Thomas Edison once said, “I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent it.” Edison was a prolific innovator with over 1,000 patents in his name. I believe he captured the true spirit of an entrepreneur with his statement. Entrepreneurs are visionaries who are not satisfied with the status quo.


Bob Lomenick

While others see insurmountable challenges, they see opportunity. I have had the good fortune to visit with many great entrepreneurs, and I am always inspired by their desire to create positive change in the world. I was reminded of this Edison quote during my interview this week with Bob Lomenick, owner of Tyson Drug Company in Holly Springs. Lomenick is a true entrepreneurial success story.

Lomenick grew up in Iuka and went on to get his pharmacy degree from the University of Mississippi. After graduation, he worked for an independent pharmacy in Olive Branch and later for a high volume pharmacy in Millington, Tennessee. Early in his career, he learned of an opportunity back in Mississippi with the owners of an independent pharmacy in Holly Springs — Tyson Drug Company. Lomenick moved back and went to work for the owners and over a period of several years transitioned to be the owner. From that one pharmacy, he has grown over the last 30 years to three locations and began a pioneering medication adherence program.

From his customer interactions, he observed that patients were often having trouble managing multiple medications and following the proper dosing schedule. He noticed that many customers ended up in nursing homes simply because they could not manage their medications properly. Based on these observations, he created a program called RxSync to synchronize patient refills by combining strip packaging technology with a comprehensive medication therapy management process. Lomenick now serves thousands of customers with this program throughout the region, and he is recognized as one of the leading independent pharmacists in the country. In fact, he was named the 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards. Pharmacists come from all over the country to Holly Springs to learn from Lomenick on how to develop this type of innovative program.

Lomenick shared with me that he has always been one to take calculated risks. Entrepreneurs like Lomenick are never satisfied with the status quo. They are always looking to improve the way things are done.He shared that it took him a long time, but he has truly learned to trust his gut instinct.  This gives him the courage to act on “out of the box” ideas. As Apple® founder Steve Jobs said, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

Lomenick attributes his success to having great people and well developed processes to ensure consistency and accountability.  With over 30 employees, Tyson Drug Company has a family atmosphere with a passionate focus on the customer.  Lomenick leads by example and makes sure every employee knows they are important to the success of the organization.  In addition, Lomenick is a “roll up his sleeves” kind of leader that leads by example.

I enjoy learning of entrepreneurial success stories like Lomenick and Tyson Drug Company.   I believe it is important to see how other Mississippi entrepreneurs are taking risks and making a national impact.  I am excited to see how Lomenick continues to expand his business and innovate in the important realm of patient medication adherence.

[Originally published in the Mississippi Business Journal, April 21, 2014.] Read More

A few years ago, authors Malcolm Gladwell(Outliers) and Geoff Colvin (Talent is Overrated)brought to the public’s attention the 10,000 hour rule for becoming an expert. They were citing the research of psychology professor Dr. K. Anders Ericsson in which he concluded that it takes about 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” to truly become a master at your chosen endeavor. I bring this up because, as leaders, it is important to strive for excellence and mastery in your organizational setting. I was reminded of this research when I was thinking about my interviewee this week, Darden H. North, MD. Dr. North has not only enjoyed a long and productive career as a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with Jackson Healthcare for Women, but he also has established himself as a bestselling murder mystery and medical thriller author.


Dr. Darden H. North

North, a native of Cleveland, Miss., graduated from Ole Miss where he was editor of the yearbook (The Ole Miss) and vice president of the Associated Student Body. He went on to get his medical degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine where he also completed his residency. North has served in leadership roles in his profession including serving as secretary of the Mississippi Obstetrics and Gynecology Society, chairman of the National ACOG Junior Fellow Advisory Council and chief of the medical staff of both River Oaks Hospital and Woman’s Hospital.

Well into his medical career, North hung up his golf clubs and decided to pursue professionally the hobby of writing. His first three novels, available in print and e-book, have been awarded nationally, most notably Points of Origin in Southern Fiction by the Independent Publishers Book Association (IPPY) Awards. Fresh Frozen is in film development by Frank Vitolo and Scott Alvaraz, screenplay adaptation by Amy Taylor. Darden’s fourth novel Wiggle Room was published also in print and e-book by Sartoris Literary Group in summer 2013. North’s books have sold over 17,000 copies. Today, North still maintains a full-time medical and surgical practice while also writing and participating in literary panel discussions with other writers.

North shared that he was inspired by his mother who taught him to believe in himself and that he could accomplish anything if he set his mind to it. This is a powerful thought to sow into the life of someone. One of my mentors often reminds me that “What I Can Conceive and Believe – I Can Achieve.” Not surprisingly, North emphasized that he believes it is important to have faith and find strength in God when reaching forward and “to never become complacent with the status quo.” North has tried to be an innovator both in his medical practice and as a writer. He was a pioneer in the use of robotic surgery in both multi- and single-site techniques and is a national instructional proctor for Intuitive Surgical Gynecological Robotics.

Like other effective leaders, North recognizes that we always have more to learn. He said, “I look for new opportunities and encourage others to do the same.” He advocates actively seeking advice from others and having the courage to listen for the kernels of truth that lie in complaints and criticisms. As a leader, he tries to acknowledge the potential in others and encourage them to achieve to the best of their ability.

As I learned more about Dr. North and his accomplishments, I came away with great respect for his ability to master not just one craft, but two. I also appreciate the courage it takes to “create” and to put your work product out into the marketplace. As North enters a season where he is delivering second generation babies, I also expect he will continue to be a prolific writer and contributor to the state.

[Originally published in the Mississippi Business Journal, April 14, 2014.] Read More