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• June 2014 • Texas Border Business •
• June 2014 •
CONTENTS 4 Publisher’s Word - Local Banker Shares The Essence Of The Bank He Represents 5 New Planning & Zoning Director In Edinburg 6 Exclusive – “Integrity, Values And Relationships Are The Essence That Make Lone Star National Bank Unique” - S. David Deanda, Jr. 8 Countdown To 2014 World Cup In Brazil, Starts June 12, 2014 9 Hidalgo County Enjoys Single Digit Unemployment Rate, By Ruben Hinojosa 12 Economy Back To Before Recession, Other Indicators Depressingly Off, By M. Ray Perryman 12 Edinburg Names Human Resources Director 13 Harlingen In New Network To Promote Economic Progress 15 Confusion Reigns In Border Security Debate, By Nelson Balido 16 Weslaco’s Proposal For The UTRGV HQ 19 HCMPO Transportation Director Shaves Head For Diabetes 21 $55 Million Events Arena For Edinburg Is Welcomed 27 President Bailey Names UTRGV Transition Team 28 McAllen Names Roy Rodriguez City Manager 30 Big Story- Partnership Launches Regional Leadership Program 30 Texas Border Business Welcomes Dr. Guy Bailey UTRGV President 30 Is This The Year Of The Big One? 31 Opinion- “Feds Need To Apportion More Airwaves For Consumer Use”, By Javier Palomarez 33 SBA Sets Zero Fees New Loans Under $150,000 35 South Texas College Celebrated Largest Graduating Class Of Approximately 4,800 Students 36 Valley International Airport Announces Grand Opening Of Sun Valley Aviation 37 Edinburg Unemployment Rate For April 2014 Drops To 5.5 Percent 40 Valley Metro Security Owner Seeks Nomination 41 Former Mission City Manager Julio Cerda Wins School Board Position 42 Appointed Hidalgo County Sheriff Wants Is Seeking The Democratic Nomination To Be Elected Sheriff 42 Edinburg Mayor Richard H. Garcia Meets UTRGV Presidential Finalist Dr. Guy Bailey TBB
New Round of Microloans from LatinaHope Texas Border Business
he McAllen Chamber of Commerce, United Way and Wells Fargo are joining forces to promote the creation and/or growth of microenterprises in the McAllen area. The LatinaHope Business Network is designed to facilitate the learning, networking and acting of Spanish Amelia Rojas, speaking micro-entrepreneurs that Alma Ortega Johnson, Eduardo Millet, United Way have a new business idea or a small Wells Fargo VP of Business business and want to move their Development venture to a more tangible point. plan) and present Network holds its meetings the first The program begins with basic their business idea to the LatinaHope and third Wednesday of the month at workshops on finance; single entry judging panel. The panel decides if the Calvary Baptist Church, 1600 Harvey St, bookkeeping, operational management, project is mature enough to receive the McAllen, TX. marketing and business plan LatinaHope Ignite fund. Recipients of The LatinaHope Business development. Additionally, each session the LatinaHope Ignite fund will get up Network is open to all community attendees will have the opportunity to to $250 in materials to encourage the members that are working on new ideas. learn at least two of the following skills: creation of new microenterprises in the The event is conducted in Spanish. candle making, card making, jewelry McAllen area. After using the first round RSVP required, as seating is limited. making, knitting / crocheting / quilting, of materials, the entrepreneur is allowed For additional information, or to RSVP, sewing and alterations, soap making, toy to request a second round of materials at please contact Eduardo Millet, (956) making, and wreath making. a significant discount to expand and grow 682-2874 or emillet@mcallenchamber. After attending the two trainings, the new business. com TBB participants will have the opportunity The LatinaHope Business to prepare a project plan (basic business
• June 2014 •
Local Banker Shares the Essence of the Bank He Represents
t is always refreshing to talk to executives and businesspeople about their professional activities. This month, Texas Border Business had the pleasure of talking to an outstanding banking professional. S. David Deanda, Jr. is the President for Lone Star National Bank. He is a seasoned banker whose first priority is to serve the bank’s 76,000 customers through twenty-seven branches in the Rio Grande Valley and five branches in San Antonio. Learn why the Small Business Administration recognized his efforts and how a banker with so many business activities deals with stress. Get to know more about him in this issue, as he is the featured exclusive story in our June issue. Guest writer Nelson Balido says that confusion reigns in the border security debate and asks, Who wants to cover the nearly $1 trillion dollars that flow over our border each year?
Read what THE ECONOMIST’ and our guest writer Ray Perryman says about how the Economy is back to before the recession. However, he notes that other indicators are depressingly off. Read about a controversial statement of guest writer Ira S Wolfe. He wrote, “People are not a company’s most important asset!” find out more inside these pages. Learn about five employees with Edwards Abstract and Title Co. that have successfully completed the requirements and passed rigorous examinations to earn certification from The Texas Land Title Association (TLTA). Find out how Lineage Logistics a warehousing and Logistics Company backed by Bay Grove acquired Loop Cold Storage, Oneida Cold Storage and Millard Refrigerated Services in McAllen. On another matter, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, United Way and Wells Fargo joined to promote the creation and growth of micro-enterprises in the McAllen area. The Latina Hope Business Network is designed to facilitate the learning, networking and acting of Spanish speaking microentrepreneurs that have a new business idea for a small business and want to move their venture to a more tangible point. If you have not joined this effort, S. David you should, IBC Bank Deanda Jr. and the National Hispanic Professional Organization (NHPO) – RGV Chapter, along with other organizations have teamed up to support the Operation
Interdependence (OI) – RGV Campaign. OI - RGV is a community-based project led by a committee that raises contributions to make and send care packages for active US troops overseas. Between now and July 2014, IBC and the NHPO are accepting donations of general care items and letters of support for the annual send-off to soldiers, read more inside. The Rio Grande Partnership launches this summer a regional leadership program and they are taking applicants. This new academy is to help build more collaboration among Valley cities, counties and other entities. The RGV Partnership board is examining the Valley’s toughest challenges from different points of view and Partnership Board Chair Deborah Cordova said the new initiative is reflective of some of the Valley’s best collaboration to date such as when the region was able to establish a medical school. Read more in this issue. The Democratic nomination for the Hidalgo County Sheriff will be the most interesting issue in a few days. Texas Border Business met separately with two candidates, current interim Sheriff Eddie Guerra and Francisco “Frank” Guerrero. They told Texas Border Business that they will make changes to eradicate corruption. Both aspiring candidates have extensive law enforcement experience Continued on page 8
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• June 2014 •
Economic Valley Barometer APRIL
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New Planning & Zoning Director in Edinburg Texas Border Business
dinburg Texas: Edinburg City Manager Ramiro Garza Jr. named Richard M. Hinojosa as the new Planning and Zoning Director. Hinojosa has been with the City for a combined 14 years and most recently served as the Grants Administrator. Hinojosa, who has a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning has 38 years of related experience including serving as Edinburg Bureau Chief of Planning and Evaluation from 1981 to 1984 and City Planner from 1975 to 1979. Prior to his work as Grants Administrator, Mr. Hinojosa worked for the City of McAllen as the Director of Planning and as Assistant City Manager; Director of Planning for the City of San Juan; City Manager and Director of Community Development and Planning for the City of San Benito; Director of Regional Planning and Deputy Executive Director for the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council. Hinojosa is a native of Edinburg having graduated from Edinburg High School in 1971. He obtained a Bachelor
Richard M. Hinojosa of Arts from Pan American University in 1977 and his Masters from Texas A&M University in 1981. He replaces Juan Lopez who retired on October 31st after serving the City of Edinburg for 29 years. Mr. Hinojosa says “I looks forward to returning to a position I held back in early 80’s and am very excited to be able to help the City continue to move forward during this unprecedented growth.” TBB
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“Integrity, Values and Relationships are the Essence that Make Lone Star National Bank Unique” – S. David Deanda, Jr.
By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
ommunity banks have traditionally been the lifelines of the small and medium-size businesses. They make a critical contribution to the prosperity of both their local communities and the nation as a whole. However, there are some banks that truly serve their community and as a consequence they grow more as is evident with Lone Star National Bank (LSNB). S. David Deanda, Jr. President for Lone Star National Bank is a seasoned banker whose first priority is to serve the bank’s 76,000 customers through twenty-seven branches in the Rio Grande Valley and five in San Antonio. Lone Star National Bank was founded in January of 1983 by a group of local businessmen that wanted to be a part of a business that would have the opportunity to serve the people of the Rio Grande Valley. The idea was to assist families and small family-owned businesses. Deanda discussed with Texas Border Business the role community banking organizations, like the one he leads, play in supporting the health of our economy, as well as some of the challenges they face as a banking institution. He said that he began working at Lone Star National Bank in August of 1993 and in April of 2003 became President and COO. He also pointed out that in a community bank, personal interaction and a listening ear are all hallmark benefits of banking with Lone Star National Bank. “These benefits combined with our premier financial services are all valuable to the customer,” he said. Deanda was born in Alice, Texas to Samuel David Deanda, Sr. and Linda Deanda. He graduated from Texas A & I University in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. “After graduating from college I began my banking career with a small bank in Kingsville and lived there for about four years.” He said, “Thanks to a more experienced banker and mentor in many ways I had the opportunity to move to Carrizo Springs and be a part of a small group of leaders who were able to assist in turning a failing Bank around.” He said that those early years were critical to his development as a banker because it was during that time that he got a chance to really learn the ins and outs of all aspects of banking. Deanda is proud to say that he is not one of those presidents who were
S. David Deanda Jr. President at Lone Star National Bank dropped in the role. “I have worked in most areas of a bank, consequently I know how each aspect of a bank should function properly.” He said that after the Carrizo Springs bank became stable, he learned of an opportunity to take a position with Texas State Bank in McAllen. “At the time I thought it was a good opportunity to grow on my own apart from my mentor and to be exposed to the operations of a larger bank.” He continued, “Only God knew that the move had little to do with changing jobs. It was more about moving my family to a great community where together would be able to grow in many different ways.” “My wife and I moved our family to the Valley in March of 1990,” he added. What inspired you to do what you do? “I originally became a banker because it was a good job for a young college graduate. Today I get inspired everyday by helping people in different walks of life accomplish their goals and live their dreams.” How do you and LSNB engage with the Small Business Administration (SBA)? “Since Lone Star National Bank seeks to help small businesses, we
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partnered with the SBA so that together we can make flexible repayment terms available to small businesses so that those businesses can more easily qualify for loans,” he said. In this regard, Deanda was honored for his leadership and contributions to the business community in the Rio Grande Valley by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office. He was recognized during the 2014 Small Business Week Awards. The ceremony was held on Friday, May 9, 2014 and was hosted by the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Not all banks participate partnering with SBA, so this is an important service that Lone Star National Bank provides to this community. He said the banking industry carries a big responsibility however he feels that it is their job to walk along side individuals, families, and businesses as they live out their dreams. “Throughout history, anyone who wanted to accomplish anything in life, whether it be on a personal, family or
business level, has usually found it necessary to utilize financing in order to allow them to accomplish their goal, and for that reason we are here to lend a hand.” He pointed out that Lone Star National Bank works with clients with different needs. They can be, “sending your child to college, taking that brave first step to financial freedom by starting a business, getting married, and bringing newborn children home from the hospital are great parts of life that can at times be scary, and we have been there with our clients.” He said that this is a commitment part of the foundation of Lone Star National Bank. Deanda told Texas Border Business, “Integrity is the essence of our dealings because our organizational character reflects on every member of the Rio Grande Valley and the other communities we serve.” He also mentioned that Lone Star National Bank has provided unique services since its inception. “We offer our customers all of the benefits of a big bank, but with the personal touch and Continued on next page
• June 2014 • Continued from previous page
interaction of a small community bank, and that is a solid relationship with our customers,” he said. He emphasized that today, more than ever, it is important to know your loan officer but more importantly that your loan officer knows you well. Are you planning to continue the bank’s expansion in the RGV or other cities? “Absolutely, we are always looking to continue our expansion across the RGV. We have a responsibility to strive to be the premier financial institution in the Rio Grande Valley. We are also looking to expand our presence in the San Antonio market. We are excited about the possibilities, however, we don’t limit our vision to just these two markets.” Deanda said that it is important for a community to have a bank that understands community values. “For example, in the RGV we have all either learned, or have tried to teach our children, hard work, perseverance, and kindness to others and the importance of helping our neighbors.” He continued, “Even though the Valley has grown dramatically those values continue to be a part of the Valley and our leadership does not forget these values when we walk into Board Meetings,” he said. He pointed out that in the case of San Antonio, which has grown significantly, it still holds small community values.
