Dr. Pam Marquess PharmD
When Pam Marquess, owner of Marquess Group, which operates 11 pharmacies in Georgia and Tennessee, was asked when she knew she wanted to be a pharmacist, she said, “When I was seven years old.” Pam had been taken to a pharmacy and thought the pharmacist she met was the most intelligent man ever and asked, “How does he know all those big names?” From then on, Pam set out learn what he knew.
Her dream never wavered, and now after earning her Doctor of Pharmacy at Mercer University in Atlanta, and with 23 years in the business, she shares the same aspirations with a new generation as a leader and mentor.
Following graduation, Pam joined a chain pharmacy as an intern, and 90 days later a professor friend connected her with an independent pharmacy owner who was ready sell. At 25, she had landed an owner-financed deal and didn’t think twice about jumping in head first.
With the help of local mentors in the industry, Pam and her husband chose a wholesaler and learned the basics of the business and how to operate a retail pharmacy. She formed relationships with other owners in the region and attended county and state pharmacist association meetings to learn all aspects of the business. “I coupled my degree with an MBA program that gave me grounding in business. I also encourage others to find a mentor and learn what has been successful for that person; it should be someone they can call to get feedback on ideas and who will hold them accountable to established goals,” said Pam.
Compared to the early days in her career, Pam said, “It was rare to see female owners or women in national leadership roles. Now there are many and we are able to help one another.”