Retiree Spotlight

Meet Gary Brennecke

Gary Brennecke

For Gary Brennecke, one retirement was just not enough! Retiring first in October of 1999, as a Senior Sales Representative Professional with Pharmacia and Upjohn, Gary spent his entire career in the sales profession.

He began his career with The Upjohn Company in June of 1964 after graduating from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, KS. "I majored in Biology with a minor in Physics and Chemistry," noted Gary, "and was hired through a college campus interview." After initial training in Kansas City, MO, Gary was sent into his territory to begin his career as a "detail man."

"Each sales representative carried a full line of prescription and non-prescription products," recalled Gary. "We had responsibility for every hospital and pharmacy in our territory and sold injectibles, as well as other major drugs, to physicians. Back then, some of Upjohn's major drugs were Medrol, Provera, Depo Medrol, Didrex and a full line of injectibles.

Gary told us that his time working at the company was very rewarding. "Calling on customers, selling our products, and being in a position to give good medical reasons to use the products -- which helped in every day lives -- were the rewards," he said.

"We had wonderful drugs to present to our customers, like the Medrol family, Cleocin, Lincocin, as well as a whole list of drugs for diabetes," explained Gary. A lot of the over-the-counter products he sold at the time were Kaopectate, Mycitracin and the Unicap family. "We also introduced Cortaid and Detrol, which is currently promoted by Pfizer," noted Gary.

Gary is especially proud to have earned status in the The Upjohn Sales Academy. He was fortunate to be able to attend seven Academies in nice resorts throughout the United States. "A highlight was being chosen to receive The Upjohn Award in 1996," recalled Gary. "It is an award given once a year to a few selected employees throughout the world." (see photos)

Beyond that, Gary mostly enjoyed his fellow co-workers and customers and associating with so many nice people who became life-long friends. "My wife, Marty, and I recently went on a ten-day vacation to Oregon with one of my 'old' Upjohn buddies, Hoss Savage, and his wife, Jerry," Gary noted. (see photos)

Gary retired in October of 1999 from Pharmacia and Upjohn after the two companies merged. After three months of retirement, he received a call from Glaxo-Wellcome and immediately began working there, where he remained for seven years before retiring again in 2007. At the time of his second retirement in 2007, the company had become GlaxoSmithKline. "It was in May of 2007 that I began my second retirement, which I now enjoy every day," smiles Gary. He finds it unusual that he never moved and always lived in Parsons, KS, for the 43 years of his selling career.

Now that he really IS retired, Gary and Marty enjoy spending time with their two children, Janese and Michael, and four grandsons, who all live fairly nearby. Gary and Marty continue to travel around the world, as they have done for years. They recently built a second home on some farmland near where they live and enjoy spending time there. "I enjoy the light farm work and the outdoors," said Gary. He also does some digital photography, has taken some college courses in photography and graphic artwork, and enjoys photographing their travels.

But, wait. There's more. Gary is a classic car enthusiast! "I have a 1965 Mustang and go to many car shows during the summer months," added Gary, "and I enjoy driving and displaying my old Mustang at these car shows."

Gary is also a frequent user of the retiree web site. He uses the web site for information about retirees and events, and if he has benefit questions, he goes to the links to find the answer.

"I've had the pleasure of sending e-mails and receiving replies from Upjohn folks I had not seen or heard from in years," noted Gary. He said that is one of the neat things about being registered at the site. Gary added some nice remarks as well, noting, "It's a very well done web site that is very user friendly." Thanks, Gary - we appreciate your endorsement!

"My years have been good," smiles Gary, "and I have enjoyed good health and thoroughly enjoyed my selling career with Upjohn, which has now evolved into the Pfizer family."

There's an old saying that resonates with Gary, "the older you get, the busier you get!" With all he does, one could question whether he really IS retired! You can reach out to Gary via email at:

Click here to see Gary Brennecke's photo gallery.

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