Category Archives: Chamber News

BUSINESS YOU SHOULD KNOW – GRANCHELLI CONSTRUCTION

Jim Granchelli Born in Lockport, New York, it was the warmth of the Texas Tropical Trail Region that enticed Jim Granchelli, his wife, and their seven children to migrate to McAllen in the late 1990s, not knowing anyone. Beginning his Texas career by supplying firewood to the local barbeque restaurants, Granchelli built on the construction industry and real estate development experience he brought from New York. “I then also started a Cantera stone business since I was a pretty good brick layer and stone setter,” Granchelli explained. “I built stone and Cantera columns until I became an estimator and eventually worked for D. Wilson Construction for nine years.” From there, Granchelli went out on his own, starting Granchelli Construction, LLC 10 years ago. “We build commercial and industrial only, no residential, except apartments,” he said. “Our goal is always to deliver quality and finish on time and on budget. We…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – JENNIFER SANCHEZ

Jennifer Sanchez Branch Manager, IBC Nolana Traditional   A welcoming voice greets those entering the bank, and there’s a smiling, happy face behind that voice.  “Everybody knows me by Jenn,” said Jennifer Sanchez, branch manager at IBC Nolana Traditional. As a person who enjoys the networking aspect of life, and as a lover of all things family and giving back to the community, this lady has a lot of folks saying, “Hi, Jenn!” “I’ve been in banking with IBC five years this coming March, and it’s been a tremendous ride,” she said.  Pursuing her degree in Organizational Leadership, she is ready to “karaoke” at the drop of a hat, has a hobby of making balloon garlands, and loves volunteering as a Loan Executive for United Way. “All the things I’ve been learning and I’m exposed to are thanks to the bank,” she said. “I never thought I was going to…

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The Desire to Excel

In his book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie illustrated the value of competition with a story about Charles Schwab. For those of you who don’t know or remember, Schwab was the first president of U.S. Steel and earned a million dollars a year in 1920. This Schwab is not to be confused with the Charles Schwab of the investment firm. Schwab was the Steve Jobs of the 1920s. Schwab had a mill manager who simply could not get his mill to make quota. The manager had coaxed, cussed, and threatened, but the crews would not produce. One day, Schwab visited the mill to discuss the problem with the mill manager. Near the end of the day shift, Schwab asked for a piece of chalk and turned to the nearest worker. “How many heats did your shift make today?” A heat number identifies a production run and…

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Likability

Likability (without the “e” is the American spelling) is essential in the workplace. Likability has gained in importance because of the impact of social media and our lack of regular meaningful interactions. Because of limited interactions in person, likability becomes more critical. UCLA did a study on likability and found some key drivers were sincerity, transparency and emotional intelligence (the ability to understand another person). Additional studies have found that “likable people” outperform unlikable people. The simple reason is that people will work harder with people they like and enjoy. For a long time, soft skills have been under-appreciated in the workplace, but there is now growing evidence that being likable is a major game-changer for successful people. Here are eight key traits that are “unlikable”: Bragging – Nobody likes a braggart. Bragging is ego-centric and draws attention to one’s accomplishments. Humble bragging: when a person masks bragging by acting…

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Amazon’s 14 Principles of Leadership

During the ‘50s and ‘60s, IBM was the place that developed the next generation of business leaders. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, GE was the place that was the training grounds for business leaders. Today, Amazon has assumed that mantle as the “go-to” place for new and emerging leaders. Like IBM and GE before it, Amazon receives a lot of criticism of its culture and demands. Amazon is a major player in the market today. It has changed how America shops, as well as the retail landscape. Every successful organization or business has key core values or driving principles, and Amazon is no different. Successful businesses make their driving principles real and apply them rigorously to everything they do.  I came across an Inc. article that discussed Amazon’s 14 Principles of Leadership and found them insightful and instructive. Here are Amazon’s 14 Principles of Leadership: Customer Obsession – Amazon works…

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Three Key Elements for Effective Listening

Listening is a challenge. We are bombarded with so much stimulation, noise, and digital overload that our attention span and ability to listen are becoming less and less. Social media has reduced one-on-one communication and has eliminated all the small social cues we get when we listen and talk face to face. We hear, but we do not listen. Also, as we have become more divided culturally, we are quick to put people in particular silos based on labels and “trigger” words.  We do a lousy job of listening. We may hear the word coming out of a person’s mouth, but we allow internal and external distractions to steal our focus. The typical process for many people today is to speak and then, in turn, wait to talk again. We never really hear what the other person is saying because we are already processing what we are going to say…

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Three Keys for Personal Success

How do you build success for your business or career? What are those key elements that can make your business or your career stand out? Many times, people expect a complicated formula or some deep process that a person must go through to be successful. The formula for success is pretty simple; it is the execution and delivery of these key elements that can be so challenging. Here are three key elements of success today: 1. Trust – This is a trait that seems in short supply in today’s world of lies and fake news. Trust is a characteristic that can pay huge dividends or cause a person’s downfall within weeks. Every business and venture needs trust. I am fortunate to work with a group of people who work hard, regardless of whether I am standing right next to them or if I am out of sight. I trust them…

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Ten Things You Can Do to Build Customer Loyalty

