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Hy-Vee Drug Store Director finds Cherokee friendly and welcoming

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gary McCormick
Gary McCormick began his job as the Store Director at Cherokee's Hy Vee Drug Store on February 14, Valentine's Day, and has fallen in love with his new town.

McCormick, a native of Norfolk, Nebraska, began a 20-year association with Hy-Vee working at the Hy-Vee store in his hometown when he was just 14 years old.

McCormick continued working at Hy-Vee while he was a college undergraduate at the University of Nebraska (both the Lincoln and Omaha campuses). He sought work elsewhere after he graduated from UNO, but ultimately decided that Hy-Vee was a "great company to work for" and he has been especially impressed with the company's involvement in the community and their being employee-owned.

Following training at "Hy-Vee University," McCormick, a Certified Pharmacy Technician, was hired as a store director at a Lincoln, Nebraska Hy-Vee Drug Store. and he moved from there to Cherokee in February. Though he has been out-of-town continuing to receive training and education for his new position much of the time since his hiring, Gary has been around town enough to really appreciate the friendliness and welcoming spirit of his new co-workers and of the Cherokee community in general, saying that several customers have stopped in to personally welcome him to town.

Though he has spent most of his life in the Husker state, Gary McCormick was certainly no stranger to Cherokee, Iowa. His great-grandmother, Hazel Bailey, lived in Cherokee from the mid-1930s until her death and Gary remembers visiting his great-grandmother's grave in Cherokee several times. Hazel's daughter Joyce, Gary's grandmother, also lived in Cherokee for a time, and Joyce's daughter, Niann Bailey, who is Gary McCormick's mother, was a 1969 Cherokee Washington High School graduate. Niann lived in Cherokee for the last year or two of her high school education, then moved to Sioux City, where she still lives.

McCormick and his wife Virginia have two children, nine-year-old Veronica and four-year-old Elijah, and the family will join Gary in Cherokee after the school year comes to a close. Virginia is a Pilates instructor, and the family enjoys healthy outdoor activities like camping, riding bikes and fishing.

Gary said his wife was okay with the family moving "anywhere, as long as there is a good place to exercise," and he said that she was thrilled to learn about Cherokee's Wellness Center, campgrounds, and walking and bicycle paths.

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