Medical Distribution Hall of Fame

Edition: January 2011 - Vol 19 Number 01
Article#: 3635
Author: Repertoire

Scott Fanning and Don Kitzmiller made a difference. They made sure of it. They strove to differentiate their company, and in the process, defined the successful manufacturer/distributor relationship for a generation or two …. maybe more. In the process, they had a lot of fun. So did everyone with whom they came into contact.

Scott Fanning, former vice president of sales and marketing for Midmark Corp., and founder of 95 Percent Share Marketing; and Don Kitzmiller, former executive vice president for Midmark and current senior vice president of marketing and business development for Blue Medical Supply, Jacksonville, Fla., will be inducted into the Medical Distribution Hall of Fame in February.

Together, they helped build Midmark – an upstart exam table and medical hard goods manufacturer when it entered the medical market in the mid-1960s – into the market share leader.

“When they started, they realized, ‘We are not going toe to toe on product; we won’t win,” says John Moran, vice president of corporate distribution for Welch Allyn. “The big players all had the big products. So they developed creative surroundings for the product. And their training was the best – a big deal. It helped the distributor rep sell everything.”

Moran recalls one of his first trips to Midmark. He had been asked to travel to Ohio to make a presentation as part of a distributor program Midmark was presenting for Healthco reps. “Fanning took me outside, where the entire factory had been assembled in the middle of this cornfield. As the [distributor reps] got off their bus, everybody from the factory stood there clapping for them. In the middle of this cornfield. It was extraordinary. They had the knack to know that owning the relationship meant more than [getting the distributor rep] to say, ‘Hey, I like their product.’ It was very personal.”

Cummings Machine

Midmark was born in 1915 as the Cummings Machine Company, producing concrete mixers. In 1921, the company was renamed Industrial Equipment Co., producing mining locomotives, foundry equipment, and custom metal fabrications. In 1967, the company became IE Industries, and it acquired American Metal Furniture Co., adding the production of medical equipment to its mission. In 1978, IE was renamed Midmark, and in 1982, it moved from Minster, Ohio, to Versailles, Ohio, its current home.

When IE Industries plunged into the physician office market with its own exam table, it faced stiff competition. Hamilton Industries dominated the exam table market, while Ritter was the No. 1 maker of power tables. (Midmark acquired the Ritter line from Sybron in 1986.)

“Both Hamilton and Ritter looked at us as an annoyance that would more than likely go away,” says Dick Moorman, vice president of sales for Midmark, who was hired by IE in 1975 and soon afterwards went to Atlanta to open a territory in the South. “That played well in our favor, as we were bound and determined to be the market leader.”

Initially, IE used independent reps, such as Marv Stevens on the West Coast and Lee Walters in Texas and the west central states, to sell its medical equipment. In 1970, the company hired its first medical sales rep – Don Kitzmiller. Fanning came onboard in 1975.

“Don and Scott’s attitude and approach to distributors was different in that we felt and knew that the relationship with distribution was a key factor,” says Moorman. “We were always pushed to find ways to make the distributor feel special. Few manufacturers took the time to do so. As a matter of fact, few distribution managers took the time to make their own salespeople feel special. That left a great opening for us to … build great, lasting relationships. We also can’t take away from the fact that Midmark worked hard to design products with significant advantages over the competition.”

Selling was in their blood

Kitzmiller was born and raised in Minster. His father, Frank, was a machinist at Minster Machine for 45 years; his mother, Henrietta, was a homemaker. From seventh grade through 12th grade, he worked for Meyer’s Dairy, the same place Jim Eiting (who became president of Midmark in 1969 upon the retirement of his father, Carl Eiting), Dick Moorman, Denny Monnin (35-year sales rep for Midmark) and others at Midmark worked while kids.

Kitzmiller knew he wanted to be in sales in grade school, when he gave a convincing science-fair presentation on a line of vitamins and mineral supplements. “The president and owner of Minster Machine came up to me and said, ‘Can I buy some of those from you?’” he recalls. “At that moment, I knew what I wanted to do.”

He attended the International College of Business in Fort Wayne, Ind., and graduated in 1966 with an associate’s degree. Three days after he graduated he got his induction notice from the Army. After basic training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training), he was off to Vietnam, where he spent 15 months doing administrative work. He spent another 15 months in Germany. Following his discharge in September 1969, he worked for a sales employment agency for a year, and then joined IE Industries. He was asked to build a territory on the East Coast, becoming IE’s first employee to live outside Ohio. “I traveled 19 states by car in 1970,” he says.

