Industry Colleagues Mourn the Passing of Manuel C. De Peña

The following obituary was provided by Dan Marshall, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Field Operations, for AWS Elemental: 

Manuel C. De Peña, Sr. Field Operations Director Eastern Region for AWS Elemental, died from injuries sustained in an auto accident on May 9, 2018. He was 58 and a resident of San Antonio, Texas and Ridgway, Co.

Manuel was a huge presence in the lives of all he touched. A devoted family man, he was extremely proud of his 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. He and his wife of 28 years, Pam, met in Austin, Texas. The family lived in Austin, Texas, Meridian, Idaho, Tokyo, Alexandria, Va., Sterling, Va., Ridgway, Col., and Bulverde, Texas.

Manuel was born in Brownsville, Texas. He attended high school at St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville and college at the University of Texas at Austin.

In business, Manuel was impeccably straightforward and a supreme example of a person who truly cared about his customers. He was a voracious learner, always reading and studying. . Manuel seemed to be able to find a connection with anyone he met, and enjoyed staying in touch with friends and colleagues over the years.

Grant Nodine, senior vice president, technology, NHL, knew De Peña for 15 years and considered him a good friend.

“Manuel and I were fortunate to get to spend some great times together during his tenure at AWS/Elemental,” he said. “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, said: "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 said, "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 described Manuel as "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 Manuel’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

Donations are tax deductible and Checks should be made payable to The Virginia Tech Foundation, Inc. and may be mailed to:

Virginia Tech Advancement (0336)

Office of Gift Accounting

902 Prices Fork Road

Blacksburg, VA 24061

Donations may also be made on-line by visiting

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 Manuel’s name may also be made to the mikeroweWorks Foundation - Giving Options. This group provides scholarships to people who want to learn a skill or a trade.