Category Archives: Chamber News

PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – ADRIAN ARAMBURO, GENERAL MANAGER, BOGGUS FORD

He loved cars. Growing up near a corner of dealerships in San Benito spurred something inside him. By college he had convinced Kellogg Motors in Harlingen to hire him. He worked on days he didn’t go to school. Actually, it was part of a deal he made. “If you give me a job, I’ll encourage my mom to buy the car she’s looking over.” With that sense of tenacity, Adrian Aramburo, general manager of Boggus Ford, entered the car industry and found where he fit on this planet. “I loved it,” he laughed. “Basically the training was learning about the cars, and when customers come by, make a friend and sell a car.’” What could make selling cars that enticing to a young man? “It was the numbers and the negotiation and meeting people,” Aramburo said. “Helping the people get something they wanted or going on the lot with them…

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SANTA FE STEAKHOUSE – 25 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE

Fred Harms, a Valleyite, had moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and loved living there. But, as with so many Valley natives, he decided he wanted to come home. Having become accustomed to the lifestyle of Santa Fe, he found he missed having a good steakhouse and enjoying a relaxing piano bar. The young entrepreneur had opened a successful restaurant in the ski resort of Angelfire, and so resolved to make a difference in the McAllen lifestyle. His decision has changed the face of the city for the last 25 years. “My intent was to bring a little bit of Santa Fe here, thus the name,” co-owner Harms, began. “Some of the menu items are still our signature Santa Fe style dishes, such as the fish which is done in clay, a Navaho Indian type preparation.” Successful from the beginning, Santa Fe Steakhouse is one of the most award winning…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – EDDIE BORREGO

Eddie Borrego Multi-media Sales Executive Gatehouse Media   Eddie Borrego, Multi-media Sales Executive for Gatehouse Media, is a problem solver who has found his niche. “I love what I do working with business owners and finding the right idea for each of them,” Borrego said. “Talking with the business owners about how they started and where their passions came from to start their businesses fascinates me.” “Coming up with digital campaigns and multi-media packages is my specialty. With the Valley Town Crier, we reach about 100,000  and another 50,000 digitally.” An entrepreneur himself, doing projects on the side, video editing and keeping on top of technology keeps him busy. Being an ambassador has helped turn this introvert into an extrovert, which is perfect for his job. “I love being an ambassador, going to ribbon cuttings and congratulating the owners, “he said. “Watching the established business owners also gives me insight…

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Anzalduas International Bridge Providing Relief to Delayed Travelers

As long lines begin to form at Anzalduas International Bridge, McAllen Bridge System employees are doing what they can to provide relief to road-weary travelers, including offering water and shuttle rides to those who may need to use the restroom facilities.   “CBP is doing a great job of trying to process the vehicles as efficiently and safely as possible, but there are times when the traffic does begin to back up,” said Rigo Villarreal, Superintendent of the McAllen Bridge System, which includes Anzalduas and the Mcallen-Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridges. “During those long wait times, employees are out along the line, passing out water bottles to customers.”   Also on hand are police officers from the City of Mission Police Department who are assisting bridge staff with providing any support and work to vehicles that may be overheating or need some temporary servicing.   According to Villarreal, on average, the Anzalduas…

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The Examined Life

Socrates once said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” This is still true today and may even have a more significant role in success than at any other time. Our world is hyper-connected and fast-paced. We go, go, go, and yet find no time to stop, think and reflect on what we are doing, what we are saying, who we are or whom we want to be. I see, at least once a month, people in elected positions and high business positions making unethical, illegal or immoral decisions. There should be a moment of pause in our culture for us to question and to stop and wonder what was going on in their lives to cause them to make such bad decisions. Socrates’ quote is a reminder of the modern-day challenges we face. Finding and keeping your true identity or your “True North” takes time, effort and reflection. Here…

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McALLEN CHAMBER AWARDS 2018 TOP 5 SMALL BUSINESSES

