Alumnus of the Year – 2003

David Sanders

David Sanders received his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy in 1952 and a Masters in Business Administration degree in 1956 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dave has been involved in the pharmaceutical/medical device industry for over 40 years and has been an entrepreneur/business owner for over 30 years.

He began his career with Pfizer International where he was responsible for all marketing research activities related to the pharmaceutical and international divisions. He then was employed by Sandoz, Inc. and was responsible for marketing, sales, advertising, acquisitions and general management.

These experiences led him to become involved in the purchase of Medical Engineering Corporation in 1973, at that time, MEC was in acute financial difficulty and Mr. Sanders become its CEO. From 1973 to 1984, MEC which became Surgitek and was sold to Bristol Myers Squibb in 1982 and grew from 45 employees to over 200 and exploded its sales from $750,000 to $20 million.

In 1982 the company was awarded the Department of Commerce E Award for excellence in export. In 1984, the holding company that Mr. Sanders and his partner owned, DS Medical, purchased controlling interest in Biochem International and increased the company’s sales, over a short period of 8 years from $2.5 million to $10 million annually. In 2000, Mr. Sanders purchased Medikmark Incorporated, a manufacturer of sterile, disposable surgical kits for numerous types of clinical and hospital surgical procedures. Medikmark was a company in trouble and today is a profitable and successful company in its industry. As recent as 2003, Dave acquired a company from an Australian pharmaceutical firm and introduced it’s product line into the US market in February 2003, the company is Intravascular, and the flagship product is FlowStar: a needleless IV connector.

During his tenure in general management, Mr. Sanders spent considerable time in the research and development activities of the various companies with which he has been associated. These high-tech medical businesses have literally introduced and marketed hundreds of new products, generally directed to the plastic surgery, urology, anesthesia and respiratory care fields of medicine.

As you have heard, Dave Sanders has been extremely successful in his business ventures but his service and commitment to the health care industry extends beyond his office. Past affiliations have included being a board member of a prominent WI hospital and Chairman of the Board of several companies, including HMO organizations in the greater Chicago area. Past and current affiliations include: Former Chairperson and member of the Board of Visitors for the School of Pharmacy; Director of the Biomedical Research Institute at UW-Parkside; a member of the Health Industry Manufacturer’s Association, Board of Advisors of the Medical College of Wisconsin and Executive Board member to the Advisory Board for the Biology Department of Marquette University.

Mr. Sanders is a man of significant stature, vision, keen business sense and generosity. When the SOP was in need of people to lead the fund raising campaign, Dave was eager to volunteer as our National Vice Chair of the Pharmacy Building Campaign; he is the largest individual donor and served the campaign and the future pharmacy graduates with exemplary dedication.

He is an approachable, unassuming, hard working and kind man.
When Dave was informed of this award he was humbled and stated “Oh my, there are so many others who deserve this award as well…”