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Angie Wierzbicki highlights collaborative approach

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“I would tell any pharmacist that if you want it, you can get it.  Seek out opportunities and don’t say no.”


Snapshot:

Education

  • University of Manitoba, BSc. Pharm, MBA

Current Role

  • Group Director of Pharmacy, Canada Safeway Limited

Angie has kept the principles of collaboration, teamwork and integrity at the core of what she does every day, focusing on people. Now she leads one of the strongest pharmacy teams in Western Canada.

After 12 years with your first employer, what compelled you to join Canada Safeway?

I learned a lot straight out of school with my first employer. It was a lean operation, and I learned how to be organized and efficient. I also learned how much I loved working with people, and building a team that could work well together and get the job done. When a regional pharmacy manager position for Safeway came up, I decided to take a leap of faith and applied to a company with a solid reputation as a customer service provider which treats its employees with fairness and respect. I have never looked back.

What was one of your biggest challenges during your early years there?

This was an incredible career challenge for me. I was coming in to manage a team of pharmacists who had 25 years of experience working for this company. I had to prove myself to them and earn their trust. So I rolled up my sleeves and got busy in the dispensaries, working elbow to elbow, getting to understand Safeway operations, letting my new team get to know who I was and I in turn, them.

What compelled you to do your MBA?

I was recruited to apply at another major chain. The individual who interviewed me was a vice president of operations and had his BSc. Pharm and MBA. I figured that if I ever wanted to rise through the ranks in any organization, I needed the additional credibility of an MBA. It also boosted my confidence as a business leader. Another leap of faith that has proved very fruitful to me.

How are you managing people during this period of change?

There is currently tremendous turbulence in the profession of pharmacy. As the Group Director of Pharmacy at Canada Safeway Limited, my responsibility lies in protecting the company and attaining profit and loss targets. At the same time, I cannot lose focus on our biggest asset, our people. My job is to get the team moving as one force in one direction, capitalizing on each person’s unique talents and getting the job done.