High-tech leader dies after bicycle crash

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Duane Roth

Duane Roth / Photo courtesy Business Leadership Alliance

SAN DIEGO — Duane Roth, the San Diego executive leader who died Saturday from injuries suffered in a bicycle wreck, will be remembered at a memorial service on Friday.

The service for Roth, 63, is set for 11 a.m. at the Immaculata Church at the University of San Diego, according to Connect, the organization he led.

Roth founded Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp. and was a senior executive at Johnson & Johnson and Wyeth before he took over as CEO of Connect in 2004. He spent the past nine years touting San Diego as a center of innovation.

“Duane Roth served as an inspirational leader of San Diego’s high-tech and biotech communities during a period of extraordinary growth,” San Diego Mayor Bob Filner said. “His loss will reverberate throughout our region, but his accomplishments and the legacy he leaves behind will live on, and our lives are better for it. For that we are grateful.”

Roth was on the board of state agency responsible for stem cell research and was set to become chairman of the Sanford-Burnham Research Institute’s Board of Directors last month. He also was a member of the executive board of Lead San Diego, a leadership training organization.

“Duane inspired many of us, making us think big and beyond our comfort zone,” said Vicky Carlson, the president and CEO if Lead San Diego. “His inspiration, wisdom and vision will certainly live on. We will continue to honor Duane as we prepare for the future, moving forward with the planning and implementation of leadership growth in our great region.”

Roth was injured July 21 when he crashed his bicycle into a rock outcropping near Lake Cuyamaca, with an impact so hard it broke his helmet, authorities said.

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