Hundreds of thousands of businesses in the United States pay lip service to customer service and building customer loyalty. In truth, very few businesses deliver at a high level. In a business climate where customers can choose to order now from their smartphone or walk into your store, how you build customer loyalty will be the foundational success for your business.  There are things a business can do to help make its odds of success increase dramatically; all it requires is just a little thinking and planning to make all the difference in the world. Here are ten things a business can do to increase its chance of success.  Hire good people and train them well. Long term, there is no better investment a business can make than in hiring good people and training them well. This process is not based on finding the cheapest way to hire or train.…

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Offering An Alternative Owner of Ya’ax Vegan Foods, Andrea Rivera, a McAllen Chamber Innovation Grant Award winner, created her spreads and foods to alleviate health issues

 Innovation Grant winner finds inspiration in illness BY BENJAMIN TREVIÑO STAFF WRITER Starting a business is a challenging process. It’s even more challenging when dealing with the burdens of chronic illness. However, for at least one McAllen family, illnesses were the inducement for their business idea. “I had a problem pregnancy with my second baby,” Andrea Rivera recalled. “I was undergoing steroid treatments, and I was always tired. My skin was dry, my nails were chipping, and my teeth were falling out. My husband, Dwight, had PTSD, anxiety, and several knee surgeries from an injury he suffered in the Army. He was on a lot of pills and he gained a lot of weight. I wanted something better for us.” Andrea set out to change her husband’s diet and her own. Using their mother’s recipes, Andrea and her sister, Maria Montiel, started a line of keto-friendly foods and spreads that…

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HOPE

He is now ten years old, but Jon came into our lives three years ago when our youngest son and his wife adopted him from the Texas foster care system. Jon’s story is one of unimaginable abuse–emotional, physical, and other things too horrible to mention; horrors that Jeanette and I cannot understand or fathom. Jon’s biological mother abused drugs and sold her body to feed her drug addiction.  He would be taken by the state and returned several times to his mother and his family with five other children. But he was not wanted and was treated harshly by the very people you would think would protect a child, their family. Unfortunately, the foster care system was not any better, and Jon was placed in foster home after foster home. The situation became so bad that Jon was, one time, duct-taped to a chair by a foster family because of…

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“Can’t Make Enough” Chamber Innovation Grant winners are featured in The Monitor

Heart problems lead McAllen couple to develop healthy bread line Editor’s Note: For the past 12 years, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce has been awarding grants of up to $10,000 to local entrepreneurs to encourage product innovation and business creation in the McAllen area. Six start-up companies were selected as winners of this year’s Innovation Grant Awards competition, which was held on October 24. This is the first in a series of reports profiling each of this year’s recipients, their innovative process, and their thoughts on what it takes to start a business. BY BENJAMIN TREVIÑO, STAFF WRITER Rosa Maria and Mario Delgado had their minds set on an easy retirement when they migrated to the Valley from Monterrey, Mexico, 30 years ago. But, that plan suddenly grew uncertain in 1995 when Mario had a heart attack. It would be the first of four heart attacks he would have over the…

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New Democratic Socialism and Marxist Theory

In the coming months, the voters in our country are going to hear a discussion about “Democratic Socialism”. Defenders of this new “Democratic Socialism” argue that the Soviet Union was an aberration of socialism and was not the norm. The new groups that are now pushing this new generation of “Democratic Socialism” claim their vision and version is a kinder and gentler socialism, with democratic inclusiveness, social justice, and egalitarianism for all.  These new advocates claim to reject the socialism of the Soviet Union and claim any attempt to link their version to the old Soviet Union socialism is an attempt to throw their ideas into disrepute through guilt by association. The problem with their argument is that any claim of socialism that is based on class conflict is still based on Marxist theory and forms.  The claim about the “one percent wealthy” is merely a modification of Marxian terminology…

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Five Leadership Lessons from Grant

Leading and the core elements of leading are interesting to study. One area that is fascinating to study is military leaders. Their leadership role is much larger for one simple reason – lives are at stake. Military leaders are literally making life and death decisions. It is a responsibility that weighs on them long after the battle or war is over.  For the rest of us, there are key lessons to be learned in leading from military leaders. I am thankful I do not have to make those types of decisions. One general in particular always stands out to me – Ulysses S Grant. He demonstrated, at the Union’s lowest point in the Civil War, that he could lead and win.  He showed the resolve to defeat Robert E. Lee, who had become almost mystical, both in the North and South. Lee had become that figure and leader the Union…

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Five Fatal Flaws for an Employee

Many times, a business or organization is faced with a tough decision concerning keeping an employee or letting an employee go. Those moments as a leader or manager are never easy, but a situation or event has forced a decision to be made. How to evaluate and document what is essential to the organization is critical. Understanding what can be fixed and what cannot are important questions. Here are my five fatal flaws that would cause a serious conversation about termination: Lack of ability to learn from mistakes – We all make mistakes; mistakes are part of the human experience. I don’t worry too much about what I call “one-off” mistakes. “One-off” mistakes are missteps that happen just once. What catches a leader’s attention is the same type of mistake that is being made repeatedly. A mistake is corrected, but the person then keeps making the same mistake over and…

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