Engaging McAllen

There’s much to be said for a community that keeps abreast of national and state issues and strives to bring new ideas, businesses, perpsectives and business models to the area.

And that’s exactly what McAllen has been demonstrating via the overwhelming public support of the Newsmakers Breakfast Series, a partnership between the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and The Monitor, and sponsored by IBC Bank.

We are pleased to announce that the series will feature U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, who will be interviewed for an hour by Monitor Editor Carlos Sanchez on Thursday at the McAllen Chamber building at 1200 Ash Ave.

This is the fourth such event held at the McAllen Chamber since the Newsmaker series kicked off in October with Washington Post syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. Other speakers have included former U.S. ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza.

The events are unscripted and allow Sanchez to interview people in the know on topics we should all care about. Congressman Castro undoubtedly will bring insight on issues pertaining to Texas and the Valley and hopefully will regale us with how his influential political family sees our region in terms of future political, geographic and population growth.

“That’s the point of the Newsmaker Breakfast Series is to expose people to new ideas and concepts and to hear it from the person who is pushing it,” McAllen Chamber CEO Steve Ahlenius told a member of The Monitor’s editorial board. “That’s a telltale sign of a great society. It doesn’t mean you have to agree totally with everything that person says but it will be thought provoking.”

Well said.

Ahlenius’ organization has proven to our community that it knows how to make us think. It spurs McAllen’s movers and shakers, entices businesses here and has caused us all to question which way our city should grow and go. The chamber earlier this month was given a five-star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — a distinction enjoyed by only a select few chambers across the country. Evaluations of its governance, finance, human resources, government affairs, program development, communications, technology and facilities all were considered in earning this high rating.

Congratulations to the McAllen Chamber. And congratulations to McAllen citizens for having such a proactive and engaging chamber that continues to challenge and cause us all to further our knowledge of what surrounds us.

Come learn for yourself and hear news as it’s being made at Thursday’s Newsmakers Breakfast event.


  • Newsmakers Breakfast Series featuring U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro on Thursday, April 24
  • Doors open at 8 a.m.; event starts at 8:30 a.m.
  • Cost is $15 per person
  • To buy tickets, call the McAllen Chamber of Commerce at (956) 682-2871.

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