Category Archives: Chamber News

INTRODUCING NEW CHAMBER BOARD CHAIRMAN STEPHAN WINGERT

By: Benjamin Treviño Since 1959 The Monitor has been a member of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce with many serving on the Board of Directors throughout the decades. Stephan Wingert’s journey up the ladder from paper routes to following in his father’s footsteps as publisher at The Monitor has now landed him at the helm of the McAllen Chamber. “I really believe you have to give back to the community that you live in,” Wingert said. “As a member of a community, we need to be mindful of helping to build that community through either volunteerism or just by spending your money in the community that you live in. There are lots of things to complain about in the world, but what is your role in giving back, and participating in your community to make it better?” His career at The Monitor began in 1987, when his father Larry was…

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McAllen’s summer P.O.N.Y. International Softball World Series honored as 2022 Champion of Economic Impact

  McAllen, Texas – November 2, 2022- Sports Destination Management has recognized P.O.N.Y. International Softball World Series in McAllen this past summer as the 2022 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism. Protect Our Nation’s Youth (P.O.N.Y.) five-day softball tournament brought over 40 international teams in July from Mexico and the Czech Republic. More than 900 athletes participated which resulted in a $1.3 million economic impact to the city of McAllen. Sports Destination Management is the leading publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market. Those awarded in the 2022 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism are responsible for contributing over $2.42 billion to the national economy over the past year. Visit McAllen, the McAllen Boys & Girls Club, McAllen Parks & Recreation and McAllen city hotel partners worked together to bring this international tournament to the city. Director of…

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TTIR Program Awarding $20,000 grants to Food Services & Drinking Places 

The Texas Travel Industry Recovery Program is awarding $20,000 grants to qualifying Food Services & Drinking Places for the recovery of businesses in the tourism, travel, and hospitality industries that were negatively impacted due to COVID-19 Applications open today and close on Nov. 22, 2022. Who can apply? Basic qualifying criteria for a prospective applicant includes, but not limited to, the following: In operation prior to January 20, 2020 Operate in the State of Texas Privately-owned for-profit business or non-profit organization Open to the public or provide services for in-person events Businesses or organizations in the eligible NAICS codes listed for the travel, tourism and hospitality industries (NAICS codes 71, 722, 7211, 7212, 5615, 561920, 312120, 312130, 312140) Suffered negative economic impact due to COVID-19 Otherwise, eligible to receive this grant funding and not barred from competing for federal awards, including the guidelines on government-wide suspension and debarment in 2 CFR part…

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McAllen Chamber Encourages Public to Vote

By: Benjamin Treviño Members of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce board of directors joined staff members to encourage voters to cast their ballots in the November general election. The group gathered in the chamber lobby on October 24, the first day of early voting. They wore t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “I’m ready to vote.” The Rio Grande Valley is touted as a political hotspot, but it stands in contrast to the region’s historically-low voter turnout. When the City of McAllen chose a new mayor in May 2020, fewer than 14,000 people cast a ballot in a city of 141,968 (2019) registered and unregistered voters. That’s a total participation rate of about 10%. “If you don’t vote, you are essentially voting, but you’re letting somebody else decide how much taxes you’re going to pay, which schools you go to, and everything else,” said former mayor and McAllen Chamber Board Chairman-elect…

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Inflation, economy top of mind for voters in midterm poll

Monday, October 31, 2022 BY TONY CZUCZKA BLOOMBERG NEWS Inflation and the economy are top-of-mind for voters heading into the midterm elections, with a majority of registered Republicans prioritizing economic issues, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll. The numbers, which are in line with similar surveys in recent weeks, “may be welcome news for Republicans as we close in on the midterms,” Ipsos said in a summary of the poll. President Joe Biden’s Democrats are defending an evenly split U.S. Senate and a tight edge in the House in the Nov. 8 election. A combined 50% of registered voters listed economic issues as their single most important issue, with 28% citing the economy and 22% naming inflation with 73% of Republicans naming one of the two as their top concern. Among registered Democrats, abortion rights led the list with 29%, essentially tied with the 28% who said the economy or…

