Category Archives: Chamber News

Be a Part of the Tradition at the 31st Annual Candlelight Posada

This year marks the 31st anniversary of McAllen’s Candlelight Posada.  The McAllen Chamber of Commerce and the McAllen Parks & Recreation Department are looking for organizations who are interested in participating as food vendors or in the lighted parade.  Applications can be picked up at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.  Be a part of the tradition, December 7th at Archer Park.  “The Candlelight Posada committee is very excited for this year’s event.  We hope to make this year as festive and memorable as the last,” said Maritza Munoz, Candlelight Posada Coordinator.  “We want to invite the community to participate as food vendors and/or in the lighted parade.  This is a great opportunity to raise funds and awareness for businesses and organizations.”  Candlelight Posada has been very successful in previous years because of the financial support of the local businesses.  “Sponsorship opportunities are also available for both individuals and businesses who…

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Navarrette to kick off "Newsmaker Breakfast Series"

Award-winning journalist Ruben Navarrette Jr. will visit McAllen next month as part of the inaugural Newsmaker Breakfast Series, hosted by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and The Monitor. Described as “a fresh and increasingly important voice in the national political debate,” the syndicated columnist’s twice-weekly column “offers new thinking on many of the major issues of the day, especially on thorny questions involving ethnicity and national origin,” his website says. First entering into syndication in 2001, Navarrette’s column has appeared in hundreds of newspapers worldwide, includingThe Washington PostandUSA Today. Navarrette first garnered national attention in 1993 with his book,A Darker Shade of Crimson: Odyssey of a Harvard Chicano. In the memoir, he reflected back on the difficulties he faced as a Hispanic student attending the traditionally white university. “[Navarrette] darts his barbs at two chief targets: the old Wasp elite that stifles the university with exclusive rules and expectations, and…

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McAllen Chamber of Commerce accepting nominations for Prestigious Community Service Award

The McAllen Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for McAllen’s Man & Woman of the Year 2011.  The recipients of this community service award will be recognized at the Chamber’s 59th Annual Banquet scheduled for Tuesday, November 1 at the McAllen Convention Center.  Since 1955, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce has been honoring outstanding citizens who have had a positive impact on the city of McAllen.  These men and women have volunteered countless hours serving on committees, boards and other organizations in an effort to make a difference for the community in which they live. These individuals have shown acts of exceptional kindness and tireless energy in organizing programs or events for the benefit of our community, giving time and talent to teach, lending a helping hand to those in need, or just making the special effort to ensure that “good things happen” for others and their community.  All clubs and…

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McAllen Chamber awards grants to innovators for wide-ranging invention ideas

By Jacob Fischler | The Monitor | Posted: Sunday, September 1, 2013 8:50 pm McALLEN – What do a delivery drone, a skincare cream and a networking smartphone app have in common? They’re all ideas the McAllen Chamber of Commerce deemed worthy of $5,000 to $10,000 in grant money. The Chamber awarded $45,000 Aug. 22 to five teams for its annual program that disburses innovation grants to local inventors and entrepreneurs. The goal of the competition — which has a budget of $50,000 — is to promote a culture of innovation in the Rio Grande Valley as a way to “create wealth in the community,” Chamber President Steve Ahlenius said. “Inventors and entrepreneurs are going to be some of the major drivers in the 21st century,” he said. Nine teams submitted written proposals to the Chamber in the hopes of earning a $10,000 grant. A panel of five judges plus…

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McAllen ISD Superintendent named state finalist for annual award

Out of more than 1,000 school districts in Texas, McAllen ISD’s Superintendent, Dr. James Ponce, is now among a select group of five in the running for the state Superintendent of the Year award.  The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) made it official on Monday. Dr. Ponce will be interviewed by a selection committee at the TASA (Texas Association of School Administrators)/TASB Convention next month in Dallas. The state winner will be announced Sept. 28.  Dr. Ponce became the Regional Superintendent of the Year in early June. The state’s 20 regional winners have now been trimmed to five finalists. The state selection committee, which interviewed regional winners August 23-24 in Austin, focused on such issues as academic excellence, community engagement, career and workforce readiness, student/staff communication, advocacy, and district and community partnerships, according to a TASB news release.  The selection committee cited his success with parental engagement and district…

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Request for Proposal from McAllen ISD

ATTENTION BIDDERS McAllen Independent School District is accepting submittals from Marketing Firms on the following bid: Request For Proposal No. 2013-039 – Public Relations Consulting Services Due Date/Time: 8/28/2013 3:00 PM, Central Time RFP package is only available for download by registering “FREE” at Public Purchase.  To begin, go to: If you encounter registration difficulties, please use the “CHAT” option or email customer service.  McAllen ISD does not own the website; therefore, we are not able to assist in the registration process.   Bidders are responsible for viewing the webpage regularly, or prior to submitting a bid/proposal response, to ensure that no addenda or additional information have been issued for the solicitation. Properly sealed and marked submittals shall be received NO LATER THAN the date and time stated above at McAllen ISD Purchasing Services, 4309 Warrior Drive, Bldg. C, McAllen, Texas, 78501-7734.

McAllen ranks second in Cheapest Places to Live by Kiplinger

Kiplinger compiled the list based on the Council for Community and Economic Research's calculations of living expenses in 307 urban areas. Its Cost of Living Index measures prices for housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. They screened out cities with population below 50,000. All ten finalists, while different in many ways, shared one overarching similarity: super-affordable housing options for renters and homeowners alike. McAllen is ranked number 2! Take a look at the list of the ten cheapest places to live by following the link below.  

