It is difficult to describe the essence of Duane Roth in a few words, but some that come to mind are caring, passionate, genuine, selfless and dedicated. When he believed in an idea or project, he would pursue it with incredible determination and effort, and motivate others to follow.
Duane always loved his work. Starting as a restaurateur, then a building products salesman and on to hospital sales and product development roles with major pharmaceutical companies led him to his 20 years as CEO of a startup drug development company.
“Duane Roth had a reputation for always finding ways to overcome obstacles, and this award serves as a way to honor his memory by recognizing leaders in the oncology space who share this spirit.”
-- Ida Deichaite, Ph.D., UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
All of these experiences prepared Duane for his eight years as CEO of CONNECT, a nonprofit organization that promotes innovation in the San Diego region. He was captivated by the possibilities that innovation provides in improving the world in which we live.
Duane was involved in numerous charitable, political, business, educational and scientific research organizations and he was intimately engaged in many fundraising events and projects. In addition to supporting organizations, Duane was always available to talk to people individually, particularly young people, learning of their passions and goals, and giving advice on how to accomplish those goals.
Duane was a controlled dreamer and envisioned big ideas. He had a remarkable ability to recognize and articulate a path toward resolution of diverse issues in a reasoned and intelligent manner. Duane was the consummate collaborator, always seeking the best outcome without regard to ego or personal gain.
His spirit lives on in each recipient of the Duane Roth Achievement Award, as those individuals embody Duane’s passion and commitment to innovation and the people they serve.
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