It was with great pleasure that Wal-Mart Stores Inc announced the selection of Ron Franklin as district manager of the year for the Pharmacy Division at the year-beginning meeting in Kansas City, Mo, in February 2006.
"Ron has always been passionate about our company and is a great leader by example," said Ken Murray, pharmacy manager in Gulfport, Miss. "He is knowledgeable about his position and brings out the best in those he represents. He is very concerned about his associates and always makes it a point to show his appreciation for jobs well done."
"Wal-Mart's core beliefs of service, respect, and excellence are characteristics that Ron demonstrates daily," Murray continued. "He provides leadership by observing, listening, and developing the skills of the associates in order to build leadership at the store level. Along with that, he develops detailed action plans and implements them to meet customer needs."
None of this leadership was more apparent than when Hurricane Katrina unleashed her fury on the Gulf Coast region in August 2005. Franklin organized temporary pharmacies in 2 different locations. He kept his associates focused on the customer and worked diligently, coordinating the efforts of visiting pharmacists to and from stores while maintaining a clean, safe work environment for everyone. His ability to communicate clearly and stay organized and his strong work ethic were invaluable to Wal-Mart's being able to provide excellent customer service from the Pharmacy Division in the wake of a major natural disasterall this while dealing with damage he incurred to his personal residence.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is a global company with more than 1.3 million associates worldwide and nearly 5000 stores across 15 countries. What makes Wal-Mart Pharmacy so successful is one core value: its people make the difference. Franklin's leadership provided thousands of Katrina victims with pharmacy services throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast region.
Franklin recalls a pharmacy associate who came to work after he had lost his residence to the storm surge and was living in a tent. Franklin asked, "Shouldn't you be taking care of your home?" The associate replied, "Wal-Mart is the best place I can be right now."
"Wal-Mart encourages a passion for excellence at every level of our business, and we're always striving to improve our customers' ability to manage their health through access to our integrated health care offerings," said Art Alderson, vice president, Wal-Mart Pharmacy. "Ron is an exemplary district manager who made a difference by putting the needs of others in front of his own."
Franklin and his wife, Suzanne, live in Ocean Springs, Miss, where he is a district manager in the Gulf Coast region. He is a native of Shreveport, La, but grew up in Lafayette, La. He graduated from pharmacy school at the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 1981 and has been with Wal-Mart Stores Inc since 1985. He has 3 children: Matthew, 22; Jennifer, 18; and Tyler, 13. He enjoys traveling, but his favorite sport is baseball, and he coaches his younger son's baseball team.