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Five HSOP alumni join APA Hall of Fame

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October 28, 2021

MONTGOMERY, Alabama – Harrison School of Pharmacy alums Elaine Beech, Tom Butler, Danny Cottrell, Dan McConaghy and Mike Mikell were inducted into the Alabama Pharmacy Hall of Fame at the Alabama Pharmacy Association’s 140th Annual Convention, held at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Florida.

Elaine Beech | Tom Butler | Danny Cottrell | Dan McConaghy | Mike Mikell

Elaine Beech and family
Elaine Beech (center) and her family

Elaine Beech
Elaine Hill Beech, a native of Millry, Alabama, received her bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Auburn University in 1983. Upon graduation, she and her late husband Wayne owned and operated B&F Drugs in Chatom for nearly twenty years.

Shortly after Wayne’s death, Beech sold the pharmacy and worked part-time for the Washington County Hospital. In 2008, she served on the Washington County School Board, her first taste of public office. She was then elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2009, representing District 65 (Washington, Choctaw, Clarke and Marengo counties), an office she held for ten years. During her time in the legislature, she served on multiple committees, the Women’s Commission and was the House Minority Leader.

Beech has been dedicated to her community and the profession throughout her career. She has served as a board member of the Washington County Cattlemen’s Association and the Washington County Wild Turkey Association, taught Sunday School and directed the children’s choir at Chatom Baptist Church and served on the St. Stephens Historical Commission. During the pandemic, she sewed and donated isolation gowns, surgical caps and more than 1,500 masks for the nurses at her local hospitals and nursing homes.

Beech has been recognized with the 2013 Alabama Democratic Legislator of the Year Award, 2012 APA Good Government Award, 2015 APAA Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2016 BCA Legislator of the Year Award, 2017 Forestry Legislator of the Year Award, 2018 Conserve Alabama Outstanding Elected Official, and in 2013, APA recognized her willingness to be a voice for pharmacy with the Legislative Champion Award. Her work to ensure passage of the Pharmacy Collaborative Practice bill led to a resolution honoring her efforts by the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy in 2019. She has been appointed by Governor Ivey as the chair of the State Healthcare Coordinating Council and was named a 2019 Toll Fellow by the National Council of State Legislators.

“You’d be hard-pressed to name many people who have given of themselves like Elaine Beech has,” said Louise Jones, APA chief executive officer. “Her willingness to serve has benefitted her community, state, and the profession of pharmacy.”

Beech has two children, Leslie and Daniel. Both are now married and she is the proud grandmother to Gunter. A member of Auburn’s 1856 Society and Foy Society, she and her family have also endowed the J. Wayne Beech '76 Memorial Endowed Scholarship.

Tom Butler and Charlie Thomas hold the award
Tom Butler (left) is welcomed to the Hall of Fame by Charlie Thomas.

Tom Butler
Thomas Wayne Butler, a native of Huntsville, Alabama, received his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Auburn University in 1970.

Butler got his first taste of work in the pharmacy as a clerk at Center Drug Co. when he was 16 years old. Upon graduation, he practiced at SuperX Pharmacy, Huntsville Hospital, Walgreens, Humana Hospital Corporation, Rite Aid, and owned Elliotts Drugs for five years.

In 1982, Butler began his career in public office after being elected to the Alabama House of Representatives. After 12 years in the House, he was elected to the Alabama Senate, representing the state’s 2nd district. Still active in the Senate, he has spent more than 19 years in the seat, including a stint as Senate Majority Leader. Throughout it all, he’s been an advocate for school funding, veterans, infrastructure improvements, the National Space Sciences and Technology Center in Huntsville, and most importantly, healthcare. During the 2021 session, Tom worked tirelessly with his pharmacy colleagues to see sweeping PBM legislation unanimously passed.