Fanning, meanwhile, was born and raised in the Chicago area. His father was a life-long salesman. He graduated from Bowling Green University with a double major in history and sociology, and went to work for Chicago Medical, a medical equipment distributor in north suburban Chicago. He responded to a blind ad for a sales position with what turned out to be IE Industries. Kitzmiller interviewed him and brought him onboard to handle the north central states.

‘Your credit card and keys’

A powerful influence on the Midmark team was Jack Carew, a professional sales trainer who had left Mead Paper Company to start his own training company. “Jack was instrumental in bringing to us many of the sales techniques we still use today and still train in our power meetings,” says Moorman. “He was a huge proponent of doing something different and creative in your sales calls and in your sales meetings. He pushed us to make them fun, creative and something a dealer would remember.” The young but growing sales and marketing team at IE took Carew’s advice to heart.

“It made sense,” says Fanning, speaking of Carew’s approach. “Nobody else was doing all the little things we were doing …. People liked it. And the more they liked it, the more they bought, the more they sold. All we were doing was treating [distributors] like we wanted to be treated.”

The ideas that started bubbling from IE’s team “were all on the ‘own the relationship’ and ‘best story’ side,” says Jim Niekamp, managing partner, 95 Percent Share Marketing, who worked for Midmark from 1983 to 1999.

“You had to stand out and be different. You had to have a tool, something to have your customer at ‘hello,’” says Niekamp. “If we wanted to parlay all the relationships the distributors had, we had to make it convenient for them to bring up our product, and we had to make them look good in front of their customers.”

Niekamp tells this story. “We were sitting around a small table. There were a couple of other reps who were hired at around the same time as me. We were quiet, the rookies.” One of the more veteran reps made a disparaging remark about distributor reps, and another chimed in.

“I really wasn’t paying much attention, sitting there being quiet,” recalls Niekamp. “Then Don stands up and slams his hand on the table as hard as he could. It scared the daylights out of me. Now I’m sitting there, up in my seat, my eyes as big as saucers. And he says, ‘The next negative word I hear about distribution, it’s your credit card and keys – you’re gone.’”

Kitzmiller impressed on the young but growing sales staff an important concept, says Niekamp. “Don said, ‘Whenever other manufacturers complain about not getting selling time, or about [distributor] reps never bringing their products out first, we’ll be just the opposite. We’ll take all our energy, enthusiasm and resources, and we’ll turn those distribution reps into selling machines. Anyone who says or even thinks something negative, is gone.’ And from that point on, everything revolved around distribution.”

Kitzmiller figured out a way to “institutionalize” that kind of attitude within IE. He championed a relationship with the HR Chally Group in Dayton, Ohio, which focused on helping companies profile potential salespeople. “We were after people, who, No. 1, had an incredible work ethic,” says Bob Lammers, who joined IE in 1976 with responsibility for public relations, advertising and trade show management. “And No. 2, people who were very positive. If you didn’t have a positive attitude, you wouldn’t last long. You would leave of your own volition.”

Own the relationship

“At that time, dealer sales management was a part-time job,” says Kitzmiller. Most managers also had full-time territories, hence, they didn’t have time to train or nurture their reps. “The reps’ warm fuzzies were only being attended to rarely,” he says.

That spelled opportunity for IE. “We developed a very strong communication system, with letters (we called them ‘letters suitable for framing’), phone calls, and customer service,” says Kitzmiller. “One of the key strategies we implemented early on was to be the [de facto] sales managers of these dealer reps.”

“There were moments when I thought my sales force was working for Kitzmiller instead of me,” jokes DeWight Titus, former owner of F. D. Titus & Son, a West Coast physician office distributor (now McKesson Medical-Surgical). “Every one of our reps knew who Don was, and they thought he knew them too. They all thought their name was ‘Buddy,’ because that’s what Don called them.”

Fanning, meanwhile, handled most of the face-to-face training of the dealer sales reps. “He was excellent with the sales force,” continues Titus. “What came through in all his training was not only the ability to relate to the sales reps, but his intensity. I saw him do the same program over and over, and it was always just as exciting, and the intensity was always there.”

Training was his passion

Indeed, training was a key component of Midmark’s success. “We recognized the fact that [distributor reps] were not getting organized sales training,” says Kitzmiller. “That’s when we hired Scott; training was his passion.” The two developed a training program that was memorable and valuable. “There was a lot of hands-on training, a lot of role-playing,” he says. “And we would focus on a small group of features and benefits that they could easily remember.”

