Author Archives: Athena Garcia

WE RUN UNTIL WE GET IT DONE! – CYTECH HEATING & COOLING, L.C.

“Comfort, Quality, and Value . . . Every Time!” Dusty & Gail Cyphers, Co-owners Snow! After 100 years, snow fell in the Valley in 2004 and heaters were having problems all. When we wondered, “Who’re we going to call?” the answer was simply, “Why, Cytech Heating & Cooling, L.C., of course.” “It was probably the coolest thing our team has done,” began Dusty Cyphers, co-owner of Cytech Heating & Cooling, L.C. “It was Christmas Eve, and everybody was cold. We ended up running calls until about one o’clock Christmas morning. Everyone pulled their weight. I did not lose one person. Everybody who called in with a problem was taken care of.” Both Dusty and Gail grew up in the Houston area, even attending the same high school for six months without really noticing each other. During her senior year a mutual friend introduced them, love blossomed, and they were married…

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13 QUESTIONS WITH MCALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER – FRANCISCO PAEZ

Co-owner, Kumori & Mori 1) What is your favorite book? The DaVinci Code. It involves a lot of things I’m familiar with through my study of history and religion. I found it very interesting. 2) What is your favorite movie? My favorite movies are Braveheart and The Notebook. I love the action in Braveheart and the storyline. The Notebook is a wonderful story of a couple in love, what they went through, and how they end up together. That emotion is incredible when you find your loved one and stay together your whole life with all the things you go through. At the end of their life, they even died in the same bed together. What else could you ask for in a relationship? 3) What was your favorite vacation spot? That would be Italy because the culture is so unique. You can walk through the whole city enjoying the…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADORS – ANGIE & KARL KAISER

Co-Owners, On Guard Sanitation & Valley Draft Services What does a severely dyslexic high school dropout do with his life? He uses his skills of engineering and vision to design some of the most intricate draft beer systems in the United States. Along the way, Karl Kaiser, co-owner of On Guard Sanitation & Valley Draft Services married a smart beauty, Angie, who gladly took on the responsibilities of co-owning the business, and they traveled the country installing draft beer systems. That is, until they came to McAllen. Here they found a place they were needed – no draft beer system service company here – and decided to settle down. Then they found the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and they found a family. Becoming Ambassadors, they felt at home. “We joined to network and meet people,” said Kaiser. “I like feeding off the other Ambassadors’ knowledge. We enjoy seeing people’s businesses…

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SERVICING THE CLOSE-KNIT COMMUNITY OF THE VALLEY – STARR HOME HEALTH AGENCY

Mario Luis Guerra, Sr. Mario Luis Guerra Jr. Co-Owners     Do you remember what it was that made you take that right path rather than the left path in your life, the one that changed your course? For Mario L. Guerra, Jr., co-owner of Starr Home Health Agency, that time would have been the early 90s while he was a business major in college. “My mom, a registered nurse, was working for a home health care agency when the industry was barely getting started,” Guerra said. “There were only two or three large agencies in the area at the time. We got together and asked ourselves the question: Why don’t we take a crack at this?” After graduation he returned to the Valley, and by July of 1993 the business was up and running. Now over 27 years old, it has always been a family-owned business. Guerra even met…

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13 QUESTIONS WITH MCALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER – CRIS RIVERA

CEO Rio Grande Regional Hospital, HCA Gulf Coast Division President   1) What is your favorite book? 100 Years of Solitude, written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I learned a lot from this very interesting novel. 2) What is your favorite movie? My all time favorite movie is “Under the Tuscan Sun” with Diane Lane. I love Italian architecture, art, and food so a movie based in Italy was bound to be my favorite. 3) What was your favorite vacation spot? My husband and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary a few years ago. We decided to take a cruise to Greece, which is now one of our favorite vacation spots. The cruise started in Venice, then Italy, and then made its way to Santorini. What an amazing experience! 4) What is your life’s  motto? “When life gets too hard to stand . . . kneel.” 5) Where were you born?…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – LUPITA RODRIGUEZ

