Denali Dash 2014: Giving Back And Celebrating Seattle Children's Hospital

Denali Dash 2014: A Community Celebration Of Seattle Children's Hospital

Denali Advanced Integration, which has made giving back to the community part of its core mission, held the Denali Dash 2014 Run For A Cause event on Saturday, Oct. 11. Here is a look at the pre-event and event activities, which raised $60,000 for Seattle Children's Hospital. Over the past two years, Denali has raised $110,000 for the hospital.

The Wall Of Giving

Denali, one of the most respected solution providers in the country, has made giving back through corporate philanthropy part of its core mission. Denali, in fact, has an annual budget for philanthropy. Over the past 15 years, the company has donated on average $250,000 to $300,000 per year to various charities in each of the three cities it has offices: Seattle, Portland and Dallas. Shown here is the 30-foot-high ’Wall of Giving’ at Denali's Redmond, Wash., headquarters with more than 100 thank-you letters from the heads of various charitable organizations, including local hospitals.

Thank You For Giving Back

Denali CEO Majdi "Mike" Daher thanks technology vendors, including Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, VMware and EMC, at a pre-race reception for their support of the Denali Dash.

"Thank you for stepping up in a big way," said Daher. "We are very proud of the partnership we have with you. You are an extension of us. We are an extension of you."

Standing Up For Seattle Children's Hospital

Daher and Eve Kopp, director of corporate annual giving at the Seattle Children's Hospital, both talked about how the support is helping save lives. Kopp said the hospital, which serves 130,000 patients a year with more than half requiring financial assistance, is grateful for Denali’s long-standing support.

"We have to give back," said Daher. "It is not a choice that we make. It is an obligation."

Denali Is Cisco-Strong

Erica Beckstrom, Cisco’s operation director, Northwest, and William Hagge, partner account manager, attended the pre-race event with Chad Gardner, Denali’s executive vice president of worldwide sales.

"Denali is totally focused on this event in the same way they are totally focused on our customers and their success," said Beckstrom. "Denali is special. It starts with their people. This event exemplifies the culture that Majdi and his company bring to the Seattle, Washington, community. They understand where the world is headed and it starts with our families."

HP In The House

Jiim Minaglia, HP’s commercial account manager, and Veronica Kunis, partner business manager, were there in a show of support for Denali's open-house event.

"It is important for HP to show our partnership with Denali and recognize their commitment to the local community," said Kunis.

Minaglia said HP, like Denali, has made giving back to the community a priority with a massive corporate volunteerism program. "Giving back to the community is part of HP's DNA," he said.

VCE: Giving Back Is Part Of Denali Partnership

In the spirit of partnership, Jim Coulson, VCE district vice president (l.) was at the event, as was Denali CTO Mike Leeper.

"Denali is one of our biggest partners," said Coulson. "We spend a lot of time working with them in enterprise accounts. It has been a great partnership. Giving back is something we love to do with Denali. We have partnered with them before on a couple of other events. including a community schools event."

VMware Supports Seattle Children's Hospital

Jenae Serena-Denmarsh (l.), senior partner sales manager for VMware, and Aimee Foster (r.), a cloud system engineer, were there with Daher at the Denali Dash pre-race reception.

"Denali is a very large successful partner of ours that believes in going big or going home in how they do business and how they contribute their time to charity," said Serena-Denmarsh. "There are a lot of companies that want to make money and hit their bottom line, but it takes time to slow down and be grateful."

EMC Rocks The Reception

EMC District Manager Nathan Thomas (l.), EMC Data Center Specialist Jerry Pezzino, and EMC Area Partner Manager Roger Jacobsen were among the most enthusiastic supporters at the pre-race reception.

"Majdi is one of those people that gets everyone around him to rise up," said Jacobsen. "He is such a great leader. He inspires people to go that extra mile. It shows in everything from philanthropy to how they run their business day to day. That is why they are such a successful EMC partner."

BlueStar Steps Up For Seattle Children's

Denali Vice President of Global Accounts Damian Shonko and Rob Dorsey, vice president of sales for BlueStar, a mobility distributor based in Hebron, Ky., show their support at the Denali open-house event.

"This is our fifth year sponsoring Denali's charity event," said Dorsey. "We try to grow our involvement every year. Majdi does this for the gift of giving, which is truly something special that BlueStar supports."

Zebra Shows Its Charitable Stripes

Zebra Channel Account Manager Karen Browne had high praise for the event, where she was photographed with Denali’s Gardner.

"It is awesome to be part of this event," said Browne. ’Majdi is so passionate about being a part of and giving back to the community that it permeates the entire organization. He's a visionary."

Tech Data Supports Denali

Tech Data Vice President of U.S. Sales Marty Bauerlein, who ran in the Dash, gives kudos to Daher.

"You do it because you know they mean it and it means something to them," he said of Tech Data's support for the Denali Dash. ’Leadership matters. Denali is progressive. They are always thinking ahead to what their next move in the market is going to be. They are loyal in their partnerships. They focus on the fundamentals and execute."

