Author Archives: Anabel Aranda-Saenz

2019 MAN & WOMAN OF THE YEAR – JESSICA DELGADO & BOB BOGGUS

Jessica Delgado Co-owner, Delgado Collective   Bob Boggus Owner/President, Boggus Ford   Aren’t you grateful to be living in a city like McAllen, Texas, where picking a Man & Woman of the Year from all the deserving members of this community is such a hard job? How lucky McAllen is to have such outstanding people living here – people who are willing to give back by sharing their time and talents where they are most needed.  Jessica Delgado, co-owner of Delgado Collective, was stunned when McAllen Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve Ahlenius called to inform her of her new title. “What?” she stammered. “You’ve been named McAllen Chamber’s Woman of the Year,” Ahlenius repeated. “Oh, my gosh. Thank you so much, Steve. I’ll see you soon.” After she hung up, Jessica realized what had just happened. Her road to the award started on her road to the restaurant business, which…

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12 QUESTIONS WITH MCALLEN CHAMBER – TODD MANN

Todd Mann CEO of South Texas Health System, McAllen   1) What is your favorite book? The Lady or The Tiger by Frank R. Stockton. Most of the time a book is driven to tell you something. Anyone can read it and will interpret it differently but the end result is always there for you. The Lady or The Tiger does not give you that option. The book ends and you don’t know whether he gets the lady or the tiger. It leaves you with an empty feeling of what it is but allows you to create your own ending in your mind. That book has always stuck with me. 2) What is your favorite movie? I’m not a movie buff, but probably the original Star Wars. It was so revolutionary and was something we hadn’t seen. Probably second to that would be Planet of the Apes. It’s just amazing…

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BUSINESS YOU SHOULD KNOW – GRANCHELLI CONSTRUCTION

Jim Granchelli Born in Lockport, New York, it was the warmth of the Texas Tropical Trail Region that enticed Jim Granchelli, his wife, and their seven children to migrate to McAllen in the late 1990s, not knowing anyone. Beginning his Texas career by supplying firewood to the local barbeque restaurants, Granchelli built on the construction industry and real estate development experience he brought from New York. “I then also started a Cantera stone business since I was a pretty good brick layer and stone setter,” Granchelli explained. “I built stone and Cantera columns until I became an estimator and eventually worked for D. Wilson Construction for nine years.” From there, Granchelli went out on his own, starting Granchelli Construction, LLC 10 years ago. “We build commercial and industrial only, no residential, except apartments,” he said. “Our goal is always to deliver quality and finish on time and on budget. We…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – JENNIFER SANCHEZ

Jennifer Sanchez Branch Manager, IBC Nolana Traditional   A welcoming voice greets those entering the bank, and there’s a smiling, happy face behind that voice.  “Everybody knows me by Jenn,” said Jennifer Sanchez, branch manager at IBC Nolana Traditional. As a person who enjoys the networking aspect of life, and as a lover of all things family and giving back to the community, this lady has a lot of folks saying, “Hi, Jenn!” “I’ve been in banking with IBC five years this coming March, and it’s been a tremendous ride,” she said.  Pursuing her degree in Organizational Leadership, she is ready to “karaoke” at the drop of a hat, has a hobby of making balloon garlands, and loves volunteering as a Loan Executive for United Way. “All the things I’ve been learning and I’m exposed to are thanks to the bank,” she said. “I never thought I was going to…

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SAY HELLO TO…SALLY FRAUSTRO-GUERRA – CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Coldwell Banker La Mansion Real Estate Broker AND Socialife Magazine President/Publisher   1) What item would you not travel without? My cellphone. That’s my lifeline to everything, especially if my kids aren’t with me. 2) What is your greatest passion? That would be my children and now, my grandbaby.  3) Who is a person you admire the most? Why? My mother, because since I was very young, I always saw her working, taking care of all five of us kids. She was very protective of her kids, very hands-on, domineering, and a strong person. At 88 she still looks amazing and is full of life, very healthy. She’s funny, sassy, witty, and gives the best advice. All five of us are still trying to please her and make her proud. 4) Where do you go for your favorite meal? It would be very hard to pick one because the McAllen…