“The medical distribution system had never had formal sales training,” says Niekamp. Training for most dealer reps consisted of working in the warehouse for a while, so they could gain an understanding of products and product numbers; then they might spend some time on the truck or in customer service. Many sales calls consisted of the sales rep jotting down what the physician said he or she needed, then making sure the order was filled. “There was no strong, outward focus on promoting additional products.

“We were helping turn salespeople into capital equipment sales reps, not just for power tables,” adds Niekamp. “Now they weren’t afraid to bring up chemistry analyzers and other equipment.”

Says Kitzmiller, “We said to our dealers, ‘If you come to our training program, you’ll learn selling skills, primarily, and our products secondarily.’ We focused on selling skills – listen, acknowledge, probe and respond.” Much of this came about after the demise in 1975 of what was known as fair trade, a system of commerce that permitted manufacturers to specify the minimum retail price of their products. “The competitive environment in the medical community was significantly increased [with the elimination of fair trade], but nobody was trained to handle that,” he says. Another opportunity.

Make it memorable

Educating dealer reps, while essential, was not enough to motivate them, reasoned Kitzmiller and Fanning. So they decided to add another essential ingredient to the mix – fun. Reps who sold a certain number of power tables in a given time period could win a trip to Las Vegas. And the training itself was, well, memorable.

Lammers recalls that in the early days, Midmark lacked a facility in Ohio in which to offer training. So he and Kitzmiller went to a nearby Catholic seminary, which served as a retirement community for priests. Kitzmiller tried to sell the rector on the idea of allowing Midmark to hold its power meetings there. Despite his formidable skills, he failed to sell the rector on the idea. However, the rector suggested they might have more luck trying the sisters in nearby Maria Stein, Ohio. The sisters said yes.

Lammers recalls those early sessions. Dressed as a Catholic priest, he would circulate among the newly arrived distributor reps, greeting them, chit-chatting. Then, after the reps would enter the Las Vegas room, which the Midmark crew had set up like a casino, Lammers would burst in and, still in character as a priest, chew everybody out for their sinful gambling. “I had guys coming up to me years later at HIDA telling me, ‘You scared the hell out of me,’” he recalls with pride.

The fun extended into the field as well. Niekamp says that at some point, Fanning realized “that people don’t necessarily buy because you have the absolute best product or deal. They buy because they like you. That’s when fun became an integral part of our strategy.” Indeed, Fanning himself tells stories of shocking his accounts with an imaginary mongoose, the point being, people are drawn to fun, and they welcome those who bring it to them.

Fanning realized that by having fun, he could develop a relationship with a customer in five days that otherwise might take five years to develop, says Niekamp. “It was another turning point.”

Denny Monnin, a present-day Midmark rep who joined IE Industries in 1975, talks about “non-card-carrying calls,” which IE reps mastered early on. “Many times, [the sales rep] walks into an account, gives the receptionist a business card, and asks to see the doctor or business manager, whoever it might be,” he says. The receptionist responds that the decision-maker is busy and can’t see the rep. “You leave some literature, and before you get to your automobile, [your business card and literature] are in the wastebasket.”

In a non-card-carrying call, the rep does something to differentiate – and hopefully entertain – that receptionist, says Monnin. At Christmas time, for example, he or she might dress up as Santa. The result is often access to the decision-maker and his or her staff.

Many sales reps believe their competitors are those who sell the same products as they do, says Monnin. “But that’s not true. It’s the Pitney-Bowes guy, the insurance guy, anybody who is interrupting that [office manager’s] day. That’s why we always tried to be different and have fun.”

Half a moustache

Kitzmiller cultivated his own brand of zaniness. For example, he curled his hair in order to draw attention to himself and to IE Industries, says Monnin.

Kitzmiller himself recalls trying to sell Max Goodloe, founder of General Medical (now McKesson Medical-Surgical) on a big order of tables. Goodloe, a straight-laced guy, told Kitzmiller at one of his national sales meetings that he’d never buy the tables so long as Kitzmiller sported a moustache.

“I said, ‘Max, can I take your word for that?’” recalls Kitzmiller. “He said, ‘Prove to me you won’t have that facial hair.’” That evening, Kitzmiller showed up at the dinner, attended by hundreds of General Medical reps, with half a moustache, having shaved off the other half. “Everybody looked at me like I was a freak,” he recalls. Goodloe told the reps what had happened and asked Kitzmiller to stand up and address the reps. Kitzmiller did, offering to shave off the other half of his moustache if he got the order. “I went into the bathroom and shaved off the rest.” Needless to say, he got the order.