“We are now in the process of showing the citizens of San Antonio that we are part of their community because we share their values and because together we can accomplish great things.” Are banking regulations letting you service the business community? “I get this question a lot. The answer to this question is that because of the power of the free market and the strength and health of Lone Star National Bank on all levels, overcautious regulators who are not familiar with the market, but who try to impose burdensome regulations will never be able to hinder us from assisting the business community.” Is it difficult for businesspeople to obtain a loan nowadays? “Let me make it very clear, Lone Star National Bank is ready to lend if you are a responsible businessman or businesswoman and have met your financial obligations in the past, we are ready to lend.” In addition, he said that it is important to have a clear and accurate vision of where you are going and how you are going to get there and how will it look financially. Currently Lone Star National Bank has 625 employees and all them are encouraged to give back to the community with their personal time. “Donating time and being involved in our community to make it a stronger community is not an option, it is a responsibility.” Continued on page 10
Edinburg Chamber Calls for Cooks for the 9th Annual Texas Cook’Em: High Steaks in Edinburg Texas Border Business
dinburg – The
Edinburg Chamber of Commerce is currently accepting applications for cooks to participate in the 9th annual Texas Cook’Em: High Steaks in Edinburg. The event will take place on Friday, July 4 with the cook-off on Saturday, July 5, 2014 at Edinburg Municipal Park. Live music, This a must for you and your team. children’s activities, that include juicy T-bone Steaks, moist barbeque and $17,000 in prize money Chicken, tender Pork Spare Ribs and will be awarded! Cook off categories Brisket grilled or smoked to perfection. includes T-bone steak, Pork Spare Ribs, Invite your family and friends for a Chicken, and Brisket. Pay only $200 fun day at the park. Vendors will be for all 4 categories. There will be an selling funnel cakes, nachos, raspas additional Fajita Jackpot Category for (snow cones), tacos and other delicious a $25 entry. items. Picnic tables will be available for If you are 18 or over, and those who wish to sit and eat some tasty would like the chance to try award mouth watering barbeque. For more winning barbeque, you might be information please call the Edinburg interested in participating as a judge! Chamber of Commerce at 956-383Judges are needed for all categories 4974 or visit www.edinburg.com. TBB
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Countdown to 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Starts June 12, 2014 Texas Border Business
cAllen TX---Local soccer fans will be able to watch World Cup matches on the big screen at the Convention Center when they crank up later in June. Commissioners accepted a bid of $72,000 from McAllen's Hermes Music for an 18 by 10-foot LED screen that will be displayed in the Center's Oval Park. Center Director Omar Rodriguez told them that the board is weather proof and that they decided to buy the board when they discovered the price to rent one was $50,000. Mayor Jim Darling said he would like the city to consider using it at McAllen Memorial football stadium,
which the city and school district plan to spend $5 million renovating. The 2014 World Cup begins on June 12, when Brazil plays Croatia in the opening match. Half of the stadiums to be used for the World Cup will get the white-glove treatment from a top FIFA official this week as the clock ticks down to the start of the tournament. Jérôme Valcke, FIFA’s secretary general, spent last week touring six stadiums, including the still unfinished Itaquerao in São Paulo. The stadium, which hosted a Brazilian league match between Corinthians and Figueirense on May 18, will be the site of the tournament’s opening game between the hosts and Croatia. In the coming week Valcke will
check in at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã, where the final will be played on July 13, then head north to Manaus, Fortaleza, Natal, Recife and Salvador. The delays and construction accidents, some of them that resulted fatalities, have brought a cascade of negative stories leading up to the World Cup. “We’re very close now,” Valcke said Sunday in São Paulo. “Soon we’re going to hand the tournament over to the players and the 32 teams. There is very little left to worry about. We just need to make sure the teams arrive safely and get to their training centers so they can begin preparing for the tournament.” TBB
Continued from page 4
Publisher’s Word ... and have considerable strength to get the nomination. Find out what is the strength of each one as they pursue their goals. I know you will enjoy this issue. It is our biggest issue ever! TBB
“There is a lot to like about Rio Bank when it comes to Business Banking.” Ford Sasser,, President
Call a Rio Banker today to find out how we can serve your business loan requirements.
956-631-7890 | www.Riobk.com “Your Kind of Bank and Your Kind of Banker.” Member FDIC
• June 2014 •
BY RUBEN HINOJOSA
hen I took office in January of 1997, the unemployment rate for Hidalgo County sat at an unconscionable 22 percent. I made it my goal to do all I could to bring this number down to a single digit and we succeeded. Within the first ten years, I led a group of Rio Grande Valley leaders and we brought the rate down below 6 percent. However, we all know that due to events on a national, state and local level that figure remains in flux and can waiver depending on the political climate and the corporate mood. In 2008, our nation was hit with the Great Recession, but the latest figures released this week by the Texas Workforce Commission show that we have made great progress and are getting much closer to our 2007 numbers. The numbers show that the unemployment rate in the McAllenEdinburg-Mission Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has fluctuated but is as of now, steadily being lowered. This reduction in unemployment has come despite the tremendous population growth we experience every year. How did we accomplish this? In 2009, with a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate, we passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) or the Stimulus Bill to help stop our slide into an actual depression. We needed to get people back to work in order to boost our economy nationally and locally. Some of the provisions to the ARRA included investment in transportation, environmental protection and other infrastructure to provide longterm benefits. I made certain that federal funds were brought to our communities to create jobs and boost our economy. Federal funding annually has increased in my Congressional District 15 by over 250% from $3.6 billion to $9.2 billion over an 18-year period during my public service in congress. The steady reduction in the unemployment rate did not happen overnight and it didn't happen easily. Throughout my time as your Congressman I worked with some of my colleagues to obtain millions in federal funding for our new Interstates, 69 and 2, for our levees, our water infrastructure and our two new international bridges in McAllen/Mission and the Donna/Rio Bravo. These infrastructure improvements allow us to attract more companies and create more jobs. It also took a lot of hard work and planning by our local municipalities. In Deep South Texas we continue to lower our unemployment rates by aggressively attracting business to our area through
Hidalgo County Enjoys Single Digit Unemployment Rate the hard work of our chambers, our city leaders and our Economic Development Corporations (EDC). It is very clear to me that the people of the Rio Grande Valley want to work. We want to help our workers obtain the skills they need for the 21st century workforce, because having a well-trained workforce strengthens the economy and improves the quality of life for residents of South Texas and across
the country. All of these measures and more are why the Rio Grande Valley will continue on its successful path to keeping the unemployment rate at the lowest single digit possible. We have come a long way, but there still is much to do. But our future is bright. The opening of our new UT-RGV and the new Medical School will create great new opportunities in new career fields, but we need to be ready to take
advantage of the large state and federal investments being made in college education for all, as well as health care, job training and infrastructure. Working for Texas we can continue to improve the quality of life for all! Ruben Hinojosa is a Member of Congress representing the 15th District of Texas and a Texas Border Business Guest Writer. TBB
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Popular Among Winter Texans Shuffleboard Game is Coming Back Texas Border Business
ccording to a report filed by Davis Rankin through Futuro McAllen a local non-profit organization that watches City of McAllen council meetings, he reported that shuffleboard is coming back. “People who have lived in McAllen for a while remember Winter Visitors playing shuffleboard at the Tourist Center (next to the Civic Center) on South 10th This is what is left of a very popular shuffleboard pad at Archer Park. Street and at Archer Park. Photo By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez. At some point, the games ended, but they're back, or Melaas talked to commissioners about and Gavlik were sent away to come back will be,” he wrote a proposed name change for the De with a different name next meeting. His report also mentioned Leon site to make it easier to market for Davis pointed out that that Parks & Recreation Director Sally more than soccer. The name suggested, interestingly, Melaas said at the meeting; Gavlik told commissioners that the city's McAllen International Sports Complex, "Right now, we're looking at seven convention and visitors people have an underwhelmed commissioners,” he different kinds of sports playing in that international shuffleboard contest on wrote. complex along with the marathon kicking the schedule to be played at the new De "What will people call it?" off there, concerts and other events, Leon Soccer Complex to be played on 60 asked the Mayor Jim Darling out loud sports like soccer (of course), Pop Warner courts. and the answer was De Leon Soccer football, lacrosse, rugby, shuffleboard, “Gavlik's shuffleboard scoop Complex. While commissioners seemed roller derby, and tennis." The chamber is came as she and her deputy Dave sympathetic to the name dilemma, Melaas already bidding for some events. TBB
Continued from page 7
Deanda said that they set company goals to track their community service and hold each other accountable so that they always remember that community involvement and service is a top priority. Are you married and to whom? “I am married to a wonderful woman, her name is Vivian Deanda. I am very blessed to have such a wonderful wife who I consider to be a great partner and a great friend.” How did you meet your wife? Was it love at first sight? “If it was love at first sight I certainly don’t remember. The reason I don’t remember is because the first time we met she was in 4th Grade and I was in 5th Grade. My family lived in Alice, Texas, a small town not too far from Kingsville, Texas for a while when I was growing up and Vivian’s family was from Alice. Our families knew of each other since it was a small community. We went to school together for a short period of time. It wasn’t until years later, during college that we became reacquainted when mutual friends reintroduced us.” What are the things that you most admire about your wife? “I admire her spiritual conviction. I am a Christian and one thing I have learned from my wife over the course of many years is that Christianity is not about religion. Continued on page 12
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• June 2014 •
Economy Back to Before Recession, Other Indicators Depressingly Off BY M. RAY PERRYMAN Texas Border Business
lthough the economy is finally almost back to where it stood before the recent recession by some measures, other indicators remain depressingly off. Job gains have been spotty, both in terms of industry and geography. Some states are still struggling to deal with high unemployment and a lack of opportunities. In addition, long-term unemployment is a problem, with many job seekers giving up. Fallout from the recession also continues for state and local governments, which experienced notable declines in tax receipts when the economy went into recession. Only about half of all states are back to their previous peak levels of tax collections, according to a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts. At one end of the spectrum is North Dakota, with collections now running more than 119% above their level before the recession, thanks to a major oil boom in that state. Illinois is up 23% and Minnesota is almost 21% higher. Texas compares well, with a rise of 9% over the previous high level. However, many states continue to experience dramatically lower tax revenues: Alaska down 60%, Florida down 20%, many down more than 15%. Of course, it’s crucial to note that tax revenue recovery can also be driven by policy changes. Many of the states now collecting more dollars have increased tax rates. In addition, state and local governments rely
on a range of taxes. Income, property, and sales levies are the largest categories, but there are numerous other taxes and fees. Some of these revenue streams have recovered more quickly than others (notably property taxes are lagging in many real estate markets that are still depressed). The drop in state and local tax revenue was steep during the downturn, with federal grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA or the “stimulus”) in 2009 helping only a little. Moreover, the recovery has been slow compared to other time periods, both for the economy and for tax receipts. Over the past few years, needed investments have been put off where possible given budget constraints. These deferrals only make the long-term problem worse. It will take time to work through the backlog, and with budgets stretched at the federal level, there is little hope of an infusion of funds from that direction. Texas’ tax structure is unique in that we are one of only a handful of states without an income tax on individuals or corporations (although the “margins tax” shares some similar characteristics). (Among the other states, only Nevada, Washington, and Wyoming have no income taxes; Alaska, Florida, and South Dakota tax individuals, but not corporations.) The Lone Star State also has no State property tax levy (unlike the majority of states), leaving that source of revenue strictly for local taxing entities. Looking to the future, it is important to ensure that the economic and population growth also generates enough tax dollars to keep up with the expanding need for state and local services. This objective can only happen with some fundamental reforms. Continued on page 16
Edinburg Names Human Resources Director Texas Border Business
Commission, today known as Texas Workforce Commission. dinburg Texas: Fernandez is a graduate Edinburg City Manager of Pan American University with a Ramiro degree in Government. Garza Jr. has named He is certified in human Efren Fernandez as the resources as a Senior new Human Resources Professional in Human Director. Fernandez has Resources by the Society more than 16 years of of Human Resources related experience and Management and as most recently served as Certified Professional the Human Resources by the International Director for the City Professional Management of Harlingen. He also Association for Human served as HR Director for Resources. the cities of Brownsville Mr. Fernandez Efren Fernandez and Weslaco. replaces Sonia Marroquin In addition, Mr. Fernandez who was promoted to Assistant City was employed with the Department of Manager in October of 2013. The Homeland Security as an Administrative City of Edinburg welcomes Efrain Officer and The Texas Employment Fernandez. TBB
Continued from page 10
It is a relationship with God that either permeates every aspect of who you are, or it is non-existent. God offers to every person the opportunity to interact with Him. We do this by praying -talking to God- and listening to Him talk to us as we are reading His Word. Like any relationship, the more time you spend with someone, the better the relationship. A relationship with God is supremely important.” David and Vivian have two children, Robert, 30 years of age. Robert is a graduate of St. Mary’ University and St. Mary’s University School of Law. He resides and works as a local attorney in private practice in the valley; he owns his firm ROBERT R. DEANDA, PLLC. “We spend a lot of time together playing golf and just hanging out. My daughter’s name is Alyse Deanda 16. She will be a senior at Sharyland High School in the Fall and is always busy with school, extracurricular activities and planning for college. I also spend a lot of time with her, whether it be by going out to eat, or watching TV together, or going to the movies. I am happy to say that as a family we spend a lot of time together.” How do you handle stress? “I read my Bible to refocus on things that are important. I spend time reading my Bible and praying and interacting with my family so that I can constantly be reminded that what’s happening in any one moment is not as important as whether you are honoring God with your life. As long as you are honoring God and treating others with respect, nothing else really matters. It puts everything in perspective.
