Category Archives: Chamber News

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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BUSINESS YOU SHOULD KNOW – THAI RED CHILI

PAIRAO & CHANIDA TAUTHONG Owners   Pairao and Chanida Tauthong, owners of Thai Red Chili, brought the look, feel and taste of Thailand to McAllen when they used Pairao’s extensive restaurant knowledge to open Thai Red Chili at 3507 North Ware Road, south of Nolana. Over 30 years ago, Tauthong cooked at his brother’s successful Thai/Northern Italian food restaurants in Stamford, Connecticut. He then worked at various hotels around the New York City area and found an affinity for the restaurant business. Pairao met his future bride through a mutual New York friend in 2001. He had listened when the friend spoke of Chanida, a nurse – now nurse practitioner – who lived in McAllen. He had taken a risk and had flown to McAllen to meet her. “It was summer and  hot,” Pairao chuckled. “I looked up and was surprised. In New York it was a concrete jungle and…

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14 QUESTIONS WITH McALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER

Joe Habbouche Attorney & Equity Partner Atlas, Hall & Rodriguez, LLP   1) What is your favorite book? It has been a while since I’ve had the free time to read as I did in my youth. I had to read a lot of different books in college and law school. Picking a favorite is difficult. I can tell you I thought the easiest classic to read was Bram Stokerís Dracula. I thought that was the most interesting, much more riveting than contracts and Real Estate Law 101! 2) What is your favorite movie? The movie I can watch almost any time it’s on is The Bourne Identity. I’m a fan of entertaining action movies more than some of the cognitive movies. Any kind of 80s action movies would entertain me. 3) What was your favorite vacation spot? I would say probably Montreal, Canada, because it’s the first time my…

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PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – LIZ SUAREZ

Liz Suarez, Director of Aviation for McAllen International Airport, has come full circle. Starting her career with the City of McAllen in the Department of Aviation in 2000, Suarez has completed the loop. “I was given this opportunity primarily because I had a good level of experience on the ground transportation side in the transit department,” Suarez said. “The airport has transportation needs and trends specific to our region and our community. In addition, I have a vast understanding of federal regulations and guidelines and 13 plus years working with FTA, the sister organization to FAA.” At the airport, again, in 2013 as Deputy Director, she was appointed Director in the spring of 2014. “It’s been a fun ride. I love aviation. It has a whole different dynamic,” she said. Taking on the aviation side of economic development, Suarez learned about the airfield and all involed in opperating an airport.…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADOR – CARLOS LOPEZ

For the first eight years of his life, Carlos Lopez, credit officer at Greater State Bank, grew up in Redwood City, California. It was there his late grandmother made history as the first Hispanic female bank vice-president in the area, working her way up with only a high school degree.  “Ever since I was 11, I wanted to pursue a career in banking,” Lopez said. “I love what I do.” When Greater State Bank became a chamber member, Lopez went to an Ambassador meeting and was hooked. “It’s about getting out in the community, getting to know people, and helping the Chamber in any way I can.” Along with his wife, they lead the board of Keep McAllen Beautiful. Carlos as president, his wife the vice-president, and their 5-year old daughter is an unofficial junior board member thanks to her participation in nearly all volunteer events.  “Church, family, work, Keep…

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McAllen Begins Outreach Efforts for U.S. Census 2020

The City of McAllen, in partnership with the U.S. Census, has already rolled out its first of many public service announcements regarding the 2020 Census, encouraging McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley to “Make Texas Count!” for next year’s census.  Featuring McAllen Mayor Jim Darling in English and McAllen Chief of Police Victor Rodriguez in Spanish, the message is a broad overview of why the census is conducted, why it is important, the various ways to fill out the Census and finally, how individuals can apply to help be a part of the Census team in McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley. In both videos, Mayor Darling and Chief Rodriguez encourage the community to fill out the Census to help make sure that everyone in Texas is counted. “This message is especially important in our part of Texas, the entire Rio Grande Valley,” said Mayor Darling.  “It is so important…

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STC’s President Reed honored in New York by Community College Baccalaureate Association

South Texas College President, Dr. Shirley A. Reed, was invited by the Community College Baccalaureate Association (CCBA) to accept the 2019 annual Pioneer Award on behalf of the College. The award recognizes an individual who has shown great leadership, as well as someone who went above and beyond to provide financial support and resources for a higher education institution. The event took place Saturday, Feb. 23 in New York City. The CCBA strives to promote better access to baccalaureate degrees on community college campuses and serves as a resource of information for community colleges interested in offering bachelor degrees. As the founding president, Dr. Reed developed STC from a “blank canvas” to serve South Texas, formerly a region that was once plagued by limited access to higher education and workforce training. Because of Dr. Reed’s leadership, STC is now Offering over 120 degrees and certificate options with 32 fully-online programs.…

