Rising Technical Contributor Award

Chelina Ortiz Montañez


For technical breadth and depth that embraces every detail; for mentoring and supporting the women engineers around her; and for outstanding promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion through SWE.

Chelina Ortiz Montañez is a senior software engineer for Target. She develops, supports, and maintains the Pack and Ship application in the Stores Fulfillment portfolio, which instructs the company’s thousands of daily users across the United States on how to prepare, pack, sort, and ship guest orders directly from stores.

Ortiz Montañez was born and raised in Mexico, where a school field trip led her to dream of attending a university in the United States and working for a technology giant. Her dream unfolded in 2016 when she began studying computer science at the University of Kentucky (UK). Before starting her first year, Ortiz Montañez attended her first Society of Women Engineers event and was inspired to join. She held several leadership positions in the SWE University of Kentucky Collegiate Section and served as section president in 2019.

Upon graduation in 2020, Ortiz Montañez joined Target’s Technology Leadership Program, in which she explored the company’s vast tech opportunities and was introduced to her current team. She has been involved in delivering major product features for Target, such as an internal app intended to help plan Target employees’ work at stores, improve team member safety, and implement efficiency measures for retrieving and sending data to stores nationwide. Ortiz Montañez is also responsible for the entire process of continuous integration/continuous deployment of her contributions, acting in many roles to ensure the quality, support, and regular improvement of the app.

In one instance, Ortiz Montañez was charged with creating a new system to calculate the space available for holding pickup orders at a given store. She designed and launched a digital solution that calculated the order volume based on the items requested and aggregated that volume for the store. This system was a proof of concept to determine when and how often a store would run out of space to store pickup orders. Ortiz Montañez was able to initiate live tests that led to a more robust system developed by her team and later onboarded to a different team.

Dedicated to advocating for women and people of color, Ortiz Montañez has remained an active SWE member. She co-led the Latinos affinity group (FY21-FY22) and continues to be involved. She returned to her beloved UK Collegiate Section as a professional counselor in 2022 and oversees the diversity and inclusion efforts that she began as a collegian.

She is also a mentor in many programs at Target, internally for other engineers and externally for K-12 STEM outreach efforts. She served as a mentor in the Genesys Works program, which provides professional experiences and coaching to local high school seniors in underserved communities. She also became a mentor for a young awardee of Target Women in Science and Technology’s TWIST EPIC (engaged, passionate, innovative, and curious) awards.

Ortiz Montañez holds a B.S. in computer science from the University of Kentucky. She enjoys traveling to visit loved ones, reading, playing video games, and thrift shopping.