When you leave this earth, how would you like to be remembered? “Being remembered is not important. I only care if the Lord says that He knew me and I served Him and if my children and family remember that the most important thing in life is to know and serve God. Everything else is of little significance.” If you had a chance to relive your personal and professional life again, what would you do differently? “Overall, I wouldn’t do anything differently. The most important role I have is that of husband and father. I have been blessed with my wonderful wife Vivian and two wonderful children. I am in an amazing industry and I am blessed to be a part of an organization with great people led by a great Board of Directors. I have a very blessed life.” S. David Deanda, Jr. is June 2014 Exclusive featured story of Texas Border Business because of his commitment to the business community of the Rio Grande Valley and because of his solid values as a professional and as a family man. David, Happy Father’s Day! S. David Deanda, Jr. serves: Board of the Valley Alliance of Mentors for Opportunities and Scholarships (VAMOS); President of the Mission Economic Development Corporation; Board of Doctors Hospital at Renaissance; Member of Palm Valley Church; Part owner of the 2-time NBA D-League Champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers; Lone Star National Bank Board of Directors; and Senior Executive with most authority within the entire organization. TBB
• June 2014 •
Harlingen in New Network to Promote Economic Progress Texas Border Business
ederal officials in Washington, D.C., recently announced the selection of the City of Harlingen government as one of about 50 communities to participate in the initial phase of the National Resource Network’s “311 for Cities” service. The National Resource Network is a first-of-its kind pilot project that offers comprehensive expert information and consultation to city governments, Mark A. Linton, executive director of the White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities, said in a press release Thursday. The NRN is a $10 million program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that collaborates with the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative launched by President Barack Obama. Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell said the 311 program allows city officials to access the NRN website (www.nationalresourcenetwork.org) for an online account that enables fast, direct contact with private and public sector leaders. He noted that Harlingen is among four cities in Texas selected to join the consortium. “It’s an honor to be recognized
Mark A. Linton White House Council
Chris Boswell Mayor
as one of the top cities nationwide chosen for this initiative,” Boswell said. “The National Resource Network is a versatile tool for our planning processes. This technological link holds the potential to aid the implementation of many projects already moving forward.” Harlingen City Manager Carlos Yerena said that capitalizing on NRN opportunities will leverage existing federal investments and assist with consideration of evolving priorities. He said that communities in the consortium are optimistic about identifying new solutions to their challenges by tapping ideas that have proven successful elsewhere. The NRN assists mayors and local governments address topics such as workforce development, infrastructure,
Carlos Yerena City Manager
housing, neighborhoods, transportation, and budget decisions. Cities in the NRN will be able to submit questions asking for the best available resources to address their needs, such as strategies to improve bond ratings, keep pace with public safety standards, strengthen fiscal and operational plans, and reform zoning codes, the HUD reported in a press release. “A live member of the Network group will receive questions, and within three business days will send an initial
response including an online package of annotated resources, referrals, and tools,” the press release indicated. Teams of experts from the NRN provide on-the-ground support in Miami, Kansas City, Kan., and Fall River, Mass., to work side-by-side with city officials. At least seven more cities will receive expert teams for up to 12 months to assist with needs analysis and NRN implementation, according to HUD, and more cities will benefit from the expert teams. Some of the team members represent entities such as Enterprise Community Partners, Public Financial Management, HR&A Advisors, New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the International City/County Management Association. HUD also announced that the NRN consortium plans to raise an additional $10 million within three years to match the federal investment. The Annenberg Foundation, Ford Foundation and Surdna Foundation are partners with and support the network. TBB
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• June 2014 •
Lineage Logistics Acquires McAllen’s Largest Cold Storage Operation on the U.S.-Mexico Border Texas Border Business
cAllen, TX - Lineage Logistics (“Lineage”), a warehousing and Logistics Company backed by Bay Grove, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Loop Cold Storage (“Loop”), Oneida Cold Storage (“Oneida”) and Millard Refrigerated Services (“Millard”), which was previously announced in March. With these three acquisitions, Lineage expands its national cold storage footprint to over 544 million cubic feet and a facility network of 102 facilities in 21 states. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed. Based in McAllen, TX, Loop has the largest cold storage operation on the U.S.-Mexico border servicing the imports of fruits and vegetables and
specializing in the international produce trade. In addition to cold storage services, Loop provides value-added packaging and
cooler services for produce distributors. Former owner John McGuire has joined Lineage’s management team as VP of Fresh Business to focus on developing Lineage’s fresh services segment. "This indicates job security for the already existing 250 jobs between Loop and Millard in McAllen. Aside from that, as the region grows, so will Lineage. Our industry (food/produce logistics) focuses on international
logistics which is great for our area" said Tony Godinez, director of business development for Lineage Logistics. Headquartered in Henderson, CO, Oneida is the largest cold storage provider in the Denver metropolitan area. At over 400,000 square feet, Oneida’s state-of-the-art facility provides customers with a variety of services including custom freezing programs, multi-temperature storage, tempering services, and retail distribution solutions. “The addition of Millard, Loop, and Oneida represent another transformational moment for Lineage and continues our long-term strategy to build the leader in temperature controlled logistics”, said Kevin Marchetti, Managing Director of Bay Grove. “We are thrilled to officially welcome the newest members to the Lineage family,” said Bill Hendricksen, CEO of Lineage Logistics. “We look forward to continuing our commitment to our customers by offering innovative, creative, and customizable logistics solutions as a unified organization.” TBB
• June 2014 •
McAllen Hotel Chain Earns Prestigious Award at National Marriott Conference Texas Border Business
cAllen, Texas - May 2014 – Hard work and dedication pay off once again for the locally owned, multiaward winning hotel chain Castle Hospitality. The management group, with hotels in McAllen which include Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, and Hampton Inn & Suites under its belt, received an honorary award at the Annual Awards Celebration during the CFRST Owners Conference Monday evening. Various awards are given during the presentation to honor achievements made by CFRST partners. For the case of Castle Hospitality, the Horizon Award recognizes smaller Marriott portfolio companies of at least 3 and 10 hotels that represent a minimum of two CFRST brands (Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, Springhill Suites, and TownePlace Suites). Castle Hospitality President Michael Fallek, Secretary/Treasurer Larry Fallek, and Construction Manager Brandon Wallace accepted the award. "We are extremely proud to receive the Horizon Award given by Marriott International," said Michael Fallek. "Being honored onstage by the Marriott Chairman in front of the thousands of people at the Marriott Owner's Conference is something we will remember for a long time. The award is a testament to all the great people working at Castle and the teamwork that goes on day in and day out to serve our hotel guests." Companies must meet a number of performance thresholds and
Confusion Reigns in Border Security Debate
Who wants to cover the nearly $1 trillion dollars that flows over our border each year? BY NELSON BALIDO Texas Border Business
Michael Fallek criteria in their respective categories to be considered for the award. Each must demonstrate the desire and determination to move forward as partners of CFRST. Castle Hospitality, Ltd. is a full-service management company incorporated in 1995 to manage hotels in the State of Texas. As a family-owned business, Castle Hospitality was founded on the principles of integrity, dedication, and commitment to its associates as well as the surrounding community. In nearly two decades, the hotel chain has introduced various properties to its line throughout Texas, including Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites, and Springhill Suites. Each property has earned national and international awards and special recognitions in the hospitality industry for effective management, growth, and for providing personal attention and quality services to its guests, all backed by years of experience. TBB
hen we hear Congress call for securing our border, what exactly does that mean? What should it mean? Cries from misinformed politicians for more security might poll well in some districts come election time, but the real issues about border security go beyond having more people on patrol or more surveillance equipment monitoring desolate areas. It’s about ensuring a process of reliable checks and balances is put in place. First, let’s look at the difference between Border Patrol agents, the guys in green, and Customs and Border Protection Officers, the guys in blue. They both serve very different functions. The guys in green are primarily charged with the protection of our border in between our ports of entry. The guys
in blue are charged with the protection of the ports themselves, the sprawling campuses where commercial trucks, private vehicles and pedestrians are all processed. These are general terms, but for the sake of argument, let us just focus on these two areas. As a regular in our nation’s capital, I am unfortunately no longer surprised at how many members of Congress I speak to who still do not know the difference between the two agencies or the difference in their functions. Nine times out of 10, politicians’ outlandish ideas about border security stem from a misunderstanding about the two agencies’ distinct missions. Usually politicians are thinking about the green uniforms. God bless the guys in green for the outstanding job they do, but Congress cannot forget about the guys in blue. So why the misunderstanding? The media and popular television shows have glorified the chase of illegal border crossers, the cartels and organized crime that resembles a modern day wild-west adventure. Continued on page 31
• June 2014 •
Weslaco’s Proposal for the UTRGV HQ
eslaco, TX -The Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco (EDCW) and the City of Weslaco confirmed today that they have independently submitted individual proposals to locate the prestigious UTRGV Administration Headquarters in the Valley’s geographic center – Weslaco, Texas. The deadline to respond to the UT Board of Regents with the Request for Proposal (RFP) was 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, 2014. Weslaco’s central location allows for a 20-30 minute drive to all campuses of the new university. Weslaco’s logistical value has been recognized by private industry such as HEB when it located its Regional Distribution Center here. The Rio Grande Valley Partnership and Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council also call Weslaco home. Weslaco provides services to the entire mid-Valley area with a population of over 100,000. It is the trade area’s destination for health care (Knapp Medical Center), education (STC Mid-Valley Campus) and transportation (Weslaco Mid-Valley Regional Airport). It is a growing center
for public services such as the DPS Regional Headquarters, Hidalgo Co. Precinct 1 and other public offices. City leaders believe that Weslaco’s geographically centered location in the Rio Grande Valley Metroplex makes it the ideal location for the new University’s Administration
Headquarters. The quality of life amenities in Weslaco include a great historic downtown which celebrates the local music and art scene once a month and is home to award winning public and private schools. Within 15 minutes one can cross the border to enjoy unique
shopping and the flavorful cuisine of northern Mexico. The EDCW and the City, along with private partners, have been collaborating to assemble two competitive packages. The Interstate Proposal includes the gifting of 21.67 acres of infrastructure-ready property with adjacent room for growth to The University of Texas System. The site, which provides immediate access to Interstate Loop 2, is minutes away from first class dining, shopping, and parks and recreation facilities that include many national chains and local businesses. Weslaco’s Mid Valley Regional Airport, the largest general aviation airport south of San Antonio, is only five minutes away from the proposed site. Alternatively, the Downtown Proposal would provide City Hall as a turn-key option that would permit UT-RGV to be actively involved in a dynamic, urbanizing community in the Rio Grande Valley’s center. Weslaco is very excited for the opportunity to welcome The University of Texas System to their city and looks forward to the university’s announcement in the future. TBB
Continued from page 12
Economy back ...
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Dr. M. Ray Perryman is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Perryman Group (www.perrymangroup. com). He also serves as Institute Distinguished Professor of Economic Theory and Method at the International Institute for Advanced Studies. TBB
• June 2014 • Texas Border Business •
•Property values through Business Development from $1 Billion to $4 billion in growth •Mission Has Become Uniﬁed As One •Business Development without Parallel •Unprecedented Economic Growth •Strengthened Relationships with Mexico •Improved Relations with State and Federal Agencies •Improvement of City's Infrastructure for Future Growth
Advertising paid by Beto Salinas Re-election Campaign.
• June 2014 •
• June 2014 •
Easter Seals and UTPA bring Pillars of Bob and Janet Vackar champion the Easter Seals and UTPA Perfect Pair event Texas Border Business
Bob and Janet Vackar serve as the “Perfect Pair” to champion the Easter Seals mission.
aster Seals a n d The University of Texas Pan-American (UTPA) are partnering to create The Perfect Pair event that will be held June 17, 2014, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance. B o b and Janet Vackar of Bert Ogden Rio Grande Valley are serving as one of the Perfect Pair Champions for the event. The two organizations are highlighting the importance of quality early learning and the importance of
getting the right intervention services to build a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning. Bob and Janet Vackar have been long time supporters of both, Easter Seals and UTPA and know the importance of early identification and early intervention to give all kids the best start in life and achieve their dreams --- from cradle to college. Bob and Janet have served as Easter Seals Telethon hosts for the past 20 years and have met the children and families who have benefitted from early intervention services and have seen the positive impact services have on later school success. When children get the right treatment and intervention early, they have the skills they need to succeed in high school and college. As a local, family-owned business, Bert Ogden provides an employment opportunity for many UTPA graduates. Bob Vackar comments, “It only makes sense to invest in early intervention services to give children the building blocks needed for learning throughout their lifetime.”
