HATTIESBURG - Max
Draughn's quest for opportunity and his down-to-earth work ethic
after graduation from The University of Southern Mississippi have
resulted in the success that many entrepreneurs dream about. As
the founder and chief executive officer of Cypress Pharmaceutical
in Madison, Draughn has guided his company to a position of prominence
and respect within the industry.
The 2004 Entrepreneur of the Year honoree from the
College of Business and Economic Development, Draughn will talk
about his entrepreneurial experience and what it takes to achieve
success during a lecture at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27. The lecture
will be held in Joseph Greene Hall, Room 116 on the Hattiesburg
Draughn, a 1984 graduate of Southern Miss, will also
be honored by the business school with a reception and dinner on
the same day at the Hattiesburg Lake Terrace Convention Center.
Cypress Pharmaceutical is a specialty pharmaceutical
company that develops, markets and distributes generic prescription
and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products to the leading national
wholesalers, chain drugstores, distributors, and other retail merchandisers.
Since its inception, Cypress has earned its reputation as one of
the most respected pharmaceutical companies in the United States.
Well-regarded by peers, the company has been a six-time
recipient of one of the pharmaceutical industry's highest honors,
the Supplier Quality Award from Cardinal Health. Cypress Pharmaceutical
also was named the second fastest-growing privately held company
in Mississippi by the Mississippi Business Journal in 2003.
In 1998, Draughn expanded the company by founding
Hawthorn Pharmaceuticals, a branded division of Cypress. A patient-focused
company, Hawthorn has sales representatives throughout the United
States. Together, the two companies will generate $90 million to
$100 million in revenue this year and have 125 employees nationwide.
Draughn is a Petal native and finished college in
three years with a degree in political science. He got his first
taste of the pharmaceutical industry while working as a sales representative
for Forest Laboratories from 1987-1990, and for Wallace Laboratories
in 1991. Draughn spent a year as director of sales for Generic Distributors
in 1992, before founding Cypress Pharmaceutical, a company that
now produces more than 150 generic pharmaceutical products.
The Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award was
launched in 2001 to recognize individuals who have received national
attention and who have made significant contributions to the field
of business. Previous recipients of the award are Bruce Rossmeyer
(2003), president of Rossmeyer Family Enterprises; Bill Hudson Jr.
(2002), CEO and president of Hudson Salvage Inc.; and David Oreck
(2001), chairman of the board and founder of Oreck Corp.