Senderra RX Specialty Pharmacy opened in 2010 in Dallas, TX, and was started by Will Howard, Win Purifoy and Tom Bohannan. Bohannan initially developed the concept for the business when he ran into difficulties getting patients approved for certain rheumatoid arthritis (RA) medications. He worked with Howard and Purifoy and developed a business plan to open a unique specialty pharmacy to make access to much-needed RA medicines more accessible. Now, the business covers all 50 states providing specialty therapies for patients who have ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis.
Soon after the company started, Steve Lund joined the Senderra team, coming from Diplomat Pharmacy where he had worked for six years prior. At first, he was consulting full-time for the business before he was officially hired in 2013. At that time, the company was looking to expand with a new call center and Lund, being a Flint native, knew just the place.
“The employment situation in Dallas was different than it was here in Flint,” says Lund. “At the time, Flint was experiencing a jobs shortage with quality employees looking for work, while Dallas was experiencing a shortage of available workers. This was a win-win for both Flint and Senderra”
Lund successfully helped the business open a call center on the corner of Bristol and Linden roads in Flint and since then he has helped move more of the business’ operations to the area.
“As my role changed and I became chief clinical officer, I was able to build a team here in Flint to support our clinical care and management,” says Lund. “We have also since built an accounting group here as well.”
Although most of its employees still work at the home base in Dallas, the business has 45 employees in Flint.
How did you work to move operations to Flint?
At the time we moved, we worked with the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce (Now, Flint & Genesee Group and its divisions) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. They helped us do what was necessary to get the ball rolling.
How was the Economic Alliance involved in building the call center?
We worked closely with Michigan Works! who worked with us get to targeted job tax credits and training programs. We did a lot with them and were connected to them through the (Economic Alliance).
Why did your business decide to become a Chamber member?
I thought it was important to commit to Flint and Genesee County and be a part of the business environment. We don’t have a public-facing business, so it’s important to do things to connect with the community.
What advice would you offer entrepreneurs or others who are starting a business?
There are so many resources available that you maybe don’t hear about. I would recommend talking to the Chamber because they are the ones that directed us to different resources. It’s important to be a part of the community, to look for resources that are available, and to let those resources help you make better decisions.
How would you describe Flint & Genesee to an outsider?
I have seen the best of times and the worst of times and we’re getting better. It’s encouraging to see downtown Flint start to prosper. I do feel good about the direction that the city is going. It’s not just downtown, the county is growing as well. There is a lot of good happening in Flint & Genesee, we just need more investment and more people.
Outside of business, what do you like to do?
I like to spend time with my family, I have three kids and five grandchildren. My wife and I like to travel. I enjoy playing the piano and, although I don’t do it as much anymore, I like to sing.
Where do you spend time in Flint & Genesee?
One place that we go to with some of our friends still to this day is Luigi’s on Davison Road. It was a popular hangout when we were in school. It is some of the best pizza in the city.
For more information on Senderra RX Specialty Pharmacy, visit SenderraRX.com.