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Springfield, MO

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2011 Men of the Year Honoree: Lynn Morris

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Even when Lynn Morris opened his first Family Pharmacy store in 1977, he envisioned that it would grow into something much larger. Using a hands-on leadership approach, he’s seen that dream become reality.

Family Pharmacy has more than 20 retail stores, as well as a few nursing home pharmacies and ancillary businesses such as home medical supply. As president and owner, Morris guides a staff of more than 200 employees.

“I work side-by-side with my employees, never asking of them anything that I am not willing to do myself,” Morris says.

That effort seems to be paying off for Morris and his team. Family Pharmacy posted $75 million in 2010 revenues and won a Springfield Business Journal Economic Impact Award in July in the Kings category for companies in business 30 years or more.
Morris says business ownership has brought many highs and lows through the years, enabling him to shape his leadership and influence.

“I believe the real mark of a leader is the response to the lows,” he says. “Most people can be leaders when things are going good. It takes real character to rally in the tough times.”

A recent tough time occurred in May, when the city of Joplin was hit by an EF-5 tornado. Though his store in that city wasn’t hit, it did lose power and water, and Morris and his team found themselves in the thick of providing disaster relief. Morris headed to Joplin the day after the tornado, using generators to work 12 days straight with a staff team from Springfield to reinforce the company’s Joplin staff.

“We were filling prescriptions for patients from (seven area) pharmacies that were destroyed. These patients had lost everything,” Morris says.

Family Pharmacy’s crew found plenty to do, from triaging those who were hurt and providing wound care, to feeding the hungry.

“Throughout the weeks that have followed, we have not turned one person away,” Morris says, noting that the company has donated truckloads of food, water and supplies, as well as more than 600 shoes for those with foot conditions.

Helping others is nothing new for Morris, who has served on the boards of directors of numerous groups, including Council of Churches of the Ozarks, American Diabetes Association and March of Dimes. His philanthropic philosophy spreads to his company, which has an employee-contribution-funded Helping Hands fund to assist employees and customers in need and also helps numerous charities, including Children’s Miracle Network and American Cancer Society.

Morris also invests time in helping others succeed, noting that true leaders are those who empower and encourage others.

“There are very few things you can do alone. It takes a team approach,” he says.

From 2011 Men of the Year
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