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13 QUESTIONS WITH MCALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER – CARLOS MELGUIZO

CEO/Owner  Carats, Jewelry and Fine Gifts   1) What is your favorite book? I have quite a few because I was a Latin American Literature major. I think my favorite is The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. It’s hard to choose. 2) What is your favorite movie? I’m a big fan of film director Pedro Almodóvar so I choose Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. 3) What is your favorite vacation spot? Anywhere that has a beach or any place that I have not been. I have a bucket list of places I want to go see. 4) What is your life’s motto? Do good to others not because of who they are, but because of who you are. This was written by Oleg Vishnepolsky but I really do believe in that.  5) Where were you born? Brownsville, Texas 6) What was a life-changing event in your life? When…

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PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – SKYLAR STOLESON

Chief Information Officer, Tex Mex Recycling   Skylar Stoleson has as many layers as the company he works for. When you’re the Chief Information Officer of Tex Mex Recycling, the vast amount of information that flows through your brain is mind-boggling. The company deals with the destruction of government agency electronics such as the Border Patrol, Homeland Security and U.S. Marshall’s from Corpus Christi south. “We have a 48 bay eraser and then we’ll shred the hard drives,” Stoleson said. “It’s all to government standards.” That’s just the icing on the cake. The variety of plastics Tex Mex Recyling and its sister Mexican company Tecnologias de Plastico recycle is beyond comprehension. Each plastic with its fillers of glass or talc, each color of plastic, each percentage of ingredients per plastic, and the different heat retention ingredients all make the recycling of the extensive array of plastics a complex affair. Then…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – LEONOR MEDINA

Office Manager Supreme Credit Services   Life-changing! Going to work for Supreme Credit Services in 2017 was a shock for office manager Leonor Medina.  “When I first started with the company, Joe Martinez, the owner, told me we were going to be part of the McAllen Chamber’s Expo and I was going to do a presentation,” Medina said. “I thought I was going to simply do office work. I was super shy, very quiet, and quite sure I couldn’t do what he was asking.” Two years later, with Expos and Power Networks behind her and months as an Ambassador, Medina is a changed woman.  Passionate about her work with Supreme Credit Services, which is registered and bonded with the state, and with helping people buy their homes by guiding them to rebuild their credit, Medina is a powerhouse. Confident, outspoken, and inspired by her work on Weslaco’s Centennial Committee, she…

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ENGINEERS DON’T DO IT FOR THE CREDIT! – HALFF ASSOCIATES

Kristina Leal, Business Development; Vice President Robert Saenz; Team Leader Jose Delgado;  Operations Manager/Senior Vice President Trey Murray; and Team Leader Raul Garcia We improve lives and communities by turning ideas into reality. Halff Associates engineers Trey Murray, P.E., senior vice-president and operations manager, and project manager Miles Bullion, P.E. described their company’s work as being the “behind the scenes” team, handling everything you don’t see. “We’re the ones who keep it from falling down, from sinking, and who keep it lit up, powered, cool or warm,” Murray explained. “We get water to it and sewer out of it. We get the telephone in and the wi-fi working. We make sure the fire alarm system and smoke alarms work. That’s what we do in a building. Outside we design roads to get you there and keep the bridges from falling.”   “I liked my teacher, Mr. Blackwell, and physics at…

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BUSINESS YOU SHOULD KNOW – INTERTECH FLOORING

VICENTE GARZA VICE-PRESIDENT OPERATIONS   Floors can help bring the interior of a building to life or cause it to just sit there looking bored and tired. One company with its goal to make a difference is Intertech Commercial Flooring. “We’re a fully commercial company and work on floors of all types,” said Vicente Garza, Vice-President of Operations for Intertech Commercial Flooring. “We do all types of specialized flooring: epoxy flooring for kitchens, industrial flooring, polished concrete, porcelains, ceramics, computer access flooring, and any other type of specialized flooring. And, of course, we do the basics, carpet and hard tile.” Founded in Austin 32 years ago and now successfully operating in the Valley for 12 years, Intertech Commercial Flooring has built a solid reputation statewide through its capacity to meet customers’ needs with certified manpower, materials, and warehouse space. Offices are in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and the Valley, and…

