Category Archives: Chamber News


Mario Luis Guerra, Sr. Mario Luis Guerra Jr. Co-Owners     Do you remember what it was that made you take that right path rather than the left path in your life, the one that changed your course? For Mario L. Guerra, Jr., co-owner of Starr Home Health Agency, that time would have been the early 90s while he was a business major in college. “My mom, a registered nurse, was working for a home health care agency when the industry was barely getting started,” Guerra said. “There were only two or three large agencies in the area at the time. We got together and asked ourselves the question: Why don’t we take a crack at this?” After graduation he returned to the Valley, and by July of 1993 the business was up and running. Now over 27 years old, it has always been a family-owned business. Guerra even met…

Read More


CEO Rio Grande Regional Hospital, HCA Gulf Coast Division President   1) What is your favorite book? 100 Years of Solitude, written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I learned a lot from this very interesting novel. 2) What is your favorite movie? My all time favorite movie is “Under the Tuscan Sun” with Diane Lane. I love Italian architecture, art, and food so a movie based in Italy was bound to be my favorite. 3) What was your favorite vacation spot? My husband and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary a few years ago. We decided to take a cruise to Greece, which is now one of our favorite vacation spots. The cruise started in Venice, then Italy, and then made its way to Santorini. What an amazing experience! 4) What is your life’s  motto? “When life gets too hard to stand . . . kneel.” 5) Where were you born?…

Read More


Branch Manager Falcon Bank Lupita Rodriguez, branch manager for Falcon Bank, always wanted to work in a bank. “My dad had me involved in his sales business at a very early age,” Rodriguez smiled, recalling 13 years of living in Guanajuato with her family. “I would go to the bank and do his transactions which always fascinated me,” she said. Mentioning that much later to a friend in McAllen got her a job at Texas State Bank,  learning the business for six years before moving to Falcon Bank. She has been there for almost 13 years. “Falcon Bank has given me the opportunity to work for and serve our customers in both the retail and international sides, which I’ve enjoyed very much. It’s been a great learning opportunity,” Rodriguez said. Enjoying involvement with the community was her reason to become an Ambassador. She had already volunteered on the Candlelight Posada…

Read More

Terms and Conditions – Meetings

By signing this form, I am confirming my interest in starting a business or making a monetary investment in a business, property, or land within the area of McAllen, Texas. I agree that the sole purpose of my visit to Texas is to attend my scheduled meeting with the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, on the defined date on this form and based on the time established by the Chamber. The McAllen Chamber of Commerce is not responsible for any non-business activity during your visit to McAllen, before or after our meeting.

Biden administration changes PPP rules to help reach the smallest businesses

By Katie Lobosco, CNN Updated 12:55 PM ET, Mon February 22, 2021 (CNN)The Biden administration announced several changes Monday to the Paycheck Protection Program in an effort to reach minority-owned and very small businesses that may have previously missed out on accessing loans to help weather the coronavirus pandemic. Starting Wednesday, small businesses with fewer than 20 employees will have a two-week exclusive window to apply for the funding. Bigger businesses will be blocked during that time period. MORE ON COVID-19 RELIEF Here’s what’s in the House Democrats’ stimulus relief plan Congress already approved $4 trillion in Covid relief. What happened to it? Here’s what budget reconciliation is (and why it matters for Biden’s stimulus) Here are the executive actions Biden has signed so far The administration will also change some eligibility rules, effective the first week in March. The self-employed, sole proprietors, and independent contractors can now qualify for more money. They previously were…

Read More

The Monitor offers great advertising deals for small businesses!

The Monitor is helping small and locally-owned businesses with some great advertising solutions for the month of March.  Stevan with The Monitor is offering some great advertising deals.  These “post-it” notes are great for getting your promotion out to the public and great visibility being right on the front page of The Monitor newspaper.  These will be $250.00 for 10k “post-it” notes – that’s 70% off! (formally receives millions of visits per month to their site, and Steven has great ideas for getting in front of this audience.    You can call him directly or email him: 956-601-6390 or    


ELVIA AND Jesus Saenz Owners of Saenz Pharmacies Keeping up with the changing world of pharmacies is quite the job: keeping up with new medicines, new routines, and new government requirements. Jesus Saenz, registered pharmacist for Saenz Pharmacy, loves his work despite the thousands of hours it takes to stay atop the pharmaceutical world. “It’s a profession that’s very rewarding because we see our patients more than they see their doctors,” Saenz said. “They call us for any little thing, and we’ll make time for them. The fact is pharmacists are in the top of the most trusted professions.” However, Saenz Pharmacy almost never happened. “I was going to be a math teacher,” he said. “When I went to UT with my brother, who was a chemistry major and then got into pharmacy school. He suggested I try it out, so I joined the pre-pharmacy fraternity and before I knew…

Read More


Owner, OH KAY’S! uptown on tenth 1) What is your favorite book? The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I’ve enjoyed all the novels and books I’ve read about WWII. I feel a real sense of compassion towards the people who went through that. I went to Normandy in France. As I learn about them, I do not know how these people survived. 2) What is your favorite movie? Same Time, Next Year. There’s another one I just love with Diane Keaton, Something’s Gotta Give. 3) What was your favorite vacation spot? I guess France because I love the history and the people have always been so friendly. I spent about 10 days in Paris, then a few weeks in the south of France and it’s so beautiful there. I just love it. 4) What is your life’s motto? I never thought about it in terms of words. I’m a hard worker.…

