Employee Spotlight: Bernadette Ortiz

Meet our Marketing Director, chief conqueror of positions, projects – and peaks

Want to see an impressive collection of labels? Stop by the office of our marketing director, Bernadette Ortiz. She has three entire bookshelves stocked with printed label samples to showcase Columbine Label’s wide-ranging capabilities and expertise. It’s also her way of drawing people into her office to chat.

But Bernadette doesn’t need any tricks to get customers, vendors, or co-workers to engage with her. She is an absolute dynamo at Columbine Label, managing everything from the company’s website, digital marketing, trade shows, and sponsorships to its safety and sustainability programs.

28+ years in the making

Bernadette didn’t come by this label and printing expertise overnight. It has been 28 years in the making, a journey that began in 1994 when she moved to Colorado from her hometown of Santa Fe, NM, to take an inside sales position at Press-On Label. It was here that she first met Greg Jackson, now president of Columbine Label, who was a sales representative with sticky paper giant Fasson and called on Press-On Label. Little did she know their paths would cross again in a significant way years later.

With seven years of label experience under her belt, in 2001 Bernadette seized an opportunity to help start a new label company, Lightning Label, with one of her largest clients. As a business partner and vice president of sales with the new company, Bernadette (in true Bernadette fashion) also immersed herself in learning other facets of the business, receiving operator training on their large digital printing press and a Rotoflex die-cutter, as well as managing vendor relationships.

Columbine Label comes calling

Two years later, a familiar name re-emerged. Bernadette re-connected with Greg Jackson, who had recently purchased Columbine Label Company, and was given the opportunity to join the company as manager for the rewind QC department in 2003.  “The way Greg tells the story,” she explains, “he knew when he bought Columbine Label that he wanted me to work for him, it just took a while for me to realize this is where I belonged.”  It was the beginning of her many varied, valuable, and ongoing contributions to the company.

She quickly moved on to sales where, again with her insatiable appetite to learn more and do more, Bernadette took on Columbine Label’s involvement in trade shows and sponsorships. This proved instrumental in raising awareness of the company in specific markets such as craft beer and food-related products.

Conquering a new role…

With this taste of marketing success, Bernadette convinced Greg to let her form a marketing department for Columbine Label. Knowing she needed to know more to do the job right, Bernadette put herself through school, earning an associate degree in business and administration, then a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis on marketing. She is currently working on a master’s degree in marketing at Regis University. It’s no wonder that if you asked Greg Jackson to describe Bernadette, he would say she’s a continual learner. Columbine’s Chief Operating Officer Rick Moss calls her tenacious. We’d say they’re both spot-on.

…and yet another crucial role

If you want something done, ask a busy person. In other words, ask Bernadette. That’s why she has donned another hat at Columbine Label: Safety Coordinator. To no one’s surprise, she has achieved important accomplishments in this role as well.

A few years ago, as part of the company’s environmental certification process, Bernadette enlisted the Colorado State University Health and Safety department to serve as a third-party auditor and later received their assistance with noise monitoring assessments. This long-term relationship helped Columbine achieve years of “meets and exceeds expectations” ratings, leading to a nomination by CSU for The Colorado Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).

Even the 14ers are fair game

Taking on – and mastering – new challenges isn’t just limited to Bernadette’s work life. After moving to Colorado many years ago, Bernadette says she fell in love with hiking. So, when her Father decided his bucket list included hiking ALL of Colorado’s 14ers, she was immediately on board. “He drove up from New Mexico and we hiked our first two peaks in one day,” Bernadette recounts. “I’ll NEVER forget, Grays and then Torreys.  It was brutal and I couldn’t wait to get off the mountain.  A couple of weeks later, my Dad wanted to hike another which was Quandary, and then another, and then another.  I hiked 10 14ers in over two years.”

Bernadette’s accomplishments at work and play are exhausting. But whether she’s facing challenging new peaks or projects, we have no doubt Bernadette will conquer them all with enthusiasm, success, and a big smile.