The name of the beloved Texas retailer H-E-B is often said to stand for “Here Everything’s Better.” In the retailer’s pharmacies, Director of Pharmacy Professional Services, Marketing and Strategic Initiatives, Donna Montemayor, works hard to make sure “better” means a better pharmacy experience for customers.
Montemayor started her career as a pharmacist in H-E-B stores, where she gained valuable knowledge about store operations that would help her as she advanced in the company.
“I worked in the stores for eleven years, and I was a floater pharmacist early on in that time, which was a very helpful thing to be. It really let me see how different pharmacies can be run, and the good and bad things about each. It helped me imagine how I wanted my pharmacy to run when I eventually became a pharmacy manager,” Montemayor said.
After working as a pharmacy manager and then regional manager, Montemayor moved to the corporate office in 2001 to take on a role as Director of Pharmacy Development, a move that allowed her to help more patients in stores across the company. That role led to many others corporately, finally culminating with her role today.
She told us, “A lot of times people will ask, ‘why did you move to corporate? You don’t have any direct patient contact. Doesn’t it feel like you gave up what you wanted to do originally?’ For me, being in leadership means that I’m able to create programs that affect a larger part of the population than I could when I was in one store. In my position, I can take my ideas about improving patient care and expand them across the whole company. It means we can touch tens of thousands of lives instead of a few thousand people coming to a particular store.”
Montemayor’s unique perspective helps shape the way HEB pharmacies operate chain-wide. She explained,
“Being a Hispanic woman gives me a different lens sometimes. I think, ‘How would my grandmother feel if we did this?’ ‘How would my mom feel if we did this?’ I think about my family, the way I grew up, and the people in my hometown. I came from a small town, working class family, so I think about, ‘How would what we’re doing affect a customer that doesn’t have an unlimited income? Somebody who works really hard and is struggling day-to-day to put food on the table and pay their bills. I feel like I bring that to everything that I do.”
Montemayor told us that if she had to pick words that she lives by, she would choose “make a difference with your life.” From her years as a pharmacist in the store, to her hard work as a member of H-E-B’s corporate team, it is clear that Montemayor takes these words to heart and has used them to build a career dedicated to helping others.