Bill & everyone
he University of Texas Pan-American (UTPA) and Easter Seals RGV are hosting The Perfect Pair fashion event on June 17, 2014, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance. The Perfect Pair is the firsttime powerful partnership of these two organizations that promote the importance of early childhood intervention and services for those living with disabilities to build a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning. This red carpet event will include a chic fashion show and live auction featuring designer handbags and shoes, a silent auction, and fabulous food from local restaurants. The proceeds will support the programs and services of Easter Seals RGV as well as students enrolled at UTPA who are living with disabilities. Local business leaders and proud UTPA alumni Bill and Jodi Hamer of Hamer Enterprises are being honored by the University at this event. Bill Hamer (BBA ’74) has served on the UTPA College of Engineering and Computer Science Advisory Council since 1998.
Flights to Houston Hobby Houston Intercontinental.
Valley International Airport in Harlingen is the only airport in the Rio Grande Valley with nonstop flights to both Houston Hobby and Houston Intercontinental. No matter what part of town you need to get to, we can take you there. Book your trip today at southwest.com or united.com.
SUPERIOR OFFERINGS FROM THE LARGEST AIRPORT IN SOUTH TEXAS.
Southwest Airlines nonstop service to Austin and Houston Hobby.
United Airlines nonstop service to Houston Bush Intercontinental.
Sun Country and Delta Airlines seasonal nonstop service to Minneapolis.
Door-to-door shuttle service to South Padre Island. Casino charters.
• June 2014 •
Our Community Jodi Hamer hope ‘The Shoe Fits,’ and invite to UTPA and Easter Seals Perfect Pair event Jodi Hamer (BA ’04) has served on the Tickets are $40 per person. College of Arts and Humanities Advisory For more information about the event Council and is now a member of the or sponsorship opportunities, please call University’s Development Board. Both (956) 631-9171. Contact: Sue Hipsher are Founding Members of The UTPA Easter Seals Rio Grande Valley President’s Circle. They believe in giving 631-9171, or shipsher@ back to their community and especially e a s t e r s e a l s - rg v. o rg TBB to their alma mater and its students. As local business owners, with 45 percent of their employees being UTPA graduates, they know that education is the key to producing diligent, hardworking and successful professionals to populate the Rio Grande Valley workforce. Bill commented, “This partnership with the University and Easter Seals is powerful. Helping those with disabilities to move from cradle to college and build a solid foundation for their lives is imperative. We are very proud of Easter Seals for all their dedication to the children of the Rio Grande Valley, and of UTPA for making sure nothing will get in the way of all our kids pursuing their dreams.” Jodi adds, “And It’s a Cinderella Story! UTPA and Easter what woman can resist Seals are partnering for an enchanting evening. Bill the ‘perfect pairing’ of and Jodi Hamer are serving as one of the “Perfect shoes and handbags?” Pair” Champions for this ‘happily ever after’ event.
HCMPO Transportation Director Shaves Head for Diabetes Texas Border Business
to learn more. HCMPO Staff, STJDA and local elected officials gathered on Thursday May 15th for the check presentation ceremony during HCMPO’s regularly scheduled Transportation Policy Committee meeting.
eslaco, TX- When planning began for Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization (HCMPO)’s 4th Annual Walk-N-Rolla, Andrew Canon, transportation director, discussed shaving his head with HCMPO staff, as an incentive for surpassing $15,000 in net proceeds. Hidalgo County MPO surpassed their proceeds goal by $4,000 through sponsorships and registration fees collected during their 1980’s-themed Walk-NRolla 5K and Bike Ride held Saturday, April 12. Sporting homemade 80’s costumes, over He did it! Andrew Canon, Transportation 300 valley natives took part in Director, as he is being shaved. this unique event, bringing the total donation sum to $19,000. And as promised, Canon is This year marks the second sporting a new hairstyle these days. year the Walk-N-Rolla proceeds have “I’m not enthusiastic about gone to the 501(c)3 nonprofit, South the look,” Canon shared, as he sat in Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association, Rhonda’s Barbershop, located in the said Association Vice President Petit Shopping Center on N. 10th street Elizabeth Zuniga. The money will McAllen, on Friday morning, “but it’s a primarily go to funding the association’s small price to pay, when considering the camp for diabetic children to be held challenges diabetic children and their June 28 at UTPA, visit: www.stjda.org families face every day.” TBB
• June 2014 •
Weslaco Senior Wins Jr. World Title in Clay Shooting
People are not a Company's Most Important Asset!
Texas Border Business
i c h i e Garza, a senior at Weslaco High School, competed in the World CPSA/NSCA Sporting Championship held in April in High Wycombe, England as part of Team USA. Garza won the Richie Garza is a senior at Weslaco High School, World Junior Sporting and will be graduating in June with honors. He will Clays Championship title be attending Texas A&M in College Station, with a as an individual and as a study in Marketing. member of Junior Team Grounds in Decatur, Texas. Since then, USA. He competed in six qualifying tournaments in 2013 to his skills and passion for sporting clays, FITASC and 5-stand have flourished. qualify for the national team. The Clay Pigeon Shooting An avid scuba diver, fisherman, Association and National Sporting Clays golfer and hunter, it was only natural for Association tournament in England Richie to pick up competitive shotgun featured 900 individual competitors and shooting and he loves it. “The first time I 40 junior competitors from all over the shot a clay was in a sugarcane field with world. The tournament was held at the a single thrower, and I was hooked,” EJ Churchill Shooting Ground. It was remarked Garza. “So much so, that Garza’s first year on Junior Team USA. the adults let a 7-year-old-kid takeover “I am excited to have won the and shoot all the clays on hand.” A few Jr. World Title,” stated Garza. “ I am years later, Richie began shooting with his local 4-H Club, which served as the very proud of my accomplishments catalyst for shooting competitively at the that led me to represent Texas and the next level. His first NSCA shoot was the US. Winning this title was the proudest Targetline Cup at Fossil Pointe Sporting moment in my life.” TBB
BY IRA S. WOLFE
es, you read that right. People are not a company's most
Despite the popularity of the over-played and over-used corporate euphemism "people are our most important asset," it's a lie. It's not the body count that is an asset. The real asset is the results produced by the people working. It is the fruit of employee labor that adds value, differentiates one company from another, and achieves a competitive edge. People collecting a paycheck just add expense and subtract from the bottom line. People getting results add value to the organization and a market edge that is difficult for competitors to copy. If the contributions of employees ultimately create a definitive company asset, then optimizing productivity is paramount. Optimizing productivity begins with placing employees with the right
skills and abilities in the right jobs on the right teams at the right time. Interviews, personality tests, and reference checks can help managers sort out high potentials from chronic under-performers. But these hiring techniques generally stop short. They are very good at identifying the effectiveness of candidates if hired but are blind to one critical factor - efficiency. When getting the biggest bang for the buck from your resources - both physical assets
and human, an effective but inefficient employee most likely wastes time, money, and/or resources. They do get results but they often take 2 steps back for every 3 steps forward. The inefficiency slows production, leads to lost opportunity, and causes mistakes - none of which adds any value. Optimizing productivity therefore requires a valid assessment of both employee effectiveness and efficiency. Ira S. Wolfe is president of Success Performance Solutions (SPS), a pre-employment and leadershiptesting firm he founded in 1996. His clients include small and mid-sized businesses in over a dozen industries. He is widely recognized as an expert in preemployment personality tests, workforce trends, and social media. Mr. Wolfe is a Texas Border Business Guest Writer. TBB
• Texas Border Business• •June June2014 2014 ••
am very excited to announce the $55 million events arena to be built here in Edinburg. I am elated to announce that we already have our anchor tenants. As mayor of the City of Edinburg I am very pleased to welcome the Rio Grande Vipers to the City of Edinburg.” Mayor Garcia made this announcement at the Edinburg City Council room packed with city officials, developers and more. An economic study projects the City of Edinburg will see a positive economic impact of $1.3 billion during the next 30 years following the construction of an events arena. Construction for the 8,500-seat arena is expected to commence this summer at the corner of Interstate 69 Central and Alberta Road. This exciting development will create approximately 150 new jobs and become a new destination site for the City and the Rio Grande Valley. It will be a joint project among the City of Edinburg, The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The 115,799 sq. ft. arena to be built on 40 acres of land will cost $55 million. The Vipers will pay $25 million of the total cost. The City of Edinburg and the EEDC will contribute $30 million that will be generated from the taxes at the arena site as part of a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ).
The City of Edinburg will not put in any money up front, nor will any be taken from the City’s general fund. Mayor Richard H. Garcia says: “This is a tremendous opportunity for the City to improve the quality of life for residents without having to pay a single penny up front or take any from other projects. This is definitely an achievement for our residents.” The economic study conducted by the University of Texas Pan American on behalf of the City projects a $45 million economic increase annually within the arena area.
Bert Garcia, Vipers President
Richard H. Garcia, Edinburg Mayor
Alonzo Cantu, Cantu Construction
Gus Garcia, Executive Director for EEDC
• June 2014 •
“It is almost like a waterfall that is sta
$55 Million Events Arena will attract fans from all over the Valley.
t is impressive how the City of Edinburg continues to grow, you only have to travel through any of the avenues or business corridors and you find out that the city is vibrant. Everything goes through Edinburg, either through the heart University Drive (107) or Closner (281). It is a City that works while it grows exponentially by the minute. Edinburg lies at the epicenter of one of the most dynamic regions in North America, a region that is keeping pace with the speed of change. Edinburg is the educational and technological capital of a Texas-Mexico border region. With a population of more than 2 million, this region has the highest concentration of people between the ages of 18 and 24 in North America. The result is an excellent and trainable workforce and one of the largest concentrations of Maquiladora plants along the U.S. Mexico border. Edinburg is home to the University of Texas-Pan American, now UT Rio Grande Vally. Centrally located within one of the largest trade corridors in the world, Edinburg is also the gateway to U.S. 281, which is being transformed into Interstate 69 or the NAFTA Highway. In 1999, more than 54% of all trade between Mexico and the United States made its way through South Texas ports of entry. Just to give an example of the tremendous construction activity in Edinburg; it reached almost $119 million between January and November 2013. That is about $23 million more than during the same period in 2012, a strong sign of continuing prosperity in the city, according to the Edinburg Economic
Development Corporation. Edinburg Mayor Richard H. Garcia said that more developments including retail, medical-related, and educational construction are in the horizon. Mayor García serves as president of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), a five-member board of directors. It is important to note that the EEDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council. The mayor noted that two key corridors – West University Drive by the University of Texas-Pan American, which will become UTRio Grande Valley in Fall 2015 and Trenton Road in southwest Edinburg, a region that features Edinburg’s hospitals – are leading the way in construction activities. “Our hotbeds have been by the university and by the hospital region, and these are natural funnels for retail development and commercial construction, García reflected. “Our latest construction figures do not include most of the new projects currently being built at the university, which include a $42.6 million, 1,000-seat performance arts center and an expansion of the university administration facility.” Pictured is the former Fine Arts Auditorium. Since its inception in 1927, The University of Texas-Pan American has been the cultural center of South Texas. From opera companies to symphonies to individual performances by some of the bestknown artists in the world, the University and its
auditoriums have been the main performance stages in the region. With the construction of the UTPA Fine Arts Complex and the Fine Arts Auditorium more than 40 years ago, the University became an even more important resource for students, performers and the community. And now opening in Fall 2014, the University of Texas-Pan American Academic and Performing Arts Center is a 14,500 square-foot facility currently under construction. At completion, the center will be the platform for the arts in South Texas. It will continue The University’s initiative started in 1927 and be the cultural center in the region. The new Academic and Performing Arts Center will replace the UTPA’s Fine Arts Complex and
the Fine Arts Auditorium to offer students, faculty, performers, and the community a state-of-the-art venue. It will also pursue the main vocation of the previous sites, which was to receive outstanding artists, and speakers, serve as the cultural center, and stand as a symbol of the importance of the arts in the Rio Grande Valley.
The architect’s rendering of the new Fine Arts Academic and Performance Complex’s auditorium which will have improved sound, seating, accessibility and other amenities. “Every month that the EEDC and the Edinburg City Council met in 2013, we were working on developments that are resulting in unprecedented positive growth in all segments of our economy,” García noted. “It is almost like a waterfall that is starting and will continue to flow.” Building permits for state government facilities, such as UTPan American, are usually not issued by the city’s Code Enforcement Department, so the value of such construction is not included in the city’s construction activity reports, which are prepared every month.
• June 2014 •
arting and will continue to flow,”
-Mayor Richard H. Garcia
Richard H. Garcia Edinburg Mayor said that this is only the beginning.
