Category Archives: Chamber News

Tori Heflin Got Married

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Tori Heflin got married two weeks ago in a beautiful rustic setting outside Ft. Worth to Kaleb Allison. I have watched Tori grow up, through elementary school, high school, college and beyond and she always had a gentle spirit and softness for people. Her mom would tell you Tori was born that way. As Tori grew up, her faith came to play a huge role in her life. As she entered middle school and high school, she was never consumed by boys or having a boyfriend, like so many young girls experience in that time. She was focused on developing what she saw as her core strengths and her love for people and what God had planned for her. And I thought as she went off to college there would come along that special guy, and she would get married like so many of her friends, but it didn’t happen.…

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The Five Minds Theory

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I recently came across a 1983 article by Howard Gardner, from Harvard Business School, in which he discusses his theory on the “five minds.” The idea goes that successful leaders have learned to develop these five minds over the course of their careers and their success is tied to these five key areas. I have shortened many of the concepts and I hope I can give you the essence of his theories. Here are Gardner’s Five Minds ideas: The Disciplined Mind. Leaders gain this “mind” through the practice of discipline and sustained effort. We gain experience by doggedly working on a project or idea that causes us to study and develop a deep understanding of processes, ideas or concepts. In other words, sustained experience counts for something The Synthesizing Mind. Leaders know how to survey a wide range of resources, information and data and can distill what is important and…

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The McAllen Phenomenon: Retail Still A Driving Factor

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It’s no secret. The City of McAllen has built a name for itself in the retail sector, and as the epicenter of the Rio Grande Valley, business continues to thrive. Regionally, the Rio Grande Valley sees retail sales exceed $5 billion annually, with McAllen grossing over $3 billion of that. Featuring the premier shopping mall in the region, as well as a number of national-level chain retailers, a bevy of unique boutiques, and numerous shopping centers spread throughout the city, it’s no wonder McAllen has become an international destination. McAllen’s Ever Growing Retail Sector McAllen has been fortunate to weather many of the economic storms that have affected the nation while continuing to lead retail development along the border region. The city has seen an explosion of retail growth over the past few years and we continue to be blessed with numerous developments throughout the city including: One of McAllen’s…

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The Coming Impact of Driverless Cars

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One major trend several futurists continue to talk about, and you also see car companies and technology companies focusing billions of dollars of resources and investment toward, is driverless cars. Some believe that, as early as next year, we will begin to see driverless cars in several key cities. The trend will start on a limited basis and grow each year from there as pricing continues to drop (Moore’s Law) and technology breakthroughs reduce costs. The first market that will be impacted by driverless cars will be the taxi industry. Uber’s and Lyft’s business models call for “high utilization” that creates efficiencies and profitability quickly. Here are some interesting facts and trends some “experts” are predicting will be happening by 2030: One self-driving car will replace 30 traditionally own cars. Driverless cars, because of utilization, will have a shorter life cycle (one year vs. 15 years today). Fleet owner and…

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Building Company Culture During The Holidays

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There are plenty of benefits to be had by hosting a fabulous holiday party for your company. Aside from improving employee relationships, functioning as an incentive, and acting as a personal thanks to your employees, holiday parties also help to build your company culture. Forbes covered the importance of company culture earlier this year and argued that it is becoming even more relevant in the modern workplace. Developing a strong company culture through programs and events such as holiday parties can unify your team and enhance your business’s operations in a number of ways including: Improved retention: A strong company culture creates a sense of being, organization, and attraction. A positive company culture is much more likely to attract top talent and help you to retain these quality employees. Building your brand: Company culture goes a long way in helping your employees understand the values and identity you want customers…

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Five Stages to Real Change

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How do you make changes in your life or in your work? Change is hard, for a variety of reasons. We often fall into routines or habits, without any thought as to why we do things a certain way or why we think a certain way. Our habits, many times, develop because it is the easy way to do things. It is human nature to take the easy path and there is nothing wrong with the easy path, until we need to change. Change becomes a challenge because we are breaking habits or routines on how we eat, exercise, think, or act. Psychologists tell us that there are stages that we go through in order to make changes in our lives. Here are the five stages of changes: Evaluation. Many people make the decision not to do anything because they feel they do not have enough information or the right…

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JIM DARLING – McALLEN’S MAYOR

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Jim Darling has a passion for being Mayor of McAllen. Going through a peso devaluation and violence in Tamaulipas, as well as other issues, have kept the mayor on his toes. With an extensive background, from his psychology and law degrees, having passed the bar on his first try, to his 28 years as City Attorney and six years as City Commissioner, Mayor Jim Darling is well equipped to handle the goings on of McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley. Darling was forthright about his time in office, the challenges, and the successes. “I think the last four years have been pretty interesting simply because I’m a border mayor,” he began. “Some of the rhetoric out of Washington has changed, creating diverse issues for us to deal with alongside our southern neighbors.” One issue, he said, was the federal government stating there was a border crisis when there was none.…

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PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – BRENT BALDREE

