OREANDA-NEWS. September 23, 2016. Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) Vice President of Gas Operations Gina Orozco-Mejia on Thursday was honored as a "Latina Corporate Pillar" by the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (CHCC) for her years championing supplier diversity and for being one of the highest-ranking Latinas at a Fortune 500 company. She was honored at the organization's 37th annual statewide convention at the Riverside Convention Center.

Orozco-Mejia was recently named a vice president at SoCalGas and has the distinction of being the first Latina at an executive level at the company.

"I commend the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce on its dedication to pursuing economic growth and to supporting Hispanic entrepreneurs. SoCalGas is committed to helping diverse businesses grow, which is why we are pleased to be a corporate member and supporter of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and we will continue to support its outstanding work in the community," Orozco-Mejia said.

While CHCC noted that nearly 45 percent of SoCalGas' contract spending supported female, minority, and service-disabled veteran-owned business enterprises, the Latina Corporate Pillar award was meant to honor Orozco-Mejia herself.

Established in 1978, the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce represents the interests of more than 800,000 Hispanic-owned businesses throughout the state of California. Orozco-Mejia was recognized at the Latina Empresaria Awards luncheon, which celebrated several Latina businesswomen who have helped other businesses succeed.

"We honor distinguished women like Gina Orozco-Mejia – a woman who came to this country from Mexico as a teenager and who triumphed over challenges to become SoCalGas' first Latina vice president," said Juan P. Garcia, CHCC's deputy director. "When she came to this country as a youth, she worked hard to grow fluent in English and she applied herself to math and the sciences and went on to graduate with an engineering degree from Cal State Los Angeles. We applaud Gina's determination and work ethic, for her leadership and commitment to help other business owners grow and thrive through SoCalGas' supplier diversity program."

As vice president of gas operations for SoCalGas and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Orozco-Mejia oversees all aspects of gas distribution operations. She has a master's degree in business administration from Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from California State University, Los Angeles.

In 1990, Orozco-Mejia joined SoCalGas as an engineering intern. Over the years, she has held a variety of increasingly responsible roles in engineering, field services, gas system operations, environmental, international development and operations staff. She previously served as director of labor relations, responsible for working with the unions that represent approximately 5,000 SoCalGas employees; director of region operations, responsible for gas distribution, resource management, and engineering and planning and customer services; and director of system operations, responsible for gas control, gas scheduling and transmission system planning. 

About Southern California Gas Co.

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 145 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.