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Fil-Am CEO forms global foundation to help children

by: MANILA STANDARD February 4, 2024 7:10 PM

Marge Ordiales-Martinez, CSI Professionals Inc. president & CEO with her husband Edwin Martinez, president of Los Angeles County Filipino American Employees Association (LACFAEA)

Businesswoman Marge Ordiales-Martinez runs one of the oldest and biggest immigration and employment companies in Southern California, CSI Professionals Inc. and has made it her mission to help children globally through her foundation.

She was one of the youngest women in the US to have held such corporate role at age 21.

In the early 1990s, Martinez was sent by her parents to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree in Biological Science with a specialization in Educational Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) after receiving her Bachelor’s in Biology from the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center (UERM).

Martinez’s mother,  Dr. Norma Huvilla-Ordiales obtained her medical degree in Neonatology from the University of Santo Tomas and later on pursued her sub-specialty in Asthma & Allergy and Neonatology at the University of the Philippines, PGH.

Her father, Arturo Ordiales was an athlete and an active student leader at San Beda College and pursued a corporate position in Philippine Overseas Bank before it closed down.

He then spent many years as the personnel manager for Mark IV, Philippines before venturing into the family transportation businesses, eventually becoming the founder and chief executive of Family Home Services Inc. in Chicago, Illinois in the 80s.

The Martinez family, from left: Rene Martinez, CSI head of International Strategic Partnership; Edwin Martinez, LACFAEA president; Marge Ordiales-Martinez, CEO of CSI; Gloria Martinez, former writer at the Manila Times; and Art Martinez, Philippine National Bank (PNB) senior assistant vice president. Not in photo are Romy and Paul Martinez

As an obedient daughter, Marge tried to follow her mother’s wish for her to become a doctor, but her journey to further medical studies took a sudden turn.

This strong-willed independent woman witnessed some immigration challenges and obstacles encountered by her fellow international students.

Armed with desire to still help people, she decided to pursue her own dream in business and law. She recalls all the hurdles she had to bear just to be where she is right now.

“When I arrived here in the US, I was a foreign student. Because we were not immigrants, we [had] limited options. Now, I want to inspire and empower everybody who [is] chasing their American dreams. I want them to know that nothing is impossible to God. i you will put your heart into it, work hard, and follow your passion, you’ll never go wrong. I only started as an international studentm then I became an immigrant. I sent myself to law school. I was lured to high-interest loans to put up my company. Now, I think I am one of the first Filipino-American women CEOs in this field,” she said.

In her life’s journey, Martinez said these powerful words from Isaiah 40:31 are her source of strength and enlightenment: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

“These words have been a source of inspiration and comfort throughout my journey. While I will be the first to acknowledge how blessed and grateful I am to be doing what I am doing, I will also be the first to admit that the journey has been far from easy. Aside from challenges at work, the personal and health issues that I had to face and still have to deal with at present, certainly tested me in ways I could not have predicted. Nonetheless, I choose to continue and move forward,” said Martinez.

The same bible verse made Martinez rethink her life’s path and give back to the community after being able to establish a stronger ground for her brainchild company, CSI Professionals, which celebrated three decades of success in September 2023.

Photo shows the Ordiales family from left: Arturo B. Ordiales, Dr. Norma Huvilla-0rdlales, Marge Ordiales-Martinez and Edwin Martinez.

MHO-CSI Global Foundation

Now that her company reached a remarkable milestone, she wants to make sure that honor and legacy are given to her late mother.

“From my late mother, I have learned the value of community, and of reaching out and giving back. It is in her honor that we launched [the] CSI-MHO Global Foundation. I had been blessed, and giving back is my way of sharing the blessings that I have received. I have preferred to call this as global because I do not want this to be limited to the local community, but to encompass borders, race and culture,” she said.

Coinciding CSI Professional’s 30th anniversary, Martinez and her equally dedicated and passionate CSI team launched the CSI-MHO Global Foundation with the aim of advancing the well-being of children and their families on a global scale.

Having been raised and inspired by her mother who specialized in taking care of children in neonatology and pediatric medicine, Martinez wants her philanthropic deeds to revolve around helping sick children.

