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HSF Leaders

Orietta Verdugo

  • Gender: Female
  • University: Arizona State University
  • Undergraduate Degree: Industrial engineering
  • Graduate Degree: Engineering Systems
  • Graduate Degree: MBA
  • Hometown: Ajo
  • State: Arizona
  • Organization: Intel Corporation
  • Position Title: Manufacturing Manager for the Substrate Packaging Technology Development Factory
  • HSF Leadership Role: Member, HSF Advisory Council, Phoenix

Ms. Verdugo was born in Ajo, Arizona, and raised with her four siblings in various, small, mining and farming towns, throughout Arizona and New Mexico. Both of her parents were originally from Sonora, Mexico. Her father worked in copper mines for 40 years, while her mother raised the family. Neither had the opportunity to attend high school, but her mother received a GED at the age of 45, and worked at Walmart until she retired.

She credits a number of mentors, including her older siblings, for motivating her to pursue a higher education. “My oldest sister, Nitza, was the first person in my family to graduate from a university,” she said. “She used to drop me off at elementary school on her way to college.”

Although her interest was sparked, the road to college wasn’t easy. Finances were so tight that she was not able to pay the college application fee for her dream school, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). But, being a top student helped her get there, eventually. As an undergraduate, she received scholarships, including one from HSF. When she found herself struggling to cover even more costs, she applied for and received additional scholarships—one even paid for her to study abroad.

She graduated magna cum laude from Arizona State University (ASU), with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, and after working for four years, finally got to attend MIT, where she earned both a master’s degree in Engineering Systems, and an MBA.

Today, she works as an industrial engineer at Intel Corporation. In her role as technical assistant, she serves as chief of staff for visual solutions in the retail solutions division of the Internet of Things (IOT) group. Prior to joining Intel, she had logged more than a decade of experience in supply chain and manufacturing process management for companies such as General Electric and Zara. She is also a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

Outside of work, Ms. Verdugo is a member of HSF’s Phoenix Advisory Council and says that she is especially supportive of HSF’s programs that provide students and parents an early introduction to college-going. Based on her own struggles, she sees what a difference it can make for them to become familiar with topics like the ins and outs of college preparation and the importance of mentors.

She is also cross-site chair of the Intel Latino Network, an advisory board member of Aguila Youth Leadership Institute, and alumni advisor of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc., at ASU.

Her service has been recognized through various awards and distinctions, including the Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers Award from the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, and being named as one of “40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40” by Univision Radio in Phoenix. In addition, she was honored for her achievements with the 2017 Hall of Fame Award by her alma mater, Coolidge High School. She also appeared in a segment of SciGirls, a PBS television show, website, and outreach program to engage girls in science, technology, engineering, and math learning and careers.

Ms. Verdugo advises students who are ready to graduate and enter a profession to work towards a career—not a job, and to be steadfast, no matter what, adding, “Be true to your personal goals and make decisions that are best for you.”