Choosing from 13 worthy applicants, the Chamber’s team of judges made the difficult decision in selecting the Top 5 Small Businesses for 2018.  Here are the Top 5, all of which met rigid criteria: Boultinghouse, Simpson, Gates Architects:  Collecting twelve years of experience after college, Boultinghouse, Simpson, Gates Architects Principal Danny Boultinghouse, AIA, started his own firm in 1984. “It’s evolved from a single proprietorship to a partnership, but still stayed a small business by choice,” Boultinghouse said. “One of the keys in building a small business is to surround yourself with people better than you. That’s what I’ve been lucky enough to do.” One of the creators of Leadership McAllen over 37 years ago, Boultinghouse believes in giving back to the community.  “We pride ourselves on feel-good projects, such as offering our services for free to Proyecto Azteca, a non-profit low cost construction company,” Boultinghouse said. “I think all…

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13 QUESTIONS WITH McALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER

Bob Vackar Chairman of the Board and Chief Performance Officer Bert Ogden Auto Group   1) What is your favorite book? I don’t have any favorites. I read a lot of James Patterson. I’ve read all of John Grissom’s books. Right now I’m reading Not a Gentlemanís War, an Inside View of Junior Officers in the Vietnam War by Ron Milam. 2) What is your favorite movie? The movie I’ve liked the best is Sicario, the movie about the cartels. The last one was Sicario: Day of the Soldado. I like action movies and those were about the DEA and the battle with the cartels. When the sequel opens the text across the screen says, “McAllen, Texas.” It says this guy is waiting at the grocery store off Trenton Avenue in McAllen; it had to be H-E-B. The movies were really good. I liked those and A Star is Born.…

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PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – FRANK ALMARAZ

Frank Almaraz, Chief Executive Officer at Workforce Solutions, learned early from his dad the importance of literacy. Though neither parent went to college, literacy was on the top of their list of areas they wanted their son to conquer. “Get an education! Always do your best! Respect everybody!” Born and raised in McAllen, Almaraz was a scared 13-year-old traveling by himself to West Texas to harvest cucumbers, sleeping in the truck because there was no other room. Making that summer trip yearly through high school, Almaraz knew his father was right. He graduated from UT-Pan American with an accounting degree. Austin then became his home for the next 20 years. Becoming a CPA and working first for the state and then as Internal Audit Director for the Texas Workforce Commission, he jumped when he had the opportunity to return home to the Valley.  Almaraz took over as Chief Executive Officer…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – TINA ZIEGLER

Tina Ziegler Ziegler Services   Entrepreneur, artist, and Ambassador, Tina Ziegler is a woman having a love affair with both Germany and Texas. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, she first came to McAllen at 14. That initial time was all it took. She fell in love with the Valley. Surrounding herself with the positive energy of her friends and customers, her goal as owner of Ziegler Services is to help her clients with her services. Becoming an Ambassador steered her along that path. “I decided to become an Ambassador because I love to meet people and learn about their businesses and see what’s new,” she said. “I wish to connect with business owners and help promote and create this community. I like to go to ribbon cuttings and congratulate the new business owners. Sometimes I’m able to give them a little piece of my knowledge, expertise or connect them with others…

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How Do You See the World?

What type of lens we use to look at the world determines what we choose to see and think about what is around us. Our “lens” brings certain things into focus, while other things become blurred. We are quick to look around us and to measure our success by what we want to see. Here is a story of a young man learning a lesson about riches and poverty: One day a young man of a very wealthy family took a trip to the other side of the world to see how other people lived in poorer countries. The young man’s grandfather had sent him on this journey of discovery. The young man spent a couple of days and nights on a small farm in a rural part of the country watching this very poor family scratch out an existence on a small plot of land. On his return trip…

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Nancy Millar Bids Farewell to the McAllen Chamber of Commerce