Read More

So You Want A Bachelor Degree? STC will conduct a Bachelor Programs Live Event

STC will be conducting a virtual live event on January 26, 2021, at 7:00 p.m.  Event link: Click here! Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Leadership – The Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Leadership (BAS-OL) program is a competency-based program where students can advance based on their ability to master a competency (knowledge, skills, and abilities) at their own pace. A program that prepares students to be leaders and teaches students leadership and management theory and its practical application in organizations. It is an excellent pathway to any leadership or management position in business or public organizations. The program is also available in a traditional format if the student prefers the more structured, deadline-based format. Your employees might be thinking about obtaining their Bachelor’s degree but cannot find the time or the funds to get it done. Well, this program, the Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Leadership (BAS-OL),…

Read More

Guide to Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Loans

As part of an end-of-year pandemic relief package, Congress has passed several changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and created a “Second Draw” PPP for small businesses who have exhausted their initial loan. Other changes impact eligibility for initial PPP loans, the loan forgiveness process, and the tax treatment of PPP loans. Congress has also made changes to other programs – including Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL Program), the Employee Retention Tax Credit, a Venue Grant program, and SBA loan programs –that will benefit small businesses. Here’s everything small business owners need to know now: Contents: How Do These Changes Impact My Existing PPP Loan? I Exhausted My Initial PPP Loan, How Does This Help Me? What If I Never Received a PPP Loan? Which Changes to Other Programs That May Help My Small Business Have Been Changed? Expanded Employee Retention Tax Credit EIDL Grants Grants for Shuttered Venue…

Read More

Six Principles of Persuasion

I am always amazed at people who have mastered the art of persuasion. Persuasion and buy-in by people work far better than force. The successful business or organization understands how persuasion works so much more effectively than cramming a new program, product, or purpose down someone’s throat. By mastering the power of persuasion, you get more commitment, greater engagement, and a positive attitude.  To understand the power of persuasion, it is useful to understand the behavioral principles behind it. The principles are simple, but powerful, when used in combination by a person who has mastered the art of persuasion. Here are six fundamental principles of the art of persuasion: Personal Relationships. If there is one underlying foundation to the power of persuasion it is the concept of building and maintaining personal relations. Building personal relationships takes time and energy, but it pays enormous dividends. I have watched dozens of people…

Read More

Congressman Gonzalez provides the Framework Summary of the Bipartisan Emergency COVID Relief Act of 2020

Framework Summary December 9, 2020 Total: $908 Billion Support for State, Local and Tribal Governments Agreement in principle to provide $160 billion as the basis for good faith negotiations Unemployment Assistance Extension of all pandemic unemployment insurance programs by 16 weeks, from their expiration at the end of December Federal supplemental unemployment insurance benefits expanded by $300 per week for16 weeks, from the end of December into April 2021 $1 billion for state systems for technology modernization and fraud prevention Small administrative adjustments, e.g. to certification requirements and overpayment standards Paycheck Protection Program & Small Business $300 billion to Small Business Administration Funding to allow the hardest-hit small businesses to receive a second forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)loan. Eligibility would be limited to small businesses with 300 or fewer employees that have sustained a 30 percent revenue loss in any quarter of2020. Small 501(c)(6) organizations that are not lobbying organizations…

Read More

Three Things to Consider as You Lead

As business leaders, it is more critical today for leadership in your business or organization than ever before. There have been so many changes and pivots in the local markets over the last ten months that many businesses don’t know what to do or where to look. And that is where business leaders can step forward to lead and make a difference. Everything has shifted rapidly in the last ten months, and leadership is needed desperately. Here are three critical things to consider: 1. Leading in uncertainty. As a business leader, your big challenge is making sense of everything that is happening. There is so much uncertainty about what can happen next and what opportunities are all around you and your business. The challenge for you as a leader is leading during ambiguity and chaos. Decision making and outcomes are going to be uncertain and trying. A strong leader is…

Read More

McAllen Entrepreneur takes second place in a multi-state sales pitch competition

By: Benjamin Treviño Robert Rivera is an owner-operator truck driver by trade. About two years ago, he had a “eureka moment” while performing routine maintenance on his tractor. As Rivera tells it, he was fumbling through his toolbox when he came across a screwdriver with a screw holder permanently attached to the head. “It was an older one from the 70s,” Rivera recalled. “I really didn’t trust the screw not to fall out, but I thought it was a good idea. It was just food for thought at first, but about a year later I finally devised a mechanism that holds screws in place.” According to Rivera, the problem with existing non-magnetic screw holders is that they’re permanently attached to one screwdriver. He felt it would be better to have one detachable device that would work with all screwdrivers, and with a wide selection of screws. It also works on…

Read More

If Life was Only Like an Etch A Sketch

When I was a kid, one of my favorite toys, besides my army men, was my “Etch A Sketch.” You remember, the toy in the red box with the silver screen and two white knobs. You could almost draw anything with the “Etch A Sketch.” I could play for hours with the toy. Over time, I could draw houses, circles, my name, and mountains or hills.  What I liked best about the “Etch A Sketch” was that if I made a mistake, I could shake it and start over. I had a clean slate; fresh and brand-new, with no evidence of my past mistakes. It would be neat if life was like that “Etch A Sketch.” We could start over and totally erase our mistakes. Here are some of the things I would erase:  Erase past failures. I would erase past failures and the times I really messed up: the…

Read More