Coronavirus (COVID-19): Relief options and Additional Resources

Success Stories

Small Business Owner Excels at Information Technology Infrastructure with Architectural Eye

In 1992, Dionisio Ortiz --a young New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent-- arrived on the island to work at the Puerto Rico Medical Center as Assistant Director of Information. He had never stepped foot in the facilities, as the job interview had taken place over the phone. 

“When I went to the Information Systems Department I noticed they had one of those old IBM Mainframes,” Dionisio says with a laugh.  “I had only seen them in books.” 

The hospital had an approved $2 million budget to update all information systems, including migration of trauma, industrial, emergency and radiology records, among others. Four years later, Johnson & Johnson executives took notice of the young man’s expertise and made him an offer he couldn’t resist.  For the next five years, Dio --as his friends and family call him-- worked from home for the company as an International Information Technology Consultant for the Caribbean and Latin-American regions. 

“The experience opened my... Read More

In 2006, pharmaceutical giant Schering-Plough closed its manufacturing facility in Manatí, Puerto Rico leaving hundreds of people unemployed, among them, Armando Semprit.

The plant closing was partly due to the 10-year phase-out of Section 936 of the Internal Revenue Code, which provided a tax credit against U.S. taxes imposed on income earned by a U.S. corporation on the island.  Pharmaceutical companies originally came to Puerto Rico over 40 years ago to take advantage of Section 936, turning Puerto Rico into a worldwide pharmaceutical center that currently produces 16 of the top 20-selling drugs in the U.S.

Nevertheless, Schering was one of dozens of manufacturing plants that ceased operations in Puerto Rico over the last decade, and Semprit only one of thousands of individuals who lost their jobs.  His six years of experience as a medical representative and his Master’s degree in Global Management overqualified him against countless of line employees looking for... Read More

As a child, Yoel Rivera never imagined that one day he would be the owner of a successful one-of-a-kind business.

Like most, upon graduating high school he attended college; in his case the University of Puerto Rico’s Mayagüez Campus, acknowledged throughout the world for producing some of the best engineers.

Shortly after obtaining his degree in Industrial Engineering in 2002, Yoel began working with one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the nation, developing standard operating procedures, and later maintenance plans.  The validation aspect of a manufacturing process had always interested him, however, and he moved on to a company that provided this type of service to the pharmaceutical industry. Yoel began conducting validation services in the area of packaging, the final quality-control aspect any production line.

“I loved it,” Yoel says. “Due to market demands, packaging is constantly changing so that products continue appealing to the consumer... Read More

American author Napoleon Hill once said that patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.  Perhaps no other words have rung as true for businessperson Michael González. 

Born in New Jersey to Puerto Rican parents, González arrived in Puerto Rico at the age of six, when his father was transferred to the island. As any other child, González was involved in many after-school activities, and expressed great interest in music and theater.  

Ready for college in the early ‘70s, González chose the Carroll College at Waukesha, Wis. to pursue studies in Education, and after obtaining his bachelor’s degree, he went on to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he obtained his master’s degree in Cultural Foundations of Education.  In 1979, he married his wife Dolores, who’s originally from Mexico, and a year later they moved to Puerto Rico, where González began teaching at a top-notch private school in San Juan. 

In the meantime,... Read More