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P.O. Box 85 602 W. University Edinburg, TX 78540 Phone (956) 383-4974 Fax (956) 383-6942

www.edinburg.com

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS CHAIRMAN Cris Torres • Inter National Bank

CHAIR - ELECT Lee Castro • Memorial Funeral Home

IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR Mark Magee • First National Bank

Jan / Feb 2008

Vision Statement The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce is a network of leaders serving Edinburg and the region as an advocate and resource, advancing commerce and the quality of life.

Mission Statement Our Charge is to lead the effort in advancing commerce and the quality of life in Edinburg and the region. We will foster service, development, and growth by forging positive relationships, advocating volunteerism, and leadership development.

TREASURER Brian Disque • Texas State Bank

VICE-CHAIRMEN Ramiro Garza • Edinburg Economic Development Corp. Elva Jackson Garza • Edwards Abstract and Title Co. Noe Valdez • Valdez Meats & Catering Cynthia Bocanegra • Chaps Bar & Grill Johnny Rodriguez • Austin Personnel Services

DIRECTORS Darcy Kelly Maggie Kent J. P. English Mike Govind Gene Espinoza Dina Araguz Gus Casas Abel J. Leal Edna Peña

Peter Piper Pizza General Dentistry Centers Amigo Power Equipment Best Western, Edinburg Inn & Suites Edinburg City Council International Bank of Commerce G & S Glass Edward Jones Investments Horizon Properties

Core Values We will be ambitious in our endeavors, operate effectively and efficiently, promote mutual respect and honesty, seek commitment, ownership, and accountability, and have fun!

CONTENTS Letter from the Chairman ........................................................3 Fiesta Edinburg ........................................................................5 Strategies and Solutions for your Business...........................6-7 Edwards Abstract Names New Executive VP............................8 Calendar of Events...................................................................8 Edinburg Chamber’s Annual Banquet ......................................9 I-Shop Edinburg ................................................................10-11 Ribbon Cuttings ................................................................12-14 Spotlight on E.C.I.S.D. ............................................................15

STAFF Letty Martinez, President Evana Vleck, Director of Marketing & Special Events Imelda Rodriguez, Director of Tourism Frank Lara, Director of Membership

Leadership Edinburg Steering Committee..............................16 Night of Lights Parade Winners .............................................17 Get on the Bus! (Tour de Edinburg) .......................................18 Chamber Champion of the Year.............................................19 Feature Businesses of the Month...........................................20 Edwards Abstract - Holiday Cheer .........................................21 Edinburg Today Brunch ..........................................................21

Graphic Design: Torrey Huerta

EEDC Economic Update .........................................................23


Letter from the Chairman Dear Members, I hope everyone had a great holiday season. The New Year is here, and I’m happy to say that we had an outstanding year in 2007. The Chamber of Commerce held many events, meetings, seminars and ribbon cuttings throughout the year and will continue to bring you the same and more for 2008! Fiesta Edinburg is right around the corner and we are thrilled to celebrate our 40th anniversary. Our event will carry a “RETRO” theme, and all past presidents of the Edinburg

shopping local, and supporting neighboring

Chamber of Commerce are encouraged to be part

eateries. As many of you know, Edinburg has a

of Fiesta Edinburg as serving as Grand Marshals

lot to offer families; throughout the year the City

for the festive parade.

of Edinburg, UTPA, the Museum of South Texas History, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, the

In 2007, The Chamber of Commerce Newsletter

Edinburg Public Library, the Edinburg Scenic

“Depot Express” received a first place award in a

Wetlands, the Edinburg Professional Baseball

state competition, and it is an important

League,

information tool to share with the business

community many fun, family friendly events to

community. If you have an event coming up that

attend; family is such an important facet to any

you would like to advertise, please do take

community and we enjoy seeing smiling faces out

advantage of your resources through the Chamber

and about.

of Commerce.

appreciates all that you do, your involvement is

and other organizations offer the

The Chamber of Commerce

crucial, as you are the face of the community. Business in Edinburg is growing; soon we will have a new million square feet of shopping with the Shoppes at Rio Grande brought to you by First Hartford Realty.

It’s an exciting time for the

community of Edinburg, and we want you to be a part of it. The community is Edinburg’s most precious jewel.

