He was drafted and served in the Army during the Vietnam War to perform epidemiological surveillance and vaccine development, thus setting the stage for the rest of his biomedical career. Elliot continued in research of human diseases and development of important medicines, diagnostics, and vaccines for the next 46 years, including service as Chief Executive Officer of two companies, most recently Hawaii Biotech, Inc. Over the span of his career, he held research, management positions, mentoring roles, biotech investment advisory functions, and board seats.
Elliot was more than just a scientist. He had a passion for civics, democracy, and leadership which he was able to parlay into a parallel political career. Highlights of his work for Del Mar, CA include 4 years on the Planning Commission and 8 years on City Council with two terms as Mayor. He also served as Chairman of San Diego Association of Governments in 1996. Elliot brought his leadership and energy to local, regional, and national government. He testified to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Preservation of Open Space in support of renewing the Endangered Species Act and has been awarded the US Vice President's National Performance Award for contributions to federal government efficiency. Among his many local contributions, he was instrumental in the development of the Del Mar library through acquisition of a former church property.
Elliot willingly shared his experience and expertise, sitting on biotech company boards, nonprofit healthcare boards, and industry boards. He was a co-founder of the San Diego Biocommerce Association and a member of the BIOCOM board of directors after their merger. He was a founding partner in the Queensland North American Biotech Advisory Council, a public/private partnership to foster the biotechnology industry in Queensland, Australia through access to technical resources, expertise, and collaborations in the US. Elliot was instrumental in placing the island state of Hawaii on the world map with his dedication to mentoring Hawaii entrepreneurs through HiBEAM organization.
Elliot is survived by his wife, Michele Yelmene; children: Joshua, Cameron (wife Karen), Kagen, and Garrett; his grandchildren: Dylan, Zachary, Tanner, Violet, and Scarlett and his sister Kathryn (husband Ron). His family will dearly miss his compulsive need to be a tour guide even in places he had never been which was bolstered by an uncanny sense of direction, his prankster sense of humor, and his loving and passionate tellings of family folklore.
A Celebration of his Life will be held on the beach at 3:30 p.m. August 15, 2021 at the Powerhouse in Del Mar, California.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the
Surfrider Foundation or the Del Mar Foundation.
Details are at www.rememberingelliotparks.com