|Featured Retiree: John Albright
John Albright's life is marked by a dedication to hard work and an instilled belief that learning is not just limited to the classroom. "I constantly learn, reinvent, grow and develop with every opportunity I have," said John.
He traces his passion for hard work to his time at Pfizer. On his desk at home he keeps a brass coin with the Pfizer values on one side and six leader behaviors on the other; a reminder of what he has accomplished and a motivator for him to continue his leadership in the community.
Time at Pfizer
John began working at Pfizer in 1971 as a professional sales representative for the pharmaceutical sales division of Pfizer Labs in Los Angeles. In this role, John called on physicians and connected them with his knowledge of Pfizer products. After 11 years in the Pfizer Labs field sales force, John left L.A. as a district manager, and was promoted to the Pfizer New York headquarters in New York City where he worked for 23 more years until he retired in 2005 at a director level.
In New York, John first worked in the International Learning and Development Division and spent 16 years traveling to over 50 countries where he focused on Management Development. "It was a great opportunity to travel and equip company organizations abroad with different learning tools. I enjoyed learning how to tailor learning and training programs to specific cultures," said John.
John was recognized by the company for his leadership and development contributions. "The most rewarding aspect of my time at Pfizer was helping people grow and seeing them succeed in their own roles," said John.
Training for Life Beyond the Classroom
During his time at Pfizer, John was a member of the Naval Reserve Force, serving duty one weekend each month and two weeks each summer. John served as a commanding officer for five consecutive commands and retired as a surface warfare designated captain (06), one level below Rear Admiral. During this time he was he was recognized with the Golden Anchor Award and was selected to receive the Navy Commendation Medal for his service.
John continued to leverage his skills both in the office and in the Navy; he was the first person in all of Pfizer to be nationally certified in human performance improvement.
Although it's been 10 years, John still finds himself applying his Pfizer experience in his retirement, "I revisit my Pfizer notes and apply them to my volunteer and community service work on a community, state, and even national level."
John currently serves on three nonprofit boards: the Missouri Community Service Commission, America's Service Commissions, and the elder board of his local church.
John is in his third term with the Missouri Community Service Commission in a governor-appointed position as Vice Chair of the commission and Chair of the legislative education committee. The AmeriCorps State funding grants administered by the commission gives young people an opportunity to serve in communities and practice leadership. According to John, "AmeriCorps national service opportunities build a pipeline of citizen leaders who strengthen local nonprofits trying to fulfill unmet community needs".
He is also serving his second term as a board member on America's Service Commissions (ASC) at a national level which liaisons with a federal corporation that provides AmeriCorps State grant moneyfor recruiting AmeriCorps members who help provide disaster services, tutoring to at-risk students, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and assistance to returning veterans in communities across America.
Last year, he was certified as a Pro Bono Champion with the national Billion + Change initiative, housed and managed by Points of Light, the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. This year he was selected to also serve on the Corporate Institute Leadership Faculty, a Points of Light national advisory body. Here he collaborates with experts and practitioners from corporate, non-profit, and academic communities who are committed to sharing expertise in areas such as skill-based volunteering.
"I just like to work hard," said John. "I have a strong work ethic that's been with me for a long time. I see opportunities to help others and I find it gives me the chance to apply skills that I've been using my entire life."
John was recently recognized as part of the 12th Annual Friends of National Service Awards. This award honored an individual or organization that has shown exemplary determination, creativity, and results in building support for national service among our nation's leaders. John was nominated and then selected as a finalist among a field of five national candidates. "I was very proud just to be nominated and then to be selected as a finalist was great. It was a wonderful experience."
When he's not volunteering with his non-profit organizations, John enjoys his time boating with his wife Suzanne at their house on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and spending time with his grandchildren, Caleb, Avalon, Jackson, Cooper, and Katie Beth.