Progressing Safe Routes To School Program May 16, 2014— Part of a greater plan to protect school children and pedestrians, residents near Mon Mack and Schunior roads may notice the first pedestrian bridge in the city just north of the intersection. The attractive new bridge directly adjacent to the existing two-lane bridge used for vehicle Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance The construction activities in Edinburg featured major work at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, including $2,498,100 in additions at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, one of the premier facilities in South Texas for major gatherings, noted Agustín “Gus” García, Executive Director for the
EEDC, (not related to the mayor). The 34,000 square foot facility increased to 47,000 square feet, adding two new meeting rooms that will seat a combined 500 persons. The expansion of the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance was completed in late April 2014. Edinburg Installs First Pedestrian Bridge As Part of
traffic over a drainage canal is part of the federal Safe Routes to School Program. The Edinburg program is divided into two phases and brings an additional 20 to 30 miles of sidewalk along key routes most utilized by children attending more than 20 different city schools. First Pedestrian Bridge As Part of Progressing Safe Routes To School Program
• June 2014 •
U.S. 281 is being transformed into Interstate 69 or the NAFTA Highway
Grand Opening of McIntyre Street Project (above) McIntyre Street Project The public celebrated the official opening of the McIntyre Street Project; and the beginning of a proposed arts and restaurant district extending through the heart of Edinburg. The road has been transformed into one of the most unique public spaces in the Rio Grande Valley. The half mile-long, or six city blocks, of green
pedestrian walkway space is one phase in a greater plan, Mayor Richard H. Garcia said. “We have changed the face of this town,” Garcia said. “We’re not stopping here. You will not recognize the City of Edinburg from 15 or 20 years ago when we’re done.” Edinburg Welcomes Third H-E-B Location Edinburg, Texas — The City of Edinburg and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation announced that H-E-B will build its third store in Edinburg at the corner of
Trenton Road and I/69C, one of the city’s busiest corridors. Plans and design for the store have not yet been
finalized. We are proud to have H-E-B join the bustling Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley and the proposed events arena in an area that has quickly become one of the most popular intersections in the Rio Grande Valley with more than 99,000 vehicles per day. H-E-B operates more than 350 stores in Texas and M e x i c o and employs more than 80,000 people.
Council members from L-R: Richard Molina, Mayor Pro Tem Elias Longoria, Jr., Homer Jasso, Jr. and J. R. Betancourt.
• June 2014 •
More people are choosing Edinburg to live and start a business
Above the master plan of the Events Arena also showing outparcels for future anchor stores. First Walmart on I69-C Corridor Opens in Edinburg, Celebration Continues 300 Jobs Created with Construction of 3rd Walmart Location in Edinburg May 21, 2014— A symbol of the City’s continued growth, Walmart opened its third store in Edinburg — the first along the crucial National Highway System priority corridor known as Interstate 69 Central. With the new store near the intersection of I69-Central/U.S. 281 and Canton Road, Edinburg is now the City with the most Walmart stores in Hidalgo County. The new Walmart store is just north of the Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley, an area that in the past few years has become one of busiest in the City. Edinburg has grown by more than 4,000 people, the largest percentage increase among other major cities in the Rio Grande Valley, according to recent U.S. Census Bureau data. The new store will provide
residents with one-stop shopping convenience for their grocery and general merchandise needs and includes a Subway and First Community Bank inside. The approximately 183,000 square feet facility will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
March 2014 economy up
Edinburg’s retail economy in March 2014 showed an improvement of almost 11 percent over the same month last year, representing the second-best gain among major Valley economies, the Edinburg Economic
Development Corporation has announced. Edinburg also registered a rate of growth better than the state average for March 2014, which showed a 5.6 percent improvement over the same month in 2013. Based on the amount of local sales taxes collected, which reflects the strength of an economy, Edinburg’s retail sector generated more than $1.7 million in local sales taxes in March 2014, compared with almost $1.6 million in March 2013. For the first three months of 2014, Edinburg’s retail economy also posted a doubledigit upswing over the same period last year, generating $8,028,833.80 in local sales taxes, compared with $7,214,163.81 for January through March 2013 – a rise of 11.29 percent.
• June 2014 •
Edinburg also registered a rate of growth better than the state average for March 2014
Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board
Mayor Richard Garcia Board President
“When it comes to economic development we have more than 50 new businesses that have opened within the last year or are under construction right now aimed at improving our quality of life: Walmart with 360 new jobs and a new planned HEB along with Taco Palenque, two Starbucks, IHOP, two Popeye’s, University Drafthouse, Thirsty Bronc, Kahn’s Grill, Chic-Fil-A, Wingstop, Subway, Pizza Hut, Siempre Natural, Sally’s Beauty Supply, Easy Cuts, Moon Beans, Drunken Clam, Burrito Bar, Lanadees, La Mexicana, Taquería el Zarape, Pizza Patrón, Walgreens, CVS, McDonalds, Las Cazuelas, Big Lots, Party City, Carters, Burkes Outlet, GNC, Melrose, Chopstix, Gorditas Doña Tota, Dairy Queen,
Fred Palacios Secretary Treasurer
Dr. Havidan Rodriguez Director
Cordons Taste of Chicago, CTC Distributing, and Johnny’s True Value,” García noted. The economic growth of the city has positive effects beyond job creation and sales tax figures, the mayor reflected. It speaks well of a well-run city government, which helps keep and attract businesses and related prosperity. “Today, Edinburg is financially sound and our credit rating has been increased to AA from AA-,” the mayor said. “The report announced by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services, attributes the (credit) rate increase to how Edinburg manages its Utility System funds and financial debt, how it handled the recent growth, and how it operates on a daily basis.” 84,000-square-foot Edinburg Sports and Wellness Center under
Steven Cruz Director
construction On September 30, 2013 the NBA Development League Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the City of Edinburg and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation announced the construction of the 84,000-squarefoot Edinburg Sports and Wellness Center at 315 East Palm Drive in Edinburg, Texas. The facility is under construction and to open later this year. The building will be the first of its kind in South Texas. The facility is a joint partnership between the RGV Vipers, the City of Edinburg and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. In addition to serving as the official practice facility of the RGV Vipers, the center will serve as a community hub for wellness and education for Rio Grande Valley residents of all ages. The Edinburg Sports and Wellness Center will serve both the Vipers and its surrounding community. The first-class facility will feature eight basketball courts, volleyball courts, four dance studios, computer labs and a gaming room. Space will be available for boxing, Mixed Martial Arts and group fitness classes. Youth sports organizations, such as the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) will also be able to use the facility. The center will offer onsite restaurants and dining areas. The Edinburg Sports and Wellness Center will also serve as a training
Felipe Garcia Director
camp home to the Houston Rockets during future RGV Rocket Launch events. Latest report: More people are choosing Edinburg to live and start a business. Proof is in the latest Valley Construction Report conducted by the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. The report monitors all construction activity in the Rio Grande Valley. The first quarter report for 2014 shows Edinburg, with the most construction activity in the region with $33 million in construction value. During the same time period in 2013, Edinburg’s construction activity was only $21.8 million. City leaders attribute the increase to land availability and a thriving business atmosphere. Mayor Richard H. Garcia says; “Additionally the success of established businesses continues to draw in more entrepreneurs.” The City’s April 2014 Building Permit Report also shows a continued upward climb with total construction activity at $38 million compared to $29.6 million last year to date. The largest increases were noted in the areas of commercial and residential construction. Mayor Garcia expects the increased activity to continue as the development of UTRGV unfolds as well as the construction of the businesses along Interstate 69 begin to take shape. ■
• June 2014 •
Introducing the Rio Grande Valley Affordability Atlas Free online tool provides customized economic snapshots of South Texas Texas Border Business
ilmington, De. May 14, 2014 — Fixr.com, a small business network serving 28 cities in Texas, has created the Rio Grande Valley Affordability Atlas. The free online tool helps residents get detailed, color-coded information about cost of living expenses in cities such as Brownsville, Harlingen, and McAllen. Users can customize the map based on profession, Andres Torrubia salary, family size, home square footage, number and age of children, and even type of meal plan. The income data analyzed is specific to each Valley city, making the atlas a versatile and powerful tool to help with financial and budgeting decisions. “We believe this free tool is so powerful that its many applications are just beginning to be seen,” said Andres
Sample Data Torrubia, who spearheaded the creation of the map. “Because you can customize your scenario very specifically, the tool can be used in many different ways. Families can use the map to learn about cost of food and childcare. Minimum wage workers can use the tool to budget for groceries and other expenses.
Business owners can get insight into neighborhoods and nearby cities to expand into. Economic development organizations can use the map as a demographics tool to help them write policy and improve their communities.” Fixr.com analyzed raw data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Dept. of Agriculture and other
sources. The team uses a seven-factor formula to estimate cost of living, which is then displayed interactively down to the census tract level. After details are entered into the map, the result produces a unique URL, which can be shared with others – a customized cost of living snapshot. TBB
• June 2014 •
President Bailey Names UTRGV Transition Team Mega Doctor News
ustin – Guy Bailey, newly appointed president of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, announced a transition leadership team that will assist in bringing together the talents, assets and resources of both UT Brownsville and UT Pan American to establish the new institution. The transition team members will work closely with a broader team of administrators at The University of Texas System that has been working diligently on UTRGV’s establishment for the past year and a half. “This is a monumental challenge that no one person can accomplish,” Bailey said. “I am relying on the deep wealth
Guy Bailey, President
Dr. Pedro Reyes
of talent and skills at the two existing institutions, as well as the knowledge and expertise at the UT System, to assist me in bringing this new university - and all of the promise and opportunity it holds – to life.” UT Board of Regents Vice Chairman Gene Powell, who also serves as the board’s special liaison to South Texas, said he’s pleased to see Bailey pushing forward even though his first official day on the job is not until June 15. “ D r . Bailey is exactly the kind of leader we need for this ambitious
Dr. Janna Arney
Dr. Martha Cantu
Dr. Francisco Fernandez
undertaking,” said Powell, who made the motion to appoint Bailey as UTRGV’s first president at a meeting this week. “It is amazing to think that this began as an idea the Board of Regents approved less than 18 months ago. The work done by UT System leaders and the wonderful faculty, staff and administrators on the campuses in Brownsville, Edinburg and Harlingen already is remarkable. I am confident that, with Dr. Bailey’s
Dr. Julio Leon
leadership, we will continue to make great strides in building, in Dr. Bailey’s words, the nation’s first major public university of the 21st century.” Bailey could add more members to the transition team as events progress. “This is the most challenging and exciting thing I have ever been a part of,” said Dr. Pedro Reyes, UT System’s executive vice chancellor for Continued on next page
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• June 2014 •
Continued from previous page
academic affairs, whose office is leading the establishment of UTRGV. “With this team in place and the assistance and supBen Reyna port of the entire faculty and staff at UTB and UTPA, I am certain we will be ready and enthusiastic to welcome UTRGV students in fall Dr. Havidan 2015.” Rodriguez No photo available for: Liza Benson, Assistant Director of Change Management for UT System and Dr. Maggie Hinojosa, currently Senior Dr. Sadiq Shah Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services at UTPA. MDN
McAllen Names Roy Rodriguez City Manager Interim, former Public Utility GM chosen from 50 candidates Texas Border Business
cALLEN –The McAllen City Commission on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 selected Interim City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez P.E., as McAllen’s new city manager with a unanimous vote after a two-month search. A former Assistant City Manager and General Manager of the McAllen Public Utility (MPU), Rodriguez was interviewed as a finalist for the position in executive session Tuesday. The Commission voted immediately after the interview process and selected him as the permanent replacement. He had served as the interim City Manager for the last two months. Rodriguez said he is looking forward to working with the Mayor, City Commission and community leaders to keep McAllen one of the best, most innovative cities in Texas, and to continue to make economic development, great community services and sound fiscal leadership the center of his efforts moving forward. “Mayor Darling and the City Commission are very engaged in this community and they care a great deal, and I am blessed to have earned their
trust,” said Rodriguez. part in the team effort.” “McAllen is a great In addition to city and our citizens being the city manager, deserve great service Rodriguez currently from us. I commit serves on the board of myself to continuing the Rio Grande Regional on a path toward Water Authority and achieving great things on the Texas Municipal for this city and its Retirement System citizens.” Board of Trustees, Rodriguez appointed by Gov. Rick added that he has a Perry in 2011 to a second great team at city hall, six-year term. and with the help of the Rodriguez, 50 City Commission, he served as MPU General will move forward on Manager and McAllen Roel “Roy” Rodriguez P.E. ongoing projects such Assistant City Manager the McAllen Sports for 10 years. As MPU Park (De Leon Soccer General Manager he Complex), Performing Arts Center and oversaw all operations for water and several street and transportation plans. wastewater and city extraterritorial The new city manager added that he will jurisdiction issues. As assistant city also continue to work collaboratively manager he had responsibility for with other cities in the Rio Grande Valley the Engineering, Planning, Building and with regional planning and advocacy Inspections, IT and Purchasing & groups. Contracting departments. “McAllen is a vibrant, important Previous to working at the City city in the region and we have a role as of McAllen, Rodriguez was employed by a leader in the region,” said Rodriguez. the City of Harlingen where he held the “However, we are also part of a big positions of City Engineer, Assistant City region and in order to accomplish our Manager and City Manager. Rodriguez biggest goals, Rio Grande Valley cities lives in McAllen with his wife and must work together. McAllen will do its family. TBB
