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Patrick Zachar installed as ACP’s 24th Council president

June 28, 2023
The Airdrie-based pharmacist begins his one-year term on July 1, 2023.

The list of individuals who have served as the Alberta College of Pharmacy’s president is impressive. You can add Patrick Zachar to that list. The Airdrie-based pharmacist was installed as the college’s 24th president at the Celebration of Leadership in Edmonton on June 14, 2023.

“It’s an honour to follow in the footsteps of those before me,” said Patrick. “There were 23 great presidents before me who helped shape pharmacy in Alberta. It’s very humbling to be part of that group.”

Patrick takes over the reins from Irene Pfeiffer, who became the first public member of Council to serve as president of ACP. Patrick knows he has big shoes to fill.

“Irene has tons of experience in these types of roles,” said Patrick. “She kept everyone on Council involved and encouraged their viewpoint to be brought forward. She strived for open and honest communication among Council members. Those are big pieces to being chair of a board and Irene excelled at it. Not to mention, she provided guidance with what we’re trying to achieve and kept us on track.”

Patrick has been a member of ACP Council since July 2020 representing District 2 (southern Alberta). He has experience as a district manager with both national and regional pharmacy chains, and now plans to open his own community pharmacy. He describes his leadership style as leading from within, not above.

“More than anything, I like to lead through relationships and be one of the pack—not the leader of the pack,” he said. “I like to show people that I’m doing the same hard work that they’re doing. I’m there to encourage open and honest communication and new ideas. That will help steer us in the right direction. It’s a group of people coming together. A leader just enables and empowers that.”

As of July 1, 2023, when he officially begins his term, Patrick will be able to put those leadership attributes into action as ACP’s president.

“A lot of it is continuing with the good things Irene and previous presidents have brought to the Council table,” said Patrick. “I want to ensure all members of Council are present, both physically and mentally. I want to make sure everybody understands our vision and the goals that we are pursuing, what details we’re looking for, and what bigger ideas we’re thinking about for the future. I want to have all the input we can get before we drill down to decision-making mode.”

Patrick sees Council’s priorities focused on ensuring the strategic plan moves successfully through its fourth year so that ACP can move closer to achieving the goals established in the plan. With new standards coming, Patrick knows the next 12 months will be crucial for the college and its registrants.

“As we work towards achieving our strategic goals, it’s important that we take a step back sometimes and look at how people are getting pushed to get stuff done,” he said. “How are they doing? Are we overwhelming people? Do we need to look at timing and make sure everyone is absorbing everything? As much as the strategic planning piece is very important, the execution is just as important in the long run.”