Helen Ianniello breaks down barriers and becomes the first woman to own Stockmen’s Drug
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By Scott Bidroski
A new face has taken over a longtime staple on Main Street in Gordon and in doing so, is breaking down walls and glass ceilings.
For the first time in its long storied history in Gordon, Stockmen’s Drug is under the watchful eye of a woman.
Helen Ianniello has purchased the business and has already hit the ground running; sledgehammer in tow.
“When I purchased Stockmen’s Drug, I was given a sledgehammer to symbolize breaking down walls and glass ceilings,” said Ianniello.
“It’s an honor to be the first woman to own Stockmen’s. I have 100 years of history to live up to and I plan to use my time inspiring others,” she added.
Ianniello was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Florida. She lived in the Central Florida/Orlando area and is a Registered Nurse.
When COVID hit in 2019, things were not in good shape at her hospital in Florida. A change of scenery was on tap for Ianniello and she made the move to the Pine Ridge Hospital in Pine Ridge, S.D.
“In 2020, I decided to head to the Pine Ridge ER where I’ve had the opportunity to meet some pretty amazing people,” said Ianniello.
“While the Lakota face many adversities, they are a strong people and as I’ve learned more about their culture, a soft spot has grown in my heart for them,” she added.
Ianniello made a purchase of a second home in Gordon in April of 2022 and then began a Real Estate rental company soon after.
Rushville Estates, LLC aimed to provide safe and clean housing to the healthcare community.
“Housing in difficult to obtain and has been a barrier to providing adequate staffing to hospitals all over the county. “My goal was to help meet that need,” said Ianniello.
Then a chance meeting with the previous owner of Stockmen’s through Facebook Marketplace, Mike Cookston, a conversation arose about the possible purchase of the business.
Ianniello spent some time helping Cookston in managing the business so when it became apparent that a fresh slate was needed, she bought Stockmen’s.
With a majority of this story reviewing how Ianniello got to this point, she is ready to get things moving in the right direction for the only Pharmacy in Sheridan County.
“I want Stockmen’s Drug to be a place where the community wants to spend time in. So the inside has received a bit of a face lift,” said Ianniello.
“It is cleaner and easier to move around in. Tables and chairs are now set up,” she added.
Some new services are also apparent when customers come through the doors.
They now sell vape products and have opened an Amazon Business site so the community can get the products they need without having to leave their homes.
Collaboration with other businesses in Gordon to provide additional activities and classes is on the docket as well.
Some great services that are currently offered that will remain are vaccines, dose-packaging, and delivering and mailing of medications.
While new is always exciting, Ianniello notes one more important factor that is not changing.
“What is not changing is the staff and the pharmacist, Mike (Cookston),” said Ianniello.
“They are an integral part of the community and meeting its needs, so that personal touch everyone experiences will remain intact.”
Stockmen’s Drug is located at 116 Main St. in Gordon. You can reach them at 308-282-1114.