• June 2014 •
BIG Story Partnership Launches Regional Leadership Program RGV Leadership will frame issues under regional lens; taking applicants
io Grande Valley (June 4, 2014) – The Rio Grande Valley Partnership will begin offering this summer a new area leadership program for emerging leaders focusing on regional issues. The RGV Partnership, which has members from the entire four-county Valley area, is creating this new academy to help build more collaboration among Valley cities, counties and other entities. RGV Partnership board members are focused on creating a program atmosphere where this diverse group is examining the Valley’s toughest challenges from different points of view. RGV Partnership Board Chair Deborah Cordova said the new initiative is reflective of some of the Valley’s best collaboration to date such as when the region was able to establish a medical school, and when it put its efforts together to establish the first-ever Interstate highways, I-69 and I-2. The RGV Leadership program is meeting this wider regional need for teamwork. “We want to keep the momentum going and move this football down the field together, as one team, for first downs and big scores,” said Cordova. “We must start looking at our challenges collaboratively and find solutions to health care, job creation and education as
said a diverse group would bring a good exchange of ideas and make for lively debates. “We would like to have people in the program from Starr, Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties,” said Alvarez. “We want people to be able to come in and experience all the great Julian Alvarez, Deborah Cordova, things happening in the RGV Partnership CEO Rio Grande Valley. At RGV Partnership Chair the same time, we’d like one. This will be an educational, fun and them to focus on issues with a regional challenging program, and we are very perspective. RGV Leadership will be a excited about it.” great asset for anyone looking to learn RGV Leadership will be based on more about the Valley and leadership. traditional leadership program models that The networking will be outstanding.” most chambers have around Texas. It will The 25 will be chosen by a meet monthly beginning in September selection committee. Deadline for and end with a commencement event in applications is Friday, August 1st. The May. In between, the group will explore first RGV Leadership class will be important issues in the Valley and discuss announced on Monday, August 18th. possible solutions to the region’s most There is a fee and selection criteria. pressing challenges. The program is also Please visit the RGV Partnership link geared for networking and learning about http://www.valleychamber.com/pages/ Valley areas. The Partnership will seek to fill RGVLeadership for more information 25 program slots with a geographically and to download an application. For diverse group of emerging leaders that questions, please email Febe Zepeda at bring their own perspectives to the group. email@example.com or call 956RGV Partnership CEO Julian Alvarez 968-3141. TBB
Miki McCarthy joins First American Realty Company Texas Border Business
guide her transition into commercial real estate sales and investments. cAllen, TX – This She currently serves as January, First economic and community American Realty development consultant proudly announced their newest for cities and EDCs. In REALTOR® Miki McCarthy. 2013, she achieved all McCarthy is known for her ten academic requirements for years of economic and community the Certified Economic development experience as Developer (CEcD) exam. the Executive Director for the McCarthy is a memSan Juan and Alamo Economic ber of the National Development Corporations in Miki McCarthy Association of addition to serving as Board Photo- courtesy J. Nava REALTORS® (NAR), President for the Pharr EDC. Studios in Weslaco the Texas Association She was a foundation member and past Board Chair of the Rio South of REALTORS® (TAR), the Greater McAllen Association of REALTORS® Texas Economic Council. McCarthy was instrumental in the (GMAR), the Organization of Women attraction of Mercedes Benz, Audi, Executives (OWE), the International Land Rover and Jaguar full service Economic Development Council (IEDC), car dealerships to the City of San Juan the Texas Economic Development along with several other retail businesses Council (TEDC), the International creating well over 200 jobs. In her tenure, Council for Shopping Centers (ICSC) she has negotiated development of over and the Texas Downtown Association 240,000 SF of manufacturing/warehouse (TDA). She is also a member of St. space. She has a background in business; Joseph Catholic Church in Edinburg. McCarthy has a Bachelor of Arts co-owned OsCorp Construction & Development, Inc. and Java Jo Café (2002) and Master of Arts (2010) in among others. Her passion for business Speech Communication from University recruitment and development will of Texas – Pan American. TBB
Texas Border Business welcomes Dr. Guy Bailey UTRGV President By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
cAllen, TX--Guy Bailey, a proven leader with extensive experience at the helm of large research institutions, has been selected by The University of Texas System Board of Regents as the sole finalist for the historic position of founding president for The University of Dr. Guy Bailey. Texas Rio Grande Valley. D r . Bailey will head the new regional institution bringing a medical school. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) is the product of a merger between the existing University of TexasPan American and University of Texas at Brownsville. The first UTRGV classes are expected to begin fall 2015. UTRGV, which also will establish a medical school in 2016, is being designed as a 21st century university that will have global impact. TBB
Is This the Year of the Big One? “Low Probability, But It Just Takes One”
By William Keltner
he television studios of KRGV-TV served as the venue for this year’s National Weather Service Media Partners Hurricane Workshop. An impressive slate of NOAA and NWS meteorologists and weather professionals laid out the prospects for the 2014 hurricane season
Workshop. In his opening remarks, Steve Drillette, Meteorologist-in-charge of the NWS office in Brownsville, set the tone for the program to follow: Drillette said all the models for this summer’s tropical weather season point to a “normal to below normal” season. “But,” he cautioned, “it just takes one to make it a memorable year,” adding, “Remember, the unforgettable
KRGV-TV News team L-R: Allan Shoemaker, Meteorologist, Tim Smith, Chief Meteorologist, and Lisa Villegas, KRGV-TV Morning Meteorologist for the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas. After a cordial welcome to the members of the press, Channel Five Chief Meteorologist, Tim Smith introduced the first speaker of the day-long Hurricane
storm named Beulah was only the second storm of the 1967 season coming in September!” Those remarks were backed up by Barry Goldsmith, the official NWS Continued on page 41
• June 2014 •
“Feds Need to Apportion More Airwaves For Consumer Use”
BY JAVIER PALOMAREZ Texas Border Business
ispanic-owned businesses and entrepreneurs contribute greatly to the flourishing economy of Texas. In fact, the most recent survey of Business Owners reports that there are nearly 450,000 Hispanic-owned firms in Texas, generating over $60 billion to the state's economy every year. But, many of these businesses are having trouble effectively reaching their target markets and audiences. According to a University of Texas at Austin study, one of the most critical challenges facing Hispanicowned businesses in Texas is gaining better access to markets and consumers. Fortunately, broadband and innovative wireless technologies can be an equalizer and a big part of the solution to this challenge. Through expanded and enhanced access to the high-speed broadband Internet connections that empower innovative mobile applications and connections, Texas' Hispanic-owned businesses can expand their business reach regionally, nationally and even globally by being able to sell their products or services online. However, due to increased consumer and business demand for mobile data, wireless carriers' networks are increasingly congested. This means there is less capacity on their networks to Continued from page 15
Confusion reigns ...
What media outlet wants to cover the flow of trade across our borders, or the way people, cars and trucks get inspected? Who wants to cover the nearly $1 trillion dollars that flows over our border each year? Admittedly, those stories aren’t as fun as the latest drug bust or high-speed chase. But Congress’ failure to understand trade and the business community’s failure to educate our elected officials that trade is an economic engine for North America leading to millions of jobs for U.S. families leaves a huge blind spot in U.S. policymaking and is leaving jobs and tax revenue on the table. So how does Congress determine what is needed to secure the border? How do we differentiate what works from what doesn’t? In business, we’d establish a baseline, or a standard of data measurement that is used to determine the level of functionality of a process in its current state. The baseline
deliver quality connectivity and support all of the innovative mobile technologies that can empower our Hispanic-owned businesses. The federal government can help solve this issue by agreeing to free more airwaves - or "spectrum"- for consumer use. With the exception of a small wireless spectrum license this year, no airwaves have been freed for consumer mobile use since 2008. The world of wireless technology and the demand for mobile data on carriers' networks has changed tremendously since then. At the time, tablets didn't exist and Apple had just launched its mobile app store. Carriers will continue facing a "spectrum crunch" on their networks as Americans move rapidly to newer wireless technologies. In fact, nearly 40 percent of all U.S. homes, 50 percent of all Hispanic homes, and 45 percent of all Texas homes are now "wireless-only." This hunger for increased mobile data has increased and will continue to place additional stress on carriers' networks. Our federal regulators need to apportion more airwaves for consumer outlines what existed before any potential solutions are put in motion. This is where our problem lies. CBP, both in between the ports and at the ports, has little to no standard of measurement to determine efficiencies. How do you know what to improve when you don’t know where to begin? So next time we hear for calls of achieving 90 percent operational control of the border, we should be asking what 90 percent looks like. Instead those calls should focus on putting some real metrics in place that give Congress real tools to measure where resources are needed most in order to prevent taxpayers from throwing money at a perceived solution only to find out that, in the end, it made little difference. Nelson Balido is the managing principal at Balido and Associates, chairman of the Border Commerce and Security Council, and former member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Balido is a Texas Border Business Guest Writer. TBB
Pete P. Gallegos
use to ensure that our communities' and businesses' needs for increased connectivity can be met. Federal officials must then ensure that this wireless spectrum is auctioned through fair competition that allows all carriers to bid for the access they need. Four prominent Democrats from Texas, U.S. Reps. Henry Cuellar of Laredo, Joaquín Castro of San Antonio, Filemon Vela of Brownsville, and Pete P. Gallego of Alpine, along with nearly 80 other members of Congress, seem to understand the importance of allowing all carriers to bid in the FCC spectrum auction. Two weeks ago, this group wrote to the FCC emphasizing the need to license mobile spectrum. Their letter stressed the importance of ensuring licensed airwaves for mobile broadband are available in an
open and accessible fashion. The only way to guarantee that, these lawmakers said, is for the FCC to invite "as many bidders as possible to compete in an open and fair auction on equal terms." FCC hearings on Thursday will address the auction question, as well as how the mobile spectrum will be licensed. As a native Texan and still a Texas resident, I commend these members of Congress who understand that this spectrum auction will have farreaching impact, not just on carriers but also on wireless users and businesses like those found in the Lone Star State. Anything other than an open and fair auction could cost the federal government billions of dollars in lost revenue and ultimately disadvantage wireless users and businesses. Federal spectrum policy has huge implications for jobs, economic growth and social improvement - especially for our communities and businesses. In the upcoming wireless auctions, all carriers should be allowed to bid freely and unfettered by excessive restrictions. Javier Palomarez is president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a Texas Border Business Guest Writer. TBB
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• June 2014 •
Texas Border Business congratulates Texas Women Of Distinction Texas Border Business
he RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (RGVHCC) and the Rio Grande Valley was well represented at the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce “Women of Distinction” Awards Luncheon in Austin on May 16th. The RGVHCC is proud to announce that Margarita de Leon and Adelita Muñoz were 2 of the 10 women in Texas that were honored. Ms. De Leon is the founder of the Gorditas Doña Tota franchise and founder of the “Pellizcadas” Mexican food restaurant chain. Her career as a businesswoman in the United States began in 1994, starting in a trailer, which then changed to an actual establishment that lasted about five years. By July 2007, she opened a second location in Mission and from there continued to open restaurants. Now there are six restaurants with two more expected to open this year. By September 2013, seeing the need that there was in the Rio Grande Valley of rescuing the authentic traditions of our parents, she decided to create this concept of Mexican food. She works hand-in-hand with the University of Texas Pan American and the Mexican Consulate in McAllen in presenting and
promoting Hispanic and womenowned businesses and restaurants through a series of workshops and continued participation in events and activities. Ms. Adelita Muñoz has worked extensively within what is now named the Texas Agri-Life Extension Service under Texas A&M University as an Extension Agent. She has experience in training those with little or much education in topics such as ethics, people skills, communications, stress management, health, marriage and parenting skills, as well as conflict resolution, medication, and goal setting. Her passion for empowering people has been recognized at the local, state and national levels. She is an enthusiastic leader that is very well respected by her colleagues, in social service agencies of Hidalgo County. Ms. Figueroa-Muñoz has provided outstanding and dedicated leadership for helping Expanded Nutrition Programs. She has dedicated her life to empowering families, and especially women, to become selfsufficient after years of hardships, abuse and low self-esteem issues. She helps
Shown with their awards are left to right: Ms. Margarita de Leon and Adelita Muñoz. offer classes for parents who have had their children taken away from them. This helps prepare them in order for Child Protective Services and judges to award custody back to them.