They shine light upon our city by 3


Title Insurance And Serving You Are The Foundation Of Our Business

3111 W. Freddy Gonzalez Drive Edinburg, Texas We’re ready to serve you! Edinburg Escrow Branch Office; Lewis, Monroe & Peña - Attorneys At Law; Edwards Title Plant and Edwards Support Teams www.edwards-titleco.com Edinburg

McAllen

Mission

Sharyland Plantation

Weslaco

3111 W. Freddy Gonzalez Edinburg, Texas 78539 (956) 383-4951 Fax (956) 383-5443

319 Nolana Ave. McAllen, Texas 78504 (956) 682-4951 Fax (956) 631-3504

2005 E. Griffin Parkway Mission, Texas 78572 (956) 583-1220 Fax (956) 583-1798

3607 Plantation Grove, Suite 103 Mission, Texas 78572 (956) 424-0273 Fax (956) 583-4409

2300 W. Pike Blvd., Suite 101 Weslaco, Texas 78596 (956) 973-9654 Fax (956) 968-7163


Fiesta Edinburg’s 40th Annual Celebration!

Place: Edinburg Municipal Park Dates: February 22nd & 23rd FREE with $5 Parking!

will give back to the community, and offer a fun, family atmosphere. We are working on confirming some large acts to later be revealed - this year’s event will definitely be a successful and fun celebration” commented Letty Martinez, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce President.

Fiesta Edinburg is celebrating a 40th Anniversary in 2008! February 21st - 24th marks the dates for Fiesta Edinburg’s grand celebration! New this year to Fiesta Edinburg is the Retro Disco Dance Contest that will fall on Thursday, February 21st along with the Heart of America Carnival ($5 All you can Ride on Thursday only), and the Winter Texan “Hasta la Vista Pachanga”. On Friday, February 22nd, the Heart of America Carnival continues at Edinburg Municipal Park along with live music, entertainment and food for the entire family. Saturday, February 23rd will begin at the County Courthouse with a 40th Annual RETRO-style parade with past Edinburg Chamber of Commerce Board President’s taking the lead. Following the carnival, will be live music, entertainment, carnival food and more at Edinburg Municipal Park all FREE with $5 Parking!

Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson present a sponsorship check to the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce for the 40th Annual Fiesta Edinburg slated for February 21st-24th, 2008.

Fiesta Edinburg would like to thank the following “early-bird” sponsors for assisting in improving the quality of life in Edinburg, Texas: Edward’s Abstract & Title Company, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, the City of Edinburg, The Monitor, South Texas Health System, and shown above Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson. For more information on Fiesta Edinburg, or to become a sponsor please call Evana Vleck at 956-383-4974.

If you didn’t get enough excitement during Fiesta Edinburg week, The Heart of America Carnival will continue on to Sunday, February 24th - closing the festivities. “We are very excited about this year’s celebration; as our city continues to grow, so does Fiesta Edinburg. We hope that our 40th Annual celebration 5


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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Strategies&Solutions For Your Business ™

A Move Toward Success Wells Fargo Helps Hispanic Businesswoman Flourish At A New Locale

A

of business each Monday. “They explained how I could invest money to gain more over the weekend and see my interest growing,” she says. “It doesn’t matter how small or large your business is, Wells Fargo is willing to assist everybody.” Calderon says she places much trust in her banking relationship with Wells Fargo. “Ms. Calderon is a great client Bazaar Internacional, a clothing and of ours,” Ramirez says. housewares retailer, has grown with “We make sure that she the help of Wells Fargo. feels at ease and that information is available to her, even if it means translating materials from English to Spanish.” Today, Calderon’s clients hail from Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, among other cities in Mexico, as well as from all across Texas. “Business has increased and grown because of the new opportunity and location,” Calderon says. She is gearing up to open a second location in Laredo, Texas, where her daughter will manage the business. “I am very happy with Wells Fargo and their team members,” she says. “When we open another location, I have no doubts that Wells Fargo will be there to help me.”

djusting to a new location is tough for any business. But for Graciela Calderon, a self-starting entrepreneur and mother of three, moving her home-based, discount retail dealership from her home in Pharr, Texas, to a nearby warehouse facility was a challenge she readily confronted. The move turned out to be one of the best decisions the owner and founder has made for Bazaar Internacional, which specializes in clothing and home furnishings. Today, Calderon owns three warehouses in Pharr where she is able to keep a large inventory of merchandise she purchases from her suppliers. “At home, we could only accept shipments of up to 15 pallets or crates,” says Calderon, who has been a Wells Fargo customer since 2004. “Now we can accept up to 108 crates a week, and on shipment days, our clients are often at the warehouses waiting to buy, even before the crates have been unloaded from the trucks.”*