Branch Manager Falcon Bank Lupita Rodriguez, branch manager for Falcon Bank, always wanted to work in a bank. “My dad had me involved in his sales business at a very early age,” Rodriguez smiled, recalling 13 years of living in Guanajuato with her family. “I would go to the bank and do his transactions which always fascinated me,” she said. Mentioning that much later to a friend in McAllen got her a job at Texas State Bank,  learning the business for six years before moving to Falcon Bank. She has been there for almost 13 years. “Falcon Bank has given me the opportunity to work for and serve our customers in both the retail and international sides, which I’ve enjoyed very much. It’s been a great learning opportunity,” Rodriguez said. Enjoying involvement with the community was her reason to become an Ambassador. She had already volunteered on the Candlelight Posada…

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TIMES ARE CHANGING – SAENZ PHARMACY

ELVIA AND Jesus Saenz Owners of Saenz Pharmacies Keeping up with the changing world of pharmacies is quite the job: keeping up with new medicines, new routines, and new government requirements. Jesus Saenz, registered pharmacist for Saenz Pharmacy, loves his work despite the thousands of hours it takes to stay atop the pharmaceutical world. “It’s a profession that’s very rewarding because we see our patients more than they see their doctors,” Saenz said. “They call us for any little thing, and we’ll make time for them. The fact is pharmacists are in the top of the most trusted professions.” However, Saenz Pharmacy almost never happened. “I was going to be a math teacher,” he said. “When I went to UT with my brother, who was a chemistry major and then got into pharmacy school. He suggested I try it out, so I joined the pre-pharmacy fraternity and before I knew…

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14 QUESTIONS WITH McALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER – KAY JANCIK

Owner, OH KAY’S! uptown on tenth 1) What is your favorite book? The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I’ve enjoyed all the novels and books I’ve read about WWII. I feel a real sense of compassion towards the people who went through that. I went to Normandy in France. As I learn about them, I do not know how these people survived. 2) What is your favorite movie? Same Time, Next Year. There’s another one I just love with Diane Keaton, Something’s Gotta Give. 3) What was your favorite vacation spot? I guess France because I love the history and the people have always been so friendly. I spent about 10 days in Paris, then a few weeks in the south of France and it’s so beautiful there. I just love it. 4) What is your life’s motto? I never thought about it in terms of words. I’m a hard worker.…

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SHIPLEY DONUTS “MAKE LIFE DELICIOUS” – DAVID DUFF, FRANCHISEE

Everybody loves a good donut. What better way to enjoy the delicious treat than heading over to get a freshly baked Shipley Donut. “McAllen loves their donuts!” David Duff, franchisee of Shipley Donuts, said. “Over these 40 plus years, I’ve come to see it as a generational thing. I look out at our customers and see the kids who used to stand on the chairs and watch me make donuts coming in with their kids standing on the chairs watching the employees make donuts. Now, as those kids graduate from college, get married, and bring their kids in to watch, it will be the fourth generation of families that has followed us.” Duff, born and raised in Kankakee, Illinois, sixty miles south of Chicago, moved to the Valley with his family as a senior in high school when his father cried, “Enough!” “In 1975, we had a 500-year winter and…

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WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN THE McALLEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

By Gerry Garcia:   I spent a moment remembering an article I read in 2015 by David Larson of the Pleasant Grove Chamber of Commerce that gave six reasons a business owner should join its local Chamber of Commerce, and during this pandemic, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the reasons and see how the McAllen Chamber has instilled the changes we’ve had to adapt to make it work.  And even though you might feel you are already busy with work, these six reasons give great benefits not only to your business but to your personal life as well.  1. Relationships The article mentions how building relationships is not only about networking but about actually gaining friends, associates, and advocates. Not only will you gain friends, but you could gain lasting relationships. As you go on in the Chamber world, when our lives adapt to a new…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – MURPHY JEFFRIES

