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CONTACT: Valerie Briggs
Director of External Communications
Direct: (703) 838-2686


TAMPA, FL (Oct. 13, 2008) - A team of pharmacy students from the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy was named the winner of the National Community Pharmacists Association's (NCPA) 2008 Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition. A team from the Samford University McWhorten School of Pharmacy came in second, and a team representing the University of Kansas finished third.

"With each passing year the level of interest in independent community pharmacies grows among students" said Stephen L. Giroux, RPh, NCPA President and an upstate New York pharmacy owner. "Every team of students who participates in the Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Competition are winners with a better understanding of the entrepreneurial side of pharmacy. Yet three teams standout: the winner, University of Arizona; the runner-up, Samford University; and the third place finisher, University of Kansas; who each submitted outstanding business plans."

The Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition is the first national competition of its kind in the pharmacy profession and is named to honor two champions of independent community pharmacy, the late Neil Pruitt Sr. and H. Joseph Schutte. The competition is supported by the Pruitt and Schutte families, the NCPA Foundation, and Covidien (formerly Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals). This is the fifth year the competition has been held. This year's competition drew entries from 30 schools and colleges of pharmacy-nearly one-third of all U.S. pharmacy schools.

The three finalist teams and advisors made live presentations of their business plans before the competition judges and an audience during the annual convention after receiving complimentary registration, travel, and lodging Giroux announced the results of the competition during the Opening General Session and the teams were honored at the NCPA Foundation's Award Ceremony.

"The NCPA Foundation is focused on preserving the legacy of independent community pharmacies, and what better way to ensure that outcome than to sponsor a competition that teaches pharmacy students about ownership," said Sharlea Leatherwood, PD, NCPA Foundation President. "The plans the winning three teams submitted were truly excellent roadmaps to success."

Team members from the University of Arizona were Lauren Bartoli (captain), David Jacobson, Mai Huong Nguyen and Katherine Schiraldi. Kevin Boesen was the team's advisor. Their chapter received $3,000 and $3,000 was contributed to the school in the dean's name to promote independent pharmacy. The team members, team advisor, and the dean also received complimentary registration, travel, and lodging to NCPA's 2009 Multiple Locations Conference.

Team members from Samford University were Alexander Sproule (captain), Christy Garmon, Brad Nail and Elizabeth Redmill. Condit Steil was the team's advisor. Their chapter received $2,000 and $2,000 was contributed to the school in the dean's name to promote independent pharmacy.

Team members from Kansas University were Eric Gourley (captain) and Melissa Rufenacht. (Dennis Grauer was the team's advisor. Their chapter received $1,000 and $1,000 was contributed to the school in the dean's name to promote independent pharmacy.

There was a tie amongst the finalists, so the remaining eight teams received $300 dollars for each person from the school who registered for the convention. Those teams for Ohio Northern University, University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy, University of Georgia, University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy, University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University, Washington State University, and Western University of Health Sciences School of Pharmacy. All participating schools receive a plaque commemorating their participation in the competition. Each year, competing schools receive an engraved plate to add to their plaque, and teams placing in the top 10 receive a special plate acknowledging this distinction.

Judges for the written portion of this year's competition were: Dirk White, R.Ph, White's Pharmacy; Donald Moore, RPh, Moore Drugs; Dave Creecy, RPh, Poquoson Pharmacy; and Hamid Mohaghegh, RPh, Family Pharmacy Inc; Stephanie Smith Cooney, RPh, Gatti Pharmacy; David Smith, RPh Means-Lauf Super Drug; Richard Moon, RPh, Pharmacy Innovations; Joseph Harmison, PD, Harmison Pharmacies; Justin Wilson, PharmD, Valu Med Pharmacy; Dorinda Martin, RPh, Dripping Springs Pharmacy; Keith Hodges, RPh, Gloucester Pharmacy; Cheryl Garvin, RPh, Leesburg Pharmacy, Inc., Diana Courtney, RPh, Lake Shore Pharmacy, Donnie Calhoun, RPh, Golden Springs Pharmacy; Donald Moore, PD.

The judges for this year's live competition were: Sharlea Leatherwood, RPh, NCPA Foundation President; Calvin Anthony, PD, Tiger Drug; Edward Berg, MBA, CPA, CPCU, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company; Larry Doud, Rochester Drug Cooperative, Inc.; James L. Grigg, AmerisourceBergen; Stephen Mullenix, RPh, Covidien/Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals; Jim Springer, McKesson Corporation; Dan Strause, CPA, Defortest Pharmacy; John Tilley, PD, Immediate Past NCPA President, Zweber Apothecary.

The Foundation has received a challenge grant pledge from Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company (PMIC) for $250,000. The challenge grant from the Competition's second major corporate sponsor will support the NCPA Foundation Pruitt-Schutte Business Plan Competition Endowment Fund. As a result the Foundation is seeking contributions to realize the full benefit of PMIC's pledge and to double a donor's contribution.

The NCPA Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1953 to honor former NARD Executive Secretary John W. Dargavel. Contributions to the NCPA Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent permitted under federal tax law. The Foundation supports the growth and advancement of independent community pharmacy through low-interest educational loans and scholarships to pharmacy students in need, critical research and programs to improve the success of independent pharmacy, and financial assistance to community pharmacy owners for their recovery in the event of disaster, accidents, illness, or adverse circumstances. For more information or to make a donation, visit

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains represent an $84 billion marketplace, employ over 300,000 employees and dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines. To learn more go to


Valerie Briggs
Director, External Communications and Marketing Outreach
National Community Pharmacists Association
100 Daingerfield Road
Alexandria, VA 22314