Category Archives: Chamber News

GAC Chairman Dr. Fred Farias brings THECB Commissioner Dr. Harrison Keller to the RGV

McALLEN, Texas – When he assumed the role of chairman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in June, McAllen resident Fred Farias, III, said he would bring key stakeholders to the Rio Grande Valley. It has not taken him long to deliver. On Wednesday, Aug. 11, Farias will welcome Texas Commissioner of Higher Education Harrison Keller at a breakfast hosted by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. Farias, an optometrist, chairs the McAllen Chamber’s Government Affairs Council.  He was appointed chair of THECB in June by Gov. Greg Abbott. “We are now in a leadership position so that we can hopefully make a big difference down here in the Valley and South Texas. As you know, being the chair of any state agency is a big deal because we are able to get stakeholders down here,” Farias told the Rio Grande Guardian, earlier this summer. Asked about the visit of…

Read More

Neurosurgeon Jacinto I. Mañon, M.D., F.A.A.N.S, joins DHR Health Neuroscience Institute

DHR Health continues to improve the Rio Grande Valley’s access to neurological care. DHR Health Clinics is pleased to announce the addition of neurosurgeon, Jacinto I. Mañon, M.D., F.A.A.N.S, to the DHR Health Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Mañon is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons and will be treating adult and pediatric patients for the brain, spinal, and peripheral nerve problems. He will provide surgical treatments for a wide spectrum of conditions affecting the nervous system including but not limited to spinal stenosis, spine fractures, adult scoliosis, brain hemorrhage, stroke, herniated or bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, traumatic brain injury, Chiari malformations, pituitary tumors, neck and back pain, arm and leg pain, brain tumors, cranial and spinal trauma, spinal cord injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, and peripheral nerve. Dr. Mañon earned his medical degree from the Ibero-American University in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic before entering his internship in…

Read More

SUCCESS FROM EVERYBODY SIMPLY DOING THEIR JOB – MIKE’S PLUMBING & ELECTRICAL, INC.

Mike Losoya, Jr., General Manager/Owner As a youngster, Mike Losoya, Jr., Owner/General Manager of Mike’s Plumbing & Electrical, Inc., was fascinated with all manner of electronics. “I always had a thing for opening electronic devices, either to make them work again or just to learn about what was inside them,” he said. When he reached high school, he had to choose between electronics or going into the electrical shop class. “I chose the electrical class because it was more of a trade to get into,” he said. “My family had taught us to find something to make a living with, something to support us. I took the class for two years and found I was good at it, and I liked it. I also liked to compete.” Mike won an interschool electrical competition in south Rio Grande Valley which catapulted him to the regional competition in Dallas. There was a…

Read More

KOKO’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT TEAMS UP WITH H-E-B

Albert, Jr. & Jorge Suarez Co-owners The pandemic hit hard and fast, and restaurants everywhere took a deep, scary dive into territory unknown. Local restaurants struggled to find fresh ideas to continue serving their customers. A true Texans helping Texans company, H-E-B, launched a new program to support restaurants around this great state. Two McAllen restaurants, Koko’s Mexican Restaurant and Salt-New American Table were invited to supply meals from their menus and bring their food fares to various H-E-B stores around the Valley. “We had the opportunity to put eleven plates in H-E-B, fully cooked and microwavable,” said Albert Suarez, Jr., co-owner of Koko’s Mexican Restaurant. “After that program ended, we continued to partner with H-E-B and opened a state-inspected manufacturing plant.” Keeping the operation, a family affair, both Albert and Jorge’s daughters run the plant. It started in seven H-E-B stores, and are currently in 20 stores from Laredo…

Read More

BUSINESS YOU SHOULD KNOW – TIJERINA LEGAL GROUP, P.C.

