Who We Are

The Southwest Michigan Pharmacists Association is a state professional society serving Southwest Michigan’s pharmacists, pharmacy school educators, pharmaceutical representatives and pharmacy technicians.

Mission Statement

Our goal is to meet member needs, encourage personal and professional growth and provide information about events and issues important to Michigan pharmacists.

Our History

No one is sure when SWMPA began, but we think it was around the time of World War II. We know it was active in 1946 because Charles Shane, our historian, joined at that time. From then until the 1990’s meetings were held at Chicken Charlie’s which later became Damon’s at the corner of Westnedge and Whites Road in Kalamazoo. Frank Clark, of Parchment, was President. E. Turner was Vice President. Charles Shane was Secretary/Treasurer. D. Boudeman was a member of the Board along with George Jackman of Sturgis.

The Women’s Auxiliary was very active along with the men from the start through the 1970’s. They did puppet shows for the school kids about poison prevention and drug use. They also hosted coloring contests for poison prevention week.

During prohibition whiskey was prescribed by young graduate doctors (who had little income) for medicinal use for $1.00 each. This was in the Chicago area.

During the 1950’s the local pharmacies were very active with health promotions and the sugar cube polio program.

During the 1970’s Pharmacists gave presentations at different clubs, churches and schools on poison and drug abuse using the movie starring Sonny Bono and a shorter movie for the lower grades with Snoopy. These movies always required a skilled pharmacist who knew how the thread the projector.

Charles Shane was in the organization when Blue Cross/Blue Shield was starting up. He remembers how they came to a meeting and demanded that the pharmacists sign up then or be left out. None of the pharmacists signed up. They waned to review the contract before committing.

Over the last fifty years we have gone from about 20 independent pharmacies to about six in the area. The big box pharmacies have taken over.

Our Officers

As officers of the Southwest Michigan Pharmacists Association, we are here to assist you in any way possible.

Feel free to contact one of us with any questions you might have.

Michael Alverson


Michael’s career in pharmacy began by following in his father’s footsteps and graduating from Ferris State University. In his thirty-seven years of practicing pharmacy, Michael has been involved in several aspects of the professional community. As a business owner and community
pharmacist in Athens, Michigan, Michael learned first hand the intricacies and demands of the profession. After thirteen years of independent ownership, he transitioned to a new venture in corporately-owned pharmacy, first with Rite-Aid and most recently with SpartanNash where he’s been for the last fourteen years. Additionally, Michael has been a member of the MPA for forty years where he has served on numerous committees and been recognized for several awards.

In conjunction with his career, Michael is a prominent and active member of his community. Currently, in his twenty-fifth year as Village President, Michael oversees operations for the small town of Athens, located in southwestern Michigan. As an active community member, Michael has been involved in numerous philanthropic organizations. Among these, is Rotary International of which Michael has been a part of for thirty-seven years. Within Rotary, Michael has received the distinction of Paul Harris Fellow as well as perfect attendance for the duration of his membership.

Amy Smendik


Amy Smendik is part of a team at Mercy Health Home Infusion. She oversees dispensing and administration of IV therapies including hydration, parenteral nutrition,  antibiotics, and monoclonal antibodies. She graduated in 1986 from Ferris State University Hagerman College of Pharmacy and more recently, 2020 with her Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy.

Amy has been blessed with opportunities to serve the Michigan Pharmacist Association. As a newly graduated pharmacist, she was active with Calhoun County Pharmacist Association, giving her the opportunity to participate in the House of Delegates. There, she developed as a leader of the local association, achieving Vice Speaker of the House of Delegates and Chairperson of the Local Association Development Committee.  In February of 1993, she was elected Speaker of the House of Delegates. She has served on several executive boards including the Michigan Pharmacist Association, General Federation of Women’s Club, Gun Lake, Gun Lake Toastmasters.  Amy is currently serving as a Trustee of the Michigan Pharmacy Foundation and is a member of the Michigan Pharmacy PAC

Amy was born and raised in Western Michigan. Amy’s husband is a board-certified family physician in Middleville, and they have raised 3 young men. She enjoys baking, travel, and music. Amy continues engaging patients in their own care every. She can be reached on linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-smendik/

Janet Urfer


Jan’s work as a legal assistant to a patent attorney has led her in a field of pharmaceutical applications, which has been interesting. Her work on these applications has given her firsthand background knowledge of many pharmaceuticals at their beginning stages.

Her part-time passion is ringing handbells. She is a long-time member of The Kalamazoo Ringers as well as a member of the Westwood Handbell Ensemble in her church. In addition, she leads a small ensemble in handbell ringing for services and also as entertainment in various locations around the area.

Mrs. Urfer is currently secretary of SWMPA.

William Urfer

CE & Events

William is a graduate from the University of Toledo. He completed post-graduate work at the University of New York and the University of Tennessee. His professional interests are in home infusion and antibiotic therapy; also in perinteral nutrition, diabetic consulting, sterile products and compounding. His personal interests are architecture, construction, stain glass, gardening, and traveling. William is the C.E. and Program Director of SWMPA.

Julie Koppers


Julie Koppers has worked as a pharmacy technician for 30 years in both retail and long term care setting. She lives in Portage with my significant other, Jose, and our fur baby. Julie loves a good book or a great movie.

Megan Werner


Megan Werner is a Pharmacy Manager at Walgreens in Battle Creek, Michigan. She has a passion for training, mentoring, and advocating for newly hired pharmacists and technicians. Megan began her career in pharmacy as a Pharmacy Technician the day after she graduated high school and held this position for the next 8 years throughout her college career. As an Indiana native, Megan received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and minor in Psychology in 2010 from DePauw University and her PharmD from Purdue University in 2014. She currently lives in Kalamazoo, MI with her husband and three sons and whenever she is not in the pharmacy, you can find this hockey mom at the rink cheering on her boys.