My name is Dwight Washington, Jr., and I am an asset protection manager for 60 stores in the Indianapolis area and for Walgreens new micro-fulfillment center in Plainfield, Indiana. I’ve been with the company for two and a half years, and in my role am responsible for security, safety, shrink (loss) reduction, resiliency and profitability for the area stores.
Every morning I’m up at 5 a.m., helping to get the kiddos ready for school. My fiancée and I have three girls, ages 14, 6 and 1. They’re extremely hard to wake up and it takes them a minute to get going in the morning. Once everyone is out the door, I take a moment to catch up on the news with my best friend: coffee.
Clockwise from top left: Washington’s fiancée, Tatyana, and their daughters Alani, Samiyah and Kennedy.
I then check my emails, respond to anything that’s pending, check my Outlook calendar to refresh my memory of the day’s plans and get ready for any morning calls. These can range from speaking with store managers to discuss cash handling, to having one-on-one conversations with my business partners to meeting with state, federal or local law enforcement to reference a theft case. If no calls or interviews are on my calendar, I’m heading out to the stores to engage with our teams.
On a typical day, I review data and how we’re tracking toward our goals; for example: point-of-sale, cash handling and in-stock and on-shelf availability of our products. I spend time communicating with my area business partners about priorities, their needs and the state of the area. I also spend a good amount of time conducting investigations around theft and employee relations concerns.
During my store visits I focus on things like cash-handling best practices (we need to make sure it gets to the bank!), ensuring stores are stocked correctly and environmental compliance—for example, ensuring hazardous waste is properly stored and handled and safety containers for used needles are not accessible to the public.
I also have the great opportunity to teach and train team members on ways to leverage the tools we have in our toolbelt. I love watching a team member take that knowledge and use it to help advance their careers. I don’t know it all, by any means, but what I do know, I share. I love seeing people grow and win.
I became chair of the African American Leadership business resource group (AAL BRG) just one month ago, but it’s already been an awesome experience! I joined this BRG because I wanted to do my part to ensure that we are a loud and consistent sounding board for the issues that impact us, our peers and the communities that we serve.
I get the privilege of working with the AAL BRG leadership team to ensure that focus is not lost on the opportunities, challenges and contributions that impact African Americans and other people of color. Throughout the year, we coordinate events that call attention to heritage, contributions and current issues for African Americans. We also partner with other BRGs to cross-collaborate and support each others’ plans. Over the next few months, some short-term goals for our leadership team are to increase membership, engagement and awareness. My vision and mission for our BRG is simple: to always provoke engagement, thought and change. If we can consistently do that, then we’ve done our jobs.
Being the chair is something that I don’t take for granted, especially during Black History Month. Every day I approach this role with the commitment to continuing to build on the work that’s been done to ensure that African Americans and other minorities always have a voice. I love the fact that our company also understands the importance of our BRGs and is always supportive in helping us to push our voices forward. African American history is American history, and I’m fortunate to be able to help drive that message daily.