“It was those unique things we had to do on a constant and regular basis to be noticeable and to stand out.”

He recalls another time trying to sell a truckload of tables to Healthco, a Boston-based distributor. IE and Healthco were 5 percent apart on price. Fanning suggested that Kitzmiller play a Healthco executive in a game of gin rummy. The loser would concede the five points. “It was the most nervous card game in my life,” says Kitzmiller. “I won. We didn’t have to give up the 5 percent.”

Well-fed lion

Kitzmiller, Fanning, Lammers and others at the factory saw an opportunity to differentiate themselves in trade shows as well.

“Don asked me to come up with something creative for the [HIDA] show in Chicago,” recalls Lammers. “I was mowing my lawn one day and I got an idea.” The idea was to exhibit with the theme “It’s a Jungle Out There.” “All the distributors were fighting for the same business,” he told Kitzmiller. “What we need to do is come up with a solution to help them get through that jungle.” Kitzmiller liked it.

Dressed in safari outfits, the Midmark team showed up in their booth, designed to look like a jungle. But the kicker was that the company brought in a caged lion to the trade show floor, in the basement of the Chicago Hilton. “I told the union guys to just bring him to the booth,” says Lammers. (They didn’t.) Midmark also brought in a couple of cubs, with whom distributor reps could have their photos taken.

“One of our competitors called the Humane Society and said we were mistreating the animals,” says Lammers. But the complaint didn’t stick. In fact, the lion was well-fed with fresh chickens every day, and spent most of the show sleeping in his cage.

“We had a great show,” says Lammers. “The bar was established, and we had to keep doing it.”

“In the beginning, people said, ‘That’s not professional’” says Kitzmiller. “That was kind of tough for me to handle, not being looked upon as professional. But we were able to handle the abuse.” From there, Midmark created booths that distributors looked forward to visiting. There was an Indiana Jones booth, complete with live camels; and a wedding booth, with Midmark reps dressed as brides and grooms, to signify the “marriage” between distributor reps and manufacturer reps. One year, the company’s theme was “Selling Midmark is so easy, a kid can do it.” Children of Midmark employees were brought in to read scripts and demonstrate the point.

Taking the showroom to the doctor

Midmark took another step to differentiate itself. In the early 1970s, many dealers were closing down their showrooms. Doctors didn’t have the time to visit them anymore, and the dealer’s cost to maintain them was too high. “Anything that ever happens good in business happens because there is a problem,” says Kitzmiller. So he decided to bring the showroom to the doctor’s office.

“I said, ‘We’re going to put our guys in vans with lift tailgates,’” he says. The distributor rep and Midmark rep would pull into the customer’s parking lot, put the table on a dolly, wheel it into the office and do a demonstration then and there. “Many, many times it would never leave that office,” he says. “It was one of the major things we did that set us apart from the competition and allowed us to gain market share.

“The other thing that was very important was that Midmark put out a class of literature and ads that were a step above everybody else’s,” he continues. “It was like a four-legged stool. We had great design, great advertising and great sales; and we had management and manufacturing that supported the quality of the product.

“At that point in time, we recognized also that we were really not competing with other table manufacturers, but with other vendors, for mindshare [among] reps,” he says.

‘75’ promotion

To bring home the point, the Midmark team decided to celebrate Midmark’s 75th year in business in 1990 by offering what has since come to be known as the ‘75’ promotion. With no money down, the physician could acquire a Ritter 75 (later the 119 as well) by paying $75 a month for 75 months.

“The single biggest objection to doctors buying power tables was the price of acquiring one,” says Moorman. “The ‘75’ promotion was Scott’s idea, stemming from the results of a discounted offer done with Biddle & Crowther [now Cardinal Health] in the Pacific Northwest. In that case, Midmark had offered Biddle a quantity price deal, and the distributor sold more power tables than ever before.

“Scott wanted to find a way to make a power table easily affordable,” continues Moorman. “His idea was to make it so easy to own a power table and handle the No. 1 objection, that the doctor had almost no reason not to buy one.”

