Category Archives: Chamber News

Holiday Shopping in McAllen

LET’S GET SHOPPING,MCALLEN! The holiday season is just around the corner, which means you probably have plenty of shopping to get done. But no need to stress, the McAllen metro area has everything you need, from exquisite jewelry stores to one-of-a-kind boutiques and everything in between. Your team at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce have put together a quick list of some of the best shops in town. Whatever you are looking for, you’re sure to find that special gift for everyone on your list when visiting these Chamber members. A Block Away Quilt Shop 2706 N. 10th Street McAllen, TX 78501 956-638-1961 People love creating their very own crafts and quilts, and A Block Away Quilt Shop is the perfect store for the quilt maker in your life. Offering fabrics, quilt kits, patterns and books, batting, fusibles, and even quilt making classes, this is the one stop shop for…

Read More

15 ODD QUESTIONS WITH CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Larry Delgado co-owner, house.wine. & bistro. and Salt-New American Table   1) What item would you not travel without? There are quite a few that are on my checklist. But the one I would never travel without is my wife. I wouldn’t know where to go, what to do next, where the good places to eat are if Jessica hadn’t planned them out before we left.  2) What is your greatest passion? If you ask me today, that has to be my children. The old cliché that your life turns upside down when kids come is true. I often was critical of my friends who said things like that, and lo and behold, it happened to me. It certainly changed my perspective on everything. 3) Where do you go for your favorite meal? Ahhh…food, my other passion! At one point it might have been the greatest, but it’s been superceded by my…

Read More

PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – HORACIO REPETTO

Horacio Repetto, General Manager, GE Aviation   When people see the name GE, the first thing which comes to mind is typically appliances – washers, or refrigerators –  none of which will be found in this GE plant. With a motto of “Invent the Future of Flight, Lift People Up and Fly Them Home Safely,” it’s not hard to determine that this plant is all about jet engines. Manufacturing each part, and having the capacity to fix any jet engine, has made GE Aviation the largest manufacturer on this side of the border in the Rio Grande Valley. “‘Fly Them Home Safely’ is what all 550 of our employees live by,” said Horacio Repetto, General Manager of GE Aviation. “When we’re working on a part and ship it out of here to go back into an engine, it has to be perfect. We take a lot of pride to  ensure our…

Read More

MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – GINA CRUZ

Co-owner of Minuteman Press What does a 26-year banking executive from First Community Bank, who was promoted to vice-president during her 15 years as the Bank Secrecy Act Anti-Money Laundering officer, do when she’s ready to move on? She finds a franchise she’d like to own, of course. Gina Cruz, co-owner with her husband of the Minuteman Press McAllen franchise, went to Farmingdale, New York last year for two weeks of intensive training.  “We learned the basics of how to operate and manage a professional printing company,” Cruz explained. “Minuteman Press is a full service printing and marketing design company offering competitive pricing and such services as advertising, printing, direct mail, and promotional items. Additionally, we offer in-house sublimation for local customers not wanting dozens of items.” “It was different at first, but now I enjoy talking to people,” she said.  Becoming involved in chambers around the Valley and as…

Read More

Youth Apprenticeship McAllen

This past Wednesday, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, South Texas College, and McAllen ISD launched the first of its kind Youth Apprenticeship Program in South Texas. The program is a pilot project driven by the idea of developing the talent pipeline for McAllen businesses. The program is a win-win-win-win for the students, businesses, STC, and McAllen ISD. This initiative is a Department of Labor certified apprenticeship program, which means these students are a “step-ahead” of their peers in the labor market. The training provided by STC for the apprenticeship certification is customized for each business and each student. The students follow a training pathway and the companies get the opportunity to develop talent from the ground-up. Another important factor in this program is that the students get paid as they learn. This is not an internship program or a job-shadowing program. These are real jobs with real skill sets that…

Read More

Top Five Small Business Winners

Every year, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce honors the community’s Top Five Small Businesses, and this year’s honorees are just outstanding! Small businesses drive the success of our community. The investment, and jobs created and sustained by small businesses, are essential to the overall health of McAllen.  They are a key indicator of the economic vitality of our city. Here are this year’s winners: Boultinghouse Simpson Gates Architects was established in 1990 when two firms owned by Danny Boultinghouse and Bob Simpson merged. The firm is well known for its quality work and involvement in the community. The company has seen a 333% increase in employment and has also seen a steady 5% increase in business the last three years while expanding into San Antonio, Laredo, and Buda. The firm has completed numerous major projects over the years including the McAllen Public Library, the Museum of South Texas History, the…

Read More

Four Key Elements for an Effective Briefing

Meetings can be a huge time “killer.” I am amazed at the amount of time many businesses and organizations spend in meetings. There is a fine line between communication that is needed and a waste of time. The other side of the coin is, “I am working in an organization that doesn’t communicate.” So how does a company manage effective communication versus wasting time? Many organizations have allowed their email system to become their “default” method of communication. Emails lose so much in tone, texture, and meaning. I have found emails to be the least effective way to communicate anything beyond just basic information. So how does a person grab someone’s attention without crossing that line of wasting others’ time? The military initially developed the concept of briefings – a process designed to give participants critical information, without wading too much into the “weeds.” Unfortunately, today, the military has modeled…

Read More

The GoodPitch Competition

The GoodPitch Competition is an initiative to nurture good public speaking skills in the entrepreneurial and business community in McAllen. The competition is a great occasion to polish and/or prepare a speech to a potential business opportunity. A grand prize of $ 250 is awarded to the best elevator speech, a $ 100 to the second place and $ 50 to the third. As part of the grand prize, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce donates all the collected application fees to the winner’s chosen local non-profit or charity. The competition is intended to simulate the real-world process of promoting, selling or soliciting buy-into an idea, product, service or request. The “elevator pitch” must be two minutes or less speech that conveys the message of the presenter to the audience and accomplish the objective of the speech. A good elevator speech should have a good structure and organization, be original, use…

