Category Archives: Chamber News

Four Key Elements for an Effective Briefing

Meetings can be a huge time “killer.” I am amazed at the amount of time many businesses and organizations spend in meetings. There is a fine line between communication that is needed and a waste of time. The other side of the coin is, “I am working in an organization that doesn’t communicate.” So how does a company manage effective communication versus wasting time? Many organizations have allowed their email system to become their “default” method of communication. Emails lose so much in tone, texture, and meaning. I have found emails to be the least effective way to communicate anything beyond just basic information. So how does a person grab someone’s attention without crossing that line of wasting others’ time? The military initially developed the concept of briefings – a process designed to give participants critical information, without wading too much into the “weeds.” Unfortunately, today, the military has modeled…

Read More

The GoodPitch Competition

The GoodPitch Competition is an initiative to nurture good public speaking skills in the entrepreneurial and business community in McAllen. The competition is a great occasion to polish and/or prepare a speech to a potential business opportunity. A grand prize of $ 250 is awarded to the best elevator speech, a $ 100 to the second place and $ 50 to the third. As part of the grand prize, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce donates all the collected application fees to the winner’s chosen local non-profit or charity. The competition is intended to simulate the real-world process of promoting, selling or soliciting buy-into an idea, product, service or request. The “elevator pitch” must be two minutes or less speech that conveys the message of the presenter to the audience and accomplish the objective of the speech. A good elevator speech should have a good structure and organization, be original, use…

Read More

Four Kinds of Words

Words are powerful. Because we are bombarded daily with so many words, we forget the powerful impact they can have on our lives. People can be flippant with words, not realizing they have the power to increase or decrease. Words have the power to set ideas into motion, movements and businesses. Words can start a relationship or destroy a relationship. Words can bring hope or despair. Words can inspire, mend, and heal. Words are important and how they are used does make a difference. Words of encouragement, that are sincere, almost always matter. You may say something encouraging and you may think it did not register with the person – but it did. Those words of encouragement come back to people in their darkest hours when hope seems lost. Integ­rity is the key to our words. When we say “yes” it should be “yes” and we should honor our commitment.…

Read More

2018 McAllen Top 5 Small Businesses

The McAllen Chamber of Commerce Looking for the Next Top 5 Small Businesses in McAllen   The McAllen Chamber of Commerce and BML, proudly announce the Eighteenth Annual Top 5 Small Business Awards. We would like to invite every business to be a part of the excitement during this year’s Top 5 Small Business Awards luncheon and ceremony on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.   The 2018 McAllen Top 5 Small Businesses are: Boultinghouse Simpson Gates Architects Community Hope Projects, DBA Family Health Futuro Clinical Trials Dr. John A. Gerling and Dr. Joseph Ryan Orthodontics R&D Personnel We would like to invite our community to support local businesses by attending and celebrating this honorable luncheon. Ticket includes reserved seating for the event and lunch. GET TICKETS HERE or call Michelle Rodriguez at 956-682-2871 to reserve your seat.

Lunch and Learn – Best Practices For Your Website

McAllen Lunch and Learn: “Best Practices for Your Website” The McAllen Chamber of Commerce and Texas Regional Bank are proud to announce an upcoming Lunch and Learn to help small businesses. This is the first professional presentation of its “Fall 2018 Lunch & Learn Business Seminar Series” is scheduled for Friday, October 12th, 2018.   A website is now a necessity for every business, big or small. If you have a business and don’t have a website, you are probably losing a number of great opportunities for your business. The web has a far wider reach than any other form of advertising. Your website should be the center of your company`s online presence. In this seminar, we will present the best practices in order to make your marketing efforts easier and have better ROIs. In the session labeled “Best Practices for Your Website”, participants will learn: 5 basic elements of a website 3 key elements…

