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National Advisory Board

Sharon W. Ayd, PhD ‘97, MBA

Vice President of Research and Development – CutisPharma

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Dr. Ayd joined CutsPharma as a Vice President and Head of Research and Development in May 2015.  Dr. Ayd brings with her 35 years of pharmaceutical industry R&D experience spanning the small, entrepreneurial biotech enviornment up to large multi-national pharmacecutical companies.  Sharon joins CutisPharma from the US subsidiary of Fresenius Kabi, the $5B German pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturer, where she served as Global VP, Innovation and Development.  Sharon's industry career began as a research scientist at Baxter Healthcare in the early 1980's, where she assumed successive roles of greater responsibility, then transitioning to several innovation-based start-up companies, later moving to Hospira as Vice President, Research and Development.  Sharon received her PhD in Pharmaceutics from UIC and her MBA in marketing from the Lewis University Graduate School of Management.  Sharon is a published author, invited speaker, Adjunct Professor to the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Pharmacy (UIC COP), an active member of the UIC COP National Advisory Board and a recipient of numerous academic and professional honors and awards.

Mark Bachelda, PharmD ’99, MBA

General Manager, Amgen Czech Republic, Amgen

Mark Bachelda.jpgMark has over 12 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry across Sales Management, Marketing, Pricing & Market Access, and Medical Affairs.  He has been with AMGEN, Inc since 2003 in sales and marketing roles of increasing responsibility on the Aranesp® & EPOGEN® brand teams, Nephrology Sales Management and now Oncology.   Currently, Mark is the Regional Sales Director for the Southeast region in Oncology.  Previously, Mark was part of the International Commercial management team located in Thousand Oaks, CA as the Director, Strategy & Operations reporting to the Senior Vice President, International Commercial Operations.  His responsibilities included supporting AMGEN’s interests in Asia/Japan, the commercialization process, and business development.  He also partners with their International HQ based in Zug, Switzerland to ensure tight coordination with the operational aspects of the commercial business. 

Prior to AMGEN, Mark worked for PFIZER, Inc in Pricing & Market Access (US & ex-US) and JOHNSON & JOHNSON in Medical Affairs.  He is a registered pharmacist and received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago (PharmD ’99).  Mark completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Health Policy & Economics at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA and holds Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees from Columbia University and University of California, Berkeley.

Mark’s wife is also a graduate from UIC, Joy Ellen Zarlenga, PharmD (’02), MPH (’03) and they have three children.

Jenny Colombo, PharmD ‘89

Vice President, Medical Affairs Strategies & Communications, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.

Jenny Columbo.jpgDr. Colombo has 25 years of Healthcare experience. Over the last 17 years she has served in various leadership roles within Medical Affairs (MA) at Roche, Johnson & Johnson and Takeda. Presently, she is Vice President of Medical Affairs Strategies and Communications at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. In this role she is responsible for various functional groups including Medical Information and Review, Field Medical, Medical Education and strategic and budget planning.

She received her doctor of pharmacy and completed her fellowship training at the University of Illinois College Pharmacy. She began her academic career at the University of Illinois where she spent 8 years in clinical practice, teaching and conducting research in the areas of transplantation and HIV.

Strongly committed to community service she serves as a leader for Takeda volunteer and community initiatives helping to rebuild communities, advancing science education and serving as a mentor for women in the healthcare industry. She serves as a role model inspiring others at Takeda to take a more active role towards collective impact beyond their professional contribution.

Throughout her career Dr. Colombo has received various recognitions. At Johnson & Johnson she was selected to participate in an advanced global women’s leadership development program. At Takeda she was awarded The Takeda Global Award which recognized her for leadership in organizational change and company-wide community initiatives. In 2011 she was selected to participate in the Takeda Leadership Institute, a global leadership development program designed to develop high potential global leaders. She received PhRMA’s 2013 “We Work for Health Champions” award, an industry-wide honor that recognizes individuals who have been exemplary advocates on important health and community issues. In recognition of her commitment to leadership at Takeda she received the Healthcare Business Women’s Association (HBA) Rising Star Award in 2013.

Today she sits on the board for the Chicago HBA serving as the director at large for the mentorship program. The HBA mentorship program serves nearly 100 mentees and 40 mentors and has been recognized at the national level. Most recently she accepted an appointment to the executive council for the National Hispanic Life Sciences Association (NHLSS) in order to address diversity and inclusion across the healthcare industry.

