APhA Announces Candidates for President-elect, Trustees and Honorary President

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) today announced the slate of candidates for its Board of Trustees, President-elect, and Honorary President. The elections for these positions will be held March 20–May 11, 2020. Association members will have the opportunity to meet the candidates at the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition in National Harbor, MD on March 20–23, 2020.

The two candidates for President-elect for 2021–2022 are Theresa Tolle of Sebastian, FL, and Valerie Prince of Springville, AL. The two pairs nominated for election to serve 2021–2024 terms on the APhA Board of Trustees are: Betsy Elswick of Morgantown, WV, vs. Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner of Pasadena, MD; and Andrew Gentles of Washington, DC, vs. Deanna Seiler of Lake Villa, IL. Gregory J Higby of Madison, WI, is unopposed as the candidate for Honorary President.

Attendees of the 2020 APhA Annual Meeting will have an opportunity to hear from the candidates for President-elect during the Opening General Session on Saturday, March 21st and from candidates for Trustee at the First Session of the APhA House of Delegates on Friday, March 20th. Attendees will be able to visit face-to-face with the candidates at the “Meet the Candidates” session to be held in the Prince George’s Exhibit Hall Foyer near the entrance to Exhibit Hall of the Gaylord National Resort Saturday, March 21, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Ballots for APhA's upcoming Board of Trustees elections will be e-mailed to members on the afternoon of Friday, March 20, 2020, along with ballots for candidates for the executive committee and Special Interest Groups (SIG) of the APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice & Management (APhA–APPM) and executive committee and sections of the APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Research & Science (APhA–APRS). Further election and candidate information will be available online in early-March. Find more information on each candidate at APhA’s Election website.

Candidates for President-elect

Theresa Tolle, BPharm, FAPhA, is owner of Bay Street Pharmacy in Sebastian, Florida since 1999. Prior to owning an independent pharmacy, she had practice experience in chain, long term care (consultant) pharmacy and hospital. Her pharmacy focuses on patient services such as counseling, MTM, compounding, durable medical equipment, immunizations and pharmacogenomics testing. Her professional activities have spanned local, state and national pharmacy associations including serving as President of Florida Pharmacy Association in 2003, Treasurer of the Florida Pharmacy Political Committee since 2009, APhA-APPM Community & Ambulatory Chair 1995-96, PAC Region 2 Board of Governors 2009-12, Speaker-Elect/Speaker of the House 2014-17 and current Trustee. Other APhA service includes appointments including House of Delegates Policy Committee Chair in 2010-11, AMCP Model Audit Guidelines Task Group, 2010-11 and Center for Pharmacy Practice Accreditation (CPPA) Oversight Committee 2012-13. Additional professional involvement includes Lead Luminary of CPESN Florida since 2017, membership and committee work with NCPA, Cardinal Health National Advisory Board and Health First Health Plans P&T Committee. Activities outside the profession include Sebastian Chamber of Commerce Past Board Chair & LGA Chair, American Cancer Society Treasure Coast Council, and Sebastian River Medical Center Trustee. Tolle graduated from University of Florida in 1988. She has won several professional awards including 2019 Outstanding Alumnus for University of Florida College of Pharmacy, 2018 NCPA Preceptor of the Year, FPA Bowl of Hygeia in 2012, APhA Fellow in 2011, APhA Good Government Pharmacist of the Year in 2004 and Cardinal Health’s Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award in 2011.


