Celia Ruiz Tomlinson

Celia Tomlinson is the President & CEO of Rhombus Professional Associates, an extremely rare American engineering firm founded, owned, and operated by an immigrant female Asian  engineer.  Coming to the United States in 1968 by herself with only $300 and a civil engineer’s diploma, Celia had to overcome nearly insurmountable obstacles of absolute poverty, gender bias, racial discrimination, and language barrier to achieve success. In 1970, she became New Mexico’s first registered female professional engineer and in 1983 the first female engineer to serve as member of the State Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Surveyors. Her firm has been in continuous operation for 19 years and has completed projects in Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. Celia was named 1992 Minority Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Park Service.

Celia is the author of “A Woman’s Guide to a Successful Career in Construction” (PPI Publications) and a house inspection program called Computerized Evaluation of Lived-In Areas (CELIA), which has been used by Native American housing authorities and government agencies.  She has published articles, and has been featured, in People on Parade magazine and Civil Engineering magazine. She was on the cover of the Woman Engineer magazine.

The recipient of New Mexico’s Outstanding Woman and Trailblazer Awards, Celia is a woman of many interests and pursuits. She speaks four languages including American Sign Language. She is a co-founder of the New Mexico Affordable Housing, Inc., a non-profit organization. A mentor to upstart businesswomen and to engineering students, she is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Society of Women Engineers, and National Society of Professional Engineers. She served as president of the Filipino American Association of New Mexico. In 2000, she received the Rio Grande Filipino American National Historical Society Pamana Award for Personal Achievement. She is the 2002 winner of the Asian Women in Business Entrepreneurial Leadership Award, which she will receive in New York in October. 

Celia has merged the diverse experiences that she gained into entertaining and compelling speeches. Her self-deprecating humor, powerful message, and down-to-earth delivery helped her  reach the semi-final of the 1998 Toastmasters International’s Humorous Speech Contest.

Contact address: RHOMBUS P.A., Inc., 2620 San Mateo NE, Suite B, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110. Web site: www.rhombuspa.com


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