Words of Wisdom with Dawn Benton

Dawn Benton
Executive Vice President & CEO, California Society of Health-System Pharmacists


What are three things you wish you’d known as you embarked on your career?

  1. Find a work-life balance and guard it.
  2. Always put family first, even though there is great pressure not to if you’re trying to climb the ladder.
  3. Focus on being part of a team and having authentic relationships.

Did you have a mentor? If so, what was the most important piece of advice they gave you?

Not formally – I learned from everyone I encountered about my career. One piece of advice I remember is “if you’re in a leadership role, make sure you approach it as though you’re in a service capacity and support the people around you.”

How did/do you handle work/life balance?

Ha! Poorly…but I try really hard approach my life as I do my work and schedule time for it. But also being passionate about what I’m doing so reading a book on the weekend for work is seen more as developing myself. More focused on Intertwining work and life.

Do you have any suggestions of books, articles, websites, etc. that might help a young professional?

One that is truly resonating with me right now and I wish I would have read early in life is “Getting Things Done.”

How important is it to be involved in organizations outside of work (church, networking, philanthropy, alumni, athletics, etc.)? Why?

Very. It adds new dimension to life. The friendships. The cause. Organizing around a cause. Other lessons on how to be successful. All the skills are transferable and it feels good to give back.

What do you love about Sacramento?

Mostly, that my family is here. Secondly, it’s close to both San Francisco and Lake Tahoe – I enjoy both.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the 40 and under business professionals in our region?

It’s really important to stay connected to your heart in your professional life and my current favorite quote by Mark Twain: "The most important days of your life are the day you are born and they day you find out why."