Valerie Prince, PharmD, FAPhA, BCPS, is a clinical pharmacy specialist at St. Vincent's East Family Medicine Residency Program and a professor at Samford University. She completed an ASHP accredited residency at Regional Medical Center at Memphis. A graduate of Mercer University, she has enjoyed practicing in acute care, ambulatory, independent, chain, and long-term care pharmacies. Her primary areas of interest are mentoring, interprofessional practice, and substance use disorders. Her current practice setting allows her to mentor resident physicians and student/resident pharmacists while working on interprofessional practice and education in a larger scope. She has an 18-year history of national level involvement in APhA that encompasses two terms on the APhA Board of Trustees, APhA-ASP national office, numerous positions in APhA-APPM including President, and extensive involvement with the APhA House of Delegates including Speaker. She is currently Chair APhA-HOD Rules Review Committee. She has held numerous offices in the Alabama Pharmacy Association including APAREF President, APA Board of Trustees and she currently serves as APA HOD Parliamentarian. She is a past national president of Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Society. She currently serves on the Governor's Task Force on Opioids subcommittee and served many years on the Alabama Board of Pharmacy Committee on Rehabilitating Impaired Pharmacists. She is the recipient of the Tice Friend of APhA-ASP Award, APPM Distinguished Achievement in Clinical Practice Award, APA Distinguished Service Award, and she is an APhA Fellow. She has a long record of community service and mentoring including 14 years as a Girl Scout leader.

Candidates for Trustee (Pair One)

Betsy Elswick, PharmD, is Associate Professor at West Virginia University (WVU) School of Pharmacy and residency director for WVU School of Pharmacy’s Community-Based Pharmacy Residency Program. She coordinates WVU School of Pharmacy's Alumni Association and Alumni Affairs and oversees the outreach and engagement of the School’s 3,500+ alumni. She received her Pharm.D. from WVU and completed a PGY-1 Community Pharmacy Residency with Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Elswick has a strong record of pharmacy advocacy having served as Past-President of the West Virginia Pharmacists Association (WVPA). She was an ad hoc committee member to the WV Board of Pharmacy to ensure that their state’s pharmacy practice act was updated and that collaborative practice legislation was passed. She worked tirelessly to gain WV pharmacists and pharmacy interns the opportunity to provide immunizations and coordinates a course on “Pharmacy Advocacy and Leadership.” Each year, she takes her students to Capitol Hill and WV Pharmacists Day at the Legislature. She is a voice for provider status at both the state and national levels. For these efforts, Elswick was awarded APhA’s Good Government Pharmacist-of-the-Year award in 2011. Her volunteer service to APhA has been extensive including appointments to the House of Delegates (HoD) Policy Review Committee (two terms, current chairperson), HoD Policy Committee (two terms), HoD Policy Reference Committee (three terms), HoD House Rules Review Committee, APhA-APPM Awards Committee, APhA-APPM Policy Committee, and APhA’s Government Affairs Committee.

Her past awards have also included WV’s Innovative Pharmacy Practice Award, Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award, and Bowl of Hygeia.

Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, FAPhA, FNAP, Professor, Associate Dean for Clinical Services and Practice Transformation and Executive Director of the Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. A current APhA Board of Trustee and Vice-President of the Forum of the Americas. An APhA Fellow who served on many APhA committees and taskforces. Currently, a Fellow in Population Health at the University of Maryland Health System working in interprofessional value based integrated networks. She has developed and implemented many nationally recognized programs, pharmacy services in the UMMS Quality Care Network and Maryland P3 Program- a pharmacist-directed MTM and disease management program- site of Ten City Challenge- I partnership with the Maryland Pharmacists Association, government and business organizations. Past director of the Community Pharmacy Residency Program and current preceptor. Her work includes collaborations with the CDC and other government agencies. Past President of the Maryland Pharmacists Association and APhA Foundation Board. Recipient of the 2019 Creativity in Practice and Education Award from the National Academy of Practice, 2015 APhA Foundation Pinnacle Award for Individual Career Achievement, 2014 Maryland Innovator of the Year, 2013 University of Maryland Entrepreneur of the Year, the 2013 American Pharmacists Association Daniel B. Smith award, the 2010 Group Pinnacle Award; 2007 APhA Community Pharmacy Residency Excellence in Precepting Award; Distinguished Achievement in Pharmacotherapeutic Practice Award in 2006; Bowl of Hygeia 2005 and 1999 Innovative Pharmacy Practice Award by MPhA. She has dedicated her career to advance pharmacy practice and the development of innovative and sustainable patient care programs.

