Category Archives: Member Briefs

Sister Pimentel Awarded Hispanic Heritage Community Service Award

 On Wednesday, Sept. 12, Sister Norma Pimentel will be presented with the Hispanic Heritage Community Service Award in Washington DC. The Hispanic Heritage Awards were established by the White House under the Regan administration in 1987, with the purpose of commemorating the Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. The Hispanic Heritage Awards are known to be the highest honors by Latinos for Latinos and are supported by 40 national Hispanic- serving institutions. Sister Pimentel, a religious sister for the Missionaries of Jesus community and Executive Director of Catholic Charites of the Rio Grande Valley, led the humanitarian response to the 2014 surge of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States entering through the south Texas border. The Humanitarian Respite Center was created as a safe respite for families where they could be welcomed and offered a place to rest, enjoy a warm meal, shower, change clothes, and receive…

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An Experience, Not an Appointment de Sanchez Day Spa and Salon

In need of rest and relaxation? Perhaps it’s time for some “Me-time!” In this unique, stand-alone day spa and salon just south of Pecan on 15th Street in McAllen, one has the choice to use all the facilities before a hair, skin care or body treatment appointment. Come early and luxuriate in separate male or female areas with a jacuzzi, steam room or dry sauna using the spa’s handy lockers, deluxe robes and relaxing ambiance to put you in a state of calm before your appointment. Experience the moment and give in to the opulence. Not only can you get hair treatments, there’s also a master color lab, and a variety of massages available: hot stone, four-handed massage, as well as cupping. Have a Salt Scrub, or Parafango, a detox treatment. A separate men’s salon with hair and nail treatments was added a few years ago to the delight of…

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SpyTek #1 Top Source of Surveillance in South Texas

By Roda Grubb Who better to guide you in your security needs than James Bond himself? Well, not quite, but Ric Tamez spent 18 years as a police officer with the McAllen PD before choosing to become a private eye. All those years in law enforcement taught him one thing – people need someone else to teach them about the variety of protection gizmos available on the market – be it cameras, alert and security products, or alarms, to name a few. “I came up with the idea of a spy shop because I found I was so interested in spy equipment when I went to private investigators’ conferences and shows,” Tamez said. “I decided it would be a good idea to have a spy shop in South Texas.” One out of only approximately 40 similarly styled shops in the country, Tamez feels privileged to offer the opportunity to people…

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Grainger Industrial Supply recently donated $6,000 worth of tools to assist students in their career choices

In an effort to assist deserving students preparing to enter the workforce, Grainger Industrial Supply has supplemented its annual scholarship to students by donating tools to South Texas College. Grainger, a leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair, and operating products, has donated $6,000 worth of tools that will then be distributed to students through the college. Grainger has been a constant supporter of South Texas College’s students for several years. “Grainger provides new tools for students in several fields including auto, diesel, heating/ventilation/air conditioning/refrigeration, electrician, construction and law enforcement to name a few,” said Mario Reyna, Dean of Business, Technology and Public Safety at STC. “Over the years, Grainger has provided scholarships and now they decided to donate the tools to our program,” Reyna said. “They had three pallets, almost $6,000 worth of tools, and they opted to bring them here and left it up to us to decide…

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FUSED GLASS JEWELRY WORKSHOP

Design 6 unique pendants in just 2 hours!   We will guide you through the design process and provide all the materials and tools needed for your exquisite jewelry pieces.  These pieces will be fired and picked up later. CLASS FEE:  $35, 16+ yrs. Prior glass cutting experience is not required. Register here with or without PayPal. For your safety, open toe shoes are not allowed in the classroom.  THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2018 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM ADVANCE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.  SPACE IS LIMITED.    

McAllen High’s Kamryn Ramirez earns Grand Championship

 Congratulations to Kamryn Ramirez, a member of the McAllen High Mariachi Oro, for placing first in the vocal competition and was also named Overall Vocal Grand Champion at the 2018 FESTIBA (Festival of International Books and Arts) Conference and Competition March 2-3 at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Performing Arts Center. She earned a $1,000 scholarship on behalf of MPR out of San Antonio and The Mariachi Connection.

Breadsmith God Filled Her Heart with Bread Dough

In Colombia, South America, the mother country of Martha Garza, McAllen’s Breadsmith franchise owner, it’s customary to sit daily with friends or family and partake of a cup of tea and some form of bread. She followed her country’s custom by being a long time client of Breadsmith’s delectable goodies. When the opportunity to acquire the business became available, she jumped at the chance. “Though I was already retired, I got the feeling I had to go for it,” Garza said. “I went through two weeks of intensive training at the corporate headquarters, learning to bake every single item we make just in case the baker misses a shift,” Garza said. It’s a good thing she was prepared, because she was baking her heart out one night at 11:00 p.m. when the baker didn’t appear as scheduled. Perhaps her willingness to jump into the process was simply because she had…

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Kairos Coffee Catering: A Surprising Alternative for Public & Private Events

The Valley, like an island of innovation deep down in the tip of Texas, keeps adding to its list of unique services available for events in the area. The latest is Kairos Coffee Catering, named after the Greek word meaning “an opportune time”. Gabriel and Jessica Sanchez, owners, are longtime coffee aficionados who dreamt of one day owning a coffee business. The two first met as teens on a mission trip, then again after five years when Jessica was attending Christian Bible college in Chicago, where she was studying linguistics and working in a coffee shop. “I learned the ins and outs of the business and how to make all the drinks,” Jessica revealed. “Gabriel learned also.” Dating led to the next step, marriage. A few years later, and after adding a little one to the family, they decided to move to the Valley to be closer to family. “Literally,…

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VTX1 Companies Acquires Ranch Wireless, Inc.

