Category Archives: Chamber News

McAllen Begins Outreach Efforts for U.S. Census 2020

The City of McAllen, in partnership with the U.S. Census, has already rolled out its first of many public service announcements regarding the 2020 Census, encouraging McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley to “Make Texas Count!” for next year’s census.  Featuring McAllen Mayor Jim Darling in English and McAllen Chief of Police Victor Rodriguez in Spanish, the message is a broad overview of why the census is conducted, why it is important, the various ways to fill out the Census and finally, how individuals can apply to help be a part of the Census team in McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley. In both videos, Mayor Darling and Chief Rodriguez encourage the community to fill out the Census to help make sure that everyone in Texas is counted. “This message is especially important in our part of Texas, the entire Rio Grande Valley,” said Mayor Darling.  “It is so important…

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STC’s President Reed honored in New York by Community College Baccalaureate Association

South Texas College President, Dr. Shirley A. Reed, was invited by the Community College Baccalaureate Association (CCBA) to accept the 2019 annual Pioneer Award on behalf of the College. The award recognizes an individual who has shown great leadership, as well as someone who went above and beyond to provide financial support and resources for a higher education institution. The event took place Saturday, Feb. 23 in New York City. The CCBA strives to promote better access to baccalaureate degrees on community college campuses and serves as a resource of information for community colleges interested in offering bachelor degrees. As the founding president, Dr. Reed developed STC from a “blank canvas” to serve South Texas, formerly a region that was once plagued by limited access to higher education and workforce training. Because of Dr. Reed’s leadership, STC is now Offering over 120 degrees and certificate options with 32 fully-online programs.…

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McAllen to Celebrate Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day

Mayor Jim Darling and the McAllen City Commission proclaimed the month of March as Women’s History Month in McAllen,  and March 8 as International Women’s Day in McAllen, in celebration of the of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  City leaders were proud to point out that the City of McAllen is unique among Rio Grande Valley and border municipalities, with an equal number of men and women who are directors of the City of McAllen departments.    The world of work is changing, and with significant implications for women. “The City of McAllen is an organization where women flourish and is proud to boast an equal number of women and men in positions of leadership, influence, and decision and policy-making as directors within the organization, helping to bring new vision and perspective to the growth and direction of the municipality and more importantly, the community,” said Mayor…

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Top 5 Small Businesses Award Application

2019 McAllen Top 5 Small Business Awards are scheduled for October 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Old Church Winery. Deadline to apply is August 16, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. Criteria: Please provide enough information and documentation to support your answers Your business has to consist of no more than 200 employees to qualify as a small business Your business was established before 2014 Your business has had a consistent record of employment in the last two years Your business has had a steady increase in sales over the last three years (no hard numbers just percentage increases) Your business has demonstrated consistent community involvement in the last two years Your business has improved or expanded its product and/or services through expansion and/or innovation Your business operates a location in the McAllen area   2018 RECIPIENTS Boultinghouse Simpson Gates Architects Community Hope Projects, DBA Family Health Futuro…

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Passport Division open second Saturday of the month

The City of McAllen would like to remind residents that its Passport Division is open every second Saturday of the month. They will open Saturday, February 9. They will accept applications from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.   No matter where you go, a U.S. passport will get you back home. To learn more about travel requirements for U.S. citizens visit http://www.mcallen.net/news/item/2016/04/25/passport-day-in-mcallen City of McAllen Passport Acceptance Facility is located in the Downtown Parking Garage at 221 S. 15th Street.

Six Things to Do to Create Change and Opportunity

How does a person create change and new opportunities? Most business people are consumed with just taking care of their customers, inventory, equipment, employees, bills, taxes – and the list goes on. They hardly have a chance to think about new opportunities or innovation. The challenge for “flat and thin” organizations is: “How do you do all the things that have to get done for your business and still create and bring about change to make your organization or business successful?” Some experts believe some people are “hardwired” to create and see opportunities that other people don’t see. Still, other experts believe you can train yourself to see new opportunities. I think it is a combination. Part of that ability to see new opportunities or to create new opportunities can be built into the culture of a business or organization. Here are six suggestions to create change and opportunity: 1.…

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Entrepreneur Summit “Growing Entrepreneurs and Creating Entrepreneur Ecosystems in South Texas”

Thursday, February 28, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the Entrepreneur Summit at the Embassy Suites in McAllen. The event is powered by Texas Regional Bank, Texas A&M, Burton McCumber & Longoria LLP and the Federal Reserve Bank Dallas – San Antonio. The summit will support our efforts in developing a dynamic entrepreneur ecosystem in McAllen and throughout South Texas. Fostering innovation and new ideas is a foundation for creating wealth for a community or a region. So many times, groups and cities focus only on what I call the ingredients – incubators, accelerators, angel investor funds, and grants. The real challenge is figuring out how to create and blend the “right” recipe for success. The most critical elements and the most significant “X” factors for success when creating an entrepreneur ecosystem are people. Are we bringing the right people together that…

