Author Archives: Anabel Aranda-Saenz

THE 2018 McALLEN INNOVATION GRANT AWARD WINNERS

Dreamers & Inventors Win 2018 Innovation Grants Once again, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce has indentified individuals with the perseverance and willingness to face the challenges necessary to win a coveted Innovation Grant. Be Still, Little Tree, Be Still Shawn Elliot Russell, SER Publishing, author/musician A children’s book inspiring courage and peace. Five years ago, Shawn Elliot Russell, author/musician, was sinking into a black hole, withdrawing from the world, his anxiety disorders and phobias taking over his life. When the day came that a little voice urged him to end it all, he knew he’d hit bottom. “That was the low point,” Russell acknowledged. “Three years, later I have a book and have started a publishing company.” Writing Be Still, Little Tree, Be Still is Shawn’s way of helping others through their storms by sharing what he learned during his experience. The McAllen Chamber Innovation Grant allows him to order…

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PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – BRAD WAGNER

Brad Wagner Expedient Mortgage Area Manager   What happens when the life you planned changes right before your eyes?  “I fell into banking by accident after I graduated,” said Brad Wagner, area manager for Expedient Mortgage. “With my degree in International Business and a minor in Spanish, I expected to work for a conglomerate abroad, preferably somewhere due south.” Landing a great job in Dallas after college led to a work life filled with horrible traffic, commuting and traveling. So Brad answered a random ad for a loan officer trainee, and that one discussion altered his goals completely. “I had the best trainer ever and I just loved it!” he said. Joining the telecommuting world took him to San Antonio where he joined Expedient Mortgage 13 years ago. “Our home office is in San Antonio with Thrive Mortgage as our parent company,” he said. “Expedient has six branches and Thrive…

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12 QUESTIONS with McAllen CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER – DR. PABLO TAGLE, III

Dr. Pablo Tagle, III Chiropractic Wellness Center   1) What is your favorite book? I think one of my all-time favorites would probably have to be by Wayne Dyer, and it’s called Thereís a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem. Things he teaches resonate with me and how I view life. I was going through a challenging time in my life when I read that book and it gave me a lot of knowledge and insight into how to live more peacefully. It helped get me into my regimen of meditating. 2) What is your favorite movie? I’ll have to go with something like Pulp Fiction. It sounds like a cliché, but I really love that movie. It’s a little violent, but I think what I like, more than anything else, is the way the whole movie comes together with Quentin Tarantino as the producer. They’re called semi-smart movies. They have…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – ASHLEY CASTILLO

Ashley Castillo Sales Rep, Laserlux.com   The last few years have been a series of ups and downs for Weslaco native Ashley Castillo, sales rep for Laserlux.com. Married with a blended family of five kids, she has little time to enjoy her hobby of running. Somewhere between her dreams of becoming a nurse, and going to school for it, the universe threw her a curve ball. Life was put on hold when her youngest was diagnosed with leukemia.  “No school, no work, everything was put on hold for him,” she remembered. “Losing my father during that time was also difficult.” Now with cancer behind them, Ashley is working towards her master’s in Healthcare Administration while repping for Laserlux.com, a toner manufacturer that also sells re-manufactured black ink cartridges, printers, and handles copier leases. As the co-chair of the Chamber’s Ambassadors, she loves her work with them. “I’m a people person…

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