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No Big Surprise

Mary Burich | December 30, 2019

People | Pride of the Jersey

Don Miguel team member is obvious choice for Pride of the Jersey

When Martin Ortiz isn’t working at the Don Miguel Plant (Dallas, Texas), he loves to be with family and friends, dining out and dancing. His pastimes no doubt were extra-special recently. Martin received the Hormel Foods Pride of the Jersey award, a “complete surprise” to the man who shows up every day ready to give his all.

Martin Ortiz

According to his manager, Josue Mendoza, Martin was an obvious choice for the honor.

“You don’t see an individual committing to a company in this way,” said the plant engineering manager. “He appreciates the company. He takes downtime and product waste personally.”

As a maintenance technician for Don Miguel, Martin is responsible for maintaining the plant and equipment. That includes performing preventive work to make sure everything is in good working order. Before Josue joined the company six months ago, Martin even handled responsibilities that now belong to him. “I do it all,” Martin laughed.

Joining The Don Miguel Team

Born and raised in Mexico, he immigrated to the United States when he was 24 and settled in California. After two years with his first U.S. employer, Martin joined the team at Don Miguel Foods in Orange, Calif. That was 25 years ago.

He’s been at the Don Miguel Plant in Texas for the past 12 years. His willingness to relocate is yet another example of his devotion to the company, Josue said.

Martin isn’t one to sing his own praises, but when pressed for the reasons he received the high honor, he chalked it up simply to his “years of service and the hard work he has done.” Though he wasn’t expecting to receive the jersey, he nevertheless became attached to it. “I was sad I didn’t get to keep it,” he said. He quickly got over his disappointment by having a hand in selecting the next recipient, as is customary with the award.

After all, Hormel Foods and the Don Miguel Plant have given him something far more lasting.

“I’ve been very comfortable and very happy,” he said. “My work has let me provide for my family and buy a home. I’d like to continue working for Don Miguel until the day I retire.”