Dr. Colombo is a proud mother, daughter, sister and aunt and especially enjoys family vacations on the beach. As a Puerto Rican born and raised in Chicago she has benefited from multicultural experiences both personally and professionally.

Francesca Cunningham, PharmD, RES '02

Director of the Center for Medication Safety (NCPS)

Program Director of Outcomes Assessment at the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Pharmacy Benefits Management Services (PBM)

Dr. Cunningham was the driving force behind the successful effort of PBM to establish reliable methods for merging the VA prescription database with other large VA-related databases in order to evaluate the safe and appropriate use of medications in the veteran population. Her focus has been on assessing new agents where safety data is lacking (postmarketing surveillance) and older drugs when a newly emerging danger requires evaluation. Dr. Cunningham designed the VAMedSAFE and PBM Drug Safety Quality Improvement (QI) program. Under her direction the program has become a comprehensive pharmacovigilance program and a major tool in the evaluation of drug safety in the VA and its role in the formulary decision process. Since her time in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Cunningham has focused her research efforts in the area of drug safety. Dr. Cunningham’s group has worked independently and with other researchers to perform several drug safety and pharmacoepidemiologic studies. She sits on several internal and external Boards and committees that focus on patient safety with an emphasis on pharmacovigilance and postmarketing surveillance including the newly formed government committee for the Sentinel Initiative.

Jim Dorociak, BS, '81, PharmD '83, RES, '84

Global Head of Field Medical Teams - Global Medical Affairs at Baxalta

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Dr. Dorociak received his BS in Pharmacy in 1981 and his PharmD (with honors) in 1983 from the UIC College of Pharmacy.  He subsequently completed a Clinical Residency at the University of Illinois Hospital in 1984.  During his career he continued his formal educational and earned a Master of Science Degree in Healthcare Administration.  He is currently the Global Head of Field Medical Teams-Global Medical Affairs at Baxalta (Formerly Baxter-BioScience).

Jim started his career as an Assistant Director of Pharmacy at a regional hospital in Michigan where he instituted pharmacy clinical services and started a clinical pharmacist rounding program.  He then moved on to a Director of Pharmacy position at a large multi-system teaching hospital in West Virginia where he also expanded the clinical pharmacy services and maintained a faculty appointment.  He returned to Illinois as a Director of Pharmacy Services at a suburban hospital where he implanted a patient centered care model with decentralized services.  During this time he continued teaching pharmacy students and family practice medical residents. He then went to work in the pharma industry in various clinical and leadership positions including his current position at Baxalta today.

Dr. Dorociak has always remained active in the professional societies throughout his career including serving as President of ICHP and WVSHP as well as in committee and leadership roles in other State and National professional societies.  Jim has served on the UIC COP Alumni Board for over 12 years including twice as President.  He currently serves on the UIC College of Pharmacy Educational Policy Committee and as a member of the UIC Campus Alumni Advisory Board of Directors.   He has been a frequent presenter of CE programs and is often invited to speak to students on various clinical and leadership topics.  Jim is the recipient numerous awards including Pharmacist of the year for ICHP and WVSHP.  In 2010 he was the recipient of the U of I Constituent Leadership Award.

Jim is married to Christine and they have two teenage sons, Daniel (16) and Michael (15).  They reside in Naperville where Jim has also been active in coaching his boys on their baseball and football teams.  He has also served on a number of community boards and has served on the Board of Directors for a Chicago Adoption agency for more than 10 years.
 

William Fitzsimmons, BS '83, PharmD

Executive Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs, Global Clinical and Research Quality Assurance, Astellas Pharma Global Development, Inc.

William Fitzsimmons.jpgBill currently serves as Divisional Executive Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs, Global Clinical and Research Quality at Astellas Pharma Global Development, Inc. He previously served as EVP of Regulatory, Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance.  Previous roles include senior vice president and vice president of business development. Prior to the merger forming Astellas in 2005, he was with Fujisawa Healthcare for 15 years. He also currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO).

After obtaining his bachelor’s in pharmacy from the UIC College of Pharmacy in 1983, Bill went on to obtain a master’s degree in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis from the University of Michigan.  He then obtained his PharmD from Virginia Commonwealth University. 

