Category Archives: Chamber News

New Year, New Entrepreneurial Opportunities

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Did you promise yourself that 2018 will be the year that you stick to all of your New Year’s resolutions and finally get into the best shape of your life? You are not alone. The health and wellness industry is big business in McAllen and around the globe. Current projections indicate continued growth over the next few years. One of the leading nonprofit research and education resource centers for the wellness industry, the Global Wellness Institute, has commissioned multiple landmark studies that have found some truly intriguing business statistics including: The global wellness industry was a $3.7 trillion market in 2015. The industry grew by 10.6% between 2013 to 2015. The healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss sector accounted for $646 billion. The fitness and mind-body sector stood at $542 billion. Preventive and personalized medicine, as well as public health, stood at $534 billion. 1 2 3 4 5 6…

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Customer Service and “Add-on Sales”

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Over the years, I have written about the importance of customers to a business. A business wants to keep their customers and they want them coming back on a regular basis. A business works hard to gain a customer and if a business will do the “right things” for their customers, the business is building the foundation for long-term success. Getting a customer is expensive. I am always surprised by all the great lengths and expenses business go through to get a customer to walk into their store or business, and then the business drops the ball on customer service and/or miss out on a “add-on” sales opportunity. You want to make it easy for your customer to do business with you. For small businesses to survive against the big box stores and online competition, they must deliver a customer experience that the customer cannot get from a big box…

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Job Opportunity: CVB Sales Manager

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Are you ready to take on the invigorating challenges of marketing one of the fastest growing, vibrant, international communities in Texas? The McAllen Convention and Visitors Bureau promotes visitor-related activities, facilities, and events in a dynamic region that sees tens of thousands of visitors annually. We’re looking for an experienced, capable, and dynamic individual to join our team today! McAllen Chamber of Commerce Job Description Position: CVB Sales Manager, Visit McAllen Reports to: VP and Director, Visit McAllen Minimum Education/Experience Requirements: College degree preferred Two years of experience in hospitality, customer-facing, account management, or event sales Knowledge of relevant computer applications Knowledge of principles and practices of sales including negotiation, influencing ability, and sales training Knowledge of customer service principles Knowledge of basic business principles Experience in making presentations Proven ability to achieve sales targets by overcoming objections Any work related experience resulting in acceptable proficiency levels is an acceptable…

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Great Leaders Protect and Develop

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Great leaders are always looking out for the people they lead. It is easy to spot the poor leader in an organization or business because everything is about the leader. You see it in the “gold parachutes” that executives have when the company is sold, or when a merger takes place. The key executives are taken care of beyond anything that is reasonable, and the rest of the company employees are left to see their benefits cut and layoffs. It is no wonder there is such a frustration sometimes toward businesses. It appears the most basic contract of trust and protection is broken. The top people get all the benefits, while the rank and file suffer. The great leaders look out for everyone in the business or organization. They are willing to give things up for the good of the whole group. The great leaders spend their time building and…

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Ambassador of the Year and the GAC Meeting

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Every year we honor the Ambassador of the Year. The McAllen Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors play such a huge role in the success of the Chamber at so many different levels. The Ambassadors are really our “boots on the ground” and do such a fantastic job of connecting and welcoming new Chamber members and representing the business community to newcomers and existing businesses that are developing and reaching new markets. There are over 100 active ambassadors with the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and they come from every business sector you can imagine. The ambassadors are the folks in the blue coats that show up to “make a difference.” The ambassadors take time out of their schedules to connect and welcome new businesses. They also are developing an extensive network of business contacts that enhances their networks. To earn the Blue Coat, an ambassador must bring in over $2,000 in new…

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Dollar General vs. Amazon

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“Amazon and the internet are putting me out of business!” claimed a local small business owner. I listened as this small business owner lamented the current retail climate and the future. I had heard this refrain before, when Walmart was expanding at an exponential clip in the 1980s and 1990s and changing the retail landscape. The reality is that no one factor forces a small business owner out of business. What Amazon and the big box retailers are doing is giving customers a choice. Your customers will not put you out of business, as long as you are their best choice. The successful small retail business understands what it means to compete against an Amazon or a “category killer”. The one key trait that I see over and over again in the successful small business is the willingness to change. John Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life. And…

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What Retail Looks Like in the Next Ten Years

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Last week I wrote about the success of Dollar General as they compete in the digital era. The company serves the poorest areas with small markets and declining population mix. On paper, the company should be a failure, but for the last 27 years they have been profitable and are expanding faster than any other retail store in the country. First, Dollar General has a relentless focus on controlling costs and enhancing efficiency. Second, they understand their customer and what they want and how they want it packaged and at what price. “The internet is going to kill retail” is a constant refrain I have heard the last several years. However, it is important to remember that internet sales are only 11% of the total retail market. The percentage is growing, but brick and mortar retail is not going to go away anytime soon. But the world is changing and…

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THE 2017 McALLEN INNOVATION GRANT AWARD WINNERS

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Each year the McAllen Chamber’s Innovation Grant program attracts participants who put their creativity and dreams in the hands of the judges. “The program was created by the Chamber to develop a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem and to stimulate innovation in the McAllen area,” Director of Business Development Jorge Sanchez, said. Here are the six 2017 Innovation Grant winners. Ranvu Grocery Delivery App makes life easier for the busy families of the Valley. By downloading this app to a smart phone, people can select their grocery store of choice and create and order their list of food and supplies. The items will be delivered to them within two hours. Gloria Ordaz and her husband Dorance Cuba were in France working on a master’s program in International Business Management. For six months they researched the idea and future of e-commerce. When she read about the grocery delivery business, Gloria felt the time…

