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.