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“Brent Baldree, regional president of the Rio Grande Valley, Texas Regional Bank, grew up in the Texas Coastal Bend city of Portland. As the oldest child of a single dad, he learned early on about responsibility from helping at home and working at a young age. “Because my dad was a traveling salesman, I had a lot of responsibility early on,” Brent said. “I grew up quickly.” Still, through the steady teachings of his father, he developed a passion for hunting, fishing and sports. As a result of playing offensive guard at Gregory-Portland High School under the renowned coach Ray Akins, he believes he learned the meaning of teamwork and true grit. While striving towards earning his degree in business management at Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State, Brent worked in restaurants and on a farm. He firmly believes it was his early life with his dad, along with…

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HEALTHCARE PROFILE – DR. GUILLERMO SALINAS, MD, FACC, FSCAI

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Dr. Jeremy Enslein started off the interview with a short and succinct statement. “Dr. Salinas is an amazing physician. I’m very lucky to have had him as my partner for the last 10 years.” Dr. Guillermo Salinas is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases and Interventional Cardiology by American Board of Internal Medicine. Salinas was born in Mexico City and raised in Baja. At an early age he knew he wanted to be a physician. “I used to play little doctor games and do surgery on my erasers,” Salinas said. Though he’s not positive it was his grandfather’s passing with a heart problem that led him to specialize in the heart, he does know he always had an interest in the heart. Going to medical school in Monterrey, Mexico, then the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and completing his rotation in the cardiology field confirmed his feelings.…

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Max Grubb’s Journey

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Max Grubb has been the Chamber’s “go-to pastor” for the last 17 years, giving the invocation at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce’s Good Day Luncheons. I enjoy the way Max prays, always lifting up and encouraging new businesses in McAllen and McAllen’s leadership. Max came to the ministry late in life. He started seminary at Texas Christian University when he was 5 and came to the Valley in 2001, after graduating from seminary. Max has had numerous careers. He has run successful businesses and has worked as a financial manager and as a chamber executive. He told me, when he joined the McAllen Chamber of Commerce in 2001, it was a prerequisite for him taking the job as pastor at the two churches that the churches pay for his membership in the McAlen Chamber of Commerce. I always appreciate Max’s unwavering support of the Chamber and its role in the…

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Businesses Reap Benefits From “The Best Parade In The World” – The McAllen Holiday Parade

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Just this past month, on September 14th, the City of McAllen was recognized for its ability to hold outstanding world-class events. The International Festival and Events Association recently held its 62nd Annual Convention in Tucson, Arizona, and our amazing city was honored with a stunning 36 awards in the prestigious IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards competition – not the least of which was the 2017 Best Parade in the World award. Going up against some major markets and events, such as the Portland Rose Festival, the award was definitely a proud moment for our community and went towards showcasing all the hard work and dedication put forth by the multiple city offices involved with putting together the event. And It’s Only Getting Better As the largest single-day event in south Texas, the McAllen Holiday Parade brought together over 255,000 spectators last year from all throughout the border region, northern Mexico,…

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The Top 5 Small Business Winners

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Every year, the McAllen Chamber honors the Top 5 Small businesses in McAllen. Small businesses are driving our economy and continue to play a vital role in the success of our community. The business experts tell us that small businesses create and sustain more jobs than big corporations. The best vital statistic for a community is the number of new small businesses being started. The second vital statistic is the growth of small businesses. McAllen is blessed with wonderful small businessses. They play such a critical role in McAllen. Small businesses also carry 2% of the total tax burden in Texas (Texas is a high property tax and fees state). The other critical role small businesses play, beyond the jobs and opportunities they bring to a community, is the role they play in giving back to the community. McAllen’s small businesses are the first to step up and donate to…

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Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches

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Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, one of the fastest growing quick casual concepts in the country, has opened its second store in McAllen! Check out the restaurant at 7001 N 10th near Trenton. What is Jimmy John’s? Jimmy John’s is all about fresh, fast, tasty sandwiches. They hand-slice fresh meats and veggies on a daily basis and bake homemade bread all day, every day. After greeting customers upon arrival, the restaurant makes them one of the fastest, most flawless sandwiches that they’ve ever had! Fast service along with high-quality products and a consistent customer experience always keep customers coming back.  

Seven Key Leadership Elements from the Military

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The military develops leaders. The armed forces spend a lot of time and money in fine tuning and enhancing key elements for leadership. They train and evaluate constantly to see which people in the military understand and grasp the concepts and who just goes through the motions. Those key lessons can be applied to so many different business leadership opportunities. An interesting aspect of military leadership is how quickly they put young people in key positions to make decisions and to lead. People are given opportunities to show what they expected level of leadership. So here are seven key elements of military leadership than can be applied to businesses and organizations: Plan. Planning is a key element of leadership. The military plans and re-plans, time and time again. Planning forces an individual to think through all the different things that are needed to be successful. In today’s world, we want…

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Holiday Parties Are Good For Business

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It’s been a big year in McAllen! As the third quarter draws to a close, it’s time to plan for the holidays.  Your customers and employees have made every success in 2017 possible. How do you spread some cheer, reignite passion, and generally say thanks for your business or thanks for a job well done? A holiday party, of course! Here at your McAllen Chamber of Commerce, we understand how much of an effort it can be to find the right venue, arrange catering, and organize the event. We are here to help provide some insight into hosting and event planning to make this year’s holiday party one to remember. Holiday parties are good for business! Enhance employee relationships. A holiday party in a non-work environment can really help to build team connections and stronger social bonds that lead to improved work efficiency. Gain valuable insight. As a business owner,…

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