Category Archives: Chamber News

McAllen Chamber Programs Help Entrepreneurs See the Big Picture

The McAllen Chamber of Commerce is more than just a partner for established businesses. Along with city leaders, your team at the McAllen Chamber work to help potential entrepreneurs thrive and develop businesses that can prosper in our beautiful community. And that means paying attention to the bigger picture. Your success as a businessperson means success for our local economy, which in turn allows for more growth and business development. We believe it is our job to ensure that there are enough opportunities for local McAllen and RGV entrepreneurs to make their dreams come true. Because of this, we have developed a number of programs designed to provide experience and financial support to those who would best benefit from it. The following initiatives are designed for burgeoning entrepreneurs to find their brand voice and to provide them with seed money to turn ideas into reality. TheGoodPitch Competition Every business starts…

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This year’s Top 5 2017 McAllen Chamber Small Business winners all excel in their fields – along with their willingness to take risks, their determination and hard work, and most importantly passion for quality goods and services. Best Medical Supply. Open since 1995; 15 employees Joe Trejo and his wife joined his sister in a start-up business for durable medical equipment (DME) for wheelchairs and walkers. Listening carefully to his customers is what grew his business. When customers asked for more surgically invasive equipment, he would add it to his increasing inventory in the stocking warehouse. Changing the course of the company and finding their specialty niche came after a local hospital engineer left a piece of equipment on consignment, which he was able to sell for a healthy profit. “At first, I thought there was no way it was going to sell for a great profit margin. A week…

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Lisa Cantu Vice-president Business Development Officer Texas Community Bank Lisa Cantu, a vice-president Business Development Officer for Texas Community Bank, is balanced. . . in all areas of her life. Ranging from her Beatles Fab 4 collection to her love of her top three sports teams, the Astros, Cowboys and Spurs, she stays busy enjoying life in many varied areas. Then there are the 35 years of banking experience she’s accumulated, from processing loans, retirement, and IRA accounts to commercial lender and branch manager. Cantu appreciates how Texas Community Bank loves to help its customers who helped it become what it is today. Her volunteer work includes time dedicated to AARP Edinburg, and teaching the residents of Retama Nursing Home how to protect their financial assets. “To know I meant something on this earth and that my life has value through helping others. That is meaningful,” Cantu said. Her time…

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Jason Leal Senior Vice-President, Senior Credit Officer for HIll Country Texas Regional Bank 1) What is your favorite book? I’m not known to be much of a book reader. I’ve been known to say my favorite books are Cliff Notes back in high school. But there is one book that I have read – Who Moved My Cheese? I read that in Leadership McAllen, Class 21. It has application in all parts of your life, personally, business wise, career wise, in that you really have to think about the fact that change is going to happen. Change can be good, change can be bad but it needs to be accepted and part of the life that you lead no matter what you’re doing. Your cheese will be moved. That’s stuck with me. 2) What is your favorite movie? I will be honest and tell my fellow Chamber members that my…

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Veronica Sanchez & Edda Gutierrez The Antique Blue House Veronica Sanchez and Edda Gutierrez, friends since childhood, are the vivacious, inspiring, and gifted women behind The Antique Blue House at 1005 North Main in McAllen. Merging their artistic talents with their love of antique and vintage pieces, whether it be furniture, clothing, jewelry or art pieces, together they have developed a unique store. “We love to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary,” Veronica said. All around the shop are pieces of their creative designs. In one corner you’ll see an original vintage end table, and in another window will be a stylish, repainted end table by Edda. Hanging in the vintage clothing section you might find an intricate, delicate First Communion dress designed and sewn by Veronica from another store she had previously for 14 years. “This is my time,” Edda said, as she explained how her children are now…

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Bringing New Technology to the Valley: Ranvu An Innovative Style of Delivery Service

Dorance Cuba was on a grand adventure seeking a second master’s degree from INSEEC in Bordeaux, France, this time in International Business Management. While in school, his wife, Gloria, was attending language school and doing extensive research into technology they could bring to the Valley. “We were looking for something to provide the area which the Valley didn’t have before. We wanted to bring technology, to be able to contribute to the Valley. That was the most important thing to my wife,” Dorance Cuba explained.   Ultimately, Gloria Ordaz Ruiz became owner, founder, and CEO of Ranvu, a mobile app and website developed two years ago that allows users to order groceries online and have them delivered within two hours. “We started with that line to test the Valley and see how people would adjust to it,” Cuba said. Winning a 2017 Innovation Grant from the McAllen Chamber, and grateful…

