HealthSTAR Communications is proud to share a new HealthSTAR Team Member Spotlight Article! The Spotlight team will interview a fellow team member from inside the HealthSTAR Network. These interviews will focus on current and past roles inside the HealthSTAR Network but will also offer a chance for the Spotlighted team member to share some personal history and experiences as well. We look forward sharing all these unique stories through the HealthSTAR Spotlight Blog.
Marlon Pinzon, SVP Software Development, 11 Year HealthSTAR Team Member
Marlon Pinzon is living the American Dream. A dream that is shared by many that immigrate to the United States. Marlon is the Senior Vice President Software Development at HealthSTAR Communications, his responsibility is to create the future road map for all HealthSTAR’s technology platform needs. Marlon has been a part of the HealthSTAR Network for over 11-years. During this time, he has been a leader in moving HealthSTAR forward technologically and participated in developing many of HealthSTAR’s proprietary technology. Marlon started his career at HealthSTAR as an IT Support Administrator and with hard work and determination grew into leading his own department.
Marlon’s success today did not come easy, his journey has had many struggles and sacrifices. Success is rarely linear, the path to success for most is akin to a maze. For every choice or decision made can take you closer to your goal or farther in the wrong direction. For Marlon one thing remained clear throughout his journey, one thing guided him, one thing always pushed him forward, his drive for a better life.
Marlon was born in eastern Columbia and is the second of four children. Marlon’s father worked hard in the oil industry for over 20 years. His father worked tough, long hours to give his family the best opportunity to succeed in life. This clearly is the foundation to Marlon’s drive and determination to perceive through adversity. Marlon attended private school during his youth and started to find his passion for years to come, basketball. Sports and athletics have always been an outlet for Marlon, but basketball became more than just a game. It became his passion and became a vehicle that would help him pursue the American Dream.
Marlon is a gifted basketball player; the game came natural to him. But after meeting him, you might be surprised to hear it, as Marlon stands at 5’11”. Even a coach before try-outs made a comment that stuck with Marlon, he called him short. His height was not the end all be all, Marlon was dedicated and practiced making sure his ability superseded his height. He played point guard and eventually he would play professionally in Columbia.
After playing professionally during his high school years, Marlon had saved up some money; enough to try and come to the United States. Marlon had an aunt and uncle that were living in Staten Island, New York. He was determined to get to the U.S., since he was a professional basketball player, he was going to try and get a visa to work at Michael Jordan’s Youth Basketball Camp in Chicago. But things didn’t go as Marlon had hoped. He was rejected 3 times in getting his visa to the United States. Marlon did not quit or give up on his dream; he continued to believe and the 4th time he applied for the visa, it paid off.
Marlon was finally in the United States, and he soon started to assimilate to the culture. Columbia at the time only required schooling for 11-years but once in the United States, Marlon would join his cousin and start his 12th year of schooling in Staten Island. When Marlon started school, he spoke almost no English but was determined to find a way. He would join a high school in New York City that had other foreign students. Marlon worked hard in school but had to also find ways to support himself in his new home.
Marlon delivered newspapers early in the morning, went to school during the day and then played basketball for the high school team at night. From 4am to 11pm, seven days a week, Marlon was finding a way to survive in one of the largest cities in the world. His situation would change as his only family in the States moved from Staten Island to Atlanta, Georgia. Marlon decided he would find his own way and stayed in New York City.
As school finished, Marlon was successful in completing his lone year of American education. Professional basketball in the United States was not an option but Marlon knew he could put that passion into something else that could help him become more established in the United States. One of the first things he did was enroll at DeVry University. Marlon knew that continuing his education was going to be important and he decided technology/computers was what he wanted to learn about. Marlon could see that the technology was going to play a huge roll in all aspects of American business.
While enrolled at DeVry, Marlon needed to work as well to be able to support himself. He worked multiple jobs during this time. One of the jobs was working as maintenance/custodial services at a hospital in New York. This job allowed Marlon to pay for school and for living expenses. He would work the night shift from 6pm to 2am and then head to classes starting at 7am. The belief and faith of success and the American Dream is what drove him. After completing his bachelor’s degree and working at a consulting firm in New York City for a short time, Marlon began working for HealthSTAR Communications. While working at HealthSTAR Communications, Marlon enrolled at NJIT and completed a master’s in Business and Information Systems.
Marlon began his career at HealthSTAR not knowing he would one day be a Senior Vice President, but he always had the belief that he would find success. During his 11-plus years at HealthSTAR, Marlon married a childhood friend from Columbia and brought her to the United States. Marlon and his wife have two young children and live In Bergen County. When Marlon became a United States citizen in 2005, it was an emotional moment for himself and his family.
Marlon Pinzon exemplifies the American Dream. He came to this country with nothing, not speaking the language, and only knowing three people. He created a life from scratch, through determination, hard-work, resiliency, and faith in the American Dream. This drive was instilled in his youth by watching his father work so hard to give himself and his family a better life. Marlon is a living embodiment of what makes the United States of America so special. He proves that anything is possible if you are willing to put in the work.