Candidates for Trustee (Pair Two)

LCDR Andrew Gentles, PharmD, BCPS AQ-ID, is a United States Public Health Service Officer at the FDA where he is a Senior Regulatory Program Coordinator within the Division of Antiviral Products and Medical Countermeasures Ebola Therapeutics Regulatory Team Lead. In this role he oversees the FDA's portfolio of investigational drugs to treat emerging infectious disease outbreaks such as the 2018 Ebola Virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. LCDR Gentles is an ASHP Residency trained, BCPS credentialed pharmacist with added qualifications in infectious disease. With over 10 years of public health and clinical pharmacy experience including the Indian Health Service, he is a proud District of Columbia (DC) resident where he continues to practice in an underserved community clinic as a credentialed healthcare provider. He is also a passionate pharmacist leader with a forward thinking mindset. Having served as the 1st USPHS Officer to become President of the DC State Pharmacy Association, he successfully spearheaded an advocacy initiative that resulted in the passage of regulations for Collaborative Practice Agreements between Physicians and Pharmacists. As a result, this historic legislative victory now advances the District’s pharmacy profession for 2,000 licensed pharmacists and stands to increase access and quality of care for 600,000 residents in DC. The recipient of the prestigious 2019 National 40 under 40 Health Leaders Award and RADM George Lythcott Award for public health impact, LCDR Gentles’ wealth of experience and dedication has provided him with a progressive and collaborative mindset to address the challenges and opportunities facing our pharmacy profession today.

Deanna Seiler, PharmD, has been dedicated to the pharmacy profession for the past 35 years beginning her career as a technician in her uncle's independent pharmacy at a very young age. She has been employed by Walmart for the last 15 years in several different capacities. Dr. Seiler is a passionate and strong leader that encourages authentic conversations. She loves to teach and train and consistently motivates leaders at all levels to achieve their highest level of performance. Dr. Seiler attended St. Louis College of Pharmacy where she earned her bachelors in Pharmacy and Doctorate of Pharmacy degrees prior to moving on to complete a 1 year post graduate residency program. While putting herself through college she had the opportunity to experience several areas of pharmacy including hospital, independent, mail order and mass merchant, to name a few. Dr. Seiler is a team player and enjoys working on diverse teams. Using her active listening skills she is able to understand different points of view and verbalize her ideas clearly and concisely. She assists in coordinating the two Walmart Pharmacy residency programs. She works closely with the residency coordinators at Chicago College of Pharmacy and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to support the three PGY1 residents. Dr. Seiler played a critical role in the creation and implementation of the Immunization program at Walmart. She has completed all APhA certification programs and trained over 300 clinical pharmacists in them. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family.

Candidate for Honorary President

Gregory J Higby, PhD, RPh, earned a BS in Pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan in 1977. After 9 months in practice as a pharmacist, he returned to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, receiving an MS in Pharmacy (1980) and a PhD in Pharmacy (1984). He did his graduate work in the history of pharmacy under Glenn Sonnedecker. From 1984 to 1986, he served as a research associate at the UW, teaching the then required history of pharmacy course (Pharmacy 401) and serving as the Assistant Director of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy. In 1986, he became the Associate Director of the Institute, which is American pharmacy's historical society, founded at the UW-Madison in 1941. In 1987, he became Acting Director of the Institute, and full-time Executive Director in 1988. In this capacity, he served as Editor of Pharmacy in History, the quarterly journal of the Institute. Greg retired as Executive Director of the AIHP at the end of 2018 and assumed his new position as Fischelis Scholar. In this new part-time role, Greg curates the Institute’s collection of reference materials, books, and artifacts. He also continues to teach the pharmacy history course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy as well as serving as Senior Curator at the School.