Alumni Profile—David Kahn

David Kahn. National Operations Manager, Walgreens. Professional Photography, 1978. posted on Monday, October 3, 2016 in  Alumni Profiles

David Kahn started his career working in his father’s photo studio. A 1978 graduate of Hawkeye, the Florida native was drawn to Hawkeye because of the strong national reputation of the Professional Photography program.

“My dad had a photo studio for more than 40 years in Miami Beach, and he thought it best for me to come to Waterloo and see what else I could learn,” Kahn said.

Kahn met many people at Hawkeye who would have a major influence on his life. Among his instructors, Jake Thorson, who taught portrait photography, still stands out as someone who imparted practical knowledge and life-long career skills.

“The teachers were great and I learned plenty from them that has lasted my entire life and career,” he said. Kahn opened his own studio, then entered the burgeoning drug store one-hour photo industry. He started as photo lab manager for Eckerd Drugs, became district manager over 40 stores, then regional manager over 300 stores.

After 19 years with Eckerd and CVS Pharmacy (which purchased Eckerd), Kahn became photo regional manager for Walgreens, overseeing 2,700 stores. Today, he’s been with the company for 10 years, and is national operations manager in charge of 8,000 locations.

“I have traveled all over the country and met some great people,” he said. These interactions have stuck with him, but the most important and most enduring relationship dates back to Hawkeye, where he met fellow Professional Photography student Lyn Fricke. David and Lyn will celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary in 2016.

“Knowledge from school is essential, but the friends you keep and people you meet in your profession will take you a long way,” he said.


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