Shelly Prial to Make 2015 Medtrade His Last

HME personality and die-hard ambassador of industry’s yearly expo and conference will draw his nearly unbroken attendance run to a close this year.

Correction: an earlier version of this story, based on a prior press release, stated that Sheldon Prial would make the 2016 edition of Medtrade his last. The 2015 edition, will, in fact, be his last.

Longtime industry personality and stalwart Medtrade attendee Sheldon “Shelly” Prial has decided to make the 2015 edition of the industry expo and conference his last. Having attended all but one Medtrade, 88-year-old Prial has served as a Medtrade Ambassador, and along with wife Thelma have come to represent the Medtrade “community,” according to a statement from the show 

“Shelly knows the HME and pharmacy worlds better than anyone,” says Kevin Gaffney, group show director for Medtrade. “Shelly knows everyone and everyone knows him. He is the best Medtrade ambassador we will ever have, and he can’t be replaced. All that said, he’s not done yet, and we look forward to seeing him and Thelma at Medtrade this year.”  

A WW II veteran who cleverly reversed an earlier U.S. Army rejection due to his only being able to see out of one eye by taking the vision test a second time using his right eye twice, Prial eventually left the service at 20-years-old and earned his Bachelor of Science degree. He became a Registered Pharmacist in 1950. 

Shortly before his graduation, Prial met his future wife at a college party in 1949 after his best friend urged him to attend.

“That’s when I met Thelma, who’s sorority was there,” Prial recalls. “I said, ‘Let’s stay a little later and help clean up.’ When we got back, I said, ‘Stanley, I’m marrying Thelma.’ He told me I was out of my mind, and I said, ‘No, I’m serious.’ We got married eight months later.”

On July 2 Shelly and Thelma Prial celebrated 65 years of marriage. 

“Nobody in this whole world has ever had a better spouse than I,” says Shelly. “She and I have been one person for all of these years. With our children, we always worked together. When I built my pharmacies, she was there all the time. It was never me alone, or her alone.” 

Meedtrade urged attendees of this year’s event tosay hello to Prial at his final show, which is scheduled for Oct 26-29.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on LinkedIn at and on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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