Honoring an Influential Leader and Mentor
Pavers on the East Terrace of APhA Headquarters serve as a highly visible, memorable way to honor pharmacists. Many individuals purchase a paver for themselves or a loved one, but some of the most incredible stories come from those who reserve a paver for a mentor who significantly influenced their life.
Rose Babbitt, Vice President of Federal Contracts and Grants at APhA, decided this December to honor her mentor William Warner with a paver. Babbitt worked for Mr. Warner at his drug store from the time she was 15 years old until the store caught fire in 1980.
In her neighborhood, on the south side of Chicago, he was a "hero to all of us kids," Babbitt says. "He was a very positive influence not only on my life, but on other kids in the neighborhood."
After being let go from the chain drug store DeKoven, Mr. Warner later bought the same complex and opened his own store in its place - Warner's Drug Store. His return to the complex and his success there was truly inspirational. "He employed many of the kids in my neighborhood. We all got our start there," Babbitt says. She learned many important aspects of business from Mr. Warner, including how to run a store, take inventory and provide good customer service. "He would make me take inserts out of the medicine bottles and file them alphabetically. Then he would quiz me," she says. Babbitt credits Mr. Warner with teaching her to pay attention and be a responsible adult and with her decision to pursue a career in pharmacy.
In late 2013, she decided to purchase a paver at APhA Headquarters and felt compelled to dedicate it to her first mentor. "I thought, 'what if his great grandchildren came to DC and visited the American Pharmacists Association to see if there was any mention of their great grandfather'," she says.