Room To Grow Soon after Calderon relocated her business to the warehouses in 2004, Wells Fargo’s guidance helped her acclimate to the new market and helped her business grow from a personal venture to a full-scale, family-run business, managed and operated by herself, her husband and her daughters. “I don’t speak English, so one of the first things that Wells Fargo did was put me in touch with Spanish speaking bankers who were able to explain in Spanish the different banking procedures and how to manage my business’s finances,” she says. Calderon attributes Bazaar’s success largely to the assistance of Wells Fargo. “Any other company such as ours would have had complications with the language barrier. But it’s been more than three years, and we’ve been able to get established in a very competitive market,” she says. In particular, Gilbert Ramirez, business banking specialist at the Edinburg store, made recommendations to Calderon in Spanish and made sure she found the tools available to better her business. Ramirez guided Calderon through investment options for her business and linked her accounts with weekend sweep options that automatically transfer collected funds from her checking account to an interest-bearing account. The automatic transaction occurs each Friday at the close of business and transfers funds back to the checking account before the start

*Interview translated from Spanish to English.

Wells Fargo has 542 stores and 733 ATMs in Texas to serve your business. Visit your local store, go to wellsfargo.com/biz, or call 1-800-35-WELLS (1-800-359-3557) for more information on Wells Fargo business financial services. **In total dollar volume, according to CRA data, 2005. ©2007 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC.

6


Choosing An Additional Location How To Decide If A New Business Location Is Right For You

A

lthough it seems like only yesterday that you opened your first shop, you’re feeling it’s time to venture out and expand elsewhere. But before you jump in over your head, make sure you’ve done your homework and can feasibly launch in a new location.

Do Your Homework The biggest factor to consider is how to reproduce the demographic market of your current location. Ann Anderson owns Urbane Optical, a high-end boutique eyeglasses shop in Indianapolis, with her husband, Alan. They recently opened a second location for a similar cultural arts demographic. She says choosing the location was fairly simple because of how well she knows her customers, a niche of boutique shoppers not seeking insurance reimbursement. “They go to high-end restaurants and health food stores,” Anderson says. “They buy fine art, they spend money on themselves, and appearance is important to them. I know who my customer is [because] I’ve been watching.” Chances are, you know your customers, too. Thinking about who they are and other businesses that attract them will help you determine what type of location best fits your niche. Part of that process is assessing your competitors. Although she admits it might be counterintuitive, Anderson says her best advice is to consider moving in right across the street from your biggest competitor. Next, gather demographic information about areas under consideration for another location from the U.S. Census Bureau, chambers of commerce and the real estate industry. This data provide a snapshot of potential customers and locations, plus information about existing competitors.

Analyze your customer base and then search for an area that mimics your current demographic.

Wells Fargo Small Business Webcast Series

To register for live webcasts or view archived programs on topics such as financing strategies and protecting your business, visit wellsfargo.com/biz/webcast. considerations of making a move. “It’s as important, if not more important, to have a good business plan or good business overview with some solid projections [to plan a new location], as when starting up your first operation, so that you understand the effect it’s going to have on both [locations],” says Gene Fairbrother, a small business consultant with the National Association of the Self-Employed. For instance, Anderson designed a very different plan for her second shop. The first is more funky and colorful, and the second offers a different selection with a more sleek, sophisticated feel. The decision came out of understanding that her customers wouldn’t want conformity. “As a boutique having multiple stores, I didn’t want to be tagged as being a chain,” she says. In the end, you know what it is that makes your business successful, and you are the best judge of what will make your next venture work. “Fill your mind with all the information you can, and then consider what your gut tells you to do,” Fairbrother says. “There’s no piece of paper that’s going to tell you whether it’s going to be successful, and that’s part of reality. It’s the dice you roll when you’re in business.”

Trust Your Instincts Research and foresight play a significant role in making the decision to expand, but don’t forget about the nuts-and-bolts

3 Things To Consider Before Opening Another Location 1. Read up. Contact the local chamber of commerce, real estate associations, local community groups and the U.S. Census Bureau for the information you need. Before looking for a new physical location, consider whether it might be better for your business to expand in another, less expensive way. Can you set up a shop online? Offer a delivery service? 2. Consider establishing the new location as a separate company. This will differentiate not only names, but also finances and liabilities. 3. Hire from within. You can only be in one location at a time. Delegating the new location to someone who already knows the company will ensure a smooth transition and help your business retain talent. Establish a training program for new hires to bring training up to the same standards at your new location.

Visit your local store, go to wellsfargo.com/biz or call 1-800-359-3557 ext. 126 for more information on Wells Fargo business financial services. ©2007 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Information and tips provided herein are general in nature for your consideration and are not legal, financial or tax advice. Wells Fargo makes no warranties as to accuracy or completeness of information and takes no liability for use of this information. Please contact your own legal, tax or financial advisers regarding your specific business needs.