Read More

HOTELS AND HOSPITALITY: A FAMILY TRADITION

Barry R Patel Perspective Hospitality LLC Making people feel welcome, comfortable, and content is the name of the game for Perspective Hospitality, LLC president Barry R. Patel, and his team. Honing his customer service skills has truly been a life long endeavor. Growing up with his family in Zambia, where his father owned retail stores, Patel, at 16, and his five siblings, were sent to the United Kingdom for their education. He chose to become a pharmacist, and received his degree from the University of Bradford in Yorkshire. “I actually wanted to become a physician but, as a foreign exchange student, competition to get into medical schools in England was hard,” Patel said. “I did love pharmacy, however.” Since the U.S. did not recognize degrees from abroad, Patel obtained a second degree in pharmacy in Oklahoma when they moved to the states, then worked with the Revco Drug Store in…

Read More

BUSINESS YOU SHOULD KNOW – SPAWGLASS

Providing the best construction experience is what SpawGlass strives to deliver. What else can be said of a company that builds complicated, large construction projects such as performing arts centers and convention centers (McAllen’s, for one), parking garages, academic facilities, airport renovations, and healthcare renovations for buildings such as the McAllen Medical Center. The company also has a building service group for small, fast-paced projects, as well as a civil division, with the vast majority of its work done for repeat clients. Back in 1953, Louis Spaw and T. Frank Glass decided to start  their own construction company. They built it to an international enterprise with Mr. Spaw’s trademark saying, “We don’t just build buildings, we build people.” Today the company is 100 percent employee-owned, with its ownership open to all employees.  “Nearly 400 shareholders of our 725 team members in our ten branches across Texas are shareholders,” Eric Kennedy,…

Read More

MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – KIMBERLY BARBOZA

Lift Your Spirits Balloon Decorators Kim Barboza, creative designer, sales manager, and partner for Lift Your Spirts, finds that themes are the magic behind their balloon creations. “I love working with themes,” said Barboza. “I can do anything with themes. I love it most when my mother and I put an event together and the client and their kids walk in and say, ‘Oh, Wow!’ It’s that ‘Wow Moment’ I love!” A wife and mother of two, it took moving to the Valley for this California girl born and raised, to find true love and discover her creative spirit in her mother’s company, coming on board full-time two years ago. Attending worldwide conventions and seminars in their quest to learn about new balloon products and new trends, they bring that knowledge back to the Valley to share. Being involved as an ambassador has meant new friendships, business, and opportunities for…

Read More

BROOKS NAMED BOB GOODWIN AWARD WINNER

Ambassadors are often seen as the face of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. When an ambassador sells $10,000 worth of membership dues, they are recognized for the contribution by becoming a recipient of the Bob Goodwin award. For Steve Brooks, Territory Manager with Heartland Payment Systems, being a McAllen Ambassador is a way of life. For 14 years Brooks has done his best to emulate Bob Goodwin, who was a mentor to him and so many others. “It’s an honor to win this award because Bob Goodwin was a legend,” Brooks said. “I’ve tried to follow in his footsteps by attending the majority of the ribbon cuttings, mixers, and Chamber events. I meet so many different people – business owners I might never have known about without this opportunity.” “Talking about the Chamber also helps me get my foot in the door with a potential new client,” he added. Brooks…

Read More

2018 McAllen Chamber Innovation Grant Winners

For 11 years the McAllen Chamber of Commerce has awarded the Chamber’s Innovation Grant. The Innovation Grant Awards program is designed to help inventors and entrepreneurs move their ideas one step closer to the marketplace. This program has grown every year and there are two key traits that have emerged as we engage these successful entrepreneurs. Every one of these winners exhibits two key traits that seem fundamental to their success. First, winners ask the “why” question. “Why does something have to be this way?” The successful entrepreneur never lets go of the “why.” They think about it, they research it, and they ask lots of questions concerning, “why?” Second, the successful entrepreneur never quits. It sounds simple, but it is an attitude that is the make or break for success. It does not matter how many times they are told no, the successful entrepreneur just keeps going. All the…

