Henry Rojas is president of Lifestories, Inc. As a motivational, inspirational, and educational speaker, he has addressed thousands of executives and students ranging from national associations to universities and nonprofits. Clients include Motorola, National Insurance Underwriters, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, Arizona Christian University, Northwestern College, National Hispanic Women’s Convention, Women in Construction, Remuda Ranch, Rotary Youth Leadership Conference, Phoenix Suns, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, Paul Westphal Basketball Camps, Young Life, FFA, 4H and numerous retreats and conferences to name a few.
Beginning in 1979 with the Phoenix Suns, Henry performed for 15 years as the first comedic mascot in all of professional sports. His legendary parody of players, coaches and officials awarded him two NBA All-star game appearances and the respect of NBA fans, players and celebrities. He’s been called a consummate artist with impeccable timing and unparalleled stage presence in the largest of venues. As the character known as “The Gorilla,” Henry became the first mascot to be contracted by other teams to perform his satire, parody and masterful command of audiences. It was said there was a mystique in the way a games outcome could be influenced by The Gorilla. Since that time Henry’s character has been an integral part of NBA history as the character was inducted into the hall of fame. The Gorilla skits as Michael Jackson, Coach Jack Ramsey and Pat Riley, Dr. J, Michael Jordan and many others remain legendary nation wide. His interaction with the officials brought the house down every time and humanized even the most despised officials. Henry left the gorilla character permanently in 1995 after delighting Sacramento’s King fans as a new franchise.
“There has never been another like the original gorilla” –Brent Musberger, broadcaster
“The Go was simply the best!” – Darryl Dawkins
“Best entertainer in sports”- Tommy Nunez, NBA official
Henry walked away from fame and fortune as The Gorilla and discovered his true identity. His story has served as a turning point in many lives, inspiring audiences to see beyond their suffocating mask of performance-based living. As Henry says, “Performance is not who you are. It does not define you. It is a fruit of who you are.”
As a master storyteller and inspirational speaker, Henry continues to thrill audiences with his spontaneity and gifted communication. His ability to engage an audience mirrors his nonspeaking gorilla character as heartwarming and hilarious. Henry imbues a powerful message of living life free of the masks we all wear.
Since leaving the NBA, Henry has served as a corporate director trainer, pastor and counselor. He also served in leadership at Remuda Ranch treatment center for eating disorders. Henry walked alongside others in their darkest times of recovery. Observing the struggles of professional athletes, celebrities and others, he has developed principles for breaking patterns of destructive behavior and self-consciousness. He has been eyewitness to soulful recoveries and life producing transformations. Henry speaks from a wealth of wisdom and guidance. He has over 25 years experience mentoring and counseling hundreds of adults and adolescents.
Whether working with disillusioned pastors, executives, celebrities or college students Henry's transformational process from beyond the mask serves as an example that there is life beyond fame and fortune.
His capacity to entertain and adapt to any audience comes from years of intuitive improvisation before thousands. His heartwarming style comes from being a devoted dad. His insight and humor originates from a God who loves him nakedly without his mask.