News Releases - 2018

Washington State University Wins 2018 Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition

by NCPA | Oct 07, 2018

BOSTON, Mass. (Oct. 7, 2018) — A team of student pharmacists from Washington State University was named the winner of the 15th annual Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition. A team from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Pharmacy was the runner-up, and a team representing Ohio Northern University finished as the second-runner up. The winners were announced after an energetic live competition on Oct. 7 at the NCPA 2018 Annual Convention.

"We congratulate all the participating teams from the 15th annual Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, and in particular the three teams that made it to the live competition. After a highly competitive event, one team stood out above the rest and was declared the winner – Washington State University," said NCPA President David Smith, RPh. "In working hard to develop these plans, the teams of student pharmacists participating in the competition received invaluable experience that will increase their chance of being successful pharmacy owners. If these well-thought-out business plans are any indication of the future of independent community pharmacies, then the future is in good hands."

The 2018 competition drew participants from 34 schools and colleges of pharmacy across the United States. The business plan competition is the first national competition of its kind in the pharmacy profession and celebrated its 15th anniversary this year. The contest is named in honor of two great champions of independent community pharmacy, the late Neil Pruitt, Sr. and the late H. Joseph Schutte. The competition's goal is to motivate student pharmacists to create a business model for buying an existing independent community pharmacy or developing a new one. Through this competition, NCPA is helping to prepare tomorrow's pharmacy entrepreneurs. The competition is supported by Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Pharmacists Mutual Companies, and the NCPA Foundation.

The three finalist teams made live competition presentations of their business plans before the competition judges and a large audience at NCPA's convention. The teams were also honored at the NCPA Foundation's award ceremony on Oct. 7. The results of the competition were announced during the opening general session.

"The NCPA Foundation helps cultivate the next generation of independent community pharmacy owners and the Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition is our crown jewel in those efforts," said Jerry Shapiro, PharmD, president of the NCPA Foundation. “Many past participants in the competition have gone into ownership and point to this experience as being an important stepping stone. Judging by the submitted business plans and live presentations of the finalists, the ranks of successful pharmacy owners will only grow.

The winning team, Washington State University, is comprised of team captain Frank Nenninger and members Chad Schmitt and Peter Tang. Team advisers are Dr. Damianne Brand-Eubanks and Dr. Linda Garrelts MacLean, and the dean is Dr. Gary Pollack. Their chapter received $3,000, and an additional $3,000 was contributed to the school in the dean's name to promote independent community pharmacy. The team members, team advisor, and dean will also receive complimentary registration, travel, and lodging to NCPA's 2019 Multiple Locations Conference.

The runner-up, the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Pharmacy, is comprised of team captain Aaron Hunsaker and team members Kayla Copeland, Dylan Detlor, and Kayla Shaw. The team advisor is Dr. Heather Lyons-Burney and the dean is Dr. Russell B. Melchert. Their chapter received $2,000, and an additional $2,000 was contributed to the school in the dean's name to promote independent community pharmacy.

The second runner up, Ohio Northern University, is comprised of team captain Jacob Lomax and team members Kenneth Barga, Scott Gerdes, and Amber Lilly. The team advisor is Dr. Deidre Myers and the dean is Dr. Steve Martin. Their chapter received $1,000, and an additional $1,000 was contributed to the school in the dean's name to promote independent community pharmacy.

All newly participating schools received a plaque commemorating their involvement in the competition. Schools that already were awarded a plaque in a previous year receive an engraved plate to add to their plaque. Teams placing in the Top 10 received a special plate acknowledging this distinction. Teams in the Top 10 also received a travel stipend, sponsored by the NCPA Foundation, to help them attend the NCPA convention.

The remaining finalists in the Top 10 were Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy, Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy, University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, and University of Southern California School of Pharmacy.

The submissions were judged by more than 50 NCPA members, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Business Coaching consultants, and various business leaders from across the country.

The pharmacist judges for the written competition were (in alphabetical order): Amina Abubakar, Selma Alami, Kaarin Appel, Justin Baker, Clark Bishop, Robyn Bradley, Brian Caswell, Chris Cella, Mark Ciarlone, Jenna Clack, Frances Cohenour Heinz, Stephanie Smith Cooney, Tom Cory, John Cravey, Chris Daly, Christina Davis, Ken Epley, Lisa Garza, David George, Holly Henry, Cathy Humphrey, Michael Kim, Grant Kinn, Braheim Knight, Elaine Ladd, Dixie Leikach, Neil Leikach, Matt Mallinson, Sonia Martinex, Mike McCarty, Brian Meneses, Steve Moore, Dave Morgan, David Harley Morrison, Cortney Mospan, Diego Naranjo, Jake Olson, Scott Podolan, Dared Price, Kristen Riddle, Phillip Rozell, Cole Sandlin, Paul Satterfield, Matt Savoie, Brian Sidone, Yorke Spence, Scotty Sykes, Christian Tadrus, Michael Vesely, Ashwin Waghray, Scott Welle, Dirk White, Justin Wilson, and Tom Wright.

The judges for this year's live competition were (in alphabetical order): Melissa Jostand, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Companies; Charlie LeBon, AmerisourceBergen Drug Company; DeAnn Mullins, NCPA immediate past president; Jimmy Neil, Live Oak Bank; and Mark Riley, NCPA Foundation board member.


The NCPA Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1953 to honor the previous incarnation of NCPA, the National Association of Retail Druggists (NARD) Executive Secretary John W. Dargavel. Contributions to the foundation are tax-deductible as charitable donations to the extent permitted under federal tax law. The NCPA Foundation supports the growth of independent community pharmacy through scholarships to pharmacy students, critical research/programs to improve the success of independent pharmacy and patient care, community service programs, and financial aid to community pharmacy owners for their recovery in the event of disaster or other adverse circumstances. For more information, go to

Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing 22,000 pharmacies that employ 250,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America's most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit