A National Award-Winning Publication

Juan Ortiz-Rivera


Using deep experience in human resources

Juan Ortiz-Rivera

Age: 34

Title: Manager, HR Business Partner

Organization: United Airlines

Juan Ortiz-Rivera was born and raised in Ciales, Puerto Rico. He majored in social sciences and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus. After graduating from college, Ortiz-Rivera completed a master’s degree in administration and cultural agency and supported different educational and cultural organizations before he joined the military.

At age 24, Ortiz-Rivera joined the U.S. Army Reserve as a human resources specialist and went to boot camp in Columbia, South Carolina. Back in Puerto Rico after his military training, Ortiz-Rivera was assigned to the 271st Postal Company. Illinois became home to Ortiz-Rivera in 2015. He fell in love with Chicago, its people, and its culture. With support from his leaders, he was assigned to the Army Guard and Reserve and permanently changed his station from San Juan to Chicagoland.

He transitioned to a civilian job with United Ground Express, a United Airlines subsidiary, in 2017 where Ortiz-Rivera developed his career as a human resources professional. Ortiz-Rivera became the HR business partner for United Airlines at O’Hare International Airport in October 2021.

Because Ortiz-Rivera loves traveling and data analysis, he continued to work at the airline while completing a master’s degree in data analytics at Northern Illinois University. Ortiz-Rivera enjoys time at home with his husband Lazaro, his goldendoodle dog Mozart, and his Scottish fold cat Mouschi.

Words of wisdom: Stay focused on your mission, remain steadfast in your pursuit of excellence, and always do the right thing. -Mark Esper