Each year, Pitt Pharmacy partners with the Alumni Society Board to recognize one or more alumni as "Distinguished Alumni". These women and men have shown exemplary achievements over the course of their careers.
In 2013, Pitt Pharmacy and the Alumni Society Board began a second award, designed to recognize those who are making great achievements while still early in their careers. These are women and men with at least five years of career development past graduation.
As Vice President of HC Pharmacy and Supply Chain Management (SCM) Commercial Services at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Dr. Mary Beth Lang is responsible for HC Pharmacy Central, Inc., a for-profit membership corporation and group purchasing organization that annually distributes $700 million in pharmaceuticals on behalf of its members. UPMC has appeared on the Top 25 Supply Chains of the Gartner Group the past four years, was named the 2012 Supply Chain Department of the Year by HPN, and received the 2012 Innovation Award by AHRMM
Prior to joining UPMC, Lang was President of Diagnostix at Amerinet and a Pharmacy Manager for the UPMC. She was a leader in the GS1 healthcare standards adoption efforts and served on the GS1US Healthcare Leadership Committee. The Journal of Healthcare Contracting named Lang as one of the Ten People to Watch in 2013. She is the chair-elect for the ARHMM Board of Directors.
Lang holds a BS in Pharmacy from the University of Pittsburgh and Masters of Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and a Doctorate of Science in Information Systems and Communications from Robert Morris University where she researched “Physicians’ Perceptions of Care Delivery Changes under Healthcare Payment Reform”.
Mary Beth lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, Jeff and three children, Ceili, Xavier (Pitt ’19) and Colm.
Jim Lyon received a BS in Pharmacy from the University of Pittsburgh in 1972 and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan in 1974. He returned to Pitt as the second clinically trained professor at the School and spent eight years at Pitt as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy and the faculty advisor for Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity. Lyon then spent two years as a Research Associate in the Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology at Pitt, conducting clinical research trials for the pharmaceutical industry.
In 1984, he began work for PharmaKinetics Laboratories and eventually transitioned to VP of Clinical Research, for Biodecision Laboratories. In 1988, he moved to Wilmington, NC as VP of Clinical Research with Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD). During 5 years at PPD, Lyon was involved in large multi-center clinical trials and established the Phase I Unit for PPD in Morrisville, NC. Lyon spent 13 years with aaiPharma in the clinical research and product development areas and established the bioequivalence unit for aaiPharma in Chapel Hill, NC.
Over his career, Jim Lyon has published 20 articles on topics such as pharmacokinetics, antibiotics and analgesics and has been a principal or subinvestigator in over 500 clinical research projects. In 2004, he was elected a fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.
Lyon returned to academia in 2005 at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. His current responsibilities are teaching in the BS and MS clinical research programs and serving as the coordinator for the master’s program. His wife, Carol (Nowicki) Lyon is also a Pitt School of Pharmacy graduate, and they have two daughters. He and Carol have stayed in touch with the Kappa Psi class of ’72, who have met annually for the past 25 years. Jim is an avid golfer and serves as the technology guru for his classmates.
Franklin R. Manios is a 1957 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, where he was Regent Beta Kappa Chapter, Kappa Psi.
Manios began his pharmacy career with Thrift Drug of Pennsylvania from 1957-1966, and then founded Franklin Pharmacy in 1966 and expanded Franklin Health Care in 1979 to an LPN Onsite facility.
Manios is the Past President of the Trumbull County Pharmacy Association from 1967-1968 and a six year member Board of Directors Ohio State Pharmacy Association from 1968-1974.
An accomplished individual, Manios received the Ohio Pharmacist Centennial Award in 1978 from the Ohio State Pharmaceutical Association and the Independent Superstar by Drug Topic Trade Journal in 1988 and 1990. Manios was inducted into Harding High School Distinguished Hall of Fame 2002. He was elected Supreme President of the Order of AHEPA in 2004, (the largest Greek-American Organization of the U.S, Canada, Greece and Cyprus), and elected Chairman of the Board Trustees from 2008-2011. He received the Proclaimed Archon, Invested into Order of St. Andrew, Highest Lay Award of Orthodox Church by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in May 2005, in Istanbul, Turkey, and finally, received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2008.