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City of McAllen hosts Ground Breaking Ceremony for $83 million Anzalduas Bridge Expansion

McAllen Chamber President & CEO Josh Mejia took part in the ground breaking of the $83 million infrastructure project Wednesday morning aimed to make Anzalduas Land Port of Entry fully commercial. Many moving parts came together to help the project come to fruition including the City of McAllen, Anzalduas International Bridge Board along with federal and state elected officials. “Today is a great day for the entire #RioGrandeValley! The Anzalduas Bridge Expansion Project will help the entire region’s cargo trade capacity. Another great exemplary project which features involvement by all forms of government and the private sector,” Mejia said. The Anzalduas bridge is owned and operated by the city of McAllen in partnership with the cities of Hidalgo and Mission.  The bridge was opened in 2010 just for pedestrian and passenger vehicle traffic. In 2016, the bridge began allowing southbound empty truck traffic. But now, once construction is completed in early 2024, the…

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Surging prices show the Fed must continue its tough battle against inflation

By Alicia Wallace, CNN Business Jobs economist: Worker shortage may keep inflation high CNN Business Minneapolis CNN Business — A key inflation report showed consumer prices came in hotter than expected in September, punishing Americans and giving license to the Federal Reserve to maintain its pace of historic rate hikes. On a monthly basis, overall consumer prices increased by 0.4% from August, data released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed. Economists had projected that the monthly figure would rise by 0.2%. On an annual basis, prices rose by 8.2% in September, a slower increase than the 8.3% rise seen in August, according to the Consumer Price Index, which measures the changes in prices for a basket of consumer goods and services. Economists had projected the pace of price increases would slow to 8.1% last month. Core CPI, which strips out the volatile food and energy categories, measured a 6.6% increase in…

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HHS Secretary talks healthcare costs in visit

BY DINA ARÉVALO THE MONITOR STAFF WRITER MERCEDES — The high cost of health care hits especially hard in the Rio Grande Valley, a community with high incidences of diabetes and obesity and a higher-than-average number of uninsured patients. That was the message local healthcare professionals and U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, wanted to impress upon Xavier Becerra, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as he took a tour of the region Thursday. “We’re a safety net provider for a lot of the individuals that would not access care because they have no insurance,” explained Lucy Torres. Torres serves as the CEO of Nuestra Clinica Del Valle Inc., which operates nearly a dozen medical clinics across Starr and Hidalgo counties. Becerra traveled to the Valley from Washington D.C. at Gonzalez’s invitation to see firsthand some of the region’s most pressing healthcare concerns, including shortfalls in access to mental health…

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MD Anderson Cancer Center to Provide Advisory Services

By News and Internal Communications RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – UT Health RGV is expanding its healthcare offerings in South Texas with a new Cancer and Surgery Center, with oncology advisory services provided by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center — a world leader in cancer care and research. The center is part of the phase 1 development of UTRGV’s McAllen Academic Medical Campus on the newly acquired 38 acres, located on the south side of Pecan Boulevard between Jackson and McColl roads within the 495 Commerce Center development. UTRGV President Guy Bailey said the Cancer and Surgery Center helps to address an underserved healthcare need in the region. “This is a pivotal moment in our commitment to expand healthcare services in the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas, and beyond,” Bailey said. “We look forward to engaging with MD Anderson’s advisory services to develop and launch our cancer program.…

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New McAllen Chamber President has Ambitious Plans

By Benjamin Trevino October 22, 2022 McAllen Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Josh Mejia addresses the McAllen Citizens League Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in McAllen. (Courtesy photo) McAllen Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Josh Mejia wants to do more — and he can’t do it alone. Mejia spoke to members of the McAllen Citizens League on Oct. 20 as part of his ongoing effort to engage members of the community. Mejia said his priority since assuming the post on June 29 has been to meet with as many McAllen stakeholders as possible about what they think the chamber should be like and do moving forward. Mejia began his 20-minute talk by acknowledging his predecessor, Steve Alhenius, who stepped down from the post in October 2021. “It goes without saying that for somebody to provide over 24 years of service to the community should never go unnoticed,” Mejia said. “We’re building on top…