One of her foundation’s initial projects is to support the noble cause of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I wanted to focus more on children’s cancer research because I want to help children. It’s also my way of honoring my mother who is a neonatologist. She was a very dedicated doctor and I want to keep up [with] her legacy,” said Martinez.

CSI-MHO Global Foundation also raised funds to grant scholarships to well-deserved students of St. Scholastica Manila’s night school.

“The foundation orchestrates strategic fundraising activities to support various endeavors aimed at fostering the growth and improvement of youth worldwide. Our primary focus encompasses the establishment of scholarships and financial aid programs and the facilitation of fundraising efforts to advance scientific and medical research,” she said.

The foundation will also be having similar fundraising projects in the future which will extend help to children with cerebral palsy.

“Children are the hope of the future. We want to strive to be a beacon of hope and empowerment, actively working towards a brighter future for the generations to come,” said Martinez.

CSI’s California-based team will be coming to the Philippines to officially launch the foundation in Manila early this year.

Her vision for the foundation encompasses not only providing scholarships and financial aid, but also fostering scientific and medical advancements through strategic fundraising initiatives.

The essence of the CSI-MHO Global Foundation, she said, lies in its commitment to serving children and families all over the world.

“Extending our reach to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in

need, embodying the spirit of global citizenship,” she said.

Her advocacy is well supported by her husband, Edwin, who is concurrently the president of Los Angeles County Filipino-American Employees Association (LACFAEA).

From the family of Balayan, Batangas, but born and raised in Manila, Edwin is also a passionate community leader who makes sure that he gets things done.

Their love story began when they first met at Marge’s high school graduation through her best friend, fellow Scholastican and cousin of Edwin, Bambee Martinez.

Past, present and future endeavors

In the early 2000s, Martinez worked closely with the Philippine Consulate-Educational Committee to help educate Filipino-Americans in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York about immigration.

She now serves on the advisory board and holds the position of chairperson for LACFAEA.

Her contributions to the Filipino-American community have been acknowledged through various prestigious awards, including the Woman of The Year award on the 118th Philippine Independence Day celebration of LACFAEA and the coveted Kalayaan Award, the highest recognition for a Filipino-American woman community leader in Los Angeles County.

Martinez’s passion extends to nurturing the next generation of leaders, encouraging them to follow their callings and fight for their goals.

Her calling goes beyond financial gain; it emphasizes serving with integrity, passion, and an unwavering sense of commitment.

On top of being a passionate leader in the Filipino-American community, she continues to lead CSI Professionals Inc. for more than 30 years now.

CSI Professionals began as Career Source International, a family-home help service in Chicago, Illinois that her father and two aunts founded in the early 80s.

During her Master’s program, she realized she wanted to do more for her family’s business. In 1993, she expanded the company’s horizons in Los Angeles, California, transforming it into an employment and immigration consultancy catering to a diverse range of international professionals.

The Los Angeles office on Wilshire Boulevard was the heart of the company until 2015. In the mid-2000s, CSI Professionals briefly extended a branch on Lake Street in Pasadena before settling in their current office in Glendale, California in 2007.

Martinez and CSI Professionals set up the company’s current headquarters and training offices in one of the busiest areas of Glendale, near the Americana on Brand Boulevard and the Glendale Galleria.

Martinez has unwaveringly led her team and provided training and placement services to individuals from all backgrounds and nationalities in Southern California.

CSI Professionals has long been recognized for their expertise in work-based petitions, with a vision to educate candidates that employment and immigration

are processes, not immediate destinations.

“Our focus on diversity sets us apart as we assist both domestic and international applicants in navigating employment opportunities in the United States,” she said.

Specializing in immigration and employment matters, CSI Professionals works closely with partner companies across various industries, including manufacturing and legal counsel for medical injury cases.

CSI Professionals specializes in employment-based visa petitions: J-1, F-1 (CPT & OPT), H-3, H-1B & Labor Certifications involving EB-3 & EB-2.

With these employment-based petitions, international applicants with advanced degrees can pursue an employment-based change of status and proceed to permanent residency (or Green Card) later on.

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