Meet Our New President
Laird Leavoy's Passion & Leadership Are Firmly Rooted in His Family
I am humbled and overjoyed to be the new president of American Pharmacies. This is the finest organ
ization I have ever been part of, and it is a true honor to serve our board, team and members. I am inspired daily by all of you.
My family and I are very excited to start this next journey in our lives.
I married Ms. Laurie Welch of Carsbad, NM., in 1994, the same year I began my career in the drug wholesale business. Marrying Laurie was the single best decision I have ever made. With her by my side my career went to new heights with her love, support and guidance. We have two children, who are proud Americans and great citizens. My daughter, Lexi, just started work on her masters d
egree in public administration at the University of North Texas (UNT) this week. My son, Logan, will complete his undergraduate degree in criminal justice at UNT this May. My family serves as my rock and they keep me grounded and motivated.
Being a father has been a true blessing.
One of my greatest joys has been reliving life through my children's eyes -- all the wonder and discovery they have experienced keeps me young, optimistic and thankful.
We round out our family with Jax and Jemma, our two Labradors who came straight from the famous King Ranch in South Texas. These two rule our home and keep me on a short leash! As the great Louie Armstrong sang, "What A Wonderful World!"
My relationship with independent retail pharmacy began in 1994 when I went to work for FoxMeyer Drug Company, where I was tasked with building an independent pharmacy base in South, Central and West Texas. Over the next few years, I met many great Americans who gave their all in providing the best services possible to their patients. As pharmacists, they provide superior health care, jobs and leadership, and are pillars of their communities
. I often stayed at my customers' homes and heard phone calls come in at 3:00 a.m., someone asking for their assistance. Off they would go in the middle of the night to take care of a patient in need.
I realized at that time that independent pharmacists are a unique national treasure. And I resolved to do everything possible to help protect and enhance their business model so our citizens never lose these irreplaceable professionals that are so important to their communities and their families.
I spent the next 14 years at Amerisource, then AmerisourceBergen, as the Director of Sales in Texas, ending my career with ABDC as Vice President of Retail Sales for the South Region. In this capacity I was responsible for all independent pharmacy customers from Texas to Florida.
The more independent pharmacists I had the honor to work with, the greater my passion grew to find meaningful ways to make a difference for their businesses, patients and families.
It was my good fortune to cross paths with American Pharmacies and Mike Gohlke, who gave me the platform, resources and leadership to begin my quest to make a difference for independents -- not just in Texas, but across the country.
Why American Pharmacies = LEADERSHIP
American Pharmacies exists for one reason only: to "Protect, Defend, And Enhance The Business Model of Independent Pharmacy." We strive to achieve our mission statement every day through our powerful economics with our strategic partner, AmerisourceBergen. Our economics are the product of our team's 177 collective years of wholesale drug experience, led by John Cooper.
American Pharmacies also has built the most powerful state advocacy muscle in the nation. Texas Pharmacy Business Counsel was the first dedicated, freestanding advocacy group established by a pharmacy purchasing group. Since its inception in 2009, TPBC has passed 10 bills protecting the business model of Texas community pharmacy, including the nation's first ban on clawbacks. We then worked with our shareholders in New Mexico to build the New Mexico Pharmacy Business Counsel, which passed its own clawback ban in 2017 as well as major PBM reforms last year.
As of January 1, TPBC's Michael Wright has taken on the role of Vice President of Government Affairs, and will work around the country with many state associations, advocacy groups and independent pharmacists.
Equally important, General Counsel Miguel Rodriguez has tremendous experience and expertise in protecting independent pharmacy, both in the capitol and the courtroom.
Our economics, advocacy expertise and legal prowess give us the most powerful independent pharmacy value proposition in the nation. This, along with our daily leadership and "Willingness To Act," has made American Pharmacies the tip of the spear across the nation, ensuring that independent pharmacy not only survives, but thrives! As we have spread across the map, we are fortunate that our vision has resonated with so many independent leaders who have become members. We are privileged to have so many flagship pharmacies in so many states standing shoulder to shoulder with us to advance and defend their business model. Each of these new members makes us a better organization and strengthens our abilities and insights.
"It's All About LEADERSHIP"
I am the proud son of Les Leavoy, a highly decorated Air Force combat fighter pilot who saw combat in three wars.
He served our great nation for 34 years, all from the cockpit of fighter aircraft.
Les experienced his first combat action in Europe at the tender age of 19 in a
P-47 Thunderbolt. Twenty years later as an F-100 Super Sabre squadron commander, he led some of the first combat missions over North Vietnam, serving three tours in that conflict.
My family lived all over the world. I am the youngest of five kids, born at Misawa Air Base in Japan in December 1963. My Mom, Bootie, and my Dad were an incredible team and both served this nation well.
Les had a quiet but very effective form of leadership. He taught me at a very early age by example that real leadership is all about empowering those around you to achieve their dreams, goals
and objectives. His formula was simple: understand the mission, articulate a sense of purpose and always lead from the front. He made me understand that True Leaders don't create followers, they create great new leaders. I came to understand that true Leadership is a liberation of the talent of those around you.
One of my greatest ambitions was to find a way to honor my Dad's long service and sacrifice for our great nation. In 2006 I established the "Les Leavoy Cadet Flight Training Program" through the Daedalian Foundation. The Daedalians are the nation's largest fraternity of military aviators. Every year we have six to eight young Americans train in our program to achieve their first solo flight, "slipping the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God." This program has helped more than 100 cadets achieve their dreams of flight, and some have gone on to be aviators in the U.S. military. It's very rewarding to realize that in honoring your heroic fighter pilot Dad that you might play a small part in inspiring some in the next generation of American Leaders!
I learned years ago that building a quality organization starts with hiring the right people, those with the "fire in their belly and light in their eyes."
We must ensure that our team is always properly trained and supported, and that they know we have their backs. Once we achieve these dynamics, we simply get out of their way and let their ingenuity and creativity define the organization. I consider the American Pharmacies Team to be my #1 customer. If I take care of them and we met and exceed their expectations in joining American Pharmacies, then they will take excellent care of our members.
You have my commitment that we will always bring the best quality associates into American Pharmacies and you should expect no less. Quality organizations attract quality people. This is true of both our associates and members!
I thank the American Pharmacies Board of Directors for giving my family this opportunity to work with all of you to strive to achieve our mission statement every day. I am honored to be a part of this fine organization and to have the opportunity to play a meaningful role in the future of independent pharmacy.