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PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – OMAR QUINTANILLA

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Omar Quintanilla Vice-President, Frost Bank, City of McAllen Commissioner District 3 With his degree in Finance, Omar Quintanilla began his almost 20-year banking career with the only bank on his business path, Frost Bank. After a year in the downtown San Antonio home office, he made a career move back down to his home turf, The Valley. “I’ve always liked analyzing financial statements and dealing with the business community,” he declared. “I especially like working with entrepreneurs and their companies.” Quintanilla, is Vice-President of Frost Bank and also serves as District 3 City of McAllen Commissioner. He began his service with the City of McAllen after he completed the Class 20 Leadership Course, when organizers suggested graduates join a city advisory board. Taking the knowledge of the over 30 city departments and their functions that he had gleaned from the class, Quintanilla became a member of the Community Development Block…

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13 QUESTIONS WITH MCALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER – STEPHAN WINGERT

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Stephan Wingert Regional Vice-president, Publisher The Monitor 1) What is your favorite book? My favorite book is by David Allen and it’s called Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. I have a lot of tasks that pile up for me to do. I’m always looking for that philosophy or tool that’s going to help me keep up. His philosophy is that if you can get these things into a system which relieves them from being piled up in your head, then you’re more relaxed, you get to sleep at night. 2) What is your favorite movie? I’m a fan of the Star Wars movies. I love every one of them. I don’t even have a favorite. My favorite thing was when my son was old enough to share that with him. I remember sitting in the theatre with my mom when the first one came out and being…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – JANIE RAMOS-VELA

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Janie Ramos-Vela General Manager, Studio 6 Extended Stay Hotel Inspired by the hotel’s re-grand opening and the feeling of welcome received from Augie Lozano, 2016 chair of the Ambassadors, Janie Ramos-Vela, general manager, Studio 6 Extended Stay hotel, decided then and there to become one of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce’s Ambassadors. Janie joined the team in October of 2016, and since then has found her shyness taking a back seat, and her enthusiasm for meeting the people who are working for the same thing she is – success – coming to the forefront. Working for Studio 6 for over 13 years, she remembers her first days of part-time, night time auditor, then working her way up to General Manager as the years passed. “I love meeting the various people who come here,” she said. “I’ll always remember the woman who started her stay pretty grumpy. I stopped to talk…

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Chamber Talks

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Chamber Talks is Friday, December 15 at the Double Tree Hotel. Registration starts at 10:00 AM and the program starts at 10:30 AM. Carlos Sanchez with The Monitor will be hosting and will act as moderator. You don’t want to miss this event with the Governor of Tamaulipas Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca and Congress Henry Cuellar. This event will give the business community some insight into what may be several key trends for the RGV and Northern Mexico. The event is $15, and you can make a reservation by calling Gerry Garcia at 28-2871. A special thanks to the sponsors helping to underwrite the event:IBC Bank, Mcallen EDC, CIL, and the City of McAllen. Special thanks to The Monitor for being a media partner.

Holiday Shopping: A Route Through North McAllen That Even Santa Will Be Jealous Of

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The holiday season is in full force and that means, shopping, shopping, and then more shopping is probably on your “to do” list. With Christmas just a few weeks away, now is the time to make sure you get out and find those perfect presents for your loved ones. Luckily, McAllen has plenty of fine shopping and some of the best retail stores in the region. With such a wide selection of shops and one-of-a-kind boutiques available, you’re guaranteed to find that special something for all your friends and family. Your team at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce knows exactly how frustrating and exhausting it can be searching for gifts this holiday season, so we have put together the perfect shopping route that will even make Santa jealous. A North McAllen Holiday Route One of the hardest parts of holiday shopping is making your way back-and-forth across town just to…

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Leadership Without Position

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People have told me, on numerous occasions, that they are not in a position of leadership. They don’t have the title or have anyone reporting to them. How could they ever consider themselves a leader? Some of the best leaders, and some of the most interesting ones to watch, are the ones who don’t have a budget, a group or team to lead, but have an impact on the success of a business or organization. Many leadership roles are easy to identify and they typically fit the roles most people think of when discussing leadership and leading. Here are just a few of the traditional leadership roles: Positional Leadership. This is the easiest role to spot and understand. A person assumes leading by the position they hold. The owner of a company or the president of a bank are examples of positional leadership. They have achieved those those positions by…

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Don’t Miss the Holiday Parade and Christmas in the Park

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The Holiday Parade and Christmas in the Park starts this coming week, and you don’t want to miss one of the premier events in Texas. I don’t know how many times I have heard people complain that there’s nothing to do in McAllen. The truth is that the city puts on this award-winning parade right here in our backyard and it’s free to watch. The Holiday Parade is the best parade in Texas (it’s not bragging if it’s the truth) and it has won numerous international awards. What a great opportunity to invite family from other parts of Texas or northern Mexico to come see and experience the parade and to spend great family time together here in the Valley. Thursday, November 30th starts the weekend off with the Heart of America Carnival, with unlimited rides for $10 (50% discount) for kids to enjoy a quality carnival and games. On…

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