Nancy Millar, Vice President of the Convention and Visitors Bureau for the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, announced her retirement last week after 22 years of working at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. Those of you who have had the pleasure of working with Nancy over the years understand the insight and enthusiasm she brought to the table on every project or event she worked on and developed. She truly has a deep love for McAllen. Nancy is a person who can stretch a dollar and get the biggest “bang for the buck” in marketing and advertising. She has a keen understanding of how to pull a marketing plan together and how to execute. What I grew to appreciate about Nancy is how she worked with limited resources and was still able to drive economic growth in McAllen. When an organization is flush with cash and can spend large sums of…

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Launch McAllen: Propelling Entrepreneurs & Small Business Owners Forward

The McAllen metro area, home to more than 2 million bilingual, bicultural people, is a region that has not only become an international hub for major industries but which also supports a thriving small business community. The McAllen Chamber of Commerce, along with leaders from the City of McAllen and McAllen Economic Development Corporation, is dedicated to paving the pathway to success for inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators. We have developed forward-thinking programs to provide entrepreneurs, inventors, startup owners, and business leaders with the tools and support they need to not only get their ideas off the ground but also sustain their businesses. These programs have coalesced under Launch McAllen. Through this initiative, we are developing economic opportunity, driving innovation, and helping to build an ecosystem that will help to encourage the growth of local business. Let’s take a look at some of the programs that fall under Launch McAllen and…

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McAllen Medical Center Becomes First and Only Level II Trauma Center in the Upper Valley

This impressive accomplishment demonstrates South Texas Health System’s ongoing commitment to ensure quality care is available for patients with life-threatening injuries or illnesses in the Rio Grande Valley. McAllen Medical Center, part of the South Texas Health System (STHS), is the first hospital in Hidalgo County designated as a Level II Trauma Center with 24/7 board-certified trauma surgeons immediately available to serve the Rio Grande Valley. The designation by the Texas Department of State Health Services was achieved following program verification by the American College of Surgeons and required that McAllen Medical Center meet the essential criteria that demonstrate trauma care capability and institutional performance. The Texas Department of State Health Services Trauma Designation Rules classifies both Levels I and II Centers as Major Trauma Centers since patient care delivery requirements are the same for both. We are proud to be designated as the first and only Level II Trauma…

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5G and Its Importance to the RGV

This last week, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce hosted its first Entrepreneur Summit and one of the presenters, Jon Roberts from TIP Strategies, discussed the importance of 5G and the next big-business boom. There has been a lot of conversation around artificial intelligence (AI), bio-engineering, robotics, and the North American Energy Boom, but the most significant change is coming with 5G. The techno-revelation is built on a foundation of moving and processing information quicker and at lower costs. The rollout of 5G will be the infrastructure foundation to make all this happen. The 5G infrastructure will be able to carry previously prohibitive volumes of data and will allow a smarter and more connected world. Whether you are talking about driverless cars, flying vehicles, AI, intelligent appliances, advanced manufacturing or superfast data communication, 5G will power all of it and be the game changer.    The rollout of 5G is in…

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SHAH EYE CENTER PRESENTS MXLAN, McALLEN’S NEW FIVE-DAY FESTIVAL

Shah Eye Center presents MXLAN, McALLEN’S NEW FIVE-DAY FESTIVAL WITH  LA GUELAGUETZA PERFORMERS, MEXICAN  ARTISANS AND CRAFTSMEN   The McAllen Chamber of Commerce announced recently that Shah Eye Center will be Presenting Sponsor of MXLAN 2019, a unique multi-day and multi-generational festival geared to appeal to everyone – adventure seekers, families, history buffs, children, and seniors. It will offer experiences for every age and background, all set within a festive backdrop.  Debuting in July, MXLAN 2019 by Shah Eye Center will commemorate the color and pageantry of Oaxaca’s many native cultures, its time-honored past preserved for hundreds of years, and its present and future during the five-day event.  MXLAN 2019 by Shah Eye Center is where Oaxaca’s art, music, literature, lifestyle, and culinary experiences will come alive. At the heart of the festival will be “La Guelaguetza,” the traditional dance performance deeply embedded in Oaxaca’s history.  “As you can imagine,…

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