Butler has had a varied career in pharmacy and politics and has received some prestigious honors along the way. Awards include being named a Toll Leadership Fellow in 1989, the 1993 Disabled American Veterans Commanders Award, 1993 Air Force Sergeants Association Certificate of Commendation, 1994 Outstanding Legislator Award for Meritorious and Conspicuous Service to Alabama Veterans, 1995 APAA Distinguished Alumnus Award, 1995 Montgomery Advertiser Meritorious Public Service Award, 1997 Disabled American Veteran National Citation for Exemplary Service, 2000 National Association for Uniformed Services Certificate of Appreciation, 2000 Fire Fighters Protecting the Protector Award, 2006 Dr. Gary Porier Leadership Award, 2008 Dr. Eric Lincoln Humanitarian Award, 2011 Athens State University President’s Medal for Leadership and in 2019 he was recognized by the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy with a resolution honoring his work on the Pharmacy Collaborative Practice Act.

“APA is incredibly proud to recognize the contributions of Senator Butler,” said Jones. “His entire career has been filled with service to others and the pharmacy profession owes him a debt of gratitude.”

Butler and his wife Karen were married in 1973 and have had two daughters, Robin and Jill. Sadly they lost Jill to brain cancer in 2010. They also have four grandchildren, Tommy, Aliyah, Ben and Judah.

Danny Cottrell and Charles Sands hold the award
Danny Cottrell (right) is welcomed to the Hall of Fame by Charles Sands.

Danny Cottrell
Charles Daniel Cottrell, a native of Brewton, Alabama, is a member of the APA Hall of Fame Class of 2020, but was indicted this year because of the pandemic. He received his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Auburn University in 1979 and immediately went to work at Medical Center Pharmacy, where he had been working in various capacities since he was 15 years old.

Cottrell took over ownership of the pharmacy in 1984 and is the sole owner of Cottrell’s Hometown Pharmacy, East Brewton Pharmacy, and Flomaton Medical Center Pharmacy; and a partner in 18 other pharmacies in Alabama and Florida. He has been called the father of the Medicaid Provider Tax and he remembers crafting the plan on a cocktail napkin in the hallway at an APA Mid-Winter Conference in the early nineties. The tax, still in effect today, provides millions in funding for the state each year and ensured a fair dispensing fee was paid to pharmacies in return. Cottrell has been an advocate for pharmacy with whoever is sitting in the Medicaid Commissioner’s office through the decades. He’s had more impact on Alabama politics than most elected officials and has been instrumental in the support of pharmacy friendly candidates at every level.

Joining APA in 1985 Cottrell soon found himself on the Board in various leadership roles. He was installed as APA President in 1993 and continues to serve on the APA PAC Board today. He has also supported the National Community Pharmacists Association through service on their Legislative Committee for 13 years and their PAC Committee for 11 years. He’s been president and a board member for Associated Pharmacies for 15 years. In addition, he has served terms on the Alabama Medicaid Advisory Committee, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Pharmacy Advisory Committee, Alabama Worker’s Compensation Advisory Committee, and the Alabama Long Term Care Task Force.

Cottrell has been recognized with the 1992 Wayne Staggs Distinguished Service Award, 1996 Bowl of Hygeia, 2004 King Kourtesy Award and the 2010 APAA Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2001 he was presented with the inaugural Lester White Good Government Award, named for his good friend and colleague. Cottrell has been named the 2005 Brewton Citizen of the Year and the 2009 NCPA Pharmacist of the Year following his $16,000 stimulus program. He provided his employees with $2 bills, but with two caveats: they had to spend the money locally and they had to donate 15 percent to charity or someone in need. The distinctive currency showed up in small businesses throughout Brewton. During the COVID pandemic, Cottrell repeated his stimulus program for the local community.

“Danny’s willingness to serve others is beat only by his generosity,” said Jones. “He has used his career as a pharmacist to better the lives of so many and we are proud to recognize his contributions with this honor.”