McAllen Fire Department to host Community Events

The McAllen Fire Department is hosting several free community events, in celebration of the department’s 100th anniversary, Friday June 7, and Saturday June 8, 2013.    On Friday June 7, McAllen families can visit their neighborhood fire house, between 4 and 8 pm, and learn about fire safety.  The following stations will be open for tours on that day:  –Central Fire Station, 201 N 21st –Station 2, 2811 N. Main (Harvey and Main) –Station 3,  213 E. Dallas (Cynthia and Dallas) –Station 5,  5521 N 23rd (Dove and 23rd) –Station 6,  5500 S. 23rd (Sara and 23rd) Saturday, June 8, beginning at 10 am, the McAllen Fire Department will host a parade of fire trucks, with participation from neighboring cities, at Westside Park (1000 S. Ware Road).  Following the parade and continuing through 7 pm, residents can enjoy several free activities at Westside Park, including a firefighter challenge (open to…

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Dr. Belinda Jordan to present at McAllen Chamber "Image of Success" Seminar

On Thursday, May 16, Dr. Belinda Jordan will make a presentation to the attendees of the Chamber’s All About Women “Image of Success” seminar at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Jordan will discuss the importance of incorporating healthy living into a working woman’s busy schedule and developing a diet and exercise plan for long-term success. Dr. Jordan is a graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio TX and completed her graduate training at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio/McAllen Residency Program. She was the owner and CEO of Family Medicine Physicians from 2003 – 2012 and the owner and president of BodyScripts Medical Weight Loss Center in McAllen from 2001-2012. She is presently a bariatrician with the Renaissance Bariatric and Metabolic Institute and is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. The seminar will also discuss how employees can project…

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McAllen Chamber to hold the first McAllen Mini Maker Faire

The McAllen Chamber of Commerce will hold the first-ever McAllen Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, June 22 at the McAllen Creative Incubator, 601 N. Main St. from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Mini Maker Faire brings together families and individuals to celebrate the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset and showcase all kinds of incredible projects. At Maker Faire, you'll find arts and crafts, science and engineering, food and music, fire and water but what makes this event special is that all these interesting projects and smart, creative people belong together. They are actively and openly creating a maker culture. In its simplest form, Maker Faire creates conversations with Makers. It is a show-and-tell format for people of all ages that brings out the “kid” in all of us. Maker Faire is a community-based learning event that inspires everyone to become a maker and connect to people and projects in their local…

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McAllen Chamber announces McAllen’s Man & Woman of the Year 2012

The McAllen Chamber is proud to announce Dr. John Gerling, DDS, MSD and Becky Guerra owner of Nuevo Santander Gallery and The Patio on Guerra as the 2012 Man & Woman of the Year.  Since 1955, the Chamber has honored outstanding individuals for their contributions to the City of McAllen.  These men and women are not only successful in their careers, but also volunteer countless hours serving on committees and boards, supporting worthy causes and making a positive impact on our community.    Although Becky Guerra was born and raised in San Antonio, she considers the Rio Grande Valley home.  After graduating from The University of Texas in San Antonio, with a degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry, she arrived in McAllen with her first professional job.  She met and married her husband, Che, in 1989.  They lived in the rural community of Linn-San Manuel their first 8…

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Inter National Bank First Certified McAllen Chamber "Green Business"

The McAllen Chamber of Commerce has announced that Inter National Bank has been the first to qualify as a certified “McAllen Green Business.” Inter National Bank Executive Vice President Karen Valdez was enthusiastic about her bank’s participation in the new program. “INB has been environmentally conscientious for a long time, and we are continually looking for more ways to recycle and to save natural resources ourselves and for our customers,” she said. “This program allows us to promote the fact that we are being responsible corporate citizens, and it hopefully will encourage other McAllen businesses to participate in it as well.” Inter National Bank’s designation kicks off a new program from the Chamber of Commerce, the follow-up to its 4-year-old Green Hotel Certification Program. “18 hotels are participating in the Green Hotel Certification Program,” said Nancy Millar, Vice President and Director of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce’s Convention and Visitors’…

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International Food Festival a Great Success!

The McAllen Chamber of Commerce recently sponsored the 11th annual International Food Festival at the McAllen Convention Center.  With an attendance of over 2500, the event featured over 35 McAllen area restaurants highlighting main course menu items such as Southern Style Ribs, Mexican Food, Italian, Indian, Mediterranean and Japanese.  Restaurants competed for awards in their respective categories in a blind tasting performed by recognized chefs from the area. The winner for Best Franchise Restaurant Taste  was Bar-B-Cutie and second place went to El Pollo Loco.  In the Independent Restaurant category, Kumori won first place in Best Taste and second place went to Poncho’s Mexico Nuevo Restaurant. Regarding the Best Display awards based on the Carnival theme this year, first place in the franchise category went to El Pollo Loco and second place to Jason’s Deli. On the Best Display independent category, first place went to Paris House Cakes and second place was awarded to Taste of India.   In…

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Why McAllen ISD’s iPad Push is Just the Start

By Steve Ahlenius, McAllen Chamber of Commerce President/CEO The last several weeks I have written about business models and the changing economy, and the challenges businesses have in competing in a constant state of change. Education is experiencing the same challenges. Things are changing and education is changing, whether we like it or not. The McAllen School District push in technology (iPads) is bold and important. The pace of change is being driven by technology. Ask yourself–are you using the same cell phone you were using five years ago? Why are we teaching kids with an education system that was created in the 19th Century? Online education is taking off; cars are becoming rolling “clouds” and media hubs. Smart phones and social media have created revolutions and forced changes in government. Companies like Groupon and Red Spot take off in just months and create huge market valuation. Technology, innovation in…

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