Lyman D. Eaton II (BS 1974) and Joyce A. Eaton established the Eaton Entrepreneur of the Year Award for an alumnus/a of the College who has excelled in entrepreneurial activities during his/her career. The recipient is presented with an engraved plaque and recognized at a public function.

Eaton Entrepreneur of the Year Award Selection Guidelines:

  • The winner must have excelled in the area of entrepreneurial activity by starting or growing a company/commercial enterprise in a significant manner.
  • The Dean of the College of Pharmacy and/or his/her nominee will determine the winner.
  • The winner must be able to travel to campus and receive the award and deliver a lecture relating to entrepreneurial activity to the Dean’s Executive Forum class in the spring semester.

2024 Eaton Entrepreneur

Rola Kaakeh (PharmD 2007)

Headshot of a dark-haired woman wearing a white shirt.
Dr. Rola Kaakeh
CEO, Salus Vitae Group

Dr. Rola Kaakeh is the CEO of Salus Vitae Group, a healthcare consultancy. She is the author of the book "The Art of Pharmacoeconomics." She is a fellowship-trained, licensed pharmacist with over sixteen years of experience in various settings and institutions. She advises organizations globally on health system development and has engaged with various institutions within the public and private sectors, non-governmental agencies, universities, startups, and professional associations. Dr. Kaakeh has focused her efforts on improving access to medications and healthcare decision-making over the years. She has produced numerous impactful publications, received a number of awards, and presented on several global, prominent stages to address pressing healthcare issues. She has served as a faculty member in multiple public and private universities and was the founding director of a research center. Her impact has stretched across the international community to encompass holistic national policies to local, on-the- ground initiatives that address clinical practice, access to medications, capacity building, patient safety, and cost-containing strategies. Dr. Kaakeh started university at the age of 10 as a gifted child, holds a Doctorate in Pharmacy from Purdue University, and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Health Services Research from the University of Michigan.

Previous Award Recipients

2023: Beth Brown (BS 1991)
2022: Ismail D. Badjie (PharmD 2013)
2021: R’Kes Starling (BS 2002)
2020: John Zehner (BS 1998)
2019: Nathan Gabhart (BS 1998)
2013: Hamid Abbaspour (BS 1985)
2013: Alisa Wright (BS 1987)
2012: Katie MacFarlane Phillips (BS 1988, PharmD 1989)
2011: Rick Rondinelli (BS 1980)
2010: Barry Hart (BS 1990)
2009: Marcel Sassola (BS 1983)
2008: Jeff (BS 1997) and Angela (BS 1997, PharmD 1998) Jackson
2007: John (BS 1999) and Tara (BS 1999) Voliva