7


Edwards Abstract & Title Co. Names Rachel Arevalo Executive Vice President

Edinburg Chamber of Commerce Calendar of Events Hasta La Vista Pachanga

Byron Jay Lewis, president of Edwards Abstract and Title Co. is pleased to announce the promotion of Rachel Arevalo as Executive Vice President and Senior Commercial Closing Specialist.

February 21, 2008 Edinburg Activity Center, Edinburg, TX $3 • Food, live music, entertainment, door prizes and more

Fiesta Edinburg 40th Anniversary February 21-24, 2008 Edinburg Municipal Park, Edinburg, TX FREE with $5 Parking • Parade, Live Music, Food, Entertainment, Fireworks and more

Arevalo is a real estate professional who has devoted over thirty years to Edwards Abstract and the title insurance industry. She is located at the Edwards corporate office located at 3111 W. Freddy Gonzalez Drive in Edinburg.

Edinburg on Wheels & Health Fair March 8, 2008 TBA FREE • 2-5 mile bike ride, light energetic breakfast, free t-shirts to first 100 participants, information booths, goodie bags and more

Arevalo joined Edwards in 1976 working part time and due to her commitment, dedication and work ethic, she received several other promotions throughout her career and was named Sr. Vice President/Operations Manager in 2001. Arevalo’s duties primarily involve the handling of commercial real estate orders, expediting the examining process from opening the order to closing, and serving as a mentor and resource of knowledge and experience for the entire Edwards Team.

Texas Cook’em July 4-5, 2008 Edinburg Municipal Park, Edinburg, TX FREE with $5 Parking For more information: 956-383-4974 • www.edinburg.com

8


Chamber’s Annual Banquet On Wednesday, November 7,

commented

2007 at the Echo Hotel in

Garza

Edinburg,

Membership.

the

Chamber

of

Edinburg

Elva

Vice

Jackson

Chair

of

Commerce,

Board of Directors, Staff and

A reception dinner along with

Chamber

music, live and silent auction,

Champions

Committee

hosted

plus special guest speaker

the

Allen Tappe, President of the

Chamber’s Annual Banquet.

Tappe Group, courtesy of “The Annual Banquet and

Cris Torres, Chairman and Immediate Past Chair, Mark Magee

Edwards Abstract and Title Co. were the highlights of the

Volunteer Recognition is a very special evening that is hosted to honor outgoing

evening.

Among the festivities, the Chamber of

Chairman of the Board, Mark Magee of First National

Commerce also announced Melissa Rodriguez from

Bank and to welcome Cris M. Torres of Inter National

Austin Personnel Services as “Chamber Champion of

Bank as incoming chair effective October 1, 2007”

the Year” for 2007.

WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING FOR THEIR GENEROUS TIME, EFFORTS AND DONATIONS Rio Valley Realty

Advantage Rent A Car

Family First Medical Center

Winning Mortgage Solutions

Flores Auto Parts

Cornerstone Grill

Santiago Gonzalez, Jr. CPA

Michelle’s Jewelry

G&S Glass

All Star Cuts

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa

Advance Answering Service

State Representative Aaron Pena

Monster Car Wash

First National Bank

Alicia Martinez Guerrero

Jaime A. Rodriguez

Mr. & Mrs. Leonel Guerrero

Handbag Heaven

Ay! Tu Mexican Imports

C Cubed Enterprises

Texas State Bank

Texas Gas Services

South Texas Health System 9


The following Edinburg Businesses are part of the I Shop Edinburg campaign. If you or your business would like to be involved with the campaign, please call us, and we’ll take care of you. Eva’s Flowers Baskets & Gifts 301 W. Schunior St. Edinburg, Tx 78541 956-381-4555 evasflowersbaskets@sbcglobal.net 10% Discount Best Western Edinburg Inn & Suites 2708 S. Bus. Hwy. 281 Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-318-0442 godevco@aol.com 10% off rack room rate Edinburg World Birding Center 714 Raul Longoria Rd Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-381-9922 moliva@edinburgwbc.com 10% off all merchandise

To pick up your FREE I Shop discount card, stop by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, Edinburg City Hall, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation or call 956-383-4974 for more information on how YOU can save!

