Category Archives: Member Briefs

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 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 The scholarship application is available on the Security First Credit Union website at –

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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Mesquite Beans From Lowly Seed to Dazzling Superfood

Texas has one of the highest populations of mesquite trees in the country. To the average person this really doesn’t matter, but to Victoria Barrera Cappadona, those feathery, spring-green trees with long, glittering, golden beans have been the catalysts to a tremendous change in her life. “When we were in the midst of a heavy drought in 2012, everything dried up around the ranch except the mesquite trees which looked like Christmas trees with their beautiful glorious pods,” Cappadona stated. “I asked my father-in-law what could be done with the mesquite bean pods and he said he’d heard of honey and jelly being made.” Launching into research mode, a common mode for this inquisitive, exuberant woman, Victoria began studying about the bean and discovered its many health benefits. Deciding to act on the knowledge, she first launched her original Mesquite Bean Jelly-experiment with the Chilli Pequin for a delicious added…

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South Texas College receives $929,800 grant from the U.S Department of Education

The Department of Childhood Development at South Texas College (STC) received a four year grant from the U.S Department of Education of $929,800 as part of the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program. The grant will provide affordable childcare services for eligible students at the Child Development Center, located at the South Texas College Mid Valley Campus. Funds will be utilized to cover tuition and fees for 50 eligible children of STC student-parents each semester and 40 children in the summer. STC’s Mid Valley Campus Child Development Center, which is nationally accredited, is committed to providing a lab program to train future early childhood professionals and has served as a catalyst for quality care and education for children and their families for the past 10 years. Veronica Rodriguez, Assistant Professor and Program Chair of Child Development, says this grant will serve students greatly and believes that the Child Development…

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Couture Ravel “Piano Trio in A minor”

Join us for a romantic evening and experience “Piano Trio in A minor” by Maurice Ravel that will captivate you from the very first measure. Written for cello, piano and violin — Ravel’s piece is a true sonata for three players, rich in the harmonic and textural innovations with a passionate final movement filled with shimmering, never-ending trills from the strings and a wild whoosh or two from the piano. Featuring VSO Concertmaster, Geoffrey Wong, violin; Benjamin Ponder, cello and Daniel Steenken, piano. Thursday, February 15, 2018 at Sky Tower Club, Chase Bank, 17th Floor, 200 S. 10th St., McAllen, Tx Contact: Valley Symphony Orchestra at  956-661-1615 or


The Valley Symphony Orchestra and Trudie Elmore Abbott invite you to América, América. Let the music move you with Latin-inspired symphonic music from Cuba, Brazil & Mexico with Col. R.T. (Ret). & Carol Ann Dixon sponsored guest artist, UTRGV Mariachi Aztlán. A concert so energetic, so rhythmic, so explosive, you’ll have a hard time staying still in your seat. Friday, February 2, McAllen Performing Arts Center, 8:00 p.m.  Musical Director/ Conductor: Peter Dabrowski Contact: Valley Symphony Orchestra at  956-661-1615 or  

Final Mile of the McAllen Kids Marathon

On Saturday, January 20, at McAllen Convention Center, our students will run the Final Mile of the McAllen Kids Marathon. As you know, we are a school district that has been recognized nationally for encouraging physical and nutritional health. This is the culmination event for our district-wide effort.  Please encourage students to register by going online at McAllen ISD students can receive a medal and a t-shirt for completing their  Final Mile. This free event is set to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Adults are encouraged to also sign up to run in the adult marathon on Sunday, January 21. Adults can sign up at Employees and students (13 years and older) will receive a 50% discount (PROMO CODE: MISD17) when they sign up for the McAllen Marathon/Scott Crane Memorial Run!  McAllen Kids Marathon Final Mile WHAT: Joint press conference WHEN: 10:30-11 am, Friday, Jan. 19 WHERE:…

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Governor Abbott Appoints Villarreal To Texas Facilities Commission

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Rigo Villarreal to the Texas Facilities Commission for a term set to expire on January 31, 2023. The Commission manages state government buildings and handles the sale of surplus property, including property donated to the state by federal programs. Rigo Villarreal of Mission is the superintendent of bridges for the City of McAllen. He is a board member of the Rio Grande Valley Chamber of Commerce, McAllen Chamber of Commerce, and the Border Trade Alliance Executive Board, and a member of the Texas Transportation Commission Border Trade Advisory Committee. Additionally, he is a former member of the Freight Advisory Committee and the Panama Canal Stakeholder Working Group for the Texas Department of Transportation. Villarreal received a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Public Administration from The University of Texas – Pan American.


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. For your safety, open toe shoes are not allowed in the classroom.  TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2017 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM ADVANCE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.  SPACE IS LIMITED.  

South Texas College Seeking Partnership with Department of Homeland Security Agencies Ahead of Center Opening

Maintaining security on the border requires the highest level of advanced specialized training. South Texas College has begun a series of law enforcement stakeholder meetings with Hidalgo and Starr County mayors, city managers, police chiefs, and Texas Department of Public Safety Commissioner Cynthia Leon as part of Phase II for its Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence (RCPSE). The latest phase includes the expansion and development of professional continuing education training for federal agencies within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. To accomplish this, STC is pursuing a partnership with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), which is reviewing the College’s master plan for the upcoming Regional Center Public for Safety Excellence in Pharr, slated to open June 2018. Based in Glynco, GA, FLETC is the name of the interagency law enforcement training body for 91 federal law enforcement agencies. With an annual budget of $272 million, it also…

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This fused glass votive will surely add to your Christmas decor.  Create it in just 2-hours!  We will guide you in designing and preparing a beautiful piece of glass and also take care of the firing process.  Materials included. For your safety, open toe shoes are not allowed in the classroom.  16+ yrs. TWO CLASSES OFFERED FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2017 at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM.  CLASS FEE:  $35   SPACE IS LIMITED.