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McAllen to Celebrate Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day

Mayor Jim Darling and the McAllen City Commission proclaimed the month of March as Women’s History Month in McAllen,  and March 8 as International Women’s Day in McAllen, in celebration of the of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  City leaders were proud to point out that the City of McAllen is unique among Rio Grande Valley and border municipalities, with an equal number of men and women who are directors of the City of McAllen departments.    The world of work is changing, and with significant implications for women. “The City of McAllen is an organization where women flourish and is proud to boast an equal number of women and men in positions of leadership, influence, and decision and policy-making as directors within the organization, helping to bring new vision and perspective to the growth and direction of the municipality and more importantly, the community,” said Mayor…

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Top 5 Small Businesses Award Application

2019 McAllen Top 5 Small Business Awards are scheduled for October 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Old Church Winery. Deadline to apply is August 16, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. Criteria: Please provide enough information and documentation to support your answers Your business has to consist of no more than 200 employees to qualify as a small business Your business was established before 2014 Your business has had a consistent record of employment in the last two years Your business has had a steady increase in sales over the last three years (no hard numbers just percentage increases) Your business has demonstrated consistent community involvement in the last two years Your business has improved or expanded its product and/or services through expansion and/or innovation Your business operates a location in the McAllen area   2018 RECIPIENTS Boultinghouse Simpson Gates Architects Community Hope Projects, DBA Family Health Futuro…

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Passport Division open second Saturday of the month

The City of McAllen would like to remind residents that its Passport Division is open every second Saturday of the month. They will open Saturday, February 9. They will accept applications from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.   No matter where you go, a U.S. passport will get you back home. To learn more about travel requirements for U.S. citizens visit http://www.mcallen.net/news/item/2016/04/25/passport-day-in-mcallen City of McAllen Passport Acceptance Facility is located in the Downtown Parking Garage at 221 S. 15th Street.

Six Things to Do to Create Change and Opportunity

How does a person create change and new opportunities? Most business people are consumed with just taking care of their customers, inventory, equipment, employees, bills, taxes – and the list goes on. They hardly have a chance to think about new opportunities or innovation. The challenge for “flat and thin” organizations is: “How do you do all the things that have to get done for your business and still create and bring about change to make your organization or business successful?” Some experts believe some people are “hardwired” to create and see opportunities that other people don’t see. Still, other experts believe you can train yourself to see new opportunities. I think it is a combination. Part of that ability to see new opportunities or to create new opportunities can be built into the culture of a business or organization. Here are six suggestions to create change and opportunity: 1.…

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Entrepreneur Summit “Growing Entrepreneurs and Creating Entrepreneur Ecosystems in South Texas”

Thursday, February 28, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the Entrepreneur Summit at the Embassy Suites in McAllen. The event is powered by Texas Regional Bank, Texas A&M, Burton McCumber & Longoria LLP and the Federal Reserve Bank Dallas – San Antonio. The summit will support our efforts in developing a dynamic entrepreneur ecosystem in McAllen and throughout South Texas. Fostering innovation and new ideas is a foundation for creating wealth for a community or a region. So many times, groups and cities focus only on what I call the ingredients – incubators, accelerators, angel investor funds, and grants. The real challenge is figuring out how to create and blend the “right” recipe for success. The most critical elements and the most significant “X” factors for success when creating an entrepreneur ecosystem are people. Are we bringing the right people together that…

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2018 MAN & WOMAN OF THE YEAR – VERONICA GONZALES & BILL WILSON

Being selected as the McAllen Chamber of Commerce Man and Woman of the Year requires people with a mixture of attributes. They could be business owners, people of faith, retirees or elected officials. Career accomplishments are no surprise, but the award is not just about the work they do. It’s also about the heart they give. Woman of the Year Veronica Gonzales is UTRGV Vice-President of Governmental & Community Relations. Born and raised in San Marcos, it was upon graduation from law school that she opted to join the law firm of Jarvis, Schwarz and Kittleman in McAllen. Driving down to the Valley back in 1991, she gazed upon the wide open spaces with nothing in them and exclaimed, “Oh, my gosh! What did I do?” She laughs today as she recalls that first drive to the land that has become her home and her life. Veronica even found relatives…

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