Humberto Tijerina, III Chief Visionary Officer Ever since he was young, Humberto Tijerina, III, Chief Visionary Officer of Tijerina Legal Group PC, his path clearly laid out in front of him. He would be a fighter for the underdog. “I always had an affinity for making sure if somebody was bullied, I would either put a stop to it or help that person not get bullied again,” Tijerina said. Law seemed a natural fit for this man who was always so willing to fight for justice. Choosing the scholarship to Southern Methodist University (SMU) over one to the University of Houston, Tijerina earned his law degree and then began practicing business/corporate law. He first worked for a firm in San Antonio but felt limited with only reading and modifying contracts and with drafting agreements between companies. He missed the people aspect of law. When a friend called and suggested they…

Read More

MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – MARTHA GARZA

Martha Garza Owner, Breadsmith After purchasing Breadsmith a few years ago, Martha Garza decided she wanted to get more involved with the community. “I wanted to expand the business and let people learn about us,” Garza said. “Since we are in the bread business, we wanted to help the community have fresh bread every day.” Becoming an Ambassador was her doorway. “I love it. Going to the events gives me the chance to tell people about our business. I love when they ask me to help. I truly feel it’s them helping me get the word out about Breadsmith.” She believes businesses who join the Chamber need to reach out and become active in chamber events. “We always get to meet new people and as a business owner that’s what we’re really about – meeting people and telling them about our business.” Proud of the fact that nothing goes to…

Read More

STC names faculty of the year honors

MCALLEN, TEXAS (July 16, 2021) – Even while managing through a global pandemic, Dr. Jennifer Guerra worked diligently to develop the pathways that would connect Culinary Arts to academic and workforce programs statewide and on a national level. At issue during the pandemic, Chef Guerra placed a priority on ensuring that classes continued in person while ensuring a safe and active learning environment as well as student involvement. Through Guerra’s efforts, South Texas College also developed a food pantry program to assist students in need during the pandemic. “We are focused on being a model program. We are intentional about our actions and efforts to serve both our students and our community,” said Dr. Guerra, Chair of STC’s Culinary Arts Program. “While so much focus has been placed on the struggles created by the pandemic, we are focused on building a bright future for our students, the program, the college,…

Read More

Tocqueville, Pascal and Existential Angst

The last 15 months have caused each of us to question our purpose and what we are trying to accomplish with the constant pursuit of so many different things and activities. As Americans, we appear to be pursuing diversion and distraction for their own sake, making us miserable. We appear to be in a frantic search for something beyond ourselves. We seem to be on an endless search for happiness and contentment, but the search leads us to envy, loneliness, and acrimonious political debate. We spend a great deal of time running around, taking kids to youth sporting events, piano lessons, planned get-togethers, school, and tutoring.  We go to work, we take care of the family, we attend meetings, and we take care of the house and yard. We live in this frenetic state of activity and then realize there is no satisfaction in the life we live. We are…

Read More

What Is Causing Inflation and How Long Will It Last?

Globalization typically depresses prices of goods, but the pandemic changed that. Because fewer people were working in production and distribution facilities over the last 15 months, supplies were constrained and the supply chain lengthened, causing a sharp rise in prices. All the experts point to this inflation as being temporary and believe it will return to the normal 2-3% per year range.    I wrote about the chip shortage two weeks ago. Another big part of this temporary inflation deals with the service inflation. Most inflation is labor related in the service sector and is connected by six inter-related constraints that affect the labor supply. These six constraints are: 27% of the schools were still closed in April, forcing parents to choose between employment and taking care of their children. Many jobs are entry-level jobs and they are traditionally low-paying Generous unemployment benefits have affected the decision for parents to…

