A final Takeaway: Ad majorem Dei gloriam

You’re pretty proud of where you went to high school — some would say fanatical. Where did you go, and why does it matter? I graduated from Xavier High School, here, in New York City. We call ourselves “Sons of Xavier,” and for me that always meant more than just words etched on a plaque on a wall.

Without getting into too much detail, my parents got divorced when I was 10, and I didn’t have much of a relationship with my father beyond my early teen years. I am lucky to have had a great mother — even luckier to have her in my life still. But the greatest moms in the world are challenged to teach a boy what he needs to learn to be a man. My teachers and coaches at Xavier filled that role for me.

So, I truly see myself as a “son of Xavier.” I am intensely proud of that connection. I really don’t know who or what I would be without it.

So what’s the most important thing you learned there?

The Xavier motto is to be a “man for others.” I try to live that every day.

If you could be anywhere in the world other than here where would you be? 

Wherever my wife Laura is — that’s where I want to be.

Where do you find inspiration?

In the eyes of my English bulldog “Spanky.”

What was the best advice you ever received?

It wasn’t given to me personally. It was former NCAA Basketball coaching legend Jim Valvano’s speech at the 1993 ESPN ESPYs, as he accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award just weeks before he died of brain cancer: ‘There are three things we should do every day. Number one is laugh — you should laugh every day. Number two is think — you should spend some time in thought. And three, you should have your emotions moved to tears. Think about that: If you laugh, you think and you cry, that’s a full day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.’

If you ever want to accomplish all three of those things all at once, watch his entire speech sometime on Youtube.

You’ve spent 20 years at Drug Store News. What are you most proud of?

We have done a lot of pretty awesome stuff, not the least of which was launching the industry’s first digital news platform in 1998. Today we are the online news leader in the industry — bar none — so, every morning at 4:30am ET when DSN AM hits my inbox, I am a little proud.

Aside from that one of the coolest projects I ever worked on was our Rx Impact supplement. It’s a special annual standalone edition of the magazine we created about six years ago to help NACDS educate members of Congress about the value of community pharmacy and its role in an expanding healthcare ecosystem. I am pretty proud that I was able to help tell the story of community pharmacy.

We’ve done a lot but I guess if I really had to choose just one thing to be proud of it would be the team we built here at DSN. They are the finest group of people I have ever had the privilege to work with.

Comments

- 6:02 PM
morebuck says

What's next Rob? We hope it's stand-up comedy. Best of luck. Joan and Bruce Buckley

- 6:33 AM
jay@forbesconnection.com says

I worked with Rob from the day he joined us and watched with fascination as he struggled internally as someone whose skill as a journalist allowed him to pay the bills while not so secretly aspiring to a career as a professional comedian. As the dream slowly faded and his talents were honed in writing and managing others, he began to broaden his scope, developing strong relationships with the retail and supplier communities while adding dimension and insight to his new found profession. From my perspective as his former supervisor, his growth as a journalist, nurturing Editor in Chief, relationship builder and talent as an informed and respected industry observer was nothing short of remarkable, returning value to DSN, his direct reports and all who had the pleasure of his wit, knowledge and guidance. I wish him the very best and given his transitional talents, would not be surprised to find him on the next HBO comedy special, even as he works his next editorial day job. Spanky would love it!

- 2:41 PM
johnlingnofski@altaresources.com says

Best wishes, Rob. God bless you!

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