Career & Education

Fontana Pharmacy hails its 'three musketeers'

Sunday, January 28, 2018

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THE strength of any business depends heavily on the people it employs. As Fontana Pharmacy approaches its 50th anniversary in 2018, it is celebrating team members who have been crucial to its success, and will be honouring long-standing and dedicated employees.

“Fontana could not be where it is today without our staff,” said Kevin O'Brien Chang. “Our parents Angela and Bobby Chang founded Fontana based on four core principles — service, respect, family, community. They passed on this culture not only to us current directors — Ray, Anne and I — but also to our foundation managers Ruthlyn May-Sherwood, Fay Stewart-Plunkett and Cauleen Forbes.”

He added: “Our 'three musketeers' have all been with us over 40 years, and have hired and coached new staff down the years in adopting the Fontana culture. They make sure everyone at Fontana not only believes, but continually practises our principles, and still come to work each day with a passion for service and the company.”

Plunkett has been with the company since 1972 and is now a manager at the Mandeville store.

“The Fontana culture is all about providing a warm environment for customers. I learned how to deal with customers from day one and always try to pass on what I have learnt to my team members. I have always admired the human element of Fontana. The directors have always stressed a culture of customer friendliness and employee empowerment, and the importance of people — the people employed to the business and the people we cater to. We were taught that all of our customers should be treated equally with respect regardless of colour, class or creed,” she said.

Sherwood started out as a sales associate at the Mandeville location in 1970, and is currently a manager at the Kingston store.

“My kids have all worked at Fontana, and all of them have developed strong work ethics and discipline. This shows how much Fontana cares for their employees and youth in general,” she said.

To date, she said, one of her children has maintained a professional relationship with Fontana, working as a business development manager at one of their major suppliers.

Forbes, another long-standing employee, is also a manager at the Kingston location.

“I came to Fontana Mandeville in 1974, and one of my favourite memories was working very closely with Mrs Angela Chang, one of the founders. She taught me a lot about running a business and maintaining strong relationships within the workplace,” said Forbes.

“Fontana has been my home for decades and I can see myself retiring here. I have no regrets.”

Fontana began its 50th anniversary celebrations on January 17. Throughout 2018, it will host events to honour the company's history, customers and its employees.

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