Manios is also an active member of his community; he is a Trustee of the Trumbull County Public Library and was Past President of the organization in 2011. He is also a past member of the Salvation Army Board of Directors and Board of Health. Manios was named “Community Star” in 2014, and awarded the keys to the city in 2016. Manios is a member of St. Demetrios Church (Parish Council), where he is a member of Archbishop Lakovos’ Leadership 100 Endowment Fund.
Franklin Manios married Mary Mitaras in 1959, and together, they have three children: Irene (Dr. Patsy Buccino), Lee F. (Judith Ann) Manios, and Juanita Manios, and three grandchildren: Maria V. Stroup, Franklin Lee and David Manios.
Over fifty years ago, the family-owned business known as Thompson Pharmacy began in Altoona. Today, Thompson Pharmacy employs 150 employees and owns five retail pharmacies in Blair and Centre Counties. Thompson Pharmacy also operates a Long Term Care Pharmacy that services approximately 3000 beds in Long-Term Care facilities in 9 counties.
The family business was started by Bill Thompson III’s father, Bill Thompson, Jr (a former PittPharmacy Distinguished Alumnus). When Bill III graduated from University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 1988, he returned to the family business and soon assumed the position of Vice President of the company.
In 2005, Bill became President of Thompson Pharmacy, and Bill Jr. transferred to the position of Chairman of the Board where he remains active in the daily working of the company to this day. The same year, Thompson Pharmacy was inducted into the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame as an outstanding business in Blair County.
Thompson Pharmacy was voted Favorite Hometown Pharmacy by the people of the area in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016. In 2015, Bill received the Small Business Person of the Year award from St. Francis University Small Business Development Center.
Bill is active in the community and serves on the Regional Value Drug Board, ALSM Board of Directors, and is a spirited philanthropist.
Bill and his lovely wife Dana (Mignogna) have been married since 1988 and have two sons, Bill IV (a current P4 student at PittPharmacy) and AJ.
Brian graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, in December of 2003, as a part of an advanced graduation program. He served as Class President, dean’s advisory board, multiple leadership positions within Phi Delta Chi, as well as the President of the Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society.
Brian began his 16 year career at Rite Aid as a front end cashier and then as a pharmacy intern. His professional career began as Pharmacy Manager in Cresson. During his time as a pharmacy manager, he also assumed various roles in special projects, such as a pharmacist recruiter for 5 states in New England, Special Operations Trainer for the Wellness Ambassador Program, as well as an Eckerd acquisitions transition project leader. Brian was quickly promoted to a Pharmacy District Manager role, where he served for 5 years, supporting his own district, plus 4 other districts in the Pittsburgh market. Brian was placed on a leadership fast track and graduated from the Soaring Leaders program at Rite Aid.
In 2013, Brian was promoted to Director of Health Alliance, an innovative population health management program at its inception point at Rite Aid. Under his leadership, Health Alliance saw expansion to 7 states and demonstrated the ability for community pharmacies to successfully partner with various organizations to improve the triple aim of improving access to healthcare, improving patient outcomes, and lowering the overall healthcare costs.
Brian was promoted to his current role as Vice President of Clinical Services where he is responsible for oversight and management of multiple clinical programs for all 4500+ Rite Aid Pharmacies. He manages a team of over 40 clinical pharmacists, as well as providing leadership and oversight for the Clinical Drug Information Center in Moon Township.
Brian was recognized in 2011 as the Phi Delta Chi Alumni of the Year for the Mu Chapter at Pitt and in 2016 as Phi Delta Chi Mu Chapter Distinguished Alumni of the Year. He also serves as preceptor at the School of Pharmacy, adjunct faculty, and member of the CE Steering Committee and Advisory Board at Bidwell Technical Institute where he continues to share his passion for clinical services and advancing the profession with the future pharmacists.