Following Midmark’s success with Biddle & Crowther, the company tried out the promotion in Ohio with Healthco/Scheumann-Jones, located in Cleveland. At the time, the distributor sold around 15 power tables per year, says Monnin, who worked the territory. “We brought eight of their sales reps into Versailles and did a three-day power meeting. Their goal was for each [rep] to sell three power tables in 90 days. This would be what they would normally do in a year and a half. If they sold 24 tables, Midmark would send them to Vegas for a weekend. They actually sold 29 in 90 days.

“I had one dealer tell me that they sold more power tables in one year than they normally sold in 10,” says Monnin. “They asked me, ‘What are we going to do next year?’ I said, ‘Sell more.’ And they did.”

The company would place “tip boards” at each distributor’s location to maintain enthusiasm for its promotions. On the board were envelopes, with varying amounts of money in them. As the rep sold a table, he or she selected one of the envelopes. “At the end of the promotion, we would take off the envelopes, give them to the sales reps who had their names on them, and they would open them up,” says Monnin. The intent of the exercise was to make the promotion fun, and stoke competition within the branch. “We’d call them up and ask, ‘Is your name on the tip board yet?’” says Monnin. “We would keep it in front of them, so their minds were constantly thinking exam tables.”

The 75 promotion was a huge turning point for Midmark, says Niekamp. The company’s initial target audience for power tables had been the 5 percent of doctors coming out of school, he says. But Fanning realized that the only way to hit the numbers the company wanted was to move the 95 percent of the market that still had box-style tables over to power.

Says Moorman, “Based on the premise that the single best customer for a power table was a doctor who already had one, we felt that ‘seeding the market’ with power tables would increase the overall market. I remember Scott coming to me saying, ‘Moorman, you are in this with me, right? If this does not work, we are both going down!’

“We sold something like 10 years’ worth of power tables during the first promotion,” he says. So even though the promotion had been intended as a one-time event, “How could you not do it again...and again...and again?”

“We did everything we could to make it easier for the doctor to order a table from us,” adds Lammers. “We had no idea how it would work. It was just a blind stab in the dark. But it worked incredibly well, because there was total commitment on our salespeople’s part, and marketing’s part to put bucks behind it. And it didn’t take long to get total commitment on the distributors’ part, because they saw our guys going out and helping their salespeople sell this equipment. There were incentives for the doctor to buy, incentives for the distributor salespeople, incentives for the distributor, and incentives for the Midmark salespeople. It was this incredible partnership.”

Working together

Fanning and Kitzmiller each brought their own skills and talents to the party, according to those who knew and worked with them. Kitzmiller, it is said, excelled in forming relationships with distribution executives, while Fanning excelled in forging bonds with the sales reps.

Both were creative in their own way, says Niekamp. “Don would ride his lawn mower and write down his ideas. Scott would go for walks in the arboretum; that was his place to think. And when they got together, they would fire off their ideas and feed off each other. No idea was a bad idea. They just kept on hitting them and hitting them.”

Add the talents of Lammers and the advertising agency with which they worked, and it was a powerful package. “It was all about making the ideas better and better, which would then spark somebody else’s ideas,” says Niekamp. “Sometimes I think my best role was viewing it as a ‘normal’ person would.”

But both Fanning and Kitzmiller are quick to acknowledge the debt they owe their colleagues at Midmark.

“Scott and I were so lucky we had our ‘dream team,’” says Kitzmiller, rattling off names such as Moorman, Niekamp, Larry Dawson, Dick Wuebker, Denny Monnin, Dan Westerheide, Dwayne Poteet (doing international work) and others. “We were really picking up market share and executing on all these things. We were no longer practicing.”

Fanning recalls when Dawson was selected Manufacturer Rep of the Year by the Titus sales force. The vote was unanimous.

And they also give credit to Midmark’s engineer, John Oldiges; early finance specialist Frank Brinkman; research specialist Ty Ragland of Message Factors; Bob Oppenheim of the Oppenheim advertising agency; and the Chally Company. “People would say, ‘All your salespeople look like they come from a cookie cutter,” says Kitzmiller. “That was not by accident.

“We were not opposed to taking advantage of other people’s skill sets,” he adds. “This can’t be done by just one person.”

Still valid today

In 1999, Fanning, Kitzmiller and Niekamp took the concepts they had implemented at Midmark and developed their own training company, 95 Percent Share Marketing. Perhaps not surprisingly, they knew from Day 1 that their seminars would be different … and fun.

