Occupation: Co-owner, Condo Pharmacy
Education: Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Professional Involvement: President-elect of the Pharmacy Society of the State of New York (PSSNY), member of National Community Pharmacists Association.
Family: mother Jean and brother Dave
Condo Pharmacy in Plattsburgh has been run by the Moore family for more than a quarter century. Steve Moore and his brother Dave were raised by pharmacist parents and went on to pursue careers in the industry. His father worked at the CVPH Medical Center pharmacy and his mother worked at Condo Pharmacy. The Moores were friends with the Condo family for generations. “My father grew up with Joe Condo’s sons and I played baseball with his grandsons,” Moore recalled.
Moore’s parents bought the business in 1993 when the former owner passed away. Steve and Dave grew up in and around Condo Pharmacy and both went off to pharmacy schools. After graduation Moore enrolled in an MBA program to round out his career.
Not long after he began his studies, his father passed away unexpectedly. The boys returned to Plattsburgh so the family could rally and find a new way forward. “We re-structured the business and the three of us became co-owners,” Moore explained.
Today, each member of the Moore family plays an important role in the business. Dave Moore is a biochemist focusing on compounding and patient care programs, while Steve Moore tackles the business side of things. Mom Jean has been going strong behind the pharmacy counter since the 1970’s and was showing no signs of slowing down when Strictly Business stopped by recently.
Following are excerpts from SB’s interview with Steve Moore.
SB: This is a family affair. Did you feel compelled to be a pharmacist when you were young or was it a natural fit for you?
SM: I grew up in the business. My father was the director of the pharmacy at the hospital. My mother worked here part-time until my parents bought the business. I always knew I wanted to work in health care. I like helping people, so I thought this was a way to do something that would impact patients’ lives in a positive way. We are very fortunate. We have our moments, but for the most part we work very well together. Not many people can say they see their mother every day, and that is a neat thing.
SB: Tell us about the culture of your business?
SM: My brother and I don’t like to sit still, and we aren’t married to tradition. We don’t keep doing things the way they have always been done if we can find a way to do them more efficiently or cost effectively. In healthcare you want to be empathetic and as sympathetic as you can. Some of our best business lines have grown by helping people who could not be helped by other locations. We aren’t afraid to make those decisions.
SB: What is the best advice you ever received?
SM: The best advice was from my parents. They taught me to treat everyone as I would want to be treated. The decisions we make and the programs we offer or choose not to offer, all affect people in our community we know personally.
SB: What does success look like to you?
SM: Being able to pay our bills on time and having time for life outside of the pharmacy. Trying to avoid working 24/7 is a work in progress. It is also a very important part of our success to keep making a difference in the lives of our patients.
SB: What habits do you have that contribute to your success?
SM: I am not afraid to ask for help. One of the great things about being involved in professional organizations is the networking and resources that are available. I am not at all shy about reaching out to the subject matter experts.
SB: If you could start your professional career over again, what would you do differently?
SM: When my father passed away, he was the businessperson in the family. My mother focused more on the clinical side. I had to learn right away how to manage the business, so I missed out on learning some clinical things that I think I would have enjoyed and been able to bring to the family business.
SB: Tell us about your approach to management and leadership.
SM: You need to hire good people who reflect your values, set your expectations for what needs to be done and then let them do what
you have hired them to do. I am not a micro manager and where there are things that are open to interpretation, I don’t need to tell them how to do everything. You have to hire people you trust and make good decisions. We are very fortunate that we have some great people working with us right now who do a fantastic job for us and for our patients.
SB: What advice would you offer to someone starting his or her business career?
SM: Trust your gut. It is your career and it is your life. You have to be comfortable with the decisions you make.
SB: How do you work with people in difficult situations?
SM: The best thing you can do is to be honest. We have had people start with us and it soon became clear that this was not the right environment for them. This is a healthcare environment, but it is also a retail environment. It’s not for everyone, and there is nothing wrong with that. People depend on us, and we don’t necessarily get to take time off the way people do in other professions. Our commitment to our patients is to be here for them when they need us.
SB: What is your favorite quote and how does it speak to you in your life?
SM: It is, ‘You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.’ From a business standpoint that means if there is something you want to add to your business, you have to take the risk and go for it.
SB: What inspires you?
SM: Our patients. We are very fortunate. There are a lot of pharmacies per capita in Plattsburgh, so we know that anyone who comes to us is driving by a few other pharmacies to get here. We appreciate that and we want to do the best we can for them.
SB: What are you most proud of professionally?
SM: That we are still here. In 2005, when my dad passed away, it was a really tough time for pharmacies. A lot of changes were taking place in the industry. Medicare Part D was particularly challenging. Almost 15 years later, we are still here.
SB: What do you believe the North Country community should do today to ensure a prosperous future?
SM: I have a lot of opinions on health care. We have to start to look to ourselves and to our neighbors here in the North Country first. We need to realize that we are capable of a lot of things here and we don’t always need to go to someone outside of the area for specialized services. We have a lot of very capable and talented people here who do a lot of great things. I think we should utilize the resources we have here and that includes the people.