HATTIESBURG - Max
Draughn, CEO of Cypress Pharmaceutical in Madison, has been named
the 2004 Distinguished Entrepreneur by the College of Business and
Economic Development at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Draughn, a 1984 graduate of Southern Miss, will be
honored with a reception and dinner to be held in conjunction with
the college's fall Business Advisory Council meeting Sept. 17 in
Hattiesburg. In addition, Draughn will be the featured speaker for
the 2004 Distinguished Entrepreneur Lecture hosted by the College
of Business and Economic Development in October.
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.
A desire to see the world inspired the Petal native
to finish college in three years with a degree in political science.
Draughn 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. After spending a year as director
of sales for Generic Distributors in 1992, Draughn decided to branch
out on his own.
In 1993, Draughn's work ethic and intense drive led
him to establish Cypress Pharmaceutical, a company which now produces
more than 150 generic pharmaceutical products.
The Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award was
established in 2000 to recognize individuals who have received national
distinction 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.