“The relationship piece is still very critical today,” says Kitzmiller. As the market pushes products and companies ever more quickly to commodity status, companies that differentiate themselves can succeed. And basic blocking and tackling still counts. “What hasn’t changed is the attitude it takes to succeed. You have to answer the phone ‘Top of the day.’” He does. And successful reps look good and feel good about themselves, he says. “You can’t look neat if your shoes look beat; you can’t look fine if your shoes aren’t shined.”

Fanning, meanwhile, believes the key to Midmark’s success is still as valid today as ever. “We were saying [to customers], ‘We’re going to take care of you; we’ll make it right.’ And because of that, they loved us. I don’t think that will ever change.

“Fun is so important,” he continues. “People won’t fight you if you’re having fun. People wonder, ‘Why can’t we be like Midmark?’ They forget to put the fun into it.”

A drive to win

“Scott and Don were instrumental in working to build a culture of competitive people and winning,” says Moorman. “Making offers to the marketplace that were very hard to say ‘No’ to.

“Scott brought a drive to win that was second to none,” he continues. “He was all about winning. There was no excuse good enough, short of death, for not reaching an objective. He also brought a very creative promotional mind. He had a knack for figuring out what would make a customer move. He introduced the world of discounted offers to make the overall market pie bigger. Scott was and is a marketing master.”

“I think one of Scott’s strong points was his unbelievable creativity when it came to distributor programs,” says Moran. “Nobody could touch him. The other thing was, he had great platform skills. His speaking ability, his ability to train distributors, not just on selling IE, but selling in general, were [great]. The industry didn’t have a ton of that at the time.”

What’s more, “Scott was so focused, when he woke up in the morning, he thought about selling tables,” says Moran. “My first impression of him was, ‘This is the most competitive person I have ever seen.’ During our first couple of meetings, I didn’t get a word in.”

In terms of Fanning’s approach to sales, Moran notes, “He would never say ‘no.’ That didn’t mean he did everything [the customer] wanted, but he never said out of hand ‘We can’t do that.’ And they appreciated the hell out of that.”

Kizmiller, meanwhile, “always challenged the status quo,” says Moorman. “He was always asking ‘What if?’ Don was a good common sense thinker and was one who would make you feel good about your efforts. He was the relationship builder. Anyone who knows Don knows he is never a stranger in any crowd anywhere. He was a ‘ringmaster’ of sorts. He was always one to put on the best show.”

Indeed, while pursuing a large order, Kitzmiller once served cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to General Medical owner Richard Bernstein as he was boarding his private plane in New York, according to Moran.

Kitzmiller also had an excellent handle on the commercial and economic aspects of distribution, continues Moran. “DeWight [Titus] once told me, ‘Here’s what makes Kitzmiller different. When I’m in a meeting with him about the next three to six months, within 15 minutes of sitting down with him, I feel like I’m making money already.’”

Says Moorman, “Together, [Fanning and Kitzmiller] complemented and challenged each other. I believe the way they ‘fought’ was instrumental in driving the creativity Midmark has always been known for. When they would try to one-up each other, good things always came of it.

“Both brought a tremendous ‘hard work’ attitude,” he adds. “They … did not expect you to work any harder than they did. And you could not outwork them! On Don’s desk was the motto, ‘The harder I work, the luckier I get.’”

People still ask about Kitzmiller and Fanning in reference to Midmark, even though they have been gone from the company for years, Moorman points out. What’s more, “You can see the Scott and Don signatures on many of the promotions introduced by numerous medical manufacturers.

“It is very hard to measure the impact they both have had. Suffice to say, the impact has been very great!”


Medical Distribution Hall of Fame Inductees

2001

George Blowers – Welch Allyn

Jim Stover (William T. Stover) – NDC

DeWight Titus – F.D. Titus & Son

2002

Bob Barnes – Durr-Fillauer

Karl Bays– American Hospital Supply

Pat Kelly – PSS

Ron Stephenson – Indiana University

2003

John McGuire Sr. – Colonial

Hospital Supply

Haworth Parks – Parks Inc.

2004

Bill McKnight – McKnight

Medical Communications

George Ransdell – Ransdell Surgical

2005

Max Goodloe – General Medical

2006

Gil Minor III – Owens & Minor

2007

Elliot Werber – Kendall Corp., F. D. Titus & Sons, Bergen Brunswig

2008

Bill and Lew Allyn – Welch Allyn

2009

John Sasen – PSS

2010

John Moran – Welch Allyn

2011

Scott Fanning and Don Kitzmiller – Midmark Corp.