Re­tired Pfizer fig­ure hon­ored

The Day - - Business - By AN­THONY CRONIN Day Busi­ness Ed­i­tor

Dr. Ray­mond B. John­son, a re­tired Pfizer Inc. ex­ec­u­tive, was named Tues­day as this year’s re­cip­i­ent of the William Craw­ford Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice Award.

The award, be­stowed by the Cham­ber of Com­merce of East­ern Con­necti­cut, hon­ors an in­di­vid­ual who has served to im­prove the qual­ity of life in the re­gion.

John­son, a re­tired se­nior as­so­ciate di­rec­tor of clin­i­cal re­search for Pfizer, said he was hon­ored, and hum­bled, to re­ceive the cov­eted ser­vice award.

“ I can’t tell you how much this means to me,” John­son said dur­ing a cer­e­mony at the re­gional cham­ber’s Gales Ferry head­quar­ters. “ So many peo­ple along the way ... have helped to get me where I am,” said John­son, “ and I’ve tried in my life to never

take that for granted.”

“ This honor,” he added, “ is recog­ni­tion to all th­ese peo­ple.”

John­son will be for­mally hon­ored as this year’s Craw­ford award re­cip­i­ent dur­ing a cham­ber gala in Novem­ber. Cre­ated in 1977, the award hon­ors the late William Craw­ford, who owned WSUB ra­dio and was an ac­tive mem­ber of the re­gional cham­ber.

Ear­lier this year, John­son re­ceived an honorary doc­tor of sci­ence de­gree from Dart­mouth Col­lege, his alma mater. “This is the cul­mi­na­tion of a year that has been ab­so­lutely phe­nom­e­nal,” he said.

Tony Sheri­dan, the cham­ber’s pres­i­dent, said the Craw­ford nom­i­nat­ing com­mit­tee had a su­pe­rior ros­ter of candidates to choose from but said John­son “de­serves this honor more than any­one else.”

“This is great news — and an award well earned,” said Sheri­dan.

John­son, a Noank res­i­dent, was in­volved in clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment of a host of drugs dur­ing his ca­reer with Pfizer. The phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal gi­ant hon­ored John­son with its Cen­tral Re­search Achieve­ment Award for his con­tri­bu­tions to its Zithro­max an­tibi­otic drug. Be­fore his ca­reer with Pfizer, which has lo­cal cam­puses in Gro­ton and New Lon­don, John­son was a com­mand­ing of­fi­cer at the Naval Hospi­tal in Bethesda, Md., where he over­saw a mil­i­tary and civil­ian staff of 2,500.

John­son has been ac­tive in nu­mer­ous lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions over the years. For nearly two decades, he’s been a mem­ber of the board of trustees at the Water­ford Coun­try School. His lead­er­ship serv­ing as both a board mem­ber and vice chair­man re­sulted in the school nam­ing a med­i­cal cen­ter in his honor. He also served seven of his nine years on the board of the Natchaug Hospi­tal in Mans­field as chair­man and com­pleted his board ten­ure there ear­lier this year.

Dur­ing his time at Natchaug, the be­hav­ioral-health hospi­tal saw tremendous phys­i­cal and clin­i­cal growth. The in­sti­tu­tion is af­fil­i­ated with the Hart­ford Health­care Corp.

John­son also is a cor­po­ra­tor of The William W. Backus Hospi­tal in Nor­wich and the Dime Bank, also in Nor­wich. This past year, John­son re­ceived a life­time achieve­ment award from Con­necti­cut’s African Amer­i­can Af­fairs Com­mis­sion.

John­son and his wife, Ar­lene, have four chil­dren, six grand­chil­dren and two great­grand­chil­dren. a.cronin@the­

Dr. Ray­mond B. John­son

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