Well known businessman Omar Ortiz died as a result of a road traffic accident that occurred this morning at around 8:30. Ortiz was driving a Toyota Land Cruiser on the George Price Highway when between miles 30 and 31 he lost control causing the vehicle to flip several times. We understand that he was trapped in the vehicle for several minutes before being rescued. He was rushed to seek medical attention but died a few hours later at the Belize Healthcare Partners Limited. Ortiz was on the Board for Galen University and we spoke with Provost, Dr. Eve Aird who said the faculty and staff was still trying to come to terms with his untimely death.
Dr. Eve Aird – Provost, Galen University
“Omar joined Galen University as the Chief Financial Officer on the 1st of November, 2014 and by the 15th of April, 2015 he became the Vice President of Finance and Administration. He worked along with me to lead Galen, to manage it together, to plot its development and together we were I think a really good team. Omar was the financial strategist who guided Galen through some very rough waters in the immediate 18 months or so between he and I joining the Galen team, he led through some very rough financial waters and he did it like a champion. He had the heart and soul of Galen at mind. Some of the faculty who spoke today talked about how much he meant, how much he had the very best intentions for Galen at mind. We continue to give scholarships that Galen was giving before. Under his financial leadership he brought us out of the financial choppy waters but he also helped us to develop as an institution, to provide resources for the faculty and staff and students to work with. Recently Love FM had some of our students who were going to Canada on a one semester scholarship, completely paid for by the Canadian government. Those scholarships came about because of Omar reaching out to Canadian Universities under the Canadian Bureau for International Education and developing strong partnership with these Universities who will accept our students that is an example of how much he cared about Galen and what this institution could do for the country. He strongly supported the business programs that we have in particular the Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship because he recognized that the future of Belize lay in entrepreneurial activities where our students could become graduates as business owners rather than people looking for jobs. He was also a member of the Board of Directors and a Member of the Board of Trustees which is in based in Belize. His passing is a tremendous loss to us at Galen and on behalf of the Board of Galen amid the faculty and staff I just want to express our sincere condolences to his wife Lisette and his three children and to all who knew and loved him.”
Ortiz was also a member of the Rotary Club of Belize. President Mala Vasquez spoke with Love News.
Mala Vasquez – President, Rotary Club of Belize
“Most of us have known Omar for a long time. Though we have only known him as a Rotarian since the first of July, he brought a great deal of energy, life and laughter into the Club even though he was with us for such a short period. As we go through our own shock and sadness we must make sure to be there for Lisette and their children as they remain part of our Rotary family. May Omar rest in peace and our prayers are with his family.”
Omar Ortiz leaves behind his wife and three children.