Read More

Four Kinds of Words

Words are powerful. Because we are bombarded daily with so many words, we forget the powerful impact they can have on our lives. People can be flippant with words, not realizing they have the power to increase or decrease. Words have the power to set ideas into motion, movements and businesses. Words can start a relationship or destroy a relationship. Words can bring hope or despair. Words can inspire, mend, and heal. Words are important and how they are used does make a difference. Words of encouragement, that are sincere, almost always matter. You may say something encouraging and you may think it did not register with the person – but it did. Those words of encouragement come back to people in their darkest hours when hope seems lost. Integ­rity is the key to our words. When we say “yes” it should be “yes” and we should honor our commitment.…

Read More

2018 McAllen Top 5 Small Businesses

The McAllen Chamber of Commerce Looking for the Next Top 5 Small Businesses in McAllen   The McAllen Chamber of Commerce and BML, proudly announce the Eighteenth Annual Top 5 Small Business Awards. We would like to invite every business to be a part of the excitement during this year’s Top 5 Small Business Awards luncheon and ceremony on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.   The 2018 McAllen Top 5 Small Businesses are: Boultinghouse Simpson Gates Architects Community Hope Projects, DBA Family Health Futuro Clinical Trials Dr. John A. Gerling and Dr. Joseph Ryan Orthodontics R&D Personnel We would like to invite our community to support local businesses by attending and celebrating this honorable luncheon. Ticket includes reserved seating for the event and lunch. GET TICKETS HERE or call Michelle Rodriguez at 956-682-2871 to reserve your seat.

Lunch and Learn – Best Practices For Your Website

McAllen Lunch and Learn: “Best Practices for Your Website” The McAllen Chamber of Commerce and Texas Regional Bank are proud to announce an upcoming Lunch and Learn to help small businesses. This is the first professional presentation of its “Fall 2018 Lunch & Learn Business Seminar Series” is scheduled for Friday, October 12th, 2018.   A website is now a necessity for every business, big or small. If you have a business and don’t have a website, you are probably losing a number of great opportunities for your business. The web has a far wider reach than any other form of advertising. Your website should be the center of your company`s online presence. In this seminar, we will present the best practices in order to make your marketing efforts easier and have better ROIs. In the session labeled “Best Practices for Your Website”, participants will learn: 5 basic elements of a website 3 key elements…

Read More

HOTELS AND HOSPITALITY: A FAMILY TRADITION

Barry R Patel Perspective Hospitality LLC Making people feel welcome, comfortable, and content is the name of the game for Perspective Hospitality, LLC president Barry R. Patel, and his team. Honing his customer service skills has truly been a life long endeavor. Growing up with his family in Zambia, where his father owned retail stores, Patel, at 16, and his five siblings, were sent to the United Kingdom for their education. He chose to become a pharmacist, and received his degree from the University of Bradford in Yorkshire. “I actually wanted to become a physician but, as a foreign exchange student, competition to get into medical schools in England was hard,” Patel said. “I did love pharmacy, however.” Since the U.S. did not recognize degrees from abroad, Patel obtained a second degree in pharmacy in Oklahoma when they moved to the states, then worked with the Revco Drug Store in…

Read More

BUSINESS YOU SHOULD KNOW – SPAWGLASS

Providing the best construction experience is what SpawGlass strives to deliver. What else can be said of a company that builds complicated, large construction projects such as performing arts centers and convention centers (McAllen’s, for one), parking garages, academic facilities, airport renovations, and healthcare renovations for buildings such as the McAllen Medical Center. The company also has a building service group for small, fast-paced projects, as well as a civil division, with the vast majority of its work done for repeat clients. Back in 1953, Louis Spaw and T. Frank Glass decided to start  their own construction company. They built it to an international enterprise with Mr. Spaw’s trademark saying, “We don’t just build buildings, we build people.” Today the company is 100 percent employee-owned, with its ownership open to all employees.  “Nearly 400 shareholders of our 725 team members in our ten branches across Texas are shareholders,” Eric Kennedy,…

Read More

MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – KIMBERLY BARBOZA

Lift Your Spirits Balloon Decorators Kim Barboza, creative designer, sales manager, and partner for Lift Your Spirts, finds that themes are the magic behind their balloon creations. “I love working with themes,” said Barboza. “I can do anything with themes. I love it most when my mother and I put an event together and the client and their kids walk in and say, ‘Oh, Wow!’ It’s that ‘Wow Moment’ I love!” A wife and mother of two, it took moving to the Valley for this California girl born and raised, to find true love and discover her creative spirit in her mother’s company, coming on board full-time two years ago. Attending worldwide conventions and seminars in their quest to learn about new balloon products and new trends, they bring that knowledge back to the Valley to share. Being involved as an ambassador has meant new friendships, business, and opportunities for…

Read More

BROOKS NAMED BOB GOODWIN AWARD WINNER

Ambassadors are often seen as the face of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. When an ambassador sells $10,000 worth of membership dues, they are recognized for the contribution by becoming a recipient of the Bob Goodwin award. For Steve Brooks, Territory Manager with Heartland Payment Systems, being a McAllen Ambassador is a way of life. For 14 years Brooks has done his best to emulate Bob Goodwin, who was a mentor to him and so many others. “It’s an honor to win this award because Bob Goodwin was a legend,” Brooks said. “I’ve tried to follow in his footsteps by attending the majority of the ribbon cuttings, mixers, and Chamber events. I meet so many different people – business owners I might never have known about without this opportunity.” “Talking about the Chamber also helps me get my foot in the door with a potential new client,” he added. Brooks…

Read More