"Build relationships, make friends, and be involved…"
Alumnus George Edward “Ed” Vess, Jr. (1980 B.S. pharmacy) knew he wanted to be a pharmacist from the fourth grade. He’s experienced a variety of pharmacy fields over the course of his career – but ultimately landed at RedSail Technologies, a leading provider of pharmacy software solutions headquartered in Spartanburg, SC.
Tell us about what you do:
My current role as director of Pharmacy Professional Affairs allows me to be involved in professional pharmacy associations and organizations as well as work with regulatory agencies. This provides critical information to be shared with our company leadership and product managers.
While in college I worked in the pharmacy at Spartanburg Regional. After graduation I worked for Rite-Aid for several years and began consulting in nursing homes part-time until able to make it a full-time role. The consulting business then merged with a long-term care pharmacy where I eventually became the general manager. I left that role for an opportunity to manage a QS/1 alpha test site pharmacy for several years which led to my current position.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
In the fourth grade I knew I wanted to be a pharmacist. Nothing else was ever a consideration.
How did you originally get interested in your field?
In elementary school I had an interest in chemistry. Seeing pharmacists mix prescription products when I was a child piqued my interest. In Boy Scouts and Explorers, I liked being the first-aid guy. Pharmacy was an opportunity to combine chemistry and patient care into a respected health care profession.
Why did you choose the University of South Carolina?
I was a Carolina basketball fan from an early age and all the pharmacists I knew and worked with were Carolina graduates.
What class or professor do you remember the most and why?
Pharmacy Law with Dr. Reeder. His teaching style made pharmacy law logical and easy to remember. My best scores on the board exam were law.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being named 2022 Pharmacist of the Year by the South Carolina Pharmacists Association. I’m humbled to be selected by my peers for such an honor.
Who has been a mentor to you?
There have been many over my career.
- Jack Linder hired me as a high school student and exemplified the value of a community pharmacist.
- Dewey Burdine introduced me to the world of a consultant pharmacist and the value pharmacists bring to geriatric patients.
- Ronnie Brewer lived the compassionate side of a business owner with his motto he shared every morning, “…tell them we love them.”
- Lynn Connelly, John Pugh and Terry Blackmon provided guidance during my tenure on SCPhA Board of Directors and as President. True gentlemen I can, and do, call at any time for advice and opinion.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Friendships and relationships are critical in personal and professional life. I’m blessed with a great group of friends I can call on.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
My wife, Teresa, and I attend First Baptist Church in Spartanburg. We enjoy general aviation and spending time in our expanding vegetable garden.
What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to?
This Old House
What skill would you love to master?
What is your advice for current students / future pharmacy professionals?
Build relationships, make friends, and be involved. Upon graduation join the state pharmacy association where you live and the national pharmacy organization that best reflects the practice you want to have.
What song always puts you in a good mood?
“When You Say Nothing at All” by Allison Krauss