Amigo Power Equipment 304 W. Monte Cristo Edinburg, Tx 78541 956-383-6289 Jengl175@aol.com 10% off all Polaris Accessories & Echo Products

Willie B’s BBQ 114 E. Loeb St. Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-318-1373 Emostar311@aol.com Spend $15 and get a Free Tea or Lemonade

La Reynera Bakery 922 W. Monte Cristo Edinburg, Tx 78541 956-380-2577 Regular 3 pieces for $1.00 Receive 4 pieces for $1.00 with I shop card

Motel 6 1806 S. Closner Blvd Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-383-8800 Free upgrade to king size suite

United Rentals 1702 S. Expressway 281 Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-289-8400 cantur@ur.com 10% off any Rental

Rex Motel 2207 S. Bus. 281 Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-383-5681 $3.00 off any rooms

10

Chaps Bar & Grill 2301 W. Sprauge Edinburg Tx 78539 956-316-2350 Cynthia_bocanegra@excite.com 15% off regular price food Earthly Treasures 1116 S. Closner Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-386-1770 B.Gomez@aol.com 10% off any item


Turn the Page Scrapbooking & More 3525 W. Freddy Gonzalez Edinburg, Tx 78540 956-387-0700 Half price crop night & 10% discount on supplies Edinburg Executive Inn 2006 S. Closner Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-380-6201 eeiexeinn@yahoo.com 10% off rack room rate Coffee Zone 1108 S. McColl Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-381-5462 DMcoffeeco@aol.com 20% on all beverages Copy Express 24056- B W. University Dr Edinburg, Tx 78541 956-318-5995 Copy-express@sbcglobal.net 15% off color copies, !5% off color poster 2 limit 10% off 500 full color business cards Oriental Café 1900 W. University Ste. 1 Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-381-1331 10% Discount anything on the Dinner Menu Only valid as business is operational Armando’s Pizza 1900 W. University Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-383-8053 Buy 16” pizza with three toppings & get 12” cheese pizza FREE Not valid with any other offer or delivery/ No credit cards

Los Lagos 1720 S. Raul Longoria Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-316-0444 10% off Pro Shop 10% off Round of Golf Putters Resturant 1720 S. Raul Longoria Edinburg Tx 78539 956-316-0444 10% off all food Ebony Hills Golf Course 300 W Palm Dr. Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-292-2144 10% off Round of Golf 10% off Pro Shop

Collision Masters Inc. 11700 N Rooth Rd. Edinburg, TX 78541 956-380-3368 Collisionmastersinc.com 10% Discount on deductibles and also financing for deductibles and repairs with approved credit. Oil Can Harry’s 2602 S. Closner Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-318-1754 Handbag Heaven 1406 W. University Dr. Edinburg, TX 78539 956-380-1974 mybags@yahoo.com 10% off All items

Hesbrook Monument Company 616 E. Cano St. Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-383-8597 10% on all monuments & Design work Free

Monster Carwash 2702 W. University Dr. Edinburg, TX 78539 956-383-9274 10% off all food/ and carwash

Graphic Xpress 308 N. Closner Edinburg, Tx 78539 956-381-8088 graphixxpress@sbcglobal.net 10% discount on orders $100 or more.

The Adobe Grill & Bar 308 N. Closner Edinburg, TX 78539 956-318-0545 Free Tea or Lemonade with any purchase

El Jinete Drive Thru 501 W. University Dr. Edinburg, TX 78540 956-383-6100 Spend $15 and get a 12oz drink for FREE (choice of soda or water)

Earthly Treasures Bead Shop Veronica Gomez 303 Fresno Dr. Edinburg, Tx 78541 956-386-1770 10% off all items

11


Ribbon Cuttings

Advanced Answering Service

All Star Cuts

1210 W. Monte Cristo Rd., Edinburg, TX Regina Rowland • 956-385-3900

2212 W. Trenton, Edinburg, TX Sergio Pena • 956-994-8531

AnaDel’s Fashions Gifts & More

Cornerstone Tire Complete Auto Care

2746 Hedfelt Dr., Edinburg, TX Adelina Gutierrez • 956-316-1988

5107 N. Jackson Rd., Edinburg, TX Mr. Albert Villarreal • 956-686-8989

Dance Centre of Edinburg

De Rafael Beauty Salon

2750 Hedfelt Dr., Edinburg, TX Yvonne Guajardo • 956-383-2623

521 Schunior Rd., Edinburg, TX Maria Medina • 956-383-5700 12


Ribbon Cuttings

Fiesta Chevrolet

Greater South Texas Bank

Exp. 281 & Trenton, Edinburg, TX Carl Johnson • 956-383-2727

2107 S. McColl Road, Edinburg, TX James Cano • 956-386-1010

Handbag Heaven

Historia De Colores Adult Daycare

1406 W. University Drive, Edinburg, TX Shana Ghaya • 956-380-1974

205 E. Mcintyre, Edinburg, TX Elsa Gonzales • 956-381-1155

RODZ Grill & Bar

Surgical Associates at Renaissance

1204 E. Canton Rd., Edinburg, TX Isella Gomez • 956-383-4600

5513 Doctors Dr., Edinburg, TX Dr. Ricardo Martinez • 956-994-1025 13


Ribbon Cuttings

Texas National Bank

Walgreens

4908 S. Jackson Rd., Edinburg, TX Rachel Nevarez • 956-212-7100

1520 S. McColl Rd., Edinburg, TX Jonathon Boyles • 956-380-0540

To view the Chamber Champion Committee Ribbon Cutting / Groundbreaking Ceremony Policy, please visit www.edinburg.com

