APLE GROVE, Minn. — Bob Narveson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Thrifty White Pharmacy since 1999, plans to relinquish the latter two roles at the beginning of next year, when he will pass the torch to chief operating officer Justin Heiser.
The transition, announced at a Thrifty White managers meeting yesterday, represents a turning point in the career of a respected leader who transformed the employee-owned company into one of the nation’s premier regional drug chains. During Narveson’s tenure, Thrifty White — which operates 94 stores in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota — continually pushed the envelope, implementing such innovations as medication synchronization and central fill, while forging strong relationships with other health care providers and building solid specialty and long-term care pharmacy businesses.
“This chapter will have me exiting the day-to-day leadership role as president and CEO, which will allow me to continue to address industry issues and represent the organization as needed by the new team,” says Narveson, who will remain board chairman. “This role will enable me to continue to support the organization with special projects and industry events.”
Narveson started his career with Osco Drug in 1982, and he worked in various positions across the country. Eight years later, he joined Thrifty White, holding multiple senior-level positions before being named CEO.
During the course of his career, Narveson has played an active part in multiple industry and academic organizations, including the National Community Pharmacists Association, the Chain Drug Consortium, the Premier Value Alliance, Mirixa and the University of Minnesota’s Pharmacy Advisory Council. The highlight of his industry involvement was the year he spent as chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, where he remains a board member.
Heiser joined Thrifty White as a pharmacy manager in 2007, and quickly moved up the corporate ladder, serving as a district manager, vice president of pharmacy operations and executive vice president. He was named chief operating officer at the start of 2022.
As Narveson prepares to step down as Thrifty White’s chief executive, he is bullish about the company’s prospects: “The board and I look forward to great things from Justin and his team in the future.”
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