Read More

Tech Upgrades Mean Blazing Internet Speeds at Incubator & TechSpace

In the Rio Grande Valley, coworking spaces have become a vital component of the local business landscape. Being able to share ideas, physical space, and creativity with like-minded and passionate individuals in a collaborative environment is fantastic for established businesses and startup companies alike. However, with more people come more devices, and the sheer amount of devices and technology connected to a single source can consume enormous amounts of bandwidth. But luckily for your business, there’s the McAllen Creative Incubator and TechPlace coworking space. As the McAllen Creative Incubator and TechSpace recently added more room for coworking, it was also the perfect time to perform a tech upgrade to the network and add extra capacity. Now, the McAllen Creative Incubator and TechPlace sport a blazingly fast 1GB per second connection to the Internet! This means that Wi-Fi speeds in the Incubator are faster than almost anything around! This boost to…

Read More

Bigger & Better: McAllen Business Expo 2018 Recap

What do you get when you bring together over 150 businesses, thousands of attendees, 140 door prizes, fantastic networking opportunities and one singing Killer Bee all in one gorgeous convention center. The 2018 McAllen Business Expo, of course. This year’s expo was one for the books with business leaders from a diverse range of industries attending this spectacular event to represent their unique brands. Now in its 20th year, the expo started with a bang – the MegaNetwork event. Business owners from all over the Rio Grande Valley came together to share insight, experiences, and generate referrals. The energy was lively as attendees at the networking event eagerly shared “war stories” and connected with local influencers. Plenty of valuable advice was shared and newer business owners had the perfect opportunity to raise their profile. Suffice to say that the networking event did exactly what it was supposed to do -…

Read More

Perspective is Everything

In the past, I’ve written about two secrets for success in small business; those two secrets were “have to” and “I can.” Another secret to true success in small business, and really anything in life, is your attitude. How a person thinks ultimately translates into words and actions. Attitude is such an intangible aspect of our behavior, but also so critical to so many things in life. As I was sitting outside thinking about dogs and how they act, I began to think about attitude and the difference between how a dog views the world and how a teenager views the world. Here is what I think a dog and a teenager may think…but I am not too sure about the teenager. Dog: “I get up at 5:30 a.m. and I am so excited. I am wagging my tail as hard as I can to get these people up and…

Read More

The Value of Work

Geoffrey Owens has been in the news recently. For those of you who don’t remember, Geoffrey Owens is an actor who had a recurring role on The Cosby Show throughout the mid-80s and the early 90s. He has also been on several TV shows since then, including Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Secret Life of an American Teenager, and Built to Last. For the last 15 months, he had worked at Trader Joe’s in New Jersey because the job gave him the flexibility to pursue acting and directing gigs. Last week a fan recognized the actor at Trader Joe’s, took a picture of him working the cash register, and posted it on social media. What was shocking were the Internet “trolls” who tried to shame him because of his desire to work and support himself while pursuing his dreams. Therein lies the “rub” and what our culture has to…

Read More

McAllen is Booming: City Earns Top Spot As Boomtown

It’s a great time to live and work in McAllen! Our gorgeous city was recently recognized by personal finance site MagnifyMoney as one of the Top 10 biggest boomtowns in the nation when categorized by: population and housing; workforce and earnings; and business growth over a five-year period. Even more amazingly, McAllen was ranked #1 out of the 100 largest metro areas in the nation in terms of rising salaries. Growing work opportunities, rising wages, and a flourishing workforce has made McAllen the South Texas city to be in. The study focused on the five-years between 2011 and 2016. During this time frame, McAllen’s civilian labor workforce grew by 8.7 percent, its unemployment rate decreased by 10.9 percent, and median worker earnings soared by 18.4 percent. Amazingly, revenues in McAllen rose by 19.1 percent during these five-years. McAllen’s metro population during this period also grew by a substantial 9.4 percent…

Read More