• Clerical • Light Industrial • Agriculture • Administrative Assistants • Maquila Placement • Payroll • Data Entry • Construction Prescreening Employment • Drug Screening

14


Spotlight on E.C.I.S.D. by Gilberto Garza, Jr. Superintendent of Schools

The Edinburg CISD strives to educate our students so they can compete with anyone in the world for college placement, honors and jobs. To reach that goal, we have strengthened our curriculum, our courses and our delivery of education to the classroom.

School (under the principalship of Maria Luisa Guerra) was recently named an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) National Certified School with Distinction. AVID is a program which targets the average student and challenges them to enroll in elective classes that will build and enhance their academic skills so as to be able to handle a rigorous curriculum.

The results have been good for our students and schools. Recently, Texas Monthly magazine named six of our elementary schools in its “Best Public Schools in Texas” list. The six schools were among 859 elementary, middle, and high schools chosen across Texas to receive the distinction.

EHS is one of only two schools nationwide that have received the AVID Demonstration With Distinction Recognition. Public education is the best way we have to level the playing field, so that every child in America has the opportunity to succeed. In the Edinburg CISD we are working to help every student reach academic success. We know and recognize that the students that walk our halls today, will be leading the world tomorrow.

ECISD elementary campuses making the Texas Monthly list were Austin Elementary headed by Principal Homer Cano; Canterbury Elementary under Principal Dahlia Guzman; De la Vina Elementary under Principal Erika Playle; Jefferson Elementary under Principal Ana Villalobos-Salinas; Lincoln Elementary under Principal Eva Sandoval; and Trevino Elementary under Principal Cynthia Saenz. Austin, Canterbury, Jefferson, Lincoln and Trevino schools have made the magazine’s list two years in a row. According to Texas Monthly, the schools, which were scored and analyzed by the National Center for Educational Accountability, performed better, across all grades, on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test than did their counterparts at other schools around the state. The ECISD also had 33 elementary and secondary campuses that received Gold Performance Acknowledgements from the Texas Education Agency for high academic performance in 14 different categories. In August, the TEA notified the district that it had eight campuses --- more than any other school district in the Valley and the Region One Education Service area --- that earned an Exemplary rating under Texas’ accountability system, and 13 campuses that earned a Recognized rating.. Additionally, I am proud to announce that Edinburg High 15


PAYING YOURSELF FIRST COULD PAY OFF LATER. LIKE WHEN YOU RETIRE. With so much happening in our lives, it’s easy to lose sight of the future - like retirement. Edward Jones can help make saving for retirement easier with our monthly IRA investing program. This simple, convenient service puts your retirement investing on “autopilot” by letting you put aside a set amount every month into an Edward Jones IRA. You can even set it up so that the money comes automatically from any account you choose. For more information or to enroll in our monthly IRA investing program, call your local Edward Jones investment representative today. A systematic investment plan does not assure a profit and does not protect against loss in a declining market. Such a plan involves continuous investment in securities regardless of fluctuating price levels of such securities, the investor should consider the financial ability to continue the purchases through periods of low price levels.

Adan Salazar Financial Advisor 2106 E. Griffin Pkwy Mission, TX 78572 956-580-2900

Leadership Edinburg Steering Committee Leadership Edinburg is lead by a group of strong individuals who, at one point all graduated from the Leadership Edinburg class. Each individual brings a unique quality to the table, and because of their past involvement with the group, they are able to organize sessions through skill, knowledge and most importantly passion. The Steering Committee meets is a volunteer group who meets on a monthly basis to plan class sessions, as well as to organize leadership’s retreat, and the program’s annual banquet.

Pictured are: Edna Pena, Lee Castro, Letty Martinez, Linda Moreno & Abel Leal. Not pictured are: Cynthia Bocanegra (Leadership Edinburg Chair), Aaron Ramirez, Steve Crossland, Anna Ramirez and Margie Santos.

raffle tickets, all to raise funds for each class session’s community service project. Class XIX is planning on hosting a “Corporate Olympics” to raise money to build a park in “El Jardin” neighborhood in Edinburg, Texas that will include an outdoor, educational butterfly garden to beautify the area.