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Climbing the Heights of Inspiration – Inventor Since Childhood, David Rodriguez

Clambering up a 300-foot tower, David Rodriguez once again had to estimate the correct size of tool needed to remove the nut. Lugging around all his heavy tools was becoming a hassle and he intuitively knew there was a better way to get his work done. Identifying the problem, Rodriguez worked diligently for six years to finalize his solution. Finding his way through the maze of obtaining his patent was a bit of challenge, but the effort was worth the wait. David’s little invention – the EZ Gauge-Refinery – is an ingenious tool which can be used to measure the size of nuts, bolts, and drift pins in the oil industry. With a little adjustment, he created the ideal tool for any industry – the EZ Gauge-Mechanic. For this, the McAllen Chamber named him one of their 2017 Innovation Grant winners. “When I was little, my parents were never strict…

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Lemonade Day Locations!

A lot of help and locations are needed in order to make this happen. If you would like to offer your location for lemonade stands, please fill out the form below:   If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Michelle Rodriguez at 956-682-2871 or

Millennials and the Right Group Dynamics

There is a lot of emphasis, these days, on teams and collaboration in the workplace. For many long-established employees who came of age in the workforce where individual achievement was prized over everything else, today’s workplace can be challenging, to say the least, and down-right hard to master, at the highest level. The millennials have a “step up” on the older workforce, because they have been taught and trained to function well in groups. I have recently had an opportunity to watch a group of 20-something work in teams and it is an enlightening process to watch. The dynamics of the group were very supportive of each other and focused on finding the right ideas and directions. Here are some key lessons I learned from watching these Millennials work in teams: 1) No Egos. I was surprised with the give and take in the group. Each idea or thought that…

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Mexico Summer Giveaway Stay

McAllen Chamber of Commerce and Visit McAllen is giving away a one night stay at the Smart iStay Hotel plus dinner for 2 at a local restaurant. Please enter your name, email address & phone number. Must be a resident of Mexico to win. One entry per family. Winner will be announced Monday June 11, 2018. Upon check in at Smart iStay, after proper identification has been presented, you will be given hotel certificate.  Click on the “Restrictions may apply ” below for further rules.     Restrictions may apply        

Being Centered

There are lots of challenges in the workplace. Finding the balance between being “all-in” and productive and keeping your life in balance is hard, especially in today’s world of being connected to work 24/7 every day. The productivity experts tell us that finding a balance or “being centered” is critical, not only for strong performances, but also for living a life that is filled with joy and fulfillment. So how does a person find that balance in a world that appears to be going faster and faster every day? The answer lies not in just one solution, but in a variety of thoughts and processes that bring our focus to how we think and our attitudes. Like most things in life, there is a discipline to achieving “being centered.” Here is a list of some of the key elements, based on what several experts have written and discussed: 1) Sleep.…

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Turning Ideas into Reality: Innovation & Entrepreneur Programs

The McAllen metro area and its surrounding communities are evolving. We are in the midst of growing opportunity, cutting-edge technology, and favorable conditions for new businesses. City leaders and your team members at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce are absolutely ecstatic about the possibilities that lie before us. Perhaps what makes these prospects so exciting is that the individuals who make up our community have stepped up to the plate. Many of you are ready to turn your business dreams and products into a reality. There is a sense of great potential in the air that seems to draw people to McAllen and we are eager to help those who are ready to contribute to our great city. It is because of this reason that we have created a number of programs, services, and partnerships with other local organizations to provide innovators and entrepreneurs the support, connections, and funding they…

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Ode to Cliff

This is another installment of my “Ode to Cliff” columns. Cliff was the mailman on the television series Cheers, who sat at the end of the bar, spouting off the origins for sayings that were never right, but sounds vaguely familiar to someone I know. Better Half. It is not uncommon to introduce our spouses as our “better half.” I do it all the time. The phrase comes from the Middle East where a Bedouin had insulted a prince and the prince had ordered the Bedouin to be put to death. The Bedouin’s wife pleaded with the prince not to kill her husband. The wife stated it was not her “whole” husband who had insulted the prince, but just half of her husband. She asserted that she made up the other half of her husband (the better half). She had not insulted the prince and the husband, she argued, was…

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