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Marge Ordiales-Martinez Making her mark in business, education, healthcare

By: Rizal Raoul Reyes BusinessMirror (February 29, 2024)

Nowadays, the term phenomenon, or phenom for short, is associated with people who become achievers at a young age. 

Marge Ordiales-Martinez is absolutely a phenomenon as she became one of the youngest women in the US to have held the highest corporate role at the tender age of 21.  Furthermore, she has an impressive pedigree. Her mother, Dr. Norma Huvilla-Ordiales, graduated with a medical degree in Neonatology from the University of Santo Tomas and later on pursued her sub-specialty in Asthma, Allergy and Neonatology from the University of the Philippines.

Her father, Arturo B. Ordiales was a campus personality at San Beda College who pursued a corporate position in the Philippine Overseas Bank during the pre-martial law years. He later worked as  Personnel Manager for Mark IV, Philippines before venturing into the family transportation business and eventually becoming founder and CEO of Family Home Services Inc. in Chicago, Illinois in the 80’s.

The journey 

After graduating with a biology degree from the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center (UERM), the unica hija of the Ordiales family was sent by her parents in the early 90s 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). 

However, she faced obstacles such as limited financial resources and immigration challenges in the pursuit of her noblest aspiration of helping her fellow Filipinos and other nationalities who want to fulfill their American dreams.

Nevertheless, she carried on, determined to help people by pursuing a different path, by engaging  in business and law.

After finishing her juris doctorate from the Glendale College of Law, Martinez started and now runs CSI Professionals Incorporated (CSI), one of the oldest and biggest immigration and employment companies in Southern California. Looking back, Martinez recalled all the hurdles she had to tackle to achieve her goal. 

“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,” Martinez told the BusinessMirror in an email interview. 

“I want them to know that nothing is impossible with God if you put your heart into it. Work hard and follow your passion. You’ll never go wrong. I only started as an international student 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 CEO in this field,” Martinez added. 

Martinez finds strength  and enlightenment from Isaiah 40:31 “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 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.

Moreover, it made Martinez refocus her life’s path and follow her heart by serving the community. 

Foundation launch

Upon reaching her company’s milestone, Martinez wanted to honor  the legacy of 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 launch [the] CSI-MHO Global Foundation. I have been blessed and giving back is my way of sharing the blessings that I have received. I chose to 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.

To celebrate CSI”s 30th year, Martinez and her team launched the CSI-MHO Global Foundation to help advance 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 wanted her philanthropic deeds to revolve around helping sick children.

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

“My priority now is to give back to the community by putting up this foundation. 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.

To support her high school alma mater, the CSI-MHO Global Foundation also raised funds to grant scholarships to well-deserved students of St. Scholastica  College Manila 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 added.

Cerebral palsy

Similar fundraising projects will be conducted 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,” stressed Martinez.

CSI’s California-based team is scheduled to come to the Philippines to officially launch the foundation in Manila.

The vision of the foundation covers not only providing scholarships and financial aid but to also initiate scientific and medical advancements through strategic fundraising initiatives.

The essence of the CSI-MHO Global Foundation, she says, 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 says.


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