Age 38  |  Principal, PharmServ Solutions

Giving back has been ingrained in Felix Gallagher.

For much of his life, he says, he was lucky enough to receive support from others, which has helped him get to where he is today: a small business owner.

Growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., New Jersey and South Florida, “my family was poor. ... We were receiving support from other people,” he says. An offer to play football brought him to Drake University, where he was grateful for the help he received with his academics and in his personal life.

“I think that ingrained in me the need to give back, or pay it forward, to make sure I’m helping the next generation, to make sure I’m helping my friends, the community, to move forward,” Gallagher said. “I need to help people because I was helped as well.”

His passions involve helping out with youths and being involved in the Hispanic community. Gallagher coaches youth football, he’s a past board member for the Alianza Latino Business Association and is a member of the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa.

His day job, which has become his morning, day and night job, he says, is with PharmServ Solutions, of which he is an owner. PharmServ’s primary goal is to help staff pharmacists in temporary and full-time positions.

Gallagher, who worked as a pharmacy manager at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for about seven years before joining business partner Shondalette Adams in starting PharmServ, said he always wanted to be an entrepreneur and own his own business. When he joined Adams with the company, Gallagher saw the opportunity to make sure rural areas were staffed with pharmacists.

Balancing his own business, community involvement and family is no small task, he said. Family comes first. Work often happens when the rest of the family is sleeping.

Five reasons He’s a 40:

• He’s a principal owner of his own company, PharmServ Solutions.

• He recruits and monitors a portfolio of 30 to 40 working pharmacists, and has served as a confidant and coach to more than 100 professional pharmacists and graduate students.

• His community service since 2002 has included mentoring 24 high school youth from ethnically diverse backgrounds.

•  “Although achievements are important, his greatest gift has been and will continue to be helping and ensuring others less fortunate are shown a path to prosperity through his reflection of hard work and perseverance as he continues to progress onward and upward,” said Desmund Adams, a fellow Forty Under 40 honoree. Gallagher was the treasurer for Adams’ state senate campaign.

• Gallagher was a three-time All-American and three-time All-Conference football player at Drake.

Mentor: Thomas Temple, former executive director of the Iowa Pharmacy Association

Fun facts:
Gallagher, the first person in his family to be born in the United States, makes a point to hang on to his Hispanic roots and instill them in his son, Felix Jr. The family speaks Spanish at home.

Presenting the 2013 winners:

Desmund Adams, Principal, AdamsDouglas
Lindsay Alderman, Client operations manager, LightEdge Solutions Inc.
Erica Axiotis, Director of development, Mercy Foundation
Kate Banasiak, President and CEO, Diversified Management Services Inc.
Erin Beamis, Senior vice president of logistics and operations, IronWorks
Jonathan Brendemuehl, Marketing events coordinator, Bankers Trust Co.
Curtis Brown, Economic development director, city of Ankeny
Matt Connolly, President, Generation Green Builders Co.
Lawrence Cunningham, Director of business development, Catchfire Media LLC
Angela Dethlefs-Trettin, Director of community investment and initiatives, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
Josh Fleming, Digital strategy director, Lessing-Flynn Advertising Co.
Felix Gallagher, Principal, PharmServ Solutions
Lori Gelhaar, Director of career services/ corporate relations, Kaplan University
Tina Gray Carstensen, Marketing coordinator, Shive-Hattery Inc.
Shane Greenleaf, Vice president/commercial banker, First American Bank
Danielle Haindfield, Shareholder attorney, Ahlers & Cooney P.C.
Emily Harris, Patent attorney and shareholder at Davis Brown Law Firm
Matthew Harris, Division administrator, Iowa Arts Council, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
Angela Hilbert, Sales and marketing director, Deerfield Retirement Community
Joey Hinke, President, Miller, Fidler & Hinke Insurance Agency Inc.
Hannah Inman, Director of communications, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
Keegan Kautzky, Director of national education programs, The World Food Prize Foundationn
John Lozier, Pediatric interventional cardiologist, Pediatric Cardiology P.C.
Dennis McDaniel, Police chief, Windsor Heights
Rachel McLean, Vice president/consultant, Ruan Cos
John Mickelson, Associate managing director, The PrivateBank & Trust Co.
Keith Olson, Commercial associate, NAI Ruhl & Ruhl Commercial Co.
Matt Ostanik, President, Submittal Exchange LLC
Benjamin Page, Director, Des Moines park and recreation
Dustin Peterson, Partner, McGladrey LLP
Nick Renkoski, Director of marketing and communications, Des Moines Metro Opera
Rachel Rowley, Partner, BrownWinick PLC
John Ruan IV, Vice president, financial institutions, Bankers Trust Co.
Jennifer Soma, Business lead, IDI Actuarial and Product Development Group, Principal Financial Group Inc.
Heather Starr, Real estate agent, RE/MAX Innovations
Aimee Staudt, Director of development, Knapp Properties Inc.
Courtney Strutt Todd, Shareholder attorney, Davis Brown Law Firm
Nikki Sylverson, Event Director, Des Moines Wine Festival Foundation
Howard Tempero, Experience design strategist, Spindustry Digital
Tony Timm, Executive director, Central Iowa Shelter & Services