Thomas Edison once said, “I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent it.” Edison was a prolific innovator with over 1,000 patents in his name. I believe he captured the true spirit of an entrepreneur with his statement. Entrepreneurs are visionaries who are not satisfied with the status quo.
While others see insurmountable challenges, they see opportunity. I have had the good fortune to visit with many great entrepreneurs, and I am always inspired by their desire to create positive change in the world. I was reminded of this Edison quote during my interview this week with Bob Lomenick, owner of Tyson Drug Company in Holly Springs. Lomenick is a true entrepreneurial success story.
Lomenick grew up in Iuka and went on to get his pharmacy degree from the University of Mississippi. After graduation, he worked for an independent pharmacy in Olive Branch and later for a high volume pharmacy in Millington, Tennessee. Early in his career, he learned of an opportunity back in Mississippi with the owners of an independent pharmacy in Holly Springs — Tyson Drug Company. Lomenick moved back and went to work for the owners and over a period of several years transitioned to be the owner. From that one pharmacy, he has grown over the last 30 years to three locations and began a pioneering medication adherence program.
From his customer interactions, he observed that patients were often having trouble managing multiple medications and following the proper dosing schedule. He noticed that many customers ended up in nursing homes simply because they could not manage their medications properly. Based on these observations, he created a program called RxSync to synchronize patient refills by combining strip packaging technology with a comprehensive medication therapy management process. Lomenick now serves thousands of customers with this program throughout the region, and he is recognized as one of the leading independent pharmacists in the country. In fact, he was named the 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards. Pharmacists come from all over the country to Holly Springs to learn from Lomenick on how to develop this type of innovative program.
Lomenick shared with me that he has always been one to take calculated risks. Entrepreneurs like Lomenick are never satisfied with the status quo. They are always looking to improve the way things are done.He shared that it took him a long time, but he has truly learned to trust his gut instinct. This gives him the courage to act on “out of the box” ideas. As Apple® founder Steve Jobs said, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
Lomenick attributes his success to having great people and well developed processes to ensure consistency and accountability. With over 30 employees, Tyson Drug Company has a family atmosphere with a passionate focus on the customer. Lomenick leads by example and makes sure every employee knows they are important to the success of the organization. In addition, Lomenick is a “roll up his sleeves” kind of leader that leads by example.
I enjoy learning of entrepreneurial success stories like Lomenick and Tyson Drug Company. I believe it is important to see how other Mississippi entrepreneurs are taking risks and making a national impact. I am excited to see how Lomenick continues to expand his business and innovate in the important realm of patient medication adherence.
» Martin Willoughby is a business consultant and regular contributing columnist for the Mississippi Business Journal. He serves as Chief Operating Officer of Butler Snow Advisory Services, LLC and can be reached at martin.willoughby@ butlersnow.com.