Cottrell and his wife Karen have a son, Tim and three grandchildren, Hannah, Libby, and Jack.

Dan McConaghy and family
Dan McConaghy (seated) with his family.

Dan McConaghy
Dan Carlton McConaghy, a native of Satsuma, Alabama, is a member of the APA Hall of Fame Class of 2020, but was indicted this year because of the pandemic. He received his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy and accounting from Auburn University in 1979.

The son of a pharmacist, McConaghy went on to practice pharmacy in a variety of practice settings including independent, rural hospital, nursing home, consultant, chain, DME, oxygen and home infusion. He is currently an owner in seven pharmacies, all in south Alabama. In addition, he serves as the pharmacy director at Washington County Hospital.

McConaghy has been active in the profession throughout his career, serving on the Alabama Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board; Medicaid Pharmacy Advisory Committee; Alabama Council on Health Costs, Administration, and Organization and the CIBA Community Advisory Board. In 2013 Governor Robert Bentley appointed McConaghy to the Alabama Medicaid Pharmacy Study Commission, which was established to review Medicaid’s pharmacy delivery and reimbursement system and to evaluate options for reform. His peers elected him to the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy where he served a five-year term from 2011-15.

His contributions have been recognized with the 2000 Drug Traveler’s Association’s King Kourtesy Award; 2001 J. Wayne Staggs Distinguished Service Award; 2004, 2008, and 2019 APA President’s Award; 2006 NCPA Leadership Award; 2013 Lester White Good Government Award; 2015 Bowl of Hygeia and the 2018 Satsuma Women’s Club Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Words fail as you try to describe the impact Dan McConaghy has had on his community and profession,” said Jones. “He’s truly a remarkable person and we are all better for knowing him.”

McConaghy and his wife Nancy have four children, Ricky, Ginny, Dara and Conner.

Mike Mikell and family
Mike Mikell (center) with his family.

Mike Mikell
Stallard D. “Mike” Mikell, a native of Millbrook, Alabama, received his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Auburn University in 1971, the first in his family to go to college.

His first pharmacy job was at Hunt Drug in Millbrook. He took over as owner in 1973, changing the name to Mike’s Pharmacy. When he sold the business in 2001, he worked as a relief pharmacist for a couple of years before becoming pharmacy manager at Winn Dixie.

During his career, Mikell served three terms in the Alabama House of Representatives. His professional involvement includes service on the APA Board as a District Trustee and Academy Chain Section Member at Large; the 2000-02 Alabama Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board; and the 2002-03 State Committee of Public Health. In 2006, he was elected to the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy where he worked for five years.

Mikell’s accomplishments have earned him nominations for the Grandview YMCA Man of the Year twice, in 1989 and 1992. He is the recipient of the 2010 Lester White Good Government Award and the 2014 Bowl of Hygeia Award.

“The example Mike Mikell sets is one of high values, hard work, and a giving heart,” said Jones. “His accomplishments are many, but he has maintained a humble spirit. We are so proud to shine a light on the impact he’s had on so many lives throughout his career.”

Mikell and his wife Sarah Jo have two daughters, Joy and Kimberly, and 14 grandchildren.

The Alabama Pharmacy Hall of Fame was established in 2015 and acknowledges achievements by those engaged in the profession of pharmacy, whether alive or deceased, and recognizes their outstanding contributions or exemplary service to pharmacy and/or to healthcare. This can be demonstrated through exceptional achievement over the life of their career in pharmacy or an exceptional act during their career, or both.


About the Harrison School of Pharmacy

Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 25 percent of all pharmacy schools in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the School offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master’s in pharmaceutical sciences. The School's commitment to world-class scholarship and interdisciplinary research speaks to Auburn's overarching Carnegie R1 designation that places Auburn among the top 100 doctoral research universities in the nation. For more information about the School, please call 334.844.8348 or visit http://pharmacy.auburn.edu.

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Last Updated: October 28, 2021