A Seahawks Marching Band Kick-Off

In Denali’s go-big-or-go-home fashion, the Seattle Seahawks marching band kicked off the early morning festivities, getting the 400 Denali Dash participants pumped up to run or walk to benefit Seattle Children's Hospital.

Double Shot Of Espresso, Please

Serena Silvas from Espresso Elegance served up hot lattes and espressos for the race participants, who arrived at 8 a.m. to pick up their race shirts and packets.

Seattle Children's Hospital Strong

Daher (l.) took time out before the start of the race to share a moment with 15-year-old Marques Mar, who was born with a congenital heart defect and has overcome repeated medical challenges thanks to Seattle Children's Hospital, Marques' mother, Marji, and the hospital’s Kopp.

Father And Daughter

Gardner, one of the driving forces behind the Denali Dash, with his 9-year-old daughter, Alex, got prepped for the race.

Ready, Set, Go

The pack of 400 race participants, including Marques, Daher and Marques' mother, got ready for the start of the race. The race participants included youngsters being pushed in carriages all the way to 83-year-old France Cokan.

Go, Marques, Go!

Marques, who was participating in his first 5K, broke from the starting line, with Daher giving him and his mom the thumbs-up.

Raising Your Hands Up For Children's Hospital

The runners, including 16-year Denali veteran and Vice President Micheline Melki with her hands raised high "Above The Rest," screamed for joy as they broke from the starting line. On the far right is Denali co-founder Mohamad Daher.

Kids And Strollers Welcome

One of the joys of the Denali Dash was the dozens of kids that ran or walked or were even pushed by their moms wheeling strollers. Here is the start of the Kids Walk with Daher (center) and Gardner (standing right) sending the kids off in style. It was just one of many moments that made the Dash a family affair.

"We wanted to do the Dash because it would be a fun family day," Daher said. " You don’t have to be a marathon runner. You don’t have to be an experienced runner to do this. It is a community day, a day for our Denali ecosystem."

The First To Finish

Seattle resident Kelsey Wong, 31, was the first to finish the 5K race with a time of 20:13. Wong was cheered on by her husband, Mike, and her two children, Rory and 4-year-old Isla.

Above And Beyond

Daher, who always goes ’above and beyond,’ raised his hands with a victory cheer after finishing the race.

Barefoot Jon

The runner known as Barefoot Jon, 71, an Ironman triathlete who ran the Denali Dash in his bare feet, took a breather after finishing the race.

Never Too Old To Run

Cokan, (far l.), a retired physician who has completed the grueling Hawaii Iron Man triathlon (a 2.4-mile rough-water swim, 112- mile bike race and 26.2-mile marathon) an amazing 10 times, was the oldest to finish the Denali Dash. Here is he is with fellow Dash athletes 70-year-old Sylivia Angel and 71-year-old Barefoot Jon.

A Champion Triathlete With A Champion CEO

After finishing the race, Cokan received a hearty congratulations from Daher.

Marques And Majdi

Marques was introduced to cheers from the crowd. "Marques is a very, very brave man," said Daher. "We are very proud of him."

A Thank You From Marques

Marques thanked all those that came out to support Seattle Children's Hospital.

"I have had a lot of surgeries and a lot of procedures," he told the crowd. "I will have a procedure in two months. Thank you all for supporting Children's Hospital. Without Children's I would not be here today."

A Seahawks Moment For Marques

Former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Dave Krieg (l.), who participated in the run and then teamed with Daher (r.) to award Marques four tickets to a Seahawks game, called Marques an inspiration for his ability to overcome repeated medical challenges.

"Here is the reason why we are doing it," Krieg said, noting the strength of all the kids that Seattle Children's Hospital has helped. "They are like the lineman of our team."

Proud Mom

Marques stood tall, side by side with his mother, Marji.

"I am so proud of him," Marji said. "He has overcome so much. For him to be able to do this, we never thought he could. We are just so proud of him and thankful. This is a wonderful event. We are so happy we could be a part of it."

Hit Explosion

The ’70s and ’80s Disco Inferno supergroup Hit Explosion provided the sounds that participants danced to after the race. The party included the best artisan food Seattle has to offer, from Veraci wood-fired pizza to El Camion tacos.

Brothers In Arms

The Denali CEO and Denali Chairman Mohamad Daher, who both earlier this year received the prestigious Ernst & Young Pacific Northwest Entrepreneurs of The Year Award, stood together after the successful event.

Denali: A Family Affair

The Denali family celebrated the big event in style, taking time out for a family photo. Family is, in fact, what fueled the founding of Denali Advanced Integration. Majdi (center with the bright scarf) started the technology services business 22 years ago with his brother, Mohamad, to bring their parents and siblings to America in the aftermath of the Gulf War.

Thank You To The Sponsors

Denali gives a shout-out to the 20 technology vendors that stepped up to support the Denali Dash with one of a number of signs that were displayed at the event.

"We are very proud and appreciative of the support that we receive form our technology partners to not only make this event happen but to make the number that we raise so big and meaningful," said Majdi Daher. "This really speaks to the value of Denali as the connecting point between us, our technology partners, our customers, our employees and the communities that we serve."