 
 

Michael Flavin, PhD '83

Managing Director, Flavin Ventures LLC

Michael Flavin.jpgMike founded Advanced Life Sciences, Inc. in 1999 and served as CEO. Prior to this date, he was the founder, chief executive officer and chairman of MediChem Life Sciences, Inc., a drug discovery technology and services company. Dr. Flavin took MediChem from start-up in 1987 through many stages of development including the completion of MediChem's private placement, the acquisition and integration of the ThermoGen and Emerald Biostructures as MediChem subsidiaries and MediChem's initial public offering October 2000. MediChem, as a subsidiary of deCODE, through May 2002. Dr. Flavin received a bachelor of science degree in Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame, a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago and he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Dr. Flavin is an adjunct professor for the department of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at UIC College of Pharmacy. He was featured on the cover of the UIC Alumni magazine's May/June 2006 issue and is a past recipient of the Sister Margaret Wright Graduate Award. Dr. Flavin is the brother of John L. Flavin and Patrick W. Flavin.

  

Dennis Fruin, BS '76

Owner, Columbia Pharmacy

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Dennis Fruin is owner of Columbia Pharmacy which he founded in 1996.  Columbia pharmacy mainly focuses on improving the quality of life for those with autoimmune and bleeding disorders.  Dennis is a classmate of the Dean and has maintained a close relationship with our college and surrounding community.  A native of Gilman, IL, the Fruin family shares a long history with the University. 

 
 

David Hicks, RPh, ’76, MBA

Retired

David Hicks.jpgDavid is a Pharmacy administrator/consultant with twenty-five years’ experience in organizational leadership in healthcare and particular experience in change management and application of technologies.  Prior to the University of Chicago, David worked as Director of Automation for McKesson Medication Management and was Administrative Director of Information Systems and Pharmacy at Rush-Copley Medical Center.  David is a 1976 graduate of the UIC College of Pharmacy and holds and MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management.





 

Michael S. Maddux, PharmD, FCCP, RES ’80

Executive Director, American College of Clinical Pharmacy

Michael Maddux.jpgMichael S. Maddux is Executive Director of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. He received the Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of California, San Francisco, and completed residency training at the University of Illinois at Chicago.   Dr. Maddux then joined the University of Illinois clinical pharmacy faculty where he developed and maintained a clinical practice and residency/fellowship training program in solid organ transplantation.  In 1991, he moved to the St. Louis College of Pharmacy as Professor and Director of the Division of Pharmacy Practice, a post he held until joining the ACCP staff in October of 2003.  Throughout his professional career Dr. Maddux was active in ACCP, serving as a member of the Board of Regents and as ACCP’s first representative on the Board of Directors of the Council on Credentialing in Pharmacy.  He chaired the ACCP Clinical Practice Affairs Subcommittee that authored ACCP’s 2000 White Paper on pharmacy’s future, and also served as chair of the writing group that developed the 2005 JCCP Future Vision of Pharmacy Practice.  Mike lives in St. Louis, Missouri with his wife Susan and daughter Rachel.

 

William S. Marth, BS '77, MBA

President and Chief Executive Officer, Albany Molecular Research (AMRI)

Marth_Bill_bw.jpgWilliam S. Marth became President and CEO of Albany Molecular Research, Inc. in January 2014, after briefly serving as the company's non-executive Chairman. In 2013, Mr. Marth served as a senior advisor to Teva Pharmaceuticals following his retirement in 2012 as President and Chief Executive Officer of Teva – Americas. He had previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Teva North America from January 2008 to June 2010, as President and Chief Executive Officer of Teva USA from January 2005 to January 2008 and Executive Vice President and Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Teva USA.  In addition Bill worked with several large equity firms providing guidance on their healthcare investments.

