Representatives from VONS Safeway visited with several students from the College of Pharmacy during a visit to WesternU’s Pomona campus May 5, 2010.

In fall 2009, VONS Safeway established the Student Community and Professional Development Fund with an initial gift of $5,000.

Paul R. Knerr, director of pharmacy, and Beth McLaughlin, pharmacy recruiter, represented VONS Safeway during the special visit. Representing the College of Pharmacy were Dean Dr. Daniel C. Robinson, Associate Dean Dr. Sam Shimomura and Director of Development Paul Stover.

"We just hired one of your students," McLaughlin said. "What is really great about WesternU students is that they are very personable."

Knerr noted that management skills are important, but VONS Safeway pharmacists must be able to interact with their customers. Based upon past and recent hires, he already recognizes these traits in WesternU students.

"For us (VONS Safeway) it is really very simple what we are looking for in a good pharmacist, said Knerr. "They need to be personable and have the ability to interact with people."

As VONS Safeway seeks to add more pharmacies to its existing stores, it also will be looking to add talented practitioners who can provide immunizations, travel medicine and medication therapy management.

"We certainly want to support student scholarships that are directed to supporting community and professional development services," Knerr said.