Other winners were: Cecilia Castellano, President and CEO of AZTECA Designs, Inc. of San Antonio; Rosie Gonzalez Collin, Public Relations Executive, Citgo Refinery of Corpus Christi; Marie Diaz, President/CEO of Pursuit of Excellence, Dallas; Veronica Escobar, County Judge, El Paso County, El Paso; Stephanie Hernandez, National Business Manager, National Latino Peace Officers’ Association, Austin; Sally Hurt Deitch, President/CEO, Sierra Providence East Medical Center, El Paso; Mercy Murguia, Potter County Commissioner, Amarillo; Liliana Rambo, Parking Director, City of Houston Airports, Houston; Evelina Solis, Founder and President, Sol2Soul, Buda and Patsy Torres, Ph.D, Owner Director, Positive Force Tour, Inc., San Antonio. “The RGVHCC is extremely proud to our two nominees and encourage other women to become active with the Hispanic Chamber so they too can meet other powerful business women, not only in the Rio Grande Valley but in Texas”, states Cynthia M. Sakulenzki, RGVHCC Pres./CEO. TBB
• June 2014 •
SBA Sets Zero Fees New Loans Under $150,000 Texas Border Business ARLINGEN, TXThe Small Business Administration (SBA) regularly looks for and develops initiatives designed to better serve pioneering entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a business. Access to capital is one area frequently studied. Fortunately for the small business community, in September 2013, the SBA announced a loan initiative that made access to capital cheaper and easier. The program which began October 1, 2013 specified all 7(a) loans approved for $150,000 or less in FY 2014 will have a zero fee for both the yearly fee (also known as the ongoing servicing fee charged to the lender) and the upfront guaranty fee to the borrower on such loans. “Setting fees at zero encourages lending to small businesses that face the most constraints on credit access,” stated Sylvia Zamponi, District Director, Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office. “It will also create lending opportunities important for underserved communities,”
she continued. In the Lower Rio Grande Valley District, recent statistics reveal 19 loans under $150,000 have been approved during the first quarter of FY 2014, saving borrowers an estimated $11,000 collectively due to “zero fees”. When loan numbers are reviewed, the most significant credit gaps seen are the smaller dollar loans. This is important because these lowerdollar loans often help finance new
startups and entrepreneurs in underserved communities, which can include women, minorities, veterans and others. In fact, according to the Urban Institute, SBA loans are 3 to 5 times more likely to go to women and minority-owned businesses than conventional loans. Locally, the Lower Rio Grande
Valley District closed FY 2013 with more than 25 lenders making 166 loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration's guaranty program. Of those loans almost 60% were approved for $100,000 or less. For more information about the program call Maria G. Perez, Lender Relations Specialist, at 956427-8533 ext. 242 or email at: maria. firstname.lastname@example.org or in the Coastal Bend Counties call Rick Sturtevant at 361879-0017 ext. 302 or email at: rick. email@example.com. Or visit the SBA website at www.sba.gov. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise, to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation and to help families and businesses recover from national disasters. TBB
• June 2014 •
Texas Border Business
Certification Program Recognizes Edwards Abstract Title Insurance Professionals
USTIN, TX, – The Texas Land Title Association (TLTA) is proud to announce that five employees with Edwards Abstract and Title Co. have successfully completed the requirements and passed a rigorous examination to earn the professional certification designations from TLTA. To become TLTA certified, a candidate must meet certain eligibility requirements in work experience, education and professional involvement, and then successfully pass an examination. Each designation represents a measure of achievement and proficiency in the Texas title insurance industry and distinguishes these highly motivated individuals. TLTA’s certification designations include, CESA: Certified Escrow Settlement Associate, CAEA: Certified Abstract Examination Associate and CTIA: Certified Title Insurance Associate. The five Edwards Abstract and Title Co. employees who have earned TLTA certification designations include: • Byron Jay Lewis, CTIA (Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer) • Marilyn De Luna, CAEA, CESA, CTIA (Regional Escrow Automation Manager/Sr. Escrow Officer -McAllen)
Overly, President & Chief Financial Officer. Byron Jay Lewis is one of four title insurance company owners in the State of Texas who have earned the CTIA designation. Marilyn De Luna is the only Escrow Officer in the State of Texas to have earned all three certification designations from the Texas Land Title Association.
Pictured are Edwards Abstract and Title Co. Associates who have earned professional certification designations from the Texas Land Title Association. (L-R) Martha L. (Marty) Garcia; Marilyn De Luna; Byron Jay Lewis; Mariana Ragousis-Ramirez and Mary A. Barrientos. They will be honored and recognized during the annual TLTA Conference scheduled in San Antonio on June 16-18. Over 400 title insurance industry professionals attend the state-wide conference. • Mariana Ragousis-Ramirez, CESA, CTIA (Escrow Officer - McAllen) • Mary Barrientos, CESA (Mission Branch Manager/Sr. Escrow Officer) • Martha (Marty) Garcia, CESA (Sr. Escrow Officer - Mission)
“These are very prestigious professional certification designations. Edwards Abstract and Title Co. is proud to have several members of the team who are leading the way in the title insurance industry in South Texas.” said Mike
Founded in 1908, TLTA is a statewide trade association representing the Texas title insurance industry and currently serving over 13,000 professionals involved in the safe and efficient transfer of real estate. In the course of their daily work, our membership serves over a million consumers each year. TLTA members provide certainty, efficiency and security to real estate transactions by conducting title searches, examinations, closings and issuing title insurance to protect real property owners and mortgage lenders against losses from defects in titles. For more information about TLTA’s certification program, visit: www.tlta.com/certification. TBB
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• June 2014 • Texas Border Business
cAllen, TX -May 21, 2014– South Texas College continues to pave the way in college completion for Rio Grande Valley residents as approximately 4,800 students received their certificate, associate or baccalaureate degree this spring 2014. Included in this number were 1,500 high school seniors who impressively received their college diplomas before graduating from high school as dual enrollment students. Six commencement ceremonies were held at the State Farm Arena May 16 through May 17, 2014 where cheering family members, friends and South Texas College faculty and staff showed their support. The accomplishment of the graduates is a milestone for many who are the first in their family to receive a college education. With a primarily Hispanic student population, more than 70 percent of South Texas College students are first generation college graduates. South Texas College President Dr. Shirley A. Reed commented on recent Latino College Completion reports that reflect the significant impact the College has on providing higher education to its
South Texas College Celebrated Largest Graduating Class of Approximately 4,800 Students students. “In April, Excelencia in Education ranked South Texas College as first in the state of Texas and second in the nation in enrolling Hispanic undergraduates. In addition, the College ranked second in the state of Texas and fourth in the nation in awarding associate degrees.” Dr Reed continued, “Excelencia’s report became tangible as I, along with Trustee members, faculty and staff, handed out diplomas to the largest graduating class to date at South Texas College.” Among the students who received their diploma was Samantha Sauceda, a McAllen High School dual enrollment senior. “It’s an honor to receive my Multimedia Specialist Certificate from South Texas College. Other students do not have this kind of opportunity, and here I am, wearing my cap and gown at a college graduation
before I’ve worn my cap and gown from my high school graduation.” “Because of South Texas College’s commitment to creating a college-going and completion culture, 1,584 of our 4,800 graduates have earned their college degree or certificate while still in high school,” explains Dr. Reed. “This is a testimony to the powerful impact of South Texas College providing
tuition free dual enrollment whereby high school students are earning college credit while still in high school.” Founded in 1993, South Texas College offers more than 112 degree and certificate program options in a variety of liberal art, social science, business, math, science, technology, advanced manufacturing and nursing and allied health fields of study. Additionally, South Texas College is one of only three community colleges in the state of Texas to offer applied baccalaureate degrees. For more information on South Texas College including enrollment for summer and fall 2014 semesters, visit discover.southtexascollege.edu or call 956.872.8311. Summer classes begin June 2. TBB
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• June 2014 •
VALLEY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Valley International is the largest airport in South Texas. Nearly 700,000 passengers and visitors walk through our terminal annually. Southwest Airlines offers nonstop service from Harlingen to Austin, Houston/Hobby. United Express offers nonstop service to Houston Intercontinental. Sun Country and Delta Airlines offer nonstop seasonal services to Minneapolis/St. Paul. Air cargo is serviced by a wide-body fleet from FedEx and DHL. The airport offers many features; among them, door-to-door shuttle service to South Padre Island, free Wi-Fi and a complementary frequent flyer lounge. More information is available at www.flythevalley.comand and www.facebook.com/flythevalley.
ANNOUNCES GRAND OPENING OF SUN VALLEY AVIATION SUN VALLEY AVIATION OPENS A FIXED BASE OPERATION FACILITY AT VALLEY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Valley International Airport (VIA), the gateway to the Rio Grande Valley, is excited to announce the addition of a state-of-the-art Fixed Base Operation (FBO) facility. Sun Valley Aviation anticipates completion of construction of the facility by May 29th, 2014. The Sun Valley FBO will offer premier amenities including fuel delivery for private and commercial aviation, flight planning facilities, a pilot lounge, conference room, pilot supplies, office lease space and more. “Sun Valley Aviation is a wonderful addition to Valley International Airport,” VIA Aviation Director Michael Browning said. “This new facility will position VIA to meet the rising needs of visitors to the Rio Grande Valley.” In addition to the terminal/office building, Sun Valley is constructing a 15,000-square-foot hangar for aircraft storage and maintenance services and an advanced fuel farm facility with brand new storage and pumping equipment for handling of Aviation Gasoline and Jet Fuel. It also will offer self-serve capability for Aviation Gasoline. “Sun Valley Aviation’s team brings a wealth of knowledge and resources to Valley International Airport,” President Pat Kornegay said. “We are eager to serve RGV visitors and hope to leave a lasting impression of quality service and professionalism as they pass thorough the area.” VIA is also home to Gulf Aviation, a full service FBO, which offers hangars for aircraft storage, maintenance services, flight school, and more.
Sun Valley Aviation was formed in 2008 for the purpose of establishing a Commercial Fixed Base Operation at Valley International Airport. Sun Valley Aviation Inc.’s goal is to leave that one time customer with a lasting impression of professionalism, quality of service, and satisfaction with overall experience. Our team includes multiple Airline Transport and Commercially rated pilots in various categories and classes aircraft including fixed wing and helicopter along with multiple A&P mechanics holding IA certification. More information is available at www.svatexas.com.