Mr. Marth is recognized as an industry leader with an unparalleled record of commercial success. He was a key strategist in establishing Teva as a leading specialty pharmaceutical company and being ultimately recognized as the worldwide #1 producer of generic pharmaceuticals. Responsibilities include heading the respiratory, neuroscience, oncology and women’s healthcare divisions plus select brands. He was a member of Teva’s global executive management team and Teva Americas’ board of directors from 2007 to 2012. His experience is global in all core functional areas including Strategic Planning, IR, R&D, Supply Chain Management and Regulatory. He also served as the architect of the $6.8 billion Cephalon and $7.4 billion Barr Laboratories acquisitions and integrations. Prior to joining Teva USA, he held various positions with the Apothecon division of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Mr. Marth earned his B.Sc. in Pharmacy from the University of Illinois in 1977 and his M.B.A. in 1989 from the Keller Graduate School of Management, DeVry University. He is a licensed pharmacist and has served on various boards and committees, including, The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, the Board of Ambassadors for John Hopkins’ Project RESTORE and, as of January 2014, he is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sorrento Therapeutics and a Director at Galmed. Mr. Marth served as the Chairman of the Board of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) in 2008 and 2009 and the American Society for Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) in 2010.

Scott Meyers, BS ’76, RPh, MS, FASHP

Executive Vice President, Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists

Scott Meyers.jpgScott is the Executive Vice President of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists, the Illinois affiliate of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. As the executive staff officer of ICHP, Scott is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Council, acts as its continuing pharmaceutical education administrator for the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education programs, and is a member of the  Dean’s Advisory Committee at the Midwestern University, Chicago State University Colleges of Pharmacy and the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville School of Pharmacy. He is Vice Chair and member of the Board of Governors of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, Inc. Scott is also a licensed lobbyist in the State of Illinois and serves as Treasurer of ICHP’s Political Action Committee. In 2007 he was appointed to the newly established Commission on Continuing Pharmacy Education of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education; he currently serves as the Commission’s Chair.  Prior to and during his early time with ICHP, Scott worked for 22 years in health-system pharmacy with additional experience in community and home care pharmacy practice. Scott received his BS in Pharmacy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received a Master of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Francis University in Joliet, IL. In 2004, Scott became a Fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. In addition, Scott serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy Alumni Association.

Sarfaraz “Sarf” K. Niazi, PhD ‘74

CEO and Chairman – Therapeutic Proteins International

Sarf Niazi_1.jpgDr. Niazi is the founder of Therapeutic Proteins International, LLC, a world class developer and manufacturer of lifesaving biological drugs; the vision at TPI is to make drugs affordable to all and this dream is being fulfilled by a team of world's most accomplished scientists, industry leaders, who all-share Sarf’s vision and passion. Published 100+ scholarly papers, owns 40+ patents, delivered 1000+ talks on scientific and literary topics, written over 40+ technical and literary books. His textbooks are required reading worldwide, and he generally allows their distribution royalty-free in developing countries, to let companies and governments in the developing countries manufacture safe and effective drugs and vaccines at an affordable cost using his formulations and technologies. He also teaches scientists in the developing countries on creating value through intellectual property and, in this capacity, serve an advisor to the Government of Pakistan.

 

Mark Pilkington, BS '84, MS '88 (Chair)

Vice President Managed Care Product Strategies, Cardinal Health Inc.

Mark Pilkington.jpgBetween 1990 and 1997, Pilkington served as executive director of the Illinois Pharmacists Association. He was the director of pharmacy affairs at Pharmacia Corporation, where he was responsible for building relationships with pharmacy professional groups from 1998 to 2003. He is the past president of the UIC Pharmacy Alumni Association Board of Directors and was voted Alumnus of the Year in 2003. He served as the Sesquicentennial Development Subcommittee chair in 2009.





 

Anthony Provenzano, PharmD '92

Vice President, Pharmacy Compliance and Government Affairs

Anthony Provenza.jpgDr. Provenzano is currently Vice President of Pharmacy Compliance and Government Affairs at Albertson's-Safeway. Anthony graduated from University of Illinois College of Pharmacy in 1992. He began his career as a pharmacist at Osco Drug in Chicago. Shortly thereafter, he helped develop and grow their Diabetes Care Program. He has also developed and implemented numerous other clinical programs and services, including those that focus on the provision of medication therapy management services, wellness services and adult immunizations. Currently over 2300 pharmacists participate in his programs and provide services to hundreds of thousands of patients each year. He also oversees three community pharmacy residency programs with five current residents.

Anthony is a former Certified Diabetes Educator and a Fellow of the GlaxoSmithKline/Wharton Business School Executive Management Program for Pharmacy Leaders. He has served on numerous pharmacy association advisory panels and currently serves on the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, the National MTM Advisory Board for Outcomes Pharmaceutical Care, Inc., two Deans Advisory boards and the ACPE Board of Directors. He is also the 2003 recipient of the APhA/APPM Distinguished Service Award in Administrative Practice.

