Category Archives: Chamber News

MXALN BY SHAH – McALLEN’S GO – TO EVENT OF THE YEAR! JULY 24 – JULY 28

At its core, MXLAN is an interactive arts and music festival celebrating the past, present, and future of Mexico’s diverse cultural influence in our world.    Are you ready to dive into the depths of Mexican music, food, arts, and fun without leaving McAllen? Well, save the date! Shah Eye Center and the McAllen Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to bring MXLAN to McAllen from Wednesday, July 24 through Sunday, July 28 with all events held at and around the McAllen Convention Center complex. Sure to become a destination vacation event with visitors from across the country and Mexico, it will be an experience igniting people’s spirit of adventure, revelry and camaraderie. “You don’t want to miss this event,” an enthusiastic Steve Ahlenius, president & CEO, McAllen Chamber, said. “This is something you want to come out and experience.” While brainstorming for something new and different for the Valley,…

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BUSINESS YOU SHOULD KNOW – TERRACON CONSULTANTS, INC.

JORGE A. FLORES PRINCIPAL AND OFFICE MANAGER   Terracon Consultants, Inc., is a multi-discipline civil engineering company ranked 24th on Engineering News-Recordís list of Top 500 Design Firms. It specializes in environment, facilities, geotechnical, and materials engineering.  “We’re a niche,” states Jorge A. Flores, principal and office manager at Terracon. “We’ll give civil engineers of a project an evaluation of the soil on their sites. This gives them the information they’ll need to design their plan. We then test their materials for the build – concrete, for example – to insure the quality of the materials.” Terracon can determine leaks in gas station underground tanks and clean the soil. It has a local asbestos team that performs indoor air quality tests, and so much more. Check out their www.terracon.com website. Projects include Bert Ogden Arena, the 32-story Sapphire Condominiums at South Padre Island, UTRGV Medical School, and the new Hidalgo…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – JUAN ROSALES

Juan Rosales Owner, RGV Surplus   Such a deal! Juan Rosales, owner of RGV Surplus, has a warehouse full of everything you might need for a business – used, refurbished – and all for a great price.  “I got in this business by accident,” he said. “I played a lot of golf but got a herniated disk and so was home and bored. My wife gently suggested I find something to do. I went to an estate sale, had fun, started selling on eBay and then, at one point had 17 storage units. Now I’m down to this location at 4202 W. Freddy Gonzalez Drive in Edinburg.” If finding a hidden treasure is something you like to do, this is the place for you. Being an Ambassador since last November fits this friendly man’s personality to a tee. “I love it because I get to meet a lot of people…

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Get Your Tickets NOW! MXLAN Is Coming

MXLAN is McAllen’s five-day interactive arts and music festival that celebrates the past, present, and future culture of our region. Our goal is to make the event an authentic experience that ignites a spirit of adventure, experiences, and kinship. We will bring thousands of visitors to McAllen to engage in unique experiences that celebrate our region’s ties to Mexico, but also the emerging Latino experience for the Rio Grande Valley and our unique food, music, and culture. Here is just a short list of some of the activities happening:      Friday, July 26th at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, July 27th at 11:00 a.m., 6:00 p.m., Sunday, July 28th at 10:00 a.m., and 3:30 p.m. The Mindgames Chess Festival, powered by the McAllen Independent School District, will feature chess and video game competitions. $3,600 in winnings (100% guaranteed). Note: Both schedules merge after Round 2. Online Registration is $50 + $2.00…

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A Celebration of Culture: McAllen’s MXLAN Interactive Arts and Music Festival

MXLAN is McAllen’s five-day interactive arts and music festival that celebrates the past, present and future culture of our region. Our goal is to make the event an authentic experience that ignites a spirit of adventure, experiences, and kinship. We will bring thousands of visitors to McAllen to engage in unique experiences that celebrate our region’s ties to Mexico, but also the emerging Latino experience of the Rio Grande Valley and our unique food, music, and culture. Here is just a short list of some of the activities happening:   Wednesday-Sunday The MXLAN Mercado is free and open to the public from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. We will have over 150 Mexican Artisans and exhibitors. If you miss shopping and going to Mexico, this will be your chance to see and spend some money on some unique and one-of-a-kind gifts.       Wednesday 8:30 PM The Neon Run,…

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City of McAllen Applauds Sen. Cornyn’s Efforts to Help Provide Funding for Continued Response to Immigrant Situation

Federal support is critical to assist with the growing municipal burden. The City of McAllen was notified that U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) had included funding language on a border supplemental package, which includes $30 million available for reimbursements to local governments, states, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for migrant care through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. According to the press release issued by Sen. Cornyn’s office, he had sent a letter to key appropriators requesting this inclusion after hearing from many local Texas officials and non-profits that due to increased border crossings in recent months, local governments and NGOs have had to spend significant resources on services typically provided by the federal government. “We applaud Sen. Cornyn’s efforts to help the City of McAllen with federal funding as we continue our response to the immigrant situation our community has been dealing…

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Weddings and Funerals

Weddings and funerals are signature bookend events. One demonstrates a commitment that goes beyond one’s self, and the other tells the tale of a life and how it was lived. Last week, as I sat in Ruben Cardenas’s funeral, I was reminded about one of Ruben’s life focuses on making an investment and impact in our community. He instilled the same message in his children, Dr. Carlos Cardenas, Oscar Cardenas, and Diana Albrecht. Each echoes that same DNA that was so important to their father and his life.   Ruben Cardenas was the McAllen Chamber’s longest-serving volunteer – 59 years (a record that will never be broken). Ruben could be direct, blunt, and forceful, but he was committed to making McAllen world class. As I sat there, I began to reflect on how a person can genuinely measure their effort and impact. Moreover, my thoughts turn to the two most…