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PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – KATY COY

Katy Koy Executive Director, Valley Symphony Orchestra   Music has the ability to cast a wondrous spell over those listening as strings, reeds, horns and percussions create harmonies, which have the ability to move people’s souls.  It can change people for the better, enriching the lives of those who play and those who listen. “I believe the arts have the power to change lives as well as communities,” said Katy Coy, Executive Director, Valley Symphony Orchestra. “I am thrilled to be part of a community that continually works toward making arts a major force for change in the Valley. I believe the arts are a powerful tool for economic development and education, upgrading the overall quality of life.” Joining the Symphony in October of 2018, Coy considers the McAllen Performing Arts Center one of the finest she’s ever been in. “I feel like the luckiest person to be part of…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – LAURAH HERRERA

Laurah Herrera Internet Sales Manager Audi San Juan   Baseball, church and work. Those are the words Laurah Herrera, internet sales manager for Audi San Juan, uses to sum up her life. “Baseball refers to her nine-year-old son, Efren. Laurah enjoys taking him to practice and games with her husband of 20 years. She relishes every second. As her two older daughters leave for college, spending time with Efren seems even more precious to her. “Church” refers to all the time she serves, giving back to God. Having a career in the car industry for 18 years, her employment with Audi San Juan has provided her with an occupation she loves. “I love the automotive industry and being ‘first contact’ with people searching for their perfect car,” Herrera said. “Audi has become my favorite brand, and I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.” As an Ambassador, she puts her people…

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RELIANT ENERGY – LIFE SWITCHED ON

Rolando Salinas Senior Manager Market & Segment Strategy   The fact that Reliant Energy is a major contender in the power company game is no surprise. Beginning in 1999 just before the Texas electricity market opened to competition through state-wide deregulation, it has roots tracing back to the company that brought electricity to Houston for the first time in 1882. Providing power to over a million homes across Texas, Reliant is part of parent company NRG Energy and is the largest competitive residential electricity retailer statewide. With digital, online and retail locations in numerous Walmarts, Reliant is structured to become an electric provider with ease. Reliant is known for powering the lives of its customers, but many don’t know how much more Reliant does for the communities it serves. “Even though we’re a big Texas company, we’re really local at heart,” Rolando Salinas, senior manager of Market & Segment Strategy,…

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BUSINESS YOU SHOULD KNOW – SUSTAITA LOGISTICS CENTER LP

Everardo Sustaita, CEO   Learning about the logistics industry came naturally to  Everardo P. Sustaita, CEO of Sustaita Logistics Center LP. “I went to work my last year of college as a verifier of shipments for my father, a longtime Mexican Customs Broker,” Sustaita said. “During that time it became clear my father needed better control over the shipments going from the U.S. to Mexico. He needed someone who would cover his back, and that was me.” He and his father both realized what a vital job it was.  “Discrepancies on shipments found at Mexican Customs could have landed him in jail in Mexico.” Putting aside his dream to become a professor of economics, Sustaita first rented a shared warehouse in Hidalgo but without the tight security Sustaita wanted. Within two years, he bought the land on his current site and built his first 5,000 square foot warehouse. Today he has…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – JOE HERNANDEZ

Joe Hernandez, Manager of the  McAllen branch of Ric Brown Family Funeral Homes, loves to help people. He’s found his path and it’s paved with the goodness in his heart. Ric Brown lost his son back in the 1970s and was forced into the world of funerals. Feeling a different method of handling funerals was needed, he opened his company. Hernandez is the third generation of the family in the business and proud to be carrying on the tradition. A youth pastor at The Door Church, he and his wife revel in working with the kids, introducing them to the community, and all that entails, supporting their local firemen and police, for example. Having been an Ambassador for nine months has given him a new perspective of McAllen. “I would never have met the people I have met,” Hernandez said. “I love to hear how everybody has a story of…

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