Remembering AWS Elemental’s Manuel De Peña, a Pillar of the Sports-Technology Industry

Earlier this month, the SVG and media-technology communities lost a beloved industry stalwart, when Manuel De Peña, senior director, field operations, East Region, AWS Elemental, died in an auto accident at 58 years old. Widely respected in the industry, his career in digital-media business development spanned more than 17 years, and, in recent years, he played a key role in AWS Elemental’s success.  

Manuel De Peña, senior director, field operations, East Region, AWS Elemental, died on May 9 at 58 years old.

Born in Brownsville, TX, De Peña attended high school at St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville and college at the University of Texas at Austin. A devoted family man, he is survived by his wife of 28 years, Pam, and two sons, David De Peña, who graduated from Virginia Tech in 2014 with a degree in Chemical Engineering, and Jonathan De Peña, who graduated from Virginia Tech in 2018 with a degree in Finance.

In his professional life, De Peña is remembered by his peers and clients as impeccably straightforward and a supreme example of a person who truly cared about his customers. He was a voracious learner, always reading and studying. De Peña also enjoyed staying in touch with countless friends and colleagues over the years.

Those who knew and worked with De Peña remember him and share their thoughts here with the SVG community. If you are interested in submitting a special memory or comment about De Peña please send it to jason@sportsvideo.org and we will post it as soon as possible.

Grant Nodine, Senior Video President, Technology, NHL: “ I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Manuel De Pena for 15 years as a vendor on several different occasions but also as a friend. Manuel and I were fortunate to get to spend some great times together during his tenure at AWS/Elemental. Whether it was together at NHL All-Star weekend, dinners, trade shows, or industry conferences whenever I saw Manuel he always lit up and I can say that one of his true talents was his ability to take joy in mundane things and to never take anything for granted. He was truly passionate about what he did and the people, myself included, who were lucky enough to work closely with him over the years are better for having done so. I was devastated to hear of his passing and will miss him terribly and sincerely hope that the memory of his professionalism, compassion, and joyfulness keeps his spirit alive in our hearts and minds for many years to come.”

Joe Inzerillo, Executive Vice President & CTO at BAMTECH Media: “You can tell a lot about people you meet in the industry by the fact you work with them through multiple companies.  Manuel was a fixture in the encoding space and someone I respected greatly.  He had integrity, grit and was a person I enjoyed working with to move this industry forward.  He will be missed.”

Brian Angioletti, Vice President, Media Delivery at BAMTECH Media: “I knew Manuel for more years then I can count, and over those years I found Manuel to be a thoughtful and honest individual.  I trusted his opinions and always trusted that he was doing what was in our best interests.  I genuinely looked forward to his visits and considered him a true friend and I will miss him dearly.”

Pi Waller, Vice President, Video Operations at HBO: “Manuel was a good friend to HBO. His thoughtful attention to detail and his vast knowledge of the encoding space was a huge value to us over the years. He was professional, courteous and always well prepared. Manuel was also a pleasure to work with – a great person and a great work ethic. He will be missed.”

A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held in De Peña’s honor from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on May 26, 2018 at the San Antonio Marriott Northwest.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made for a scholarship to Virginia Tech. Donations are tax deductible and may be made on-line by visiting http://www.givingto.vt.edu. Checks should be made payable to The Virginia Tech Foundation, Inc. and mailed to:

Virginia Tech Advancement (0336)
Office of Gift Accounting
902 Prices Fork Road
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Please note on your check or correspondence that this gift is for a “scholarship in memory of Manuel De Peña” when mailing tributes or include this note in the Honorary/Memorial Gifts section when making gifts on-line.

Donations in De Peña’s name may also be made to the mikeroweWorks Foundation at mikeroweworks.org – Giving Options. This group provides scholarships to people who want to learn a skill or a trade.

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