ask him why his company continues to get it right on the corner streets across America and chances are he will take you to one of his stores. Once there, he will introduce you to one of his employees and say “Here is the reason”. That’s not because Jeff Rein sees that one store out of 5,638 Walgreens across the country as “different”. It is because that person, that employee…is “the difference.”
Jeff Rein has gone on record saying his management philosophy is respect for his employees and the belief they can do the job needed As a leader he knows the importance of letting his employees take care of their customers…just like Charles Walgreen did more than 100 years ago.
I believe that the true test of leading is not what you do when all is well and things are just alright. The real test of leading is when you face significant challenges that test your will to lead… It is times like this when one’s capacity to lead is transparent. Leading is an exercise in courage and those who do it well remind us all of the plurality of leading…that, in fact, leadership can not be exercised along. Jeff Rein understands that better than any other.
Today we have extended an invitation to our special guest Jeff Rein, the CEO of Walgreens, to share his leadership journey with us.
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming to Webster University President and CEO of Walgreens…Mr. Jeff Rein.
"The very essence of our role as faculty is for us to be good teachers. "
- Dr. Benjamin Akande
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