Author Archives: Anabel Aranda-Saenz

McALLEN CHAMBER AWARDS 2018 TOP 5 SMALL BUSINESSES

Choosing from 13 worthy applicants, the Chamber’s team of judges made the difficult decision in selecting the Top 5 Small Businesses for 2018.  Here are the Top 5, all of which met rigid criteria: Boultinghouse, Simpson, Gates Architects:  Collecting twelve years of experience after college, Boultinghouse, Simpson, Gates Architects Principal Danny Boultinghouse, AIA, started his own firm in 1984. “It’s evolved from a single proprietorship to a partnership, but still stayed a small business by choice,” Boultinghouse said. “One of the keys in building a small business is to surround yourself with people better than you. That’s what I’ve been lucky enough to do.” One of the creators of Leadership McAllen over 37 years ago, Boultinghouse believes in giving back to the community.  “We pride ourselves on feel-good projects, such as offering our services for free to Proyecto Azteca, a non-profit low cost construction company,” Boultinghouse said. “I think all…

Read More

13 QUESTIONS WITH McALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER

Bob Vackar Chairman of the Board and Chief Performance Officer Bert Ogden Auto Group   1) What is your favorite book? I don’t have any favorites. I read a lot of James Patterson. I’ve read all of John Grissom’s books. Right now I’m reading Not a Gentlemanís War, an Inside View of Junior Officers in the Vietnam War by Ron Milam. 2) What is your favorite movie? The movie I’ve liked the best is Sicario, the movie about the cartels. The last one was Sicario: Day of the Soldado. I like action movies and those were about the DEA and the battle with the cartels. When the sequel opens the text across the screen says, “McAllen, Texas.” It says this guy is waiting at the grocery store off Trenton Avenue in McAllen; it had to be H-E-B. The movies were really good. I liked those and A Star is Born.…

Read More

PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – FRANK ALMARAZ

Frank Almaraz, Chief Executive Officer at Workforce Solutions, learned early from his dad the importance of literacy. Though neither parent went to college, literacy was on the top of their list of areas they wanted their son to conquer. “Get an education! Always do your best! Respect everybody!” Born and raised in McAllen, Almaraz was a scared 13-year-old traveling by himself to West Texas to harvest cucumbers, sleeping in the truck because there was no other room. Making that summer trip yearly through high school, Almaraz knew his father was right. He graduated from UT-Pan American with an accounting degree. Austin then became his home for the next 20 years. Becoming a CPA and working first for the state and then as Internal Audit Director for the Texas Workforce Commission, he jumped when he had the opportunity to return home to the Valley.  Almaraz took over as Chief Executive Officer…

Read More

MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – TINA ZIEGLER

Tina Ziegler Ziegler Services   Entrepreneur, artist, and Ambassador, Tina Ziegler is a woman having a love affair with both Germany and Texas. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, she first came to McAllen at 14. That initial time was all it took. She fell in love with the Valley. Surrounding herself with the positive energy of her friends and customers, her goal as owner of Ziegler Services is to help her clients with her services. Becoming an Ambassador steered her along that path. “I decided to become an Ambassador because I love to meet people and learn about their businesses and see what’s new,” she said. “I wish to connect with business owners and help promote and create this community. I like to go to ribbon cuttings and congratulate the new business owners. Sometimes I’m able to give them a little piece of my knowledge, expertise or connect them with others…

Read More