Read More

Opportunities During the Chip Shortage

Underlying vulnerabilities in the global supply chain became apparent in the recent chip shortage. Chips are the indispensable core product for autos, personal electronics, and home appliances. Because of the shortage and delays in the supply chain, the auto industry could experience a $61 billion loss in revenue.   The problem has escalated to the point where governments are getting involved to help alleviate short-term bottlenecks and to develop policies that protect the stability of the semiconductor supply chain in order to avoid disruptions over the long run.  The United States is the global leader in chip design, with American companies accounting for 47% of global chip sales in 2019. America has the edge because we still attract top talent from around the world to design chips, and also because American companies invest over 16.5% of their R&D spending on semiconductors.  The key challenge comes from the fact that the…

Read More

Business Promotion Spending Guide (Part II)

  Last week I wrote about promotion of your business, in general, and cost-effective ways to promote your business. This week, I will talk about one promotion spending guide that helps you determine how much to spend in promoting your business. First, answer the following questions by checking “Yes” or “No” to the questions. If you don’t know, it is a “No”.  1. Our sales are increasing each year?    Yes No 2. Our profits are increasing each year? 3. The number of walk-in customers is growing? 4. Everyone in our trade area knows we are here? 5. Our location is visible and easy to find? 6. Everyone in our trade area knows what we sell? 7. Our location has “high drive-by” traffic and lots of parking? 8. We have been in the same location for more than three years? 9  We have very little competition in our trade area?…

Read More

How to Produce a Good Day

We have all experienced it – a bad day! Many times, it starts before or on our way to work. Our spouse says something or we get cutoff in traffic, and our minds are set – we are having a bad day. Things go downhill from there. Everything becomes an issue, and by the time we get home, it has become a terrible day.   What if I could show you there are ways to have a good day, even when bad stuff happens? You want to ask yourself three fundamental questions when it comes to your workday: 1) Do you feel you have spent your time and directed your attention to things that matter? 2) Do you feel you did a good job and enjoyed yourself? 3) Do you feel you have enough energy at the end of the day to wake up the next day and do it…

Read More

Four Negative Traits in Leadership

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about jumping the chasm and the challenges of staying relevant and impactful in your business or organization. A couple of those key points were being a life-long learner, having a sense of curiosity, being willing to commit resources in technology or people, and taking action.   On the flip side, some weaknesses can be addressed through thought and self-awareness. Here are four things to watch for in your leadership style: ① Lack of vision. There is nothing more frustrating than being in a business or organization with no vision or that is stuck in the ‘90s business model. The business feels listless and rudderless. Employees pick up on the lack of direction or “no true cause.” The organization may be making it now, but in short order, things will change, and the money will stop flowing; then a crisis will come. A smart…

Read More

How to Effectively Promote Your Business, Part I

With the pandemic end in sight, I hear and see more businesses working to develop new promotional ideas and concepts.  I am occasionally asked what would work best, and my response is – it depends. What works best depends on your business, your specific products or services, your community, your competition, and your skills to promote your business. Keep in mind these six critical points as you think about promoting your business:   ① Promotion’s one primary goal is to get the right message to the right people at the right time. ② The cheapest promotions are word-of-mouth referrals. Keep your current customers happy, because it is cheaper to keep customers than to go get new ones. ③ Great promotions will never make up for inferior quality or poor service. ④ Promotion is an investment in the future. ⑤ If your promotion doesn’t point out benefits to your customers, it’s…

Read More

A TRANSPORT EMPIRE BUILT ON INTEGRITY – Parker & Company

Frank Parker, Jr. President / CEO   As you drive down the road, have you ever looked at your dashboard and wondered how all its parts came together? Have you ever noticed a cargo container of Mission Wonderful Citrus orange juice trucking on down the road and wondered where in the world it was going? (Check toward the end for the answer.) Have you ever gotten in a convoy with a line of trucks and wondered who figured out how all this stuff was getting moved from point A to point B? One company that has been in the transportation business for 36 years is Parker & Company led by its President/CEO, Frank Parker, Jr. “I’m a third generation Brownsville, Texas, resident,” Parker said. “My dad worked in the ship loading and unloading business at the port. I grew up around the port and understood the international trade early.” After…

Read More