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Career Story: VP Of A Pharmacist Professional Association

VP Of A Pharmacist Professional Association

Job Title: VP Of Pharmacy Services/Government Affairs

Education: BS in Pharmacy, University of Michigan. Licensed to practice pharmacy.

Previous Experience: Prior to my current position I was most recently Chief Policy Officer and Senior Vice President of Government and Professional Affairs at a professional association. In this capacity, I oversaw the Association's legislative and consumer outreach activities, as well as professional practice and development, and student initiatives.

Prior to joining the professional association I served as Vice President of State Government Affairs for a large trade association where I was responsible for leading the development and implementation of the association's state legislative, regulatory and political agenda. I also served as the co-president for a coalition alliance between my association and that representing similar interests.

Before the trade association I spent over 19 years with a mass-merchant in numerous positions within the pharmacy division. I began my career as a graduate intern and upon licensure, was a community pharmacist for eight years. I was then promoted to various positions including Pharmacy District Manager, Director of Pharmacy Operations, Director Pharmacy Health Services and Third Party and finally Director, Government and Trade Relations where I represented more than 1,500 pharmacy locations on state and federal pharmacy and health care issues.

Job Tasks: This is a newly created position in which I will spearhead the association's new pharmacy public affairs program launched to strengthen industry advocacy on federal pharmacy policy and provide members with a clinical perspective in identifying and developing policy.

A key focus of our membership is to aggressively and effectively advocate the industry's pharmacy positions to influence/impact federal pharmacy policy.

Essential Job Functions: Unify and strengthen the voice of supermarket and mass market pharmacy to the federal government. I will analyze federal pharmacy issues, supervise development of member positions and plan strategies on federeal pharmacy issues. Engaging the membership on issues of importance to their industry is key. Washington lawmakers would much rather hear from their constituents back home as opposed to association lobbyists based in DC.

As this is a start up operation, it's critical that I create a dedicated source of funding to support the Pharmacy Services program. An annual strategic business conference and revenue sharing opportunities will be a focus.

I'll work actively to manage the association's contacts within pharmacy and pharmacist organizations and within the federal government. Basically, this position is the voice for our members's pharmacy operations within the industry.

My position has a large speaking component, as I travel around the country to various industry meetings and conventions. I spend about 25% of my time on the road. It's the continued networking that keeps the position alive and keeps me motivated.

I also manage outside policy analysts and lobbying consultants. It's critical to have outside expertise when dealing with such a highly regulated industry.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best - ability to build a new department from the ground up. I love working at an association where you're primary responsibility it truly to represent your member's interests to a broader audience outside of the industry itself.

Worst - travel can get old from time to time. I can also get wrapped up into the administrative part of the job when in a time crunch and things just need to happen.

Job Tips:
1. Network, network, network. Builing relationships in the industry you work in is key to success in the future.

2. Put yourself on stage... literally. Presenting to audiences about your industry sets apart from others in the field and helps establish your credibility.

3. Stay current on issues impacting your industry through trade journals, conferences and media.

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