Elliot Werber had tremendous people skills, which he used to help himself and others navigate through tumultuous times in the industry in the 1980s and 1990s. Born in Brooklyn in 1945, he was a college athlete, and after graduation, taught physical education and served as a high school basketball coach. He entered medical products sales first as a manufacturer, then a distributor.
Werber sold medical products for Kendall for a time, then jumped to distribution, working for Max Henlein, owner of Bel Air Surgical in Los Angeles. Later, he became regional sales manager, then vice president of sales, for F.D. Titus & Son (which had acquired Bel Air). In 1994, DeWight Titus sold his company to General Medical. Werber stayed on with General Medical briefly, then left to head up sales for Quidel Corp. Soon thereafter, he returned to distribution, becoming executive vice president of Bergen Brunswig Medical Corp. He later assumed responsibility for companywide sales and marketing.
Werber had an uncanny ability to listen to and empathize with people. In an age of uncertainty and consolidation, his personality and extraordinary leadership style helped ease the transition for scores of sales reps whose companies were bought by others, as well as for the manufacturers whose products they sold. He was diagnosed with leukemia in 1990, and died eight years later.