Leadership Edinburg is a 9-month program which gives its class members the opportunity to practice their leadership skills and brush up on different community topics that include history, education, healthcare, politics, and quality of life plus a fundraising session and a community service project such as golf tournaments, rummage sales, 16


Night of Lights Parade Winners! The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce would like to announce the winners to the Annual Night of Lights Christmas parade that took place on Saturday, December 1st, 2007. First Place for Business went to Vicki Roy Home Health, 2nd place Business went to the Edinburg Police Department Blue Angels, and 3rd place was awarded to Vital Line Inc. First place school division

went to Esparza Elementary in Edinburg, Texas. Congratulations to all who participated in this year’s festivities; there were over 30 entries that put in many hours of decorating, and the City of Edinburg, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and UTPA appreciates the time and efforts placed in this year’s festive event.

1st Place - Business: Vicki Roy Home Health

1st Place - School: Esparza Elementary

2nd Place - Business: Edinburg Police Dept. Blue Angels

3rd Place - Business: Vital Line, Inc.

17


Get on the Bus!

Edinburg's first Tour de Edinburg was a huge success; with a packed mini-bus courtesy of J.E. Saenz & Associates, filled with Winter Texan's, how could things be more exciting? Tour de Edinburg is the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce' newest adventure; up to 20 passengers are admitted and will have the opportunity to tour Edinburg's most unique locations. Sal de Rey, the

Sal de Rey and the fascinating story behind the natu-

Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, Edinburg International

ral salt lake, the world bird center, also a great place

Race Track, Museum of South Texas History, and the

to visit if you haven't been there you NEED to go by

Tejano Walk of Fame are just some of the great stops

and it will sell itself - it's educating for young people

on this eventful tour.

and adults; there are birds snakes and wildlife right in our own back yard. I encourage people to go and

The tour begins at 8:30 am and ends at 2:30 pm and

visit. The speedway is also fascinating, the owner

includes drinks, snacks and a light lunch plus a guid-

educated the tour on drag racing and it's the only

ed tour of Edinburg's attractions for only $10 per per-

speed track south of San Antonio. The tour is a lot of

son. Tour de Edinburg is perfect for people new to the

fun and very enlightening. The staff who conducted

area, and is also popular with Winter Texans, but also

the tour did a great job to make it interesting and

accommodates those who wish to know more about

entertaining."

the City of Edinburg and its offerings.

Johnny

Rodriguez, Tourism Chair for the Edinburg Chamber

We encourage all those who participate to dress com-

of Commerce Board of Directors says "It's a worth-

fortably, including a hat and tennis shoes. For more

while adventure, and is time well invested because

information or to sign up for the next tour, please call

you learn so much about the city that you might have

the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce at 956-383-

not know existed.

4974. 18


a gem whom we were so happy to recognize. Her endeavors are invaluable - it’s because of community support and volunteerism that the chamber is able to provide quality of life events for the Rio Grande Valley and Edinburg; this award is well deserved to her” said Letty Martinez, President of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.

Melissa Rodriguez Receives Chamber Champion of the Year Award Melissa Rodriguez was recently named “Chamber Champion of the Year” for at the 2007 Edinburg Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet held on Wednesday, November 7, 2007. Mrs. Rodriguez is coowner of Austin Personnel Services and has been involved with the Chamber of Commerce for many years. She is on the Chamber Champion Committee, Fiesta Edinburg Committee, Texas Cook’em Committee, the Tour de Edinburg Committee, and also volunteers her time with other various chamber events, meetings and seminars. Mrs. Rodriguez is a great asset to the chamber, as her time and efforts certainly serve as a shining example to other chamber and community members. “Melissa is very productive; she’s hard working, dedicated and passionate in everything she does. Her volunteerism is very valuable to the chamber; she’s

Left to Right are Letty Martinez, President, Melissa Rodriguez, Chamber Champion of the Year, and Mark Magee, Outgoing Chairman.

19


Feature Businesses of the Month NOVEMBER

Chili’s 2303 W. University Drive Edinburg, Texas 78539 956-380-2818

NOVEMBER

Rio Valley Realty 4751 S. Jackson Edinburg, Texas 78540 956-687-7653

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Edwards Holiday Cheer Drive from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and was a huge success. Thank you all for making it a memorable holiday in 2007; Happy New Year!

