Author Archives: Athena Garcia

CITY OF McALLEN LEADERS SHARE THEIR STORIES ABOUT McALLEN, AND THEIR TRIUMPHS & GOALS

Mayor Jim Darling Mayor Darling graduated high school in Rochester, New York, went into the Air Force, completed two tours in Vietnam, flew 133 missions in C47s, and acquired a psychology degree before graduating from law school at Baylor. He held various jobs from high school on before becoming an attorney working in a lumber yard, a dock for a carbon paper factory, as a mason’s helper, at a VA facility, and was part of a roofing crew. He served as McAllen Assistant City Attorney, McAllen City Attorney, attorney for Fulbright & Jaworski in Houston, and for Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, then McAllen City Commissioner and McAllen Mayor. Mayor Darling would like to make sure the city is providing quality jobs to match the quality education students are receiving. He would also like to provide our community with a great quality of life. “We’re really concentrating on ‘Let’s Ramp It…

Read More

BUSINESS YOU SHOULD KNOW – TEHUACÁN BRILLANTÉ WATER

A. Jimmy Garza CEO Flowing in springs from the 18,491-foot-tall Orizaba, North America’s third highest mountain, is a delicious, pure mineral water made from rain and snowmelt that filters through the volcanic strata. Learning about the widespread consumption of Puebla, Mexico’s Tehuacán region mineral water, A. Jimmy Garza, CEO of Tehuacán Brillanté Water realized the taste was clean and fresh with no aftertaste. He knew he wanted to be a part of introducing it to the world. While researching the field of mineral waters, Garza found the overall growing trend in beverages is towards health and wellness. “People want to drink something that is good for them. They know sweet sodas are not, which explains the big boom towards mineral waters,” Garza explained. “Tehuacán Brillanté Sparkling Natural Mineral Water is naturally sourced and provides beneficial minerals. It’s a great natural beverage alternative for the public.” He believes the American people…

Read More

PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – DAVID PEREZ

David Perez, Executive Director of Comfort House, an end-of-life establishment, has found his niche. It took years. Initially he spent years as a teacher, then years first in outpatient rehabilitation administration and then in healthcare administration. Along the way he completed his graduate studies in guidance and counseling, working as a family counselor. Such background gave him the ability to beat 52 other applicants when applying for his current position. But Perez was sure he had other help. “I think God led me where He wants me to be,” Perez said. “I wanted a place where I could pray openly and freely, and I get to do that every morning with our residents.” Preparing for Comfort House’s largest annual fundraiser, Pretty in Pearls, scheduled for April 2, he exhibits a few more of his talents. Having a theater background and a hobby of wedding planning, he loves pulling out the…

Read More

MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – FRED MARTINEZ

Fred Martinez, owner of Fred Martinez, LLC, has a passion for his work that wakes him up in the morning and puts a smile on his face and a bounce in his step. “When I’m able to look at a client’s books and determine within 10 minutes how they are doing or how the company has managed their books in QuickBooks, that’s my passion,” said Martinez, whose areas of expertise includes QuickBooks, payroll, and taxes. He has found his calling with his bookkeeping and tax preparation business, and also as an Ambassador. “At first, being an Ambassador was a way to meeting potential clients,” Fred explained. “As time passed, the Ambassadors have become my friends. The relationships we build are tremendous. I have learned that to be successful with the Chamber, you have to be active in the Chamber.” When he’s not working, Fred loves to travel with his wife.…

Read More

Goodwill Makes A Plea To The Public To Hold Onto Donations Until It Reopens

As the situation around the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve and with Hidalgo County’s shelter in-place in effect, Goodwill makes a plea to the public to hold onto those valuable donations of clothing and household items until it can reopen. Goodwill stores and donation stations have been closed to the public since Monday, March 23rd.  Even with the closure, donors are dropping off items, causing donations to be left outside and rummaged through (see attachment). “During this crisis, people ransack donations that have been left outside of our closed facilities.  When donations are exposed to the elements, it tends to make them unusable.   When we get back to normal operations, we welcome the opportunity to thank donors, personally, for giving to Goodwill.  Until then, we urge donors to hold on to their donations,” said John Owen, President & CEO, Goodwill Industries of South Texas. In the coming weeks and months,…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More