APEX Conference Report
|GNP President Brian Nightengale
|| Gen. Counsel Amanda Fields honored by Board Chair Mike Muecke.
Rebranded APEX Conference Draws 400
for Golf, CE, Networking & Family Fun
Reflecting our phenomenal growth over the past two years, our rebranded annual conference attracted 400+ attendees to San Antonio's Hyatt Hill Country Resort for three days of family fun, golf, CE, networking, exhibitors and social events. The June 7-9 conference spanned a full three days for the first time with six CE sessions, an Independent Careers Forum for students and a keynote address at the Friday opening session by Brian Nightengale, president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy.
Pharmacists came from as far away as Georgia, Tennessee and Minnesota, and included members of the Pharmacy Owners and Franchissees Association, parters with APRx in the Amnerican Pharmacies Alliance. More than 20 executives and other staff from AmnerisourceBergen attended the conference, a testament to our wholesaler's strong commitment to our success.
| The APRx Board shares a monent of levity at the annual Shareholders Meeting.
There was a heavy family presence at the event, as shareholders, prospects, exhibitors, staff and guests alike took advantage of the laid-back Hyatt's pools and rural ambiance. For the first time, the conference featured orgainzed games and acrtivities for kids at all receptions and the Sarurday evening banquet, plus a video booth where spirited types could don assorted costumes and accessories before recording whatever message they wanted. Several shareholders and guests took the oportunity to record testimoniuals praising American Pharmacies -- you can click on the link above to see those.
Besides Nightengale, there were numerous other VIPs at the conference:
- State Rep. Todd Hunter of Corpus Christi, chairman of the House Calendars Committee
- Rep. Tom Oliverson, M.D., of Cypress
- Scott Brunner, NCPA's executive VP for communications & state government affairs
- Allison Benz, executive director of the Texas State Board of Pharmacy
- Lamar Pritchard, RPh, dean of the University of Houston College of Pharmacy
- David Maize, RPh, dean of the University of the Incarnate Word's Feik School of Pharmacy
- Indra Reddi, PhD, dean of the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy
The conference kicked off with a full day of CE on June 8, with offerings on audits, pharmacy ownership and exit planning, RxCOMPASS and high-performance networks and clinical-care opportunities. After the CE, Live Oak Bank sponsored our first Independent Careers Forum, attended by 30+ pharmacy students from three Texas schools and the University of New Mexico. A panel of pharmacy owners and AmerisourceBergen ownership consultants and financing experts -- skillfully moderated by LIve Oak Bank's Geco DeValencia -- answered many questions from the highly engaged students. The day concluded with the welcome reception attended by all.
Moved to the cooler morning hours on Friday, the 2018 golf tournament kicked off at 8 a.m. Friday with 18 foursomes competing in the scramble format at the Hyatt Hill Country Golf Club. After the tournament, State Rep. Tom Oliverson of Cypress was the star attraction at an afternoon CE session on the essentials of grassroots advocacy. After the CE session, and impactful opening general session featured a thought-provoking 40-minute resentation by Nightengale. The Amerisource Bergen executive acknowledged the many challenges that have created strong headwinds for independent owners, but he presented intriguing information about how millenials are beginning to drive major chages in the economy that have the potential to disrupt health care -- and retail pharmacy -- in ways that create vital opportunities for independents.
After Nightengale's address, APRx Board Chairman Mike Muecke presented outgoing General Counsel Amanda Fields with a special plaque and flowers in recognition of 13 years of service to American Pharmacies. Composed and graceful while fighting back emotions, Fields thanked the Board, staff and members of American Pharmacies for inspiring her work for so many years.
The Exhibit Hall opened right after the general session and attendees enjoyed a variety of hors d'oeuvres and libations while engaging with 30+ vendors in the hall.
Saturday kicked off with a two-hour shareholder-only meeting, where VP of Sourcing & Consulting Services John Cooper gave a strong presentation on developments and trends in the generics marketplace and all that APRx has done to mitigate the financial impact of ongoing generic deflation. After Cooper, the entire Amerian Pharmacies Board took the stage to talk about important issues the organization faces and to answer questions from shareholders.
After the shareholder meeting, CE sessions concluded with an update on Texas & New Mexico legislative activities, followed by a highly informative presentation on the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program by TSBP Executive Director Allison Benz.
After a two-hour lunch in the Exhibit Hall, vendor spotlight sessions were conducted by FDS and Computer Rx/Rx 30. Attendees otherwise had the afternoon free to hit the pools again or relax a bit before the evening festivities.
The second annual APRxPAC reception was a big success Saturday evening, with guest of honor Rep. Todd Hunter entertaining PAC donors with his wit and insights into the Texas Legislature. New and increased donations at the reception and earlier during the conference netted just more than $30,000 in new annual support for the PAC.
After the PAC reception, conference attendees and guests gathered at the shady Luckenbach Pavilion and pool next to the golf course for a sumptuous buffet dinner followed by a DJ spinning dance tunes for the enthused crowd. The upbeat music and large number of dancing kids made for a high-energy and family-friendly night.
Rep. Todd Hunter & TPBC Ex. Director Kids heating up the dance floor at the Saturday banquet.
Michael Wright at the PAC Reception