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George D. Bartell, Chairman

As the third generation of the Bartell family, George D. Bartell knows the importance of tradition. But with over 30 years of experience in the drugstore industry, Bartell has built on the foundation created 125-years ago, continuing the innovation and industry leadership established by his father and grandfather.

“Serving the customer is still the focus for me, my family and Bartell Drugs.”

“My grandfather instilled in us the value of customer service,” George says. “Serving the customer is still the focus for me, my family and Bartell Drugs.”

George learned the family business from the ground up. His first regular job was at the chain’s Fourth and Pine location in the heart of downtown Seattle, where he held jobs ranging from shelf stocker to cashier. By 1983, he had worked his way up from store manager to assistant vice president, where he dealt primarily with real estate, merchandising and pricing.

George has held firm to the company’s traditional emphasis on customer service, a philosophy that has been passed down in the Bartell family for four generations.

Under George’s guidance, the company grew into a regional chain, operating in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties in Washington state. It is not unusual to see him in one of the company stores talking to customers or employees.

Even as his role has evolved with the hiring of a new President and CEO—the first from outside the family—his dedication to innovation and service has remained steadfast.

“Not being one of the mega-corporate giants, we have to be diligent about how we use our resources. But this also allows us the flexibility to be creative in how we work: it’s part of why we can be so responsive to our customers and innovative in our products and services.”

Among family-owned businesses in the state, Bartell Drugs is considered one of the most successful. In 2006 the company was recognized as the “Best in the Northwest” in the large business category at the Washington Family Business Awards, sponsored by the Family Enterprise Institute at Pacific Lutheran University.

Outside of the family business, George has been active in a variety of civic and professional organizations. He serves on the board of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, is a member of the Pacific Northwest chapter of Worlds’ President Organization, is an advisory board member with the Salvation Army, and serves as Chairman of the Pharmacy Value Alliance.

At his home in Bellevue, George is an avid gardener and enjoys reading, bike riding, hiking and spending time with his extended family.

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