Murphy Jeffries Account Executive NBC, Channel 23   Murphy Jeffries, a father of three who plays guitar, loves to ride motorcycles, and play golf, is an account executive at NBC Channel 23.  He is the personification of a Chamber Ambassador.  He is an extrovert who loves to meet people with high energy and optimistic personalities, who found his niche in sales. “My degree is in Broadcasting/Journalism, but I found it not as exciting as expected,” said Jeffries. “After some years in medical marketing, a friend suggested I join the sales team at Channel 23. I told her I didn’t want sales again but went to the interview anyway and was hired right away.” As you might have guessed, he found his love in TV sales. “Being able to meet so many different people and help them grow their business is what I like best.” Becoming a Chamber Ambassador was a…

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A PLACE TO CALL HOME – HEARTHSTONE APARTMENTS

Susana Cole Property Manager Have you ever gone looking for an apartment to live in? Maybe back in college days? Maybe yesterday? An apartment complex can be many things to the variety of people who live there. However, the one thing that is most important is that it feels like home. That is exactly how it feels to many of the residents who live at Hearthstone Apartments. When you are first looking for that new apartment to turn into a home, taking in the lay of the land, surveying the landscaping, and inspecting the care of the buildings might first garner your attention. The warm, inviting colors of this well-kept complex will easily catch the eye of an apartment hunter. The meticulously maintained landscape of Hearthstone could possibly make your car pull directly into the office located in the center of the 308-unit complex. “This property was built in 1996,”…

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PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – CAPABLE KIDS FOUNDATION

We have all been through some sort of trying time during this pandemic, from staying home, staying six feet apart from each other, washing our hands consistently, following city and state COVID-19 guidelines, making sure our kids and families remain safe – not to mention the families who know firsthand the devastating conditions this pandemic can bring. But I never stopped to think about the special people in our communities who, from the instant they were born, go through trying moments every day of their lives. Getting to know the Capable Kids Foundation and recognizing what it achieves was quite inspiring. Co-founder and physical therapist Melanie Watson and Executive Director Sofia Peña both spoke about the program and what they do to motivate the kids they help throughout the year. The organization’s mission is to improve the quality of life for children with all types of disabilities. The idea first…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – JOHNNY RODRIGUEZ

Johnny Rodriguez Public Relations Bert Ogden Auto Group Johnny Rodriguez, a happy, enthusiastic fisherman, golfer, gardener, and Public Relations Director for the Bert Ogden Auto Group, had two significant family role models, whom he said, shaped his life. “My dad was a World War II hero. He had his face blown off and survived to the age of 91,” Rodriguez said. “He could have lived off the government but instead worked for 50 years before retiring. He was a humble and great man. My mother was a cafeteria worker. They both showed me the way, making me a better person.” After 22 years supplying Bert Ogden with employees and where he developed a close business and personal relationship with Janet and Bob Vackar, he sold his business. His life then got even better. “Mr. Vackar asked me to come to Bert Ogden and do PR for them. I feel extremely…

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FROM TEASPOONS TO TRENCHERS AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN – RENTAL WORLD LLC

In the quake of the global pandemic, there is some good news. For many, by staying at home there is now time to do all those projects that have been on the honey-do list for years. Getting ready, however, might take a bit more equipment than is around the house. Need a backhoe? Need an airless paint sprayer, an air chipping hammer for demoing a tile floor? How about a tent when it is time to celebrate joining the world again? The list could go on and on.  There is one place you can go for all these items and much more.  Rental World, LLC has retail outlets in McAllen, Weslaco, Harlingen, Brownsville, and Corpus Christi, and a warehouse complex of four acres and 60,000 square feet of warehouse space. That warehouse is the size of over 12½ NBA basketball courts or almost an acre and a half, mostly all…

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