Tiger Heritage Spotlight: Orlando Ortiz BS '04, MBA '08

Orlando Ortiz is currently manager of component manufacturing at The Gleason Works. Orlando has worked in a manufacturing environment for over 15 years, previously holding positions of continuous improvement manager at Calvary Automation Systems and director of engineering for Stone Construction Equipment. Orlando's community involvement extends to various community boards which include The Puerto Rican Festival, Inc (President), The Housing Council at PathStone (Board Chair), PathStone Corporation (Executive Committee Member), Foodlink, and has served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2013 and is the current board Secretary. He also served on the university’s Strategic Planning Committee. In 2019, Orlando was recognized as the Hispanic Business Person of the Year by the Rochester Hispanic Business Association and co-recipient of the NextGen philanthropist of the year along with his wife Denishea Ortiz.

Orlando Ortiz Headshot


Why did you decide to come to RIT?

I attended MCC after graduating from Edison Tech High School. I obtained my Associate’s in Manufacturing Engineering degree and decided to stay local and continue with RIT and like the 2+2 program that was offered. In addition, Gleason Works provided me with tuition assistance which allowed me to attend RIT and work at Gleason during my educational years.  

 Who influenced you most during your time at RIT?

Lambda Alpha Upsilon Fraternity, Inc. influenced me the most. The organization gave me the confidence to get involved, expand my network, develop my leadership skills, become more social, get out of my comfort zone, and overall become a better person. As is it with many things, it’s a collective group that often influences lives, and this organization did that for me.

What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their experience at RIT?

Get involved! Clubs and organizations provided me with unique opportunities that truly gave me a competitive advantage. Utilizing these opportunities allowed me to grow my leadership, networking, and social skills.

 I refer to my experiences at RIT all the time and while they were fun at the time, I can’t overstate the importance they are today to my daily life.

How did your education at RIT prepare you for what you are doing today?

I’m currently a Manufacturing Manager at The Gleason Works. The RIT curriculum in the Manufacturing Engineering Bachelor’s and MBA programs allowed me to strengthen my skills and do what I do today successfully. This coupled with my involvement on campus clubs and organizations, including Greek Life, aided my current professional success.

Describe your career path.

I began working at Gleason Works as a co-op student at Edison Technical High School. This allowed me to experience the manufacturing world while attending college. During my time at RIT, I was exposed to various engineering paths such as quality engineer, mechanical engineer, process engineer, and being a team leader. These opportunities gave me perspective on each area and ultimately helped begin my career.  

After graduating RIT, I became a Manufacturing Engineer and eventually became the Manufacturing Manager.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

September 2019 – September 2020 has been an amazing professional and personal year for me. I’ve been awarded and recognized as: Hispanic Businessperson of the Year (RHBA), Young Philanthropist of the Year (NextGen), Minett Professor (RIT), and named as a 40 under 40 recipient (RBJ).

I’m humbled and honored for these recognitions, but even more honored to be a role model to and inspire others to reach their potential.

Share your favorite RIT Memory.

In 2005, along with my fraternity, we executed the first ever Latino concert at RIT with headliners Wisin y Yandel. This was a great achievement at the time and felt amazing to bring this cultural component to RIT.

Tell us a fun fact about you!

 RIT has been a matchmaker for many students over the years and that was the same for me as I met my wife (Denishea Ortiz) at a Black Awareness Coordinating Committee (BACC) barbecue over 18 years ago.