It’s been Epic….

On Tuesday July 7th we broke some pretty big news to our Epic Pharmacy teams.  After more than 20 years as pharmacy owners, the time has come for us to pass the baton of majority ownership of the Epic Pharmacies on to David Slade, who has been my partner in a number of pharmacies within the Epic and Slade Pharmacy Groups for the past five years.

As you can imagine, this isn’t a decision Stuart and I have made lightly.  We started our working lives as pharmacists and are both filled with gratitude and appreciation for the industry that has provided us with so many opportunities over nearly thirty years.

We firmly believe that establishing and delivering a successful succession strategy is a critically important component of business management and leadership.  David’s demonstrated commitment to excellence in hospital and oncology pharmacy practice gives us great confidence that we are leaving the pharmacy businesses, and most importantly the amazing teams of people who work in those pharmacies, in exceptionally good hands.

The Epic aged care pharmacies will not be part of this transaction, they are transitioning to an external party who is more aligned with their market sector. Aged care provided the starting opportunity for my pharmacy ownership career and led to the birth of APHS Packaging (now DoseAid). Those businesses and the teams who work in them will always occupy a very special place in my heart, and I’m confident their move will bring new opportunities for growth.

Nearly twenty years ago a well executed succession strategy marked a significant milestone in our journey as pharmacy business owners, when we joined the then APHS Pharmacy owners as part of their succession planning.  Our first child Sascha was just a baby, and now as she is about to move to London to take up her university position it’s time for our ‘business baby’ to also fly the nest.  We anticipate (once COVID restrictions permit) that her move will see us spending an increasing amount of time overseas, which will be further magnified when our son Sam completes his high school education.

The question of ‘what’s next?’ has been the first thing asked by those we’ve shared our news with, and largely it’s a continuation of the activities that we’ve been involved with outside of pharmacy for some time now.  We’re launching our family office Arc31 to oversee the business and philanthropic interests we have both in Australia and overseas, and that will be my primary focus from here.  I’ll also be concluding my role as Digital Advisor to the Icon Group Board, but Stuart and I remain significant shareholders in Icon Group and fully supportive of the Icon strategic direction.  I’ll continue to play a role in the Founders Forum and Iconic Women programs at Icon, but most of my time now will be spent on Arc31 related activities – and who knows, I might even get started on that book that has been mooted for a few years now.

My pharmacy degree and time as a pharmacy owner have provided me with a truly Epic career. When I started out as a young graduate I could never have envisaged the opportunities that would present both professionally and personally. I know David will do a wonderful job taking up the ownership baton across the Epic pharmacies and wish him and the epic people who work in those businesses every future success.

20 comments on “It’s been Epic….

  1. Congratulations Cathie and Stuart and all the best for your future endeavours. And all the best to Sascha!!

    1. Congratulations Cathie and Stuart. You have taken the business on an amazing ride, and left quite a legacy. Thank you for your personal support and friendship, and the retail opportunities we explored over the years. Wishing your family continued success. Rick Dickinson

  2. Congratulations Cathie and Stuart on the amazing legacy you’ve established! I look forward to one day reading your book 😊

      1. Congratulations Cathie & Stewart. I have fond memories of working for you at APHS all those years ago in Botany and again at Icon a few years ago. I wish you and your family every happiness.

  3. Congratulations to both of you. What a journey. Does this mean no more APP conferences? Atleast more time to head to the Greek Islands. Enjoy all your future endeavours. xx

    1. Thank you – and ironically in a non Covid world we would have actually been in the Greek islands this week! Maybe next year…. xxx

  4. Congratulations and best wishes for your future endeavors which is know will be EPIC.

    You are the only true innovators in pharmacy in Australia in my opinion. You took risks, but very strategic and planned risks. You saw a gap, and filled it. You weren’t afraid of change, often in the face of significant opposition. You look after staff and realize their value to a business.

    I do admire your philanthropic and sponsorship generosity.

    Well done!!

  5. Congratulations Cathie and Stu! Wishing you guys all the love and luck to pursue the next big dream I’m sure you’re working on! Love Nicky xx

  6. Such big news! Massive changes and I have no doubt you will embrace the future with the style and passion that makes you both such stand outs. What a joy to be able to share that with the next generation who have probably been soaking up all your knowledge and experience since they arrived in the world. Well done to Cathie and Stu.

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