Author Archives: Anabel Aranda-Saenz

SHAH EYE CENTER PRESENTS MXLAN, McALLEN’S NEW FIVE-DAY FESTIVAL

Shah Eye Center presents MXLAN, McALLEN’S NEW FIVE-DAY FESTIVAL WITH  LA GUELAGUETZA PERFORMERS, MEXICAN  ARTISANS AND CRAFTSMEN   The McAllen Chamber of Commerce announced recently that Shah Eye Center will be Presenting Sponsor of MXLAN 2019, a unique multi-day and multi-generational festival geared to appeal to everyone – adventure seekers, families, history buffs, children, and seniors. It will offer experiences for every age and background, all set within a festive backdrop.  Debuting in July, MXLAN 2019 by Shah Eye Center will commemorate the color and pageantry of Oaxaca’s many native cultures, its time-honored past preserved for hundreds of years, and its present and future during the five-day event.  MXLAN 2019 by Shah Eye Center is where Oaxaca’s art, music, literature, lifestyle, and culinary experiences will come alive. At the heart of the festival will be “La Guelaguetza,” the traditional dance performance deeply embedded in Oaxaca’s history.  “As you can imagine,…

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BUSINESS YOU SHOULD KNOW – THAI RED CHILI

PAIRAO & CHANIDA TAUTHONG Owners   Pairao and Chanida Tauthong, owners of Thai Red Chili, brought the look, feel and taste of Thailand to McAllen when they used Pairao’s extensive restaurant knowledge to open Thai Red Chili at 3507 North Ware Road, south of Nolana. Over 30 years ago, Tauthong cooked at his brother’s successful Thai/Northern Italian food restaurants in Stamford, Connecticut. He then worked at various hotels around the New York City area and found an affinity for the restaurant business. Pairao met his future bride through a mutual New York friend in 2001. He had listened when the friend spoke of Chanida, a nurse – now nurse practitioner – who lived in McAllen. He had taken a risk and had flown to McAllen to meet her. “It was summer and  hot,” Pairao chuckled. “I looked up and was surprised. In New York it was a concrete jungle and…

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14 QUESTIONS WITH McALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER

Joe Habbouche Attorney & Equity Partner Atlas, Hall & Rodriguez, LLP   1) What is your favorite book? It has been a while since I’ve had the free time to read as I did in my youth. I had to read a lot of different books in college and law school. Picking a favorite is difficult. I can tell you I thought the easiest classic to read was Bram Stokerís Dracula. I thought that was the most interesting, much more riveting than contracts and Real Estate Law 101! 2) What is your favorite movie? The movie I can watch almost any time it’s on is The Bourne Identity. I’m a fan of entertaining action movies more than some of the cognitive movies. Any kind of 80s action movies would entertain me. 3) What was your favorite vacation spot? I would say probably Montreal, Canada, because it’s the first time my…

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PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – LIZ SUAREZ

Liz Suarez, Director of Aviation for McAllen International Airport, has come full circle. Starting her career with the City of McAllen in the Department of Aviation in 2000, Suarez has completed the loop. “I was given this opportunity primarily because I had a good level of experience on the ground transportation side in the transit department,” Suarez said. “The airport has transportation needs and trends specific to our region and our community. In addition, I have a vast understanding of federal regulations and guidelines and 13 plus years working with FTA, the sister organization to FAA.” At the airport, again, in 2013 as Deputy Director, she was appointed Director in the spring of 2014. “It’s been a fun ride. I love aviation. It has a whole different dynamic,” she said. Taking on the aviation side of economic development, Suarez learned about the airfield and all involed in opperating an airport.…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – CARLOS LOPEZ

For the first eight years of his life, Carlos Lopez, credit officer at Greater State Bank, grew up in Redwood City, California. It was there his late grandmother made history as the first Hispanic female bank vice-president in the area, working her way up with only a high school degree.  “Ever since I was 11, I wanted to pursue a career in banking,” Lopez said. “I love what I do.” When Greater State Bank became a chamber member, Lopez went to an Ambassador meeting and was hooked. “It’s about getting out in the community, getting to know people, and helping the Chamber in any way I can.” Along with his wife, they lead the board of Keep McAllen Beautiful. Carlos as president, his wife the vice-president, and their 5-year old daughter is an unofficial junior board member thanks to her participation in nearly all volunteer events.  “Church, family, work, Keep…

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