Alumni Profile: William Vidmar, Class of 1960

William Vidmar For more than 60 years, William Vidmar’s main objective has been to do the right thing, from serving his country to serving the pharmacy community.

He was born Aug. 1, 1935 to Anton and Mary Vidmar in Virginia, Minn. Growing up along the Iron Range of northern Minnesota, Vidmar enjoyed playing and spending time with his older siblings James and Marianne.

After graduating high school, Vidmar went on active duty with the United States Army serving in the Korean War.

After the war, Vidmar decided to enroll in the College of Pharmacy because he looked up to the pharmacists in his community as role models for helping people with their health care needs.

As a student, he was a member of the Newman Club and the American Pharmaceutical Association, whose mission is to empower members to improve medication use and advance patient care.

During his time at the College of Pharmacy, he met Elizabeth, whom he married on Sept. 13, 1958. Today, the couple share nine children, 26 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

After graduating from the College of Pharmacy in 1960, Vidmar spent 18 years working in various roles at Walgreens, starting with stores in Minneapolis and Wisconsin. He went on to open a Walgreens in St. Cloud before moving to Sioux City, Iowa, where he managed the largest store and had the highest sales in the Walgreens chain.

He was then promoted to district manager for Walgreens in Milwaukee, Wisc., including stores south of the Illinois border. In this role, he was responsible for sales, profit and operations, as well as outlining a comprehensive recruiting and training program for store managers, creating a productive working atmosphere and hiring managers who were committed to the company’s success.

Vidmar was eventually recruited by Target and worked as a director of pharmacy before being promoted to divisional merchandise manager. From there, he briefly left pharmacy to organize corporate and franchise stores in multiple states.

In 1983, Vidmar returned to pharmacy as a vice president at Snyder Drug Stores where his work with an advertising agency earned a Clio Award for a consumer advertising campaign. Snyder Drug, along with Vidmar as a partner, purchased the Wikes Corp. of California in 1986. Vidmar describes this as a “career peak to be a part owner of a chain store company.”

Vidmar credits the College of Pharmacy with providing an excellent education that enabled him to further his career in pharmacy and business.

Retired since 1999, Vidmar spends his time with Elizabeth at their home in Lakeville, Minn. Together, they participate in church activities as religion has been an integral part of their lives.