Brian and his wife, Kelly Stell Bobby, also a December 2003 graduate of Pitt Pharmacy, live in North Huntingdon with their three beautiful children: Ava, Austin and Aubree.
Vera S. Donnenberg, PhD, FCP, a Regent of the Board of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology, is currently Associate Professor, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, School of Medicine and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, where she leads a group of basic cancer scientists, students and research fellows focused on basic and translational cancer research. She is also a junior representative to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
In the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, she serves as the Director of Basic Research, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, where she advises and manages all faculty promotions. Vera received her MS in Clinical Pharmacology from The Johns Hopkins University, and earned her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy.
She is an Era of Hope Scholar for the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs and has been continuously funded since 1998. She also serves on multiple committees of various international academic societies, serves as a reviewer for national and international peer reviewed grant awards and foundations and is a permanent member of the Department of Defense. Vera is also an adjunct faculty consultant at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama, Graduate Dramatic Writing Program, lecturing on the role of science in fiction.
Vera has received over 30 national and international awards for her academic and service efforts including the Marylou Ingram Woman in Science Award from the Coulter Foundation, the Governor’s Distinguished Citizenship Award, Maryland, and the Service Award from the National Society of Black Engineers. She is a member of several editorial boards and is an Associate Editor of Cytometry, Stem Cells, a leading journal in the field of imaging and cytometry.
Vera is a refugee and immigrant of communist Czechloslovakia and a naturalized citizen of the United States. She is married to Dr. Albert Donnenberg.
Jesse McCullough graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy in 2000. Upon graduation he began his professional career as a floater pharmacist for Eckerd Pharmacy in northwest Pennsylvania. He was promoted to Premier Floater in 2002 and began working with Eckerd’s clinical department in 2003.
He became the clinical team leader for approximately 400 stores when the Eckerd stores were acquired by Brooks Pharmacy in 2004, while still continuing float throughout northwest Pennsylvania. It was at this time that efforts to build an immunization and MTM network of pharmacists began. When Brooks Eckerd became part of Rite Aid in 2007, Jesse became one of 6 clinical managers for the company serving approximately 800 stores primarily in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. At this time the immunization and MTM programs were widely expanded and Jesse was promoted to Clinical Director.
Through various leaves, vacancies and realignments, he held responsibilities for clinical services for as much as the entire company for periods of time. His participation and involvement with the Pharmacy Quality Alliance through two demonstration projects and several workgroups has supported and expanded his expertise in performance measurement within the pharmacy space.
A highlight of his career occurred in October 2015 when he testified before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce regarding MTM services.
He currently serves as the Director of Business Development for Rite Aid. Jesse, his wife Tracy, and three children: Jesse, Jr, Bryndyn and Taryn reside in Cochranton, Pennsylvania.
Theodore Search, Pharm. D. is Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Skipta. Ted holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Pittsburgh, is a board licensed Pharmacist in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and has benefited from practical pharmacy experience in both the retail and clinical settings.
During this time Ted envisioned ways to leverage emerging digital channels to enhance and subsequently transform how medical professionals communicate and collaborate. Following this vision, Ted created Skipta, which now comprises more than 31 specialized medical communities boasting over 700,000 US healthcare professionals as members. Skipta has received health industry awards including the Silver Award for “Company of the Year” by PM360 and “Top Medical Game-Changer” by Medical Marketing & Media.
Ted is an innovation advocate, tech guru, and expert on social networking in the medical industry. He has been invited to speak at various conferences around the country and named amongst the Top 100 Most Inspiring People in the Life Sciences Industry in 2015 and amongst the Top 100 Elite Entrepreneurs in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry in 2016
Ted’s favorite thing to do is spend time with his wife, Veronica, and daughter Eva Gabriela. He is the oldest son of Timothy and Rosemary Search, whose three children all graduated from the University of Pittsburgh.