VANCOUVER, Wash. — Hi-School Pharmacy chief operating officer John Crawford plans to retire at the end of this month.
The Pacific Northwest drug chain said Tuesday that Crawford, who has been with Hi-School for 43 years, is slated to step down as COO on July 31. At that time, he will be succeeded by Rick Meyer, who is being promoted from his current post of senior vice president of operations. Meyer has been with the company for 34 years.
“I have had the privilege of working with John for over 30 years,” Hi-School Pharmacy president Jack Holt said in a statement. “His commitment to customer service and our company has set the bar high. We will miss his leadership and wish him well in his well-deserved retirement.”
Crawford’s nearly 60-year retail career started in 1957 at Zapp’s Drugs in Portland, Ore. After Zapp’s, he worked at Bazar, a Portland-based department store chain.
He came to Hi-School Pharmacy in 1973 when he went to work for Steve Oliva, who was then the drug chain’s owner and a former colleague at Bazar. Crawford was appointed as a buyer of over-the-counter and health/beauty products and candy, and oversaw the operation of the Hazel Dell store, which at the time was Hi-School’s fifth store. The chain later grew to 43 stores, with Crawford serving as general manager.
An independently owned and operated company, Hi-School has approximately 30 drug stores in Oregon and southwestern Washington. Five locations combine a Hi-School pharmacy with an Ace Hardware store.
The company also operates eight stand-alone Ace Hardware outlets plus an affiliate pharmacy program that extends across four states, including Idaho and Alaska.