In February 2010, Michael Damon, Market Manager for Waterloo, Iowa retired after celebrating 30 years of service with Osco (and later with CVS/pharmacy). This article is reminiscent of many people's careers during the dynamic years of Osco/Sav-on. It is reflective of the sacrifices that people made for their retail careers, the solid work ethic that made our company so strong. It also reflects the caring guidance of others that developed strong leaders for the future.
In late 1979 Pat Gulbranson from store #812 in Marshalltown, Iowa gave Mike an application for a trainee position. Several days later Wayne Davis, District Manager offered him a position in store #826 in downtown Iowa City, starting on January 7, 1980. Mike working with Dave Kendall, store manager. He was promoted to a 2nd assistant in April of 1980. From Dave, he learned receiving, the basics of advertising and working the sales floor every day. In September of 1980 Mike was promoted to 1st assistant and moved to store #881 in Clinton, working manager Vern Miller. Vern taught him how to work with and run a crew, how to control the stores inventory but also get every dime you could out of merchandise. In October 1981, Michael was asked by Mr. (Wayne) Davis to move to store #890 Kalamazoo, Michigan Central Region District 10. There he worked with Dick Davis, District Manager and Denny Zimmerman, Market Manager. Denny taught him how to write the longest work list and transfer that work list to assignment cards and then follow up on both!
In March of 1982 he moved back to District #2 and went to store #862 in Keokuk and working with store manager Warren Bennett. From Warren he learned how to buy product off system and then price it to make as much margin as possible. He also learned how to work in the pharmacy along side of the pharmacist. Sometime during the next year Jim Young became the District Manager and our District became #14. Mr. Young was there for short time and then moved back to Chicago to take on a Marketing role. He was replaced by Ken Walker as District Manager and that group of stores now became District #1.
In March of 1983, Mike was asked to go to store #814 in West Burlington. There Michael worked with Roger McWhirter, store manager. From Roger he learned how to listen to your crew and learn from their knowledge and how to work hard. Mike says that nobody worked as hard as Roger.
In January of 1984, Mike was promoted to store manager and moved back to store #862 in Keokuk, Iowa. In September of 1985, he was offered a move to store #2129 Omaha, Nebraska. This was a former Skaggs Market and the stores were changing to Osco Drug stores. Here he worked with Bill Stevens, District Manager and Stan Petersen, Market Manager. From Stan and Michaels peer store managers Mo Murray, and Don Westerlin, Mike learned the value of friendship in the business. In March of 1987, he left Omaha and went to store #2188 Independence, Missouri. Here he worked with Budd Morris, District Manager and then later Matt Miles, District Manager.
In 1989 Mike moved to store #2603 in Blue Springs, Missouri. In February of 1991, Michael relocated to store #837 Waterloo, Iowa. Here again he worked with Ken Walker, District Manager. In 1994 he moved to store #867 Waterloo, Iowa and shortly thereafter became Market Manager for the Waterloo and stayed until February of 2010. There were several different District Managers while I was there, Ken Walker, Peggy Pfaltzgraff-Holden, Cal Schwandt, Stan Petersen and Sean Murphy and the store numbering changed based on the company of ownership at any time from #867 under Osco/American Drug Stores, 5067 under Osco/Albertsons, and finaly 8544 CVS/pharmacy.
Michael and his family will remain in Waterloo for the near future as he moves into this retirement. The Alumni Club wishes Michale the best in his retirement and thank him for his many contributions over his 30 years of service.