Dennis Punzalan was born in the Philippines to Catalino and Pilar Punzalan with one sister Patricia. Dennis’ father came to America in the late 70’s and had to leave his wife, son and daughter behind until he saved enough money to bring the entire family a year and a half later. Dennis grew up in Houston, Texas spending all of his primary school years in Alief. He attended University of Houston then later transferred to The University of Texas - SA where he graduated with a BBA in Business. Dennis has spent most of his career in Telecommunications with a brief career in Mergers & Acquisitions where he started as a Business Analyst, then moving on to open his own firm which was acquired in 2006. Dennis has now moved back into Telecommunications as an Enterprise Account Executive with Comcast Business. Dennis learned his work ethic from his father who worked long hours as a CPA for several oil and gas companies till he found a home at CAMAC International. Working closely with the CEO, CAMAC International became a billion dollar company and Catalino Punzalan secured a leadership role as VP/Controller and looked forward to a prosperous career.
In early 2010, Catalino Punzalan was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and started his treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center later that year. Dennis had to become his father’s primary care giver to accompany him to his treatments at MD Anderson and help him with day-to-day affairs. As the primary caregiver during his father’s illness, Punzalan has had a personal account of the horrors that accompany blood cancer, and has developed a deep gratitude to those whose medical expertise and moral support were contributing factors to his father’s recovery.
This support has grown into a need to give back to others fighting blood cancers, which is why he has accepted the nomination and will lead a ten-week fundraising campaign to raise money and awareness for LLS. “The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a very important charity to me because most of the money raised goes to finding a cure and patient care; there is no early detection for blood cancers so a cure is so crucial to beating this disease that affects so many families” says Dennis.
Dennis loves to travel and has been to exotic places like Peru, India, Africa, and Southeast Asia and has plans to visit every continent. He also likes to spend his spare time being active training for triathlons and being outdoors as much as he can. Dennis also participates in many other organizations such as the Covenant House of Houston, The Center, and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston. He has spent a lifetime leading, both in his professional career as well as in the philanthropic community which makes him an ideal candidate for the 2014 Man of the Year!