Michael Minesinger, RPh

Michael MinesingerPHARMACY: Owner, Alwan Pharmacy and Compounding Center, Peoria, Ill., and Morton Alwan Pharmacy, Morton, Ill

AGE: 62

FAMILY: Wife, Nancy. Daughter, Katie.

EDUCATION: University of Illinois College of Pharmacy BS 1985; University of Illinois College of Law 1988.

FACTORY-TESTED: Mike didn't go straight into college after high school. College was his goal, but his parents weren't going to pay for it. So, he went to work in a factory and put in some hard manual labor to earn his tuition.

DISCOVERING PHARMACY: While at the factory, Mike developed allergies which resulted in pharmacy visits. He couldn't help but notice that the pharmacy seemed to be a better work environment than the factory.

CAREER CONSIDERATIONS: Mike liked the idea of a career in the medical profession but he wasn't keen on blood and wounds. "I had a high ick factor," he says, but he figured he wouldn't see much of that in a pharmacy.

TAKING THE LAW INTO HIS HANDS: After pharmacy school, Mike headed for law school. He earned a degree and passed the bar, but he let his license expire when he bought a pharmacy. The degree comes in handy often, he says, especially when he's reading pharmacy legislation.

BLACK AND WHITE: Mike realized that pharmacy was more "intellectually satisfying" to him for a simple reason. "I like having one answer. I like that when you mix this and reduce that, you know exactly what you're going to get. There's a certainty." With law, there's a lot of gray, he said.

PHARMACY PASSION: : "I can help people feel better. That's my juice."

NCPA'S VALUE TO ME: "NCPA is the voice for independent pharmacy. There are a lot of organizations out there, but NCPA is specifically for independent pharmacy. It's our voice."