Teresa Ornelas, founder, president & CEO of Great Impact
“SRP was actually my first corporate client. The connections through SRP’s Supplier Diversity program have helped us. The network is so large that an introduction in the community was nearly priceless.”
Teresa Ornelas, founder, president & CEO of Great Impact
09:30 AM

Local Hispanic Entrepreneurs Make a ‘Great Impact’

SRP Recognizes Vital Contributions during Hispanic Heritage Month

For the last 21 years, Teresa Ornelas and her small but mighty all-female staff have helped companies make lasting impressions to grow their businesses. The mother of four is founder, president and chief executive officer of Great Impact.

Her company works with hundreds of diverse businesses and organizations to promote and protect their brands through promotional products. Their tagline: “Your brand, your style, your choice. Ask us how.”

“We understand that a strong brand identity is critical for successful marketing, networking and self-promotion,” Ornelas said. “We provide each of our clients with an individual promotional product strategy and focused action, designed to bring their brands to life.”

Great Impact is a certified woman-owned, minority-owned small business. It is also a member of SRP’s Supplier Diversity program — one of more than 700 certified women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses that do business with SRP. In 2018, SRP’s supplier diversity group hired and worked with Hispanic businesses to the tune of $11.9 million.

“SRP was actually my first corporate client,” said Ornelas. “The connections through SRP’s Supplier Diversity program have helped us. The network is so large that an introduction in the community was nearly priceless.”

There were an estimated 123,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in Arizona in 2015, according to the DATOS:The State of Arizona's Hispanic Market 2018 report, and the majority of those were woman-owned such as Great Impact.

According to Patti Pyle, SRP’s manager of Supplier Diversity, the goal is to “contribute to the development of a rich supply chain by utilizing local, diverse and sustainable businesses in SRP’s purchasing endeavors.

"There is no doubt Hispanic entrepreneurs like Teresa continue to make a great impact in shaping our economy, community and future,” Pyle added. “SRP invests in the community year round, but during Hispanic Heritage Month, especially, we want to highlight their dynamic contributions.

Ornelas hopes that other minority-owned businesses will continue to benefit from the investment of companies such as SRP. For her, it’s a partnership that’s altered her business in more ways than expected. A couple of years ago, Ornelas attended a sustainability training class offered by SRP and the Women Business Enterprise Council. The training — and the conversation with her staff afterward — inspired her company to do more with its recycling program.

“We invited companies in our complex to start collecting plastics so we could recycle in 500-pound increments and get the plastic converted into benches for schools,” she said. “We now have a room dedicated as a recycling center. Even unused sample T-shirts get remade into pillows for dogs.”

Great Impact is also the winner of the 2019 SRP All-Star Supplier Diversity Sustainability Award, which Ornelas believes has helped her Tempe-based business. Throughout all her success, her family and being a mom is what continues to drive her.

“Family is the strength behind Great Impact, and that’s something that’s a big part of the Hispanic culture,” she said. “It started from a need to be a better mom and grew to be a way to show my kids about hard work. In fact, my oldest daughter now works with me, and we have a five-year succession plan where she will take over. It’s extremely important that we celebrate our differences and that corporate leadership embraces supplier diversity. Without it, small businesses don’t always have the same opportunities.”

About Great Impact
Great Impact helps clients nationwide find promotional items for marketing campaigns, networking events, trade shows, corporate gifts, incentive programs, uniforms and employee engagement. Founded in 1998, the promotional products company is based in Tempe. Great Impact has an outstanding reputation throughout Arizona and the nation for reliability, flexibility and the ability to deliver the right promotional item quickly and correctly.

About SRP

SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP is also the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 800,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.