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2018 MAN & WOMAN OF THE YEAR – VERONICA GONZALES & BILL WILSON

Being selected as the McAllen Chamber of Commerce Man and Woman of the Year requires people with a mixture of attributes. They could be business owners, people of faith, retirees or elected officials. Career accomplishments are no surprise, but the award is not just about the work they do. It’s also about the heart they give. Woman of the Year Veronica Gonzales is UTRGV Vice-President of Governmental & Community Relations. Born and raised in San Marcos, it was upon graduation from law school that she opted to join the law firm of Jarvis, Schwarz and Kittleman in McAllen. Driving down to the Valley back in 1991, she gazed upon the wide open spaces with nothing in them and exclaimed, “Oh, my gosh! What did I do?” She laughs today as she recalls that first drive to the land that has become her home and her life. Veronica even found relatives…

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13 QUESTIONS WITH McALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER

David Hernandez President, Holiday Wine & Liquor   1) What is your favorite book?  Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. It’s about understanding what goes on inside people emotionally. It gives one a better understanding of what’s happening in oneself and then gives the reader a better understanding of what’s happening in other people, allowing for better communications.  2) What is your favorite movie? The Man from Snowy River. It’s about young love and determination. It’s set in Australia and is about a wealthy ranching family. Kirk Douglas was the rancher who had a brother who struck out in a different way to try to find fame and fortune. A young man fell in love with the daughter of the rich rancher and consequently had to prove himself to be worthy of the daughter. It’s a good, clean, wholesome kind of movie. 3) What was your favorite vacation spot? Napa, California.…

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PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW

Cindy Trevino  Community Manager, Tres Lagos   Cindy Treviño’s eyes are constantly sizing up what is happening in front and around her, ready to instantly take charge if necessary.  As Community Manager of Tres Lagos, Treviño’s life interweaves with all aspects of the 2,571 acre site. She is a major part in making life for the residents top quality and just plain fun. “I started with McAllen Country Club as the Membership Marketing Director,” she began. “I brought Mike Rhodes, the Tres Lagos   developer, and his family on as members. The Rhodes family liked me. I knew one day I could possibly work for their company.” Four years and 300 Country Club members later, Cindy made the decision to work at Tres Lagos. “When Mike hired me, he said, ‘I don’t know exactly what you’re going to do, but I know I need Tres Lagos taken care of.’ Then…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR

Steve Urbina Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist, Shepard Walton King Insurance   After his high school teacher told him he was too small to win a football scholarship, his first real extracurricular interest, Steve Urbina fell in love with theatre. He excelled in drama and was awarded a theatre scholarship to the Conservatory of Theatre at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. His family’s history was already rich in love and drama, a real Romeo and Juliet tale. His father and mother fell in love against the strong wishes of their fathers. “There were guns involved,” laughed Steve. “And drinking. At the end of the brouhaha, they stayed up pretty late drinking beer, ending with, ‘Let’s get them married. They love each other.’”  Steve moved to Shepard Walton King Insurance two years ago after 15 years with State Farm, and now focuses on commercial insurance. “I get to learn about how…

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Five Key Factors to Selling, Part II

Last week, I wrote about several fundamental basics a good salesperson does every day. Good salespeople are working when others are sleeping, watching TV or wasting time on Facebook or other social media platforms. The most fundamental aspect of selling is understanding your customers’ wants. If a successful salesperson can master the “wants” of a customer, they are halfway to making the sale. Here are some of the things customers may have at the top of their minds: more profits, more sales, better image, more customers, better brand recognition, no hassles, less stress, more value, more success, and recognition. The good salespeople learn these key drivers by researching their customers and understanding their customers’ markets and business models. If you are still cold-calling customers, you are wasting your time. A salesperson who is cold calling is making a “Hail Mary” effort. Networking is the difference between success and failure. Spending…

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McAllen Public Library and Workforce Solutions Invite the Public to Job Fair

McAllen Public Library, in partnership with Workforce Solutions, invites the public to Job Fair 2019 on Saturday, February 2, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the McAllen Public Library, located at 4301 N. 23rd Street. Attendees will get to connect with employers from several different companies, fill out printed and online applications, and have onsite interviews. Attendees should bring updated resumes and dress interview ready. “The City of McAllen prospers when we all prosper and having a good job is key to making that happen,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling.  “Partnering with Workforce Solutions to host this job fair helps our community and residents to become a part of our area’s workforce, contribute to our local economy and just as importantly, provide individuals with a job to provide for themselves and their family a bright future.” McAllen Public Library hopes the job fair will act as a “one-stop…

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Five Key Factors to Selling Part I

There are some people who just seem to be natural-born salespeople. There are others who dread the thought of having to try to convince someone else to buy something. The reality is that all of us are selling something. We are selling our skills, our contacts, our ability to get something done, or a product or service – but we are all selling. The one key difference – and this is important – is whether you are helping someone solve a problem or whether you are just trying to get their money. We have all dealt with people who are just trying to get our money; the high-pressure salesperson who is more focused on what they can get out of a deal than actually helping a potential customer solve a problem. Here are five things a good salesperson focuses on during the sale process: It is not about you. If…

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