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MAKING A FIRM STAND – CEMEX, BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE

Jairo Razo Vice-President General Manager Rio Grande Valley   What do the Golden Gate Bridge, and the interchange at Highway 83 and Bicentennial have in common? Concrete. Yes, that construction staple is used in virtually all structures built these days, and is even found in many craft projects. You may wonder what can be interesting about a bumpy or smooth glob of every shade of gray matter. Remarkably, the multi-faceted business of concrete is fascinating to learn about. “Cement is a powder substance we use within concrete,” Jairo Razo, vice-president general manager of CEMEX, Rio Grande Valley, said. “We manufacture concrete in four of our plants in Mission, Edinburg, Harlingen, and Brownsville. Our concrete mixes are like cake mixes so we can modify our mix designs to whatever our customers want.” Using cement, rock, sand, admixtures, and water, CEMEX creates any form of concrete for a particular project.  “Depending upon…

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BUSINESS YOU SHOULD KNOW – LEGENDS / McALLEN TRANSITIONAL CARE CENTER

Legends / McAllen Transitional Care Center is a seven wing, 70- bed short-term care center for those who have gone through traumatic injuries, surgeries or hospital stays and need 24/7 care. This is the place to go.  “This is the only place that’s an actual short-term transitional facility here in the Valley,” said Operations Manager Ediel Barrera. “One of our stand-out features is that the majority of our rooms are private. Each room is fitted with a mini-fridge, telephone, TV, and each has its own shower and restroom.” Barrera, with a Master’s in Occupational Therapy, is in the process of testing for his administrators license, and feels he understands what the patients need, and what they’re going through. “I get to communicate those needs with our nursing department in a way which can improve the quality of care we provide to our patients,” said Barrera. Open 24/7, Barrera brags about…

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PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – JON REBELLO

CEO Texas Border & Gulf Coast, BBVA “One Team, Client First”    Total immersion – that’s exactly the way to learn something quickly. After receiving his degree in finance, Jon Rebello plunged right in when he accepted his first job at a start-up bank in Los Angeles. “I was only the third employee, and they hired me as a credit analyst,” Rebello, CEO for the Texas Border & Gulf Coast of BBVA, began. “When you get to start at the ground level of something new, it’s a unique experience. You get to wear a lot of hats. I was with that bank for three years and I loved it. It’s where I got my PhD in banking,” he said.  The native Bostonian, whose family history stretches back to the Pilgrims, became acquainted with Mr. Roney, at the time Chairman and CEO of Texas State Bank, and jumped at the opportunity…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – MELISSA URIEGAS, DDS

Uriegas Dentistry, What Makes You Smile? Twelve was a pretty important age for dentist Melissa Uriegas of Uriegas Dentistry. It was right around that age that she discovered dentistry. Fourteen years later, she realized her dream of becoming a dentist, and today Uriegas Dentistry cares for patients smack in the middle of where dentistry began in McAllen. “When I was younger I would shadow the dentist next door,” Uriegas said. “I love art. I love working with my hands. I love science. Being a dentist is like being an artist because I get to mold, shape, and make beautiful teeth that help people function in this world.” Among other awards, Uriegas won the 2018 New Dentist of the Year in the Rio Grande Valley. She cares about her patients and believes forming a bond with them will help them relax and will ease their minds in the midst of their…

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Why “RANTS” Don’t Work

Going on a “rant” never works. It seems like every day someone on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook or some other social media platform vents and calls out a person or group. This almost always backfires and usually does more damage to the person doing the “rant” than to the person being “attacked.” The person doing the “ranting” may feel good after the post for a short period but, long-term, people begin to question the “ranter’s” mental state and stability. La Croix’s CEO, Nick Caporella, has a history of lashing out at a wide range of people and groups. Two years ago, he went after short-sellers of his company’s stock prices. Everybody who was questioning the stock value was a “perpetrator and self-serving manipulator.” The “rant” was done in all caps, with vast claims of the “best year ever.”  Many financial observers labeled the outbursts bizarre and even bordering on deranged.…

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Results or Relations

“Results or relations” is a modem leadership and management challenge. I have had the opportunity to work with both kinds of leaders and managers. Both styles are effective in the right setting. Both styles can blow up in the wrong setting. There are leadership situations that call for relationships in order to accomplish the objectives. The ability to carry an idea forward depends on the relationships to make it happen. As Stephan Covey explained, there have to be enough deposits in the emotional bank account to make “stuff’ happen. The people who have the relationships have deep Rolodexes and have built these relationships over the years. The results leaders have the ability to get things done efficiently and fast. They perform at a high level. They are great under pressure and know how to deliver. The teams they work with are well run and focused. These teams are usually small…

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What Is Your Personal Brand?

Businesses understand the importance of branding and marketing their “brand.” It is an easy way for customers to understand what the company is all about, what the company stands for, and its purpose. The hard part for many people is to recognize that we each have a personal brand. The personal brand is what we are “all about” in life. To develop a personal brand requires reflection, thinking about, and writing down what is important to you. Here are five basic steps toward developing a personal brand: Core Values. Everything we do starts with what we believe and how we see the world. Surprisingly, most people don’t take the time to reflect and develop their critical core values. Those values can be found in traits, strengths, interests, and beliefs. Reflecting on what makes us engage at a high-level reveals where a person’s passions lie and what gets us motivated and…

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