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Steve Normandy is considered the grandfather of store managers

May 26, 2020 | Heart At Work

Steve Normandy standing in an aisle of the CVS Pharmacy in which he works.

Store Manager Steve Normandy is bent over stocking toothpaste on a shelf. As always, his store in Tewksbury, Massachusetts looks orderly and welcoming, but there are notable differences from a few short months ago. Front Store and Pharmacy teams wear gloves and masks, plexiglass stands as a protective barrier at counters and red floor arrows direct customers and patients along a one-way path.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep people safe, including ourselves,” says Steve, his gray hair and easy smile apparent. “We’re making things as normal as possible.”

Steve has been with the company 31 years. When asked if he knows he’s called the “grandfather” of store managers, he responds with a large baritone laugh. “I guess you could say I’ve worked for CVS Health longer than many managers have been on the planet.” Humor is one of Steve’s hallmark traits.

As any good grandfather would do, Steve has been a reassuring presence since the Coronavirus turned lives upside down. Protecting his staff, he encourages them to take vacation time, recharge their batteries even drink more fluids.

“I’ve implemented shorter shifts to minimize their exposure. I also ask them to stay off social media and get their news from reliable sources – there’s so much misinformation,” he says. “Like our customers, they have fears about this pandemic.”

Steve says these days he’s less task-oriented and more empathetic. “All of us need to be,” he suggests. That empathy for his team carries over to his customers. “We’re walking in their shoes and they’re counting on us.”

Steve Normandy and Dr. Ed Colozzi talk in a store aisle of CVS Pharmacy.
Steve Normandy catches up with customer Dr. Ed Colozzi. “There’s a sense of authentic care because of Steve. I feel welcome and safe,” says Ed.

“What’s really impressive is the consistency of authentic care in everyone here, no matter their age or whether they work in the store or pharmacy,” offers Dr. Ed Colozzi, a regular customer. “That really goes a long way to make you feel welcome and safe despite Coronavirus. I think it has a lot to do with the way Steve manages. He really leads from the heart and it translates to his staff.”

“There’s a pandemic going on and plenty of unease but when I walk into Steve’s store people are smiling and happy,” notes District Leader Jay Fregeau. “It’s amazing to see but it’s just a regular day for Steve. He’s going to be pretty embarrassed to have this attention.”

Thank you Steve, for bringing your heart to work as you look after your team and your customers with a grandfather’s touch.

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