2015 Distinguished Achievement
Mostafa Omar, Ph.D. ’82
President, PhytoCeuticals, Inc.
Mostafa Omar has been researching and developing medicines derived from natural sources for more than 40 years. His cosmeceutical and pharmaceutical formulations—based primarily on the modern application of ancient herbal medicines—have built him a reputation as a world leader in medicinal natural product chemistry. He invented the world’s only stabilized liquid creatine and liquid vitamin C, earning him the moniker “Father of L-Ascorbic Acid.” Formerly a scientific advisor to the Ministry of Health in Egypt and to Egypt’s leading pharmaceutical company, he is the author of two books about toxic plants in Egypt. A major benefactor to the College of Pharmacy, he established the Youngken-Omar Distinguished Chair in Natural Product Chemistry and provided leadership gifts to other campus programs. He received his M.S. from Cairo University.
Video of Dr. Omar’s acceptance speech
CVS Health is the second largest pharmacy chain in the United States and ranks as the 10th largest company of the Fortune 500 in 2015. It has been recognized multiple times as a Best Employer for Healthy Lifestyles, a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality, one of the Top 10 Companies for Veterans, and scored 100 percent on the 2015 Corporate Equality Index. The company employs more than 400 URI graduates and interns and has a long relationship with the URI Center for Career and Experiential Education. It has been extremely generous to URI through the years, with gifts totaling more than $6.3 million supporting numerous programs and colleges. CVS Health is the largest single corporate donor to the College of Pharmacy.
College of Pharmacy Dean’s Award
Matt Leonard ’88
Executive Vice President, Pharmaceutical Contracting, Purchasing & Network Administration, CVS Health
Matt Leonard leads strategy and operations for CVS Health’s pharmaceutical purchasing program, encompassing retail, mail and specialty pharmacies, while also managing relationships with pharmaceutical manufacturers and whole-salers. He directs the trade strategy associated with CVS Health’s commercial, government and health plan customers. Over his twenty-year career with the company, Leonard has developed an extensive background in health care. A five-time recipient of the company’s CEO Award, he was named Chain Drug Pharmacy Executive of the Year in 2009. He and wife Jeanmarie ’86 endowed the Leonard Family Scholarship in the College of Pharmacy, donated to the Pharmacy Building campaign and the Dean Joan Lausier Pharmacy Future Fund, and support URI athletics. He is a trustee of the URI Foundation.
Richard V. Piacentini ’77
Executive Director, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Richard Piacentini has transformed one of the oldest and largest conservatories in North America into a bastion of sustainability. He is responsible for the greening of the buildings, operations and programs throughout the organization and providing leadership in developing and implementing a master plan for improving horticultural exhibits, collections, and public programs that build on traditions of the past. He is the recipient of leadership awards from the International Living Future Institute, U.S. Green Building Council and the Green Building Alliance. A licensed pharmacist in Washington, D.C., he volunteered his time and expertise in reviewing design options for the College of Pharmacy’s new building. He received an M.S. in botany from the University of Connecticut and an M.B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University.