The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and Edwards Abstract and Title Co. teamed up to host a Holiday Celebration on Thursday, December 13. The event was held to show appreciation to all of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce investors and customers, civic leaders and friends of Edwards Abstract and Title Co. Special guests included the Chamber board of directors and all of the Edwards' Team. "Hosting the Holiday Celebration with Edwards Abstract and Title Co. is an opportunity we couldn't pass up," commented Cris Torres, Chairman of the Board for the Edinburg Chamber. "The holiday season is all about celebrating past accomplishments with friends and anticipating a fresh start in the new year, so I wanted to invite all of our members to join us" she added. The Holiday Celebration was held at the Edwards' Corporate Office located at 3111 W. Freddy Gonzalez

Edinburg Today Brunch: I Shop Edinburg Holiday Expo

On Wednesday, November 28, 2007 The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce is hosted a holiday extravaganza “Edinburg Today Brunch: I Shop Edinburg Holiday Expo”. The event consisted of I Shop Edinburg participants and other businesses in the Edinburg area. All businesses who took part in the event passed out reading material, samples of food and products as well as coupons and door prizes. The event was held at the Echo Hotel. Finger foods and drinks were provided for all those who attended and participated in the expo. Participants decorated their booths with a Christmas and holiday theme; Marie Garcia from Mary Kay Cosmetics won the prize for the best decorated booth. This event was made possible by the City of Edinburg, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and the Edinburg

Economic Development Corporation, whom all promote Edinburg’s prosperous business, shopping, tourist attractions and eateries as part of the “I Shop Edinburg” campaign. Thank you ISHOP Holiday Expo Participants! AnaDel’s Fashion Gifts & More Little Audrey’s Flowers & Gifts Edinburg Vision Center Monster Carwash Tres Portrillos International Bank of Commerce Realty Executives Mona Vie Mary Kay Cosmetics 21


Economic Update by Ramiro Garza, Jr.

2007 marked great achievements for EEDC as the Edinburg business community participated in many initiatives including: The International Council of Shopping Centers Conference in Las Vegas, the ISHOP campaign, the Commercial Real Estate Roundtable event, the Workforce Summit 2007, amongst others.

In the past 12 months we achieved significant results. We retained and attracted 1788 direct and indirect jobs in our community representative of projects approved this year. During the year EEDC, assisted seven companies with a $105 million in capital investment into the local economy. EEDC also participated in vital infrastructure projects including water lines, sewer, and roads for the necessary improvements to help support local businesses.

As we move forward into 2008, our business activity continues to grow. Programs for business retention and expansion will increase next year. Our marketing and recruitment efforts to attract targeted industries and quality jobs for Edinburg will also be at the top of our priority list in 2008.

Edinburg will continue to attract a wide range of businesses and industry during the next year. Business growth will concentrate in the northern and eastern quadrants.

Edinburg has already welcomed new businesses to our community and we are pleased with the new jobs that they have brought.

We extend our best wishes to each of you for a most prosperous new year.

The Board and staff at EEDC thank you for your investment in Edinburg and look forward to assisting you in developing your business.

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VIP Members AEP Texas Central Company

Gateway Printing & Office Supply

Roberts Chevrolet

Azteca Milling L.P

H.E.B.

Roy’s Hauling Service, Inc.

Best Western - Edinburg Inn & Suites

H.E.B. #2

Royston, Rayzor, Vickery

Border Capital Bank

Inland Paperboard and Packaging Inc.

& Williams, LLP

Capital One

Inter National Bank

Santiago Gonzalez, Jr., C.P.A.

Clark Chevrolet

International Bank of Commerce

South Texas Vo-Tech Institute

D & F Industries

International Paper Company

South Texas Health System

Echo Hotel and Conference Center

J. E. Saenz & Associates

Staples #1037

Edinburg C.I.S.D

JAR Development, LP.

Texas State Bank

Edinburg Industrial Foundation Inc.

Kolder Inc.

University of Texas Pan American

Edwards Abstract and Title Co.

L&G Concrete Construction Inc.

Valdez Meats & Catering

Elite Rehab Services L.L.C.

Lone Star National Bank

Wal-Mart

Estrada Hinojosa & Company Inc.

Magic Valley Electric Co-op.

Whataburger

Exquisita Tortillas, Inc.

Memorial Funeral Home

First National Bank

Progressive Telecommunications

BULK RATE U.S. POSTAGE

PAID P.O. Box 85/602 W. University Drive Edinburg, Texas 78540 956-383-4974 www.edinburg.com

Edinburg, TX 78539 Permit No. 58

Depot Express is a bi-monthly publication of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. All images, material, and editorial content is the sole property of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. Š2008


Depot Express