This past August, we lost a member of our Familia, Daniel Salazar. Daniel worked for SHPE as an Accounts Payable Specialist from 2015 – 2019, and his presence among our staff made a lasting impression. While he was serious about living a life of service and faith, his wit and quiet enthusiasm surrounded him with a lightness that was a privilege to work with.
Daniel Salazar was born a proud Angelino on June 17, 1984 at Los Angeles County General Hospital. Although his childhood was full of challenges, his approach was full of the same humor and zeal he became so well known for. As his wife, Vera Pinzon, put it, “He grew up in South Central Los Angeles during the crack epidemic of the 80’s and 90’s. He loved mentioning this because, although one would say that is a terrible thing, Daniel was proud of his upbringing and his family. His ability to later celebrate the fact that he overcame obstacles that not everyone would, is proof of his resilience and secretly optimistic nature.”
From 2002 – 2007 Daniel attended the University of Southern California (USC) and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and Government. He would forever be a very proud fighting Trojan.
In the years that followed, Daniel started working professionally as an accountant, which eventually led him to his role at SHPE. Here, he met many friends who would later become more like family. Whether it was celebrating Trojan football wins over rivals UCLA and Notre Dame with Josue Sandigo, Director of IT, or laughing during SHPE events with Ana Rodriguez, Daniel considered his colleagues more like cousins, aunts, and uncles than coworkers.
Some of his closest SHPE friends to shared their memories of Daniel in their own words:
“Collaborating together toward a mission of serving our members was a daily conversation. He would joke that every time I didn’t order off the dollar menu, I was taking away from a SHPE scholarship. Daniel was made for SHPE, as he knew his role was in service to others. It was never just accounting to him, rather always about our members. I will miss him terribly but always cherish our SHPE Familia bond.” – Laura Rangel, Events (former)
“I loved seeing the pride he took in printing the checks for the contest winners, especially those who asked for a photo with him. Daniel loved going to mass after each conference, he shared his faith and that is something I appreciated so much. I hope to continue maintaining his legacy. Tu amistad fue un regalo para todos los que te conocimos y me siento afortunada de haber tenido la oportunidad de conocerte. Amigo!” – Alma Meneses, Finance
“In loving memory of Daniel, a man of few words but a heart full of kindness. He was not only a friend but a chosen brother, whose witty nature brought people close to him like a magnet. One cherished memory is from his wedding day, where the rare smile on his face spoke volumes and it was evident that this day was the best day of his life. … I miss him everyday.” – Amanda Tovar, HR (former)
“Daniel was such a great coworker and friend during our SHPE years and as I spent time with him and his wonderful wife, Vera. I am so grateful I got the chance to know him and go on adventures in the various convention cities we attended together or to a magic show on the Queen Mary ship. To this day when I get ready for a trip I always say out loud and hear his voice in my head “Pack Snacks Nicole!” That was his joking way of telling me not to spend money on expenses. I always think of him when I see a basilica or beautiful Catholic church as I know he enjoyed going to them wherever we were. He will be greatly missed and no words can express my feelings without being sad.” – Nicole Knoderer, Events
Daniel personified the essence of SHPE’s mission. It was so evident he loved both his work and the people he worked with and for. And the feeling was certainly mutual. He will be remembered with deep fondness and forever missed.