Ahnal Purohit, PhD (Former Faculty)

President & CEO – Purohit Navigation

Ahnal Purohit.jpgAhnal Purohit received her Ph.D. in psychometrics at the University of Delaware and settled in Illinois where she spent seven years as a professor at the University of Illinois, College of Pharmacy, teaching research methodology, statistics and pharmacy administration. In 1982, she gave up her tenure at the university and transitioned naturally into healthcare marketing, ultimately becoming vice president of market research for a major company. It was here she found that the deeper she delved into marketing, the more apparent it became that her scientific prowess provided a solid basis for her intuitive and creative insights. Ahnal’s innovative spirit is what led her to leave and take her next big step: cofounding the company now known as Purohit Navigation, one of the largest independent healthcare communications companies led by a minority woman.

While Ahnal blazes distinct paths for each of her clients’ brands, she manages to remain grounded by supporting many charitable, humanitarian, and environmental causes. She is the recipient of many industry and organizational awards, including being named one of PharmaVOICE’s 100 Most Inspiring People in the Life Sciences Industry.

Toni Rose, PharmD ‘04

Manager of Professional and College Relations, CVS Health

Toni Shaw.jpgDr. Shaw is currently Manager of Professional and College Relations at CVS Health.  Her primary responsibilities include pharmacy intern training, graduate intern training and licensure, staffing for Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota markets and managing school relationships with 16 Colleges of Pharmacy.  She is also a member of various Dean Advisory Committees and professional organizations to be a point representative for CVS Health. 

Dr. Shaw earned her PharmD degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004.  Over the past ten years with CVS Health, Dr. Shaw has held various positions. She started as a graduate intern in 2004.  Next, she held a staff pharmacist position in Aurora, IL and became a preceptor for seven different pharmacy schools. In 2005, she opened a new CVS/pharmacy location in Aurora as a Pharmacy Manager.  In 2006, she entered into the Pharmacy Supervisor training program and in 2008 was promoted to Pharmacy Supervisor. As Pharmacy Supervisor, she managed the operations and people of 50 CVS/pharmacy locations across Chicagoland.  In 2014, moved to the Human Resources side of the business and became the Manager of Professional and College Relations. 

Denise Scarpelli, PharmD ‘96

Director of Pharmacy and Retail (Chicago East), Walgreens

Denise Scarpelli.jpgDr. Denise Scarpelli received her doctorate in pharmacy from the college in 1996, and she is currently working for Walgreens as the market pharmacy director for the Chicago area. Denise has been employed by Walgreens for over 20 years serving in various roles from Pharmacy Manager to Pharmacy Supervisor. She has been a preceptor for many pharmacy schools over the years. Her current professional passion focuses on healthcare reform, and she is currently partnering with many health institutions to collaborate on how pharmacists can be more involved in the coordination of care. Denise oversees the Pharmacy Operations of stores within the Chicago land area and Northwest Indiana composing of 275 stores, with annual sales at $2.1 billion. The main responsibilities include sales, people management, strategic partnerships, and expense control. Another key area is partnering with other healthcare companies within the Chicagoland area to work on care coordination and healthcare reform projects.

She has 21 Pharmacies on medical campuses within the market.  Denise has also spent a large part of her career helping nonprofits with support from pharmacists; organizations such as the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, and the Chicago AIDS Foundation. She is currently an active member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Illinois Pharmacist Association.

Russell Secter, BS '78, PharmD, MBA

President, Regennera Therapeutics

Russell Sector.jpgSecter has just under 30 years of sales and marketing/business experience in the pharmaceutical industry, spanning traditional medical markets, generic pharmaceutical markets, dental pharmaceutical markets, and biopharmaceutical company start up. Currently he is President of Regennera Therapeutics.  Previously, he was CEO of PDx Biotech and President of OraPharma, a company acquired by Johnson and Johnson .  Prior to that, Secter was the Executive Director of the Oncology Franchise at Searle Pharmaceuticals and held a variety of commercial roles at Novartis/Ciba Geigy.  Prior to that, he had a clinical pharmacy practice at Meriter Health Systems in Madison, Wisconsin.  Secter Earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Northwestern University-J.L. Kellogg School of Management, a PharmD from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy, and a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of PerioSciences, on the Advisory Board of BioFilm Technologies, and a business advisor for University Science Center, an accelerator in Philadelphia.

