Our Corporate Walk Chair and Corporate Ambassadors are local professionals and volunteers who support the mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through fundraising initiatives, expanding corporate partnerships and planning special events. They are the leaders and advocates for The Rocky Mountain Light The Night Walk.
2019 Rocky Mountain Light The Night Corporate Walk Chair
Manny Rodriguez, Chief Marketing & Experience Officer UCHealth
Manny Rodriguez is the chief marketing and experience officer for UCHealth, a nationally recognized Colorado health system comprised of leading community hospitals and the region’s top academic medical center. Mr. Rodriguez joined UCHealth in June 2015 and is responsible for overseeing brand, marketing, advertising, sponsorships, public relations and patient experience.
A seasoned marketing executive with proven success, Mr. Rodriguez is an expert in brand positioning and building, consumer marketing, community marketing, and sports and entertainment marketing. At UCHealth, Rodriguez established sponsorships with the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Mammoth. He launched a new brand for UCHealth, positioning the health system as patient-centered and innovative.
As Chief Experience Officer, Mr. Rodriguez focuses on enhancing the service and care that patients and family members experience in every interaction with UCHealth. He works closely with multiple departments at UCHealth and deploys innovative technologies and partnerships to enhance experience throughout the continuum of care.
Before joining UCHealth, Mr. Rodriguez served as senior vice president of marketing for Santander Bank where he oversaw the company’s brand, advertising and sponsorship teams. He built and launched a new brand for Santander in the United States. Mr. Rodriguez has also served as vice president of sponsorships, events and charitable giving for NRG Energy where he helped build one of the largest sponsorship portfolios in the energy industry. He has also served as vice president of marketing for Reliant Energy where he managed brand strategy, as well as external and internal marketing efforts.
Mr. Rodriguez has extensive background in healthcare marketing with more than 19 years in the pharmaceutical industry. He has held marketing positions with Johnson & Johnson, Schering-Plough, Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squib and Forest Laboratories.
Actively involved in the Denver community, Mr. Rodriguez is a member of the board of trustees with Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Boy Scouts of America-Denver Council, President of the CMO Club Denver Chapter, Denver Sports Advisory Committee, Deputy Chair of the 2026 World Cup Host City Bid Committee and he serves on the Board of the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club. A leukemia survivor, Mr. Rodriguez does public/motivational speaking to raise awareness – and funds – for leukemia research and causes.
Mr. Rodriguez earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Seton Hall University and a master’s degree in international business from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
2019 Rocky Mountain Light The Night Corporate Ambassadors
- Naomi Binkley, Fireside Production
- Carrie Bradley, Office Scapes
- Gary Grieshaber, Oracle
- Adam Kemper, G&A Partners
- Dan Morris, High Point Financial Group LLC
- Debra Robinson, Centennial Revenue Management
- Peter & Alision Schaffer, Authentic Athletix
- Barry Treahy, Terumo BCT
2019 Rocky Mountain Light The Night Honored Hero
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is surreal. Nobody ever thinks it could happen to them, even when it does. In the spring of 2017, I was wrapping up my junior year in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at George Washington High School in Denver, Colorado. In my free time I could be found painting, riding my horses, working out, and spending time with friends. However, mysterious symptoms began manifesting themselves shortly after I celebrated my seventeenth birthday on May 2nd. I began to develop a strange cough, an inexplicable fever, horrific itching and pains, night sweats, dizziness, and swollen lymph nodes in my neck, among other symptoms. Despite exhibiting all the signs of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, I remained misdiagnosed by a dozen doctors for the next sixth months and was meanwhile forced to begin my senior year of high school without an answer for my condition. It was pure torture. I would be up all night itching and feeling horrible, then attempting to go to school and ride my horses without an end to my suffering in sight. By the time I was finally diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, I had an enormous mass in my chest that had spread to my neck, and I began inpatient treatment immediately. I was shocked with my diagnosis – although I was clearly very sick, it was hard to believe that I could have cancer.
During my battle with lymphoma, I endured chemotherapy and steroid treatments almost daily for six months, followed by three weeks of radiation. Throughout treatment, I continued to ride my horses, work out, and attend school. I even graduated with my class in the spring of 2018! Although I dealt with side effects varying from bone pain, to nausea, to moon face, I maintained a positive attitude and continued to enjoy my life during the process. Through this, I learned more about both myself and the universe, and finally on July 11th, 2018, I was declared in remission from cancer.
My relationship with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) began in May of 2018 when I graduated from high school. In lieu of graduation gifts, I wanted friends and family to donate to a cancer nonprofit with the hope that my celebration could be the cause of celebrations for others in similar situations. After weighing my options, I chose LLS, due to the fact that they fund lifesaving research with the intention of curing all forms of blood cancers. Their annual Rocky Mountain Light The Night Walk was just five months away, and I knew it be a great opportunity for me to raise funds. I started a team and had guests sign up at my graduation party. The 2018 Rocky Mountain Light The Night Walk was so successful for my team, and I’m even more excited for this year’s event. Especially because I am the Rocky Mountain Light The Night Honored Hero for 2019!
Funds raised for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Light The Night can and are changing the lives of people touched by blood cancers. The funds allow for the further of research of more effective and less harmful treatments, the promotion of awareness in order to make quicker diagnoses, and the support to patients and family along the way. Given the excessive amount of suffering I had to endure while doctors searched for a diagnosis and the severity of my treatments, it is important for me to help ensure that others do not have the same experience. Blood cancer can happen to anybody, which is why it is so important that we support LLS to find a cure!