There are those who consider living to 50 to be a “well-earned” age, which makes a career, at one company, lasting 50 years a true milestone. Almost no one can go a step further and say that they have achieved this in one singular hometown location.
One very talented and lucky Walmart pharmacist has reached this achievement, Gonzales’ own Bruce Blackwell.
Blackwell celebrated this milestone with both his family and coworkers on Wednesday, Sept. 7, in honor of his 50 years work for Walmart, serving the community. Filling prescriptions, helping patients and residents and answering those questions are all part of the duties requiring a pharmacist’s skills.
Blackwell began his journey as a staff pharmacist for Walmart in Gonzales in 1972 and worked under the manager and gradually grew from there.
“It's just been an incredible journey. The people here just opened up and accepted me. It’s just been such an overwhelming and wonderful experience, I cannot express it in words,” Blackwell said.
Two of Blackwell’s current coworkers, Daniel Trevino and Tonya Chiappetta, have known him for more than five years. Chiappetta, who is Walmart’s Health and Wellness Market Director, has known Blackwell for six years, and relays that it is an honor to work with such a dedicated, hard-working individual in the company.
“He cares for his patients. They come in to ask for him; he doesn’t have to do anything but show up, and they trust him. And it's just been a phenomenal career path that he's taken and I couldn't be more prouder to be a part of it,” Chiappetta said.
Chiappetta describes her first meeting with Blackwell as a “loving feeling,” saying that she knew upon meeting him that he is someone who gets along with others.
“He works hard for you, so you work harder for him. There's no doubt that within minutes of meeting Bruce you know it's going to be a special relationship,” Chiappetta said.
Trevino is the store manager of the Gonzales location and has known Blackwell for four years, and acknowledges this huge milestone for his pharmacy manager.
“Bruce is an institution in this town. He's well thought of by his customers as well as the associates. He's the epitome of what Walmart principles of fundamentals are built upon, which is respect for the individual,” Trevino said.
“Sam [Walton], if he had someone in mind to be able to be the cornerstone or the model [for the company], that would have been Mr. Bruce Blackwell,” Trevino said.
When talking about his secret of working in his role for 50 years, Blackwell immediately thought about his mother.
“I get that from my mother, that you need to be in a job and you need to have contact with people and you need to stay active. That's what I tried and still try to do. My mother did that. She worked for years and years and years. I drew a lot from my parents,” Blackwell said.