The acquisition will extend VTX1’s service area by 17,000 square miles.  VTX1 Companies today announced its acquisition of Ranch Wireless, Inc. based in Seguin, TX. Ranch Wireless, established in 1998, is a provider of fixed wireless internet service as well as residential and business phone systems in the area south of Round Rock to Kingsville.  They also offer digital land mobile radio systems for remote two-way communication. “This acquisition is important for VTX1 in that we overlap approximately 4,000 of their 17,000 square-mile service area through our northern exchanges,” said Dave Osborn, CEO of VTX1 Companies. “Their coverage area extends from south of Round Rock to Kingsville and includes San Antonio, San Marcos, New Braunfels and Corpus Christi. They have towers in these areas that we can use immediately to provide better broadband services to many of our existing customers. And adding Ranch Wireless customers to our existing customer base will give us close to…

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McHi Mariachi Oro wins multiple awards at FESTIBA

The McAllen High Mariachi Oro won first place at the 2018 FESTIBA (Festival of International Books and Arts) Conference and Competition March 2-3 at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Performing Arts Center. McAllen High won in the Class 6A Division along with the caption awards for Best Vocals and Best Violins. Additionally, senior Kamryn Ramírez, won first in the vocal competition and was also named Overall Vocal Grand Champion, earning a $1,000 scholarship on behalf of MPR out of San Antonio and The Mariachi Connection.  “We are extremely proud of all of them for their hard work, dedication, and passion that they put in for yet another very musical performance,” Mariachi Oro Instructor Alex Trevino said.

Ice Cream with an Identity

Rolling with Cream Raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, Mark Lewis – co-owner of Rolling with Cream – gave up the frigid north back in 2012 to take a job transfer in the infinitely warmer Rio Grande Valley. With the heart of an entrepreneur, it didn’t take him long to realize opportunities abounded in the Valley. Seeing Thai Ice Cream Rolls on Facebook, Mark began his research on the product, even going so far as to visit an Asian shop in Chinatown back in NYC, all for a taste test. Convinced of its possibilities, Mark and his partner, Andrew Gomez, bought a machine and Mark developed their basic recipe over the summer. It was winning the McAllen Chamber’s Business Plan Competition that gave them the boost they needed to bring their plan to fruition. “We did our Shark Tank demonstration, making up sample taste cups of the…

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Become Janktafied: Meet Lamar Jones

Lamar Jones – food creator, musician, business owner, family man – keeps his eyes to the sky and his feet firmly planted on the ground. He also keeps his ears open to his customers and his mind open to any opportunity that may come around the next corner. First winning the McAllen Chamber’s Innovation Grant in 2014, Jones’ barbeque sauces have since won HEB approval, putting him in 247 HEBs across Texas and counting. “The Innovation Grant is still one of those things that, at the time, was one of the most significant things I had ever won,” Jones’ face glows with pride. “It was a validation that I may actually have something which could do well in the market once it got there. It helped me get all my packaging and retail ready. That was the big leap I needed to take it to the next level.” But Jones…

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SECURITY FIRST CREDIT UNION HAS FIVE $1,000 SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE!* APPLY TODAY!

Security First Credit Union will be awarding five $1,000 scholarships to students in the Rio Grande Valley. We encourage our young members who are graduating high school seniors or currently enrolled as an undergraduate college student to apply. *Applicant must be a member of Security First Credit Union for one-year and an RGV High School senior in 2018, or currently enrolled in a college or university. Application deadline is April 6th! Please visit our website and refer to the application for complete details. Questions? Please email the Security First Marketing department at marketing@securityfirstcu.com. The scholarship application is available on the Security First Credit Union website at – https://www.securityfirstcu.com/2018-scholarship-application/

Southern Careers Institute Seeking Nurse Aide Instructors

MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A STUDENT’S LIFE! Are you a driven individual who enjoys the challenge of exceeding expectations and goals?  Are you passionate about improving people’s lives? Southern Careers Institute is currently seeking Nurse Aide Instructors for our new Nurse Aide program at the Pharr, Texas location. As an Instructor, you will have the opportunity to positively impact students’ lives by engaging them in learning new skills. Position Requirements: Successful candidates will have the following: ·         Must be a current Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) or Registered Nurse (RN) licensed in Texas; ·         Successfully completed a course in teaching adults, experience in teaching adults or supervising nurse aides; ·         1 year long-term care facility experience is required; ·         Ability to keep a classroom full of students engaged in the learning process.  In other words, you must have strong communications skills; ·         Perform other duties as assigned.    

Fifteen McAllen ISD Choirs earn Sweepstakes

District dominates by earning 40 percent of all Sweepstakes trophies Fifteen groups from McAllen ISD earned the highest score at the Middle School Choir UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Contest held recently at PSJA Southwest High. McAllen ISD sent 21 choirs to compete. Of those, 15 of them (71 percent) received Sweepstakes which is the highest UIL music score. McAllen ISD also had four other groups earn a Superior Rating in either Concert or Sight-Reading. That means 90 percent of the district’s choirs received an award at UIL. McAllen ISD also had more performing groups at UIL than any other school district (28 percent of the total competing groups).  In fact, 40 percent of all UIL Sweepstakes Trophies were awarded to McAllen ISD choirs. Fossum and Morris middle schools each earned four Sweepstakes awards. Cathey earned three while De Leon earned two. Brown and Travis earned one each. Lincoln Middle School…

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