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As early voting begins, pressure is on for Beto O’Rourke to close the gap with Greg Abbott

O’Rourke has not had the upper hand in any polls, or even come within low single digits, compared to 2018, when he more regularly showed up within the margin of error against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. BY PATRICK SVITEK of The Texas Tribune OCT. 24, 2022 It’s crunch time for Beto O’Rourke. The Democratic nominee for governor is entering the final stretch of his third campaign in six years with the odds stacked against him. As early voting begins Monday, Republicans are salivating at the prospect of delivering a knockout punch to his political career, while Democrats are hoping they can prove the polls wrong by turning out a new electorate aligned against GOP Gov. Greg Abbott. “This is what upset victories are borne of,” O’Rourke said during a stop Wednesday in Longview. “You begin taking people for granted, especially here in Texas, and that spells the end of your time…

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As job numbers climb in Texas, Valley unemployment rate is lowest in state

BY RICK KELLEY THE MONITOR STAFF WRITER The Texas economy continues to shore up job losses incurred during the pandemic, adding 40,000 non-farm jobs in September and continuing a string of 11 straight months of record employment. The state jobless rate dropped from 4.1% to 4.0%, the Texas Workforce Commission reported last week. That is slightly above the national jobless rate.  “Our unemployment rate in this great state of ours is at 4.0. Great. That’s exciting to hear that and being able to share that with everyone around the country, boy, let me tell you, nothing gives us more joy,” said Julian Alvarez, TWC commissioner representing labor interests. “In September of 2022, Texas added 40,000 nonfarm jobs, more than doubling the number of jobs added in August,” Alvarez said. “For the 11th consecutive month, the state set new employment high at a total of non-farming employment reaching 13,571,000 jobs. The…

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What you need to know about the County and School District seats on your November 8 Ballot

Texans will be choosing more than a governor and members of Congress in the midterm elections. Here’s a look at what the officials elected to several local offices oversee. BY MARÍA MÉNDEZ of The Texas Tribune OCT. 21, 2022  High-profile federal and state races aren’t the only political contests that will be decided in the Nov. 8 midterm elections. Many communities across the state will be choosing local leaders on Election Day. All Texans, including those in unincorporated territories, live in a county and public school district, which provide public services. They also set local tax rates that determine homeowners’ property tax bills. Several county seats and school board positions will be on ballots. Texans living in cities may also see candidates for city council and mayor. Some voters may have a say on local propositions for bonds, which allow governments to take on debt to fund projects, or to increase…

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Greg Abbott widens lead over Beto O’rourke with likely Voters in latest UT Poll

The 11-point margin is one of the wider advantages Abbott has registered among likely voters in a public survey yet. Abbott had a smaller 5-point advantage in the last UT poll, which was done in August, though that was among registered voters. BY PATRICK SVITEK of the Texas Tribune OCT. 21, 2022 2 HOURS AGO Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks to a packed auditorium during a stop on his College Tour campaign at Texas State University on Oct. 5, 2022, in San Marcos. Credit: Eli Hartman for The Texas Tribune Gov. Greg Abbott leads Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke by 11 percentage points with three days until early voting starts for the election, according to a new poll from the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. It is one of the wider advantages that Abbott has registered with likely voters in public polling. Abbott had a smaller 5-point advantage in the…

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We’re Hiring!!!

New Chamber Member Frontier Direct Care has job openings for physician, physician assistant, medical assistant and nurse practitioner in their McAllen location! Frontier Direct Care empowers its members to take back control of their healthcare, empower medical professional to fix a broken system and give their team members the autonomy to create and excel. To learn more about their job opportunities: https://frontierdirectcare.zohorecruit.com/jobs/Careers