  

Claire Thom, BS ’75, PharmD ‘82

Therapeutic Area Head – Oncology - Astellas Pharmaceuticals

Claire Thom.jpgClaire Thom has recently joined Astellas in the role of Therapeutic Area Head for Oncology. Prior to Astellas Claire spent 12years with Takeda. Her last position was Senior Vice President, Portfolio Management, Drug Development Management and Medical Informatics and Strategic Operations within the Medical Division (the Division within Millennium responsible for oncology clinical drug development within Takeda). During her four years at Millennium, at various times, she had responsibility within the Medical Division for leading portfolio management, business operations (medical finance, annual and mid-range financial planning, space planning and operations, headcount resourcing, development goals process), clinical development operations (clinical operations, programming, data management, statistics, medical writing, clinical outsourcing), drug development management (project management), medical informatics (technology support for the division) and the strategic project management office for the division. Prior to joining Millennium, Claire spent 18months working in Osaka, Japan during which time she was responsible for developing the oncology strategy for Takeda that culminated in the acquisition of Millennium. Before going to Japan, Claire held positions of varying responsibility within the Takeda US development organization including the management of regulatory affairs, safety, biometrics and data management, clinical research, and quality assurance. Claire has particular expertise in organizational design and efficiency; she has successfully worked through integrations across multiple functions and redesigned business processes. Claire has a PharmD from University of Illinois and over 20 years of pharmaceutical experience including positions in medical affairs and new product planning (over 11 years at Searle) and drug development (over 12 years at Takeda/Millennium).

Ron Weinert, BS '83

President at Medication Management Partners


large_Ron Weinert_0.jpgRon has been a loyal alumnus and friend of the college over the last 30 years.  He graduated from our historic college in 1983 – a class that has had its share of successful graduates.   He also received a Certificate from the Wharton School and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics of the University of Pennsylvania in an Executive Management Program for Pharmacy Leaders.  Ron’s long and distinguished career has been in community pharmacy.  He began his career after graduation at Westlake Community Hospital followed by a brief stint as assistant manager at Doc’s Drugs.  From there, he’s steadily risen through the ranks at Walgreens.  He began as a pharmacist in 1987, was promoted to Pharmacy Manager in 1988 and then onto Pharmacy Supervisor.  He then went to Walgreens corporate headquarters focusing on Loss Prevention.  Over the years, we’ve had trouble keeping up with his titles!  He’s served Walgreens in the area of patient services, government relations, Chief of staff to the CEO, and Health Systems Services.  He recently retired as Vice President, Health Care Solutions at Walgreens.  Ron is an avid triathlon enthusiast and has completed an Iron Man competition and is an accomplished coach as well.  Most recently, he became President of  Medication Management Partners.  

Garry Zage, R.Ph., BS ’77, MS

President & CEO – Kirby Lester, LLC

Gary Zage.jpgGarry Zage ('77) has over 35 years experience in the pharmacy industry, including more than 15 years in automation technology. Zage is the only CEO of a pharmacy automation company who is also a pharmacist.

Prior to purchasing Kirby Lester, Zage co-founded and spent 10 years running a private consulting and development firm that advised and developed strategies with new healthcare start-up businesses. Zage also held several executive business development as well as corporate sales and marketing roles with Baxter International prior to starting the consulting firm.

Immediately after graduation in 1977, Zage worked as a pharmacist at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL.  Zage also was in hospital pharmacy management and was promoted to a hospital administrator over professional services (including pharmacy) at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago.  He also obtained a Masters of Science Degree in Management/Public Service from DePaul University and graduated with Highest Honors Distinction.

 Zage served as President of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists and sat on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Pharmacists Association. In 1984, Zage was recognized for outstanding leadership by a young pharmacist when he received the Edmond P. Barcus Memorial Leadership Award from Illinois Pharmacist’s Association.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Epilepsy Services of Northeastern Illinois and is a member the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy Advisory Board.  In 2012, he received the Alumnus of the Year Award from the UIC College of Pharmacy.  

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