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• June 2014 •
Edinburg Unemployment Rate for April 2014 Drops to 5.5 Percent The Texas Workforce Commission released the latest figures on Friday May 16 By DAVID A. DÍAZ d i n b u r g ’ s unemployment rate for April 2014 was 5.5 percent, the best showing in the city for any month since January 2008, and the second-best figure for all cities that month in the Rio Grande Valley, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The EEDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council. For the month of April 2014, only McAllen (5.4 percent) had a better figure than Edinburg (5.5 percent), while the other major communities in the Valley had unemployment rates that ranged from 6.3 percent in Harlingen to 8.6 percent in Brownsville. The Valley’s three other most populous cities also had unemployment rates for April 2014 in single-digits: Mission (6.8 percent), Pharr (6.9 percent), and Weslaco (8.6 percent). The April 2014 rates for the Valley’s seven most populous cities also represented improvements from March 2014. In addition, Edinburg’s labor force was the third largest in the Valley, with 33,551 persons employed in the city in April 2014. The area’s two most populous cities, Brownsville and McAllen, posted larger numbers with 63,143 and 58,639 individuals, respectively, employed in April 2014. All cities combined in Hidalgo County averaged an 8.6 percent unemployment rate in April 2014, an improvement from 9.4 percent in March 2014, while all cities combined in Cameron County averaged an 8.1 percent unemployment rate in April 2014, better than the 8.8 percent figure in March 2014. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Texas fell to 5.2 percent in April 2014, down from 5.5 percent in March 2014, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The unemployment rates in Edinburg and in Texas remain below the national rate of 5.9 percent. Edinburg’s labor market has always remained strong in deep South Texas, with only one month since 2005 – June 2011 – being the only month when the unemployment rate was in double-figures at 10 percent. Walmart announces creation of 300 jobs in Edinburg This latest positive news comes as Walmart announced the opening of its third major store in Edinburg. Mayor Richard García, who
also serves as president More detailed of the five-member information about the labor Board of Directors market and unemployment rates for the Edinburg in Edinburg and neighboring Economic Development major communities include: Corporation, noted that the city’s third Wal• Number of persons employed, Mart (the most among April 2014: all Valley communities), is taking advantage of Brownsville: 63,143 one of Edinburg’s key McAllen: 58,639 assets: U.S. Expressway Edinburg: 33,551 281/I69-Central. Mission: 30,001 Located just Pharr: 25,934 south of the Shoppes Harlingen: 25,137 at Rio Grande Valley, Weslaco: 13,506 the new Walmart has created 300 new jobs for • Edinburg’s unemployment the region. It is near the rates, by year: intersection of U.S. 281/ I69-Central and Canton April 2014: 5.5 percent Road, an area that in April 2013: 6.7 percent the past few years has April 2012: 7.3 percent become one of busiest in April 2011: 8.4 percent the city, the mayor said. April 2010: 8.3 percent “The region’s April 2009: 5.7 percent Expressway 281/I69April 2008: 4.0 percent Central is a huge piece April 2007: 4.2 percent of the success today and April 2006: 5.4 percent even greater of what to April 2005: 4.7 percent expect tomorrow: 13.5 miles of U.S. Highway • Edinburg’s April employment, 281/I69-Central from Edinburg Mayor Richard Garcia and Raul Salinas Mayor of by year: Laredo, Texas. Photograph By Mark Montemayor FM 2812 to the Pharr Interchange,” said 2014: 33,551 Construction cost for the arena García. 2013: 33,037 Edinburg has the largest is estimated at $50 million with a boost 2012: 32,740 amount of freeway frontage than any to the local economy of $96 million 2011: 31,855 other community in the Rio Grande during the construction phase and $45 2010: 31,381 Valley, “to the tune of 18 miles” million annually once operational. It is 2009: 29,990 compared to the three other largest cities expected to create approximately 150 2008: 29,690 with an estimated two miles of frontage new jobs. 2007: 28,112 For its part, the new Walmart each, García added. 2006: 26,798 “This immense opportunity for will provide residents with one-stop 2005: 25,767 growth has been discovered by large shopping convenience for their grocery investors like Bert Ogden with the new and general merchandise needs. It The Texas Workforce Infinity Dealership, Fiesta Chevrolet, will also feature organic and natural Commission maintains a detailed Holt Caterpillar, Walmart, HEB, the selections in addition to local favorites. accounting of employment trends for Shoppes at Rio Grande. The master Like most of their new stores, this one Edinburg and all other cities in the state planned community of La Sienna and will include energy efficient technology on its website, located at: www.tracer2. our exciting mega-arena development,” and special features to help reduce com/cgi/dataanalysis/AreaSelection. energy and water consumption. the mayor reported. asp?tableName=Labforce The approximately 183,000 Other big developments in the works The Edinburg Economic The mega-arena project square feet facility will be open 24 Development Corporation is the jobsinvolves a planned $50 million special hours a day, 7 days a week. creation arm of the Edinburg City As part of the grand Council. It’s five-member governing events center to be built just off U.S. opening, $6,000 in grants from Walmart board, which is appointed by the Expressway 281/I69-Central. The 115,799 square-foot arena and the Walmart Foundation were Edinburg City Council, includes Mayor will be constructed on 40 acres of land donated to local community groups. Richard García as President, Fred The other two Walmart stores Palacios as Secretary-Treasurer, and located on the east side of I69 Central on Alberta Road. It will feature 8,500 in Edinburg are located at University Felipe García, Dr. Havidán Rodríguez seats and 2,400 parking spaces. The Drive and Sugar Road, and Jackson and Steven Edward Cruz, II. For more entire property includes nine additional Road and Trenton Road. information on the EEDC and the City pad sites for the development of a future of Edinburg, please log on to: www. Key job-creation data hotel, restaurants and more parking EdbgCityLimits.com ■ spaces.
• June 2014 • Texas Border Business
cALLEN, TX – IBC Bank and the National Professional Hispanic Organization (NHPO) – RGV Chapter, along with other organizations have teamed up to support the Operation Interdependence (OI) – RGV Campaign. OI - RGV is a community-based project led by a committee that raises contributions to make and send care packages for active US troops overseas. Between now and July, IBC and the organization are accepting donations of general care items and letters of support for the annual send-off to soldiers A series of fundraising events will be held every Thursday for the next few weeks until June 19, with the next event to be held on Thursday, June 5, from 6:00 – 9:00pm at Santa Fe Steakhouse located on 1918 S. 10th St., in McAllen. These events are where supplies and/or monetary donations can be made to help make this campaign possible. Several businesses such as the Boys & Girls Club of McAllen, IBC Bank branches valley-wide, Texas Regional Bank branches valley-wide, Gym at Uptown and Tierra Dulce will also serve as a “donation drop” for this campaign The promoters of this project are asking for your continuous support to
Operation Interdependence Seeks Donations to Send Care Packages to Troops Overseas bring your change and/or supplies sent over 40,000 care packages to for the troops. Small travel size our troops. This year, we challenge items such as toiletries (body our community once again to lotion, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, surpass this number. The valley chap stick, disposable razors, has shown great leadership and shampoo, soap, toothpaste, foot community involvement every powder, feminine products) and year. Help us bring a piece of individually packaged/sealed "home" to these men and women food items (beef jerky, granola serving our country. bars, gum, candy, cookies, O p e r a t i o n nuts, seeds, trail mix, oatmealInterdependence Fundraising flat packs, snack crackers, fruit Events are scheduled from 6:00snacks, drink mixes) are the ideal 9:00 pm at the following locations: items. And if you are a teacher, June 12, Koko’s Café Uptown; and you can encourage your students June 19, Remington’s at Embassy to get involved by writing a letter Suites, ending with a “Packing of support to a soldier overseas. Party” on Thursday, July 10 from These letters will also be placed 5 – 9pm at the Salvation Army on in each of the care packages. It's 1600 N 23rd St. in McAllen where a great way to teach our children all the care packages will be put Sgt. David Facundo takes a moment to read a and youth our appreciation for the letter of support and enjoy the items received together and get ready for shipping. military's sacrifice and dedication to in his care package. Team player for this event: our country like Boys & Girls Club of McAllen, there and show them that their sacrifice If you are unable to make Texas Border Business, Mega Doctors any of the events, you can still make a does not go unnoticed. You can also News, KURV, Texas Regional Bank, donation at any IBC Bank branch to get more information about Operation Socialife, Progress Times, KRGV 5 account number #2511726513. Every Interdependence at www.facebook.com/ News, HEB, Copy Plus, Media Choice, penny goes directly to buying supplies oirgv. STC Veteran Affairs, The Monitor and The last campaign in the RGV the RGV Partnership. TBB for our brave soldiers. So let’s go out
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• June 2014 •
Hidalgo County Bar Foundation presented the 2014 HCBF Law Day Gala on May 16 Texas Border Business
cAllenThe Hidalgo County Bar Foundation presented the 2014 HCBF Law Day Gala on Friday May 16, at the McAllen Convention Center Blvd. The 2014 HCBA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients, David Hockema and Rafael Flores were honored. Law Day Award recipients recognized were: HCBA Ethics Award, Homero “Homer” Vasquez; John E. Cook Pro Bono Award, Paul Wilson; HCBA Liberty Bell Award, Dr. Eliza Alvarado; and HCBA Media Award, Fox2 News. Master of Ceremonies will be Dan K. Worthington honoring past Lifetime Award Recipients: Morris Atlas 2013; R.P. Bob Sanchez, 2012; Joseph A Connors, 2011; Hon. Linda Reyna Yañez, 2010; Judge Mario Ramirez, 2009; Robert “Bob” Gilligan, 2008; Judge Israel Ramon, 2007; Gary Gurwitz, 2006; and Ruben Cardenas, 2005. TBB
• June 2014 •
Valley Metro Security Owner Seeks Nomination Texas Border Business
rancisco “Frank” Guerrero, a prominent businessman in the field of security, is seeking to be nominated by the Democratic Party in Hidalgo County to run for Sheriff. Guerrero owns Valley Metro Security a leading private security firm based in Edinburg Texas. He has extensive experience in providing security services to both the public and private sectors throughout the country. He told Texas Border Business that he wants to be Sheriff because important changes have to be made to the Sheriff’s office. “I am qualified and experienced, as I started my company from zero and have grown it to more than 700 hundred employees,” he said. He services accounts in Texas as well as in Batavia, New York. “I manage a 650-bed Federal Detention Center, we do everything from processing to feeding, and provide both armed and unarmed transportation for the detainees.” He also said, “I have a law enforcement background, police experience on the streets of Miami and in Hidalgo County. I have also worked on investigations and I have been supervisor of major crimes for CID.” Guerrero also pointed out that he was a member of the Special Operations
The Guerrero Family shown (back row L-R): Alex (son), Francisco “Frank” Guerrero, Josanna (wife) and Tatiana (daughter) and in front, Sebastian (son). Respond Team and vast experience that can be used to manage the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s office and he feels that it’s time for a real change. He said that he is a Democrat and lives in a democratic county. “I want to offer a clean and distinct contrast difference to what has been done before with the same particular group and pick somebody new and qualified,” he said. What would you change if you were the Sheriff? “Different things, the Sheriff’s office is a complex operation and I am prepared to make the changes that need to be made,’ he said categorically.
He pointed out that he would reorganize and restructure the command staff to be more effective and a clear communicative command staff. Adding that it is very important that from the deputies on up to the Sheriff there is a clear line of communication. “I will reorganize the bureaus, have more direct contact and effect and will look for subject matter experts to handle the different bureaus that I am going to have and will eliminate one of the captain’s positions to create a Chief Financial Officer.” He said that this person would have to be a CPA with management background to make sure
that we monitor every dollar that comes in and out of the Sheriff’s office to make it transparent to the public. Guerrero also said that he wants to make clear that his plan is to prepare goals for the Sheriff’s office. “To set and implement different polices that are objective and fair and to have a well-defined perspective of what we are doing.” In addition he said that it is important to let the public know what we are doing and what is the mission of the Sheriff’s office. He stated that it is very important that the deputies know that they have the support of the entire Sheriff’s office so they can do their job, which is to protect the public. Would you work to terminate corruption or control it? “Definitely terminate it. I am a person of integrity and I will not shy away or give into any dark cloud that might follow my family or me. That is not going to happen.” Frank also said, “I have made guarantees that I am not going to walk out of there in handcuffs and I am not going to walk out of there with a dark cloud over my head.” He explained that there are tough decisions to be made, “I have the responsibility to make sure that the citizens of Hidalgo County are protected,” he finalized. TBB
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• June 2014 •
Former Mission City Manager Julio Cerda Wins School Board Position By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
professional engineer by trade in the state of Texas, Julio Cerda won the election to be part as a member of the Sharyland School District board of trustees. He owns South Texas Infrastructure Group and ROW Surveying Services. Julio comes to the trustee position with vast experience since he served the City of Mission first as City engineer for two years and then eight consecutive years as City manager. The Sharyland School District, in a way, has also won with Julio’s victory and vision. Julio is eager to start in what he says to be a passion for the betterment of children education atmosphere. How do you feel being elected to a trustee position? “ It’s exciting because I have 3 kids that attend Sharyland School District and with this new position now I have 10,000 kids to take care of.” Julio has never been involved in politics before, but sometime last year when he stepped down from the position of Mission city manager, on the same day friends asked him to run for school board position. “I told them thank you for the offer, but I need to start my company and make sure that I do well first,” he said. He said that in November of last year had the same conversation, and he decided to do it this time. When you told Cuquis your wife
another eye them.” He commented that his eight years of experience as Mission City Manager allowed him to understand many of the issues of a large public organization. “It is important to be fiscally responsible with people’s money.” One of the ideas that propelled him to run was to be able to help the people that pay the taxes. “We need to make sure that every single penny of taxes paid to the school district is well spent.” Julio is married to Cuquis and have three children; Marcela12, Ana Paola 10 and R-L: Julio Cerda and Cuquis, his wife. Julio Alberto 6. Julio is the newly elected board member Do you have any other to the Sharyland School District. political aspiration for the future? Before he answered about this new endeavor, what was her he smiled and said, “Again reaction? “She was happy and told me remember last year and this that would support me one hundred time I had no idea what I percent.” wanted to do except that I knew In addition, he sad that Cuquis had I had to start my company. My no doubt in her mind that I was going to aspirations now is to provide pursue some political future. for the students, and we will see Julio said that the current board what happens in the future.” has done a wonderful job, and his plan The Sharyland School is to continue working with them. “My District has a reputation as one basic idea is helping the public, the among of the best educational parents, the kids and making sure that systems, will this continue? the administration continues to do an “Yes, of course, and there is excellent job as they have done up to always room for improvement,” now, I am just making sure that we keep he finalized. TBB
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Is This the Year of the Big One? ... Warning Coordination Meteorologist stationed in Brownsville. Goldsmith reviewed the history of hurricanes affecting the lower Texas coast since the turn of the century. “The records show that the most destructive hurricanes to impact the Rio Grande Valley occurred in September of 1967 and the ‘no-name’ storm of September 1933,” he said. “As far as this year,” Goldsmith continued, “we are looking for probably 8-13 named tropical storms, 3-6 storms reaching hurricane strength and maybe 1 or 2 major storms touching land somewhere.” Justin Gibbs, NWS Tropical Program Leader, gave an update on products and services available from the National Hurricane Center and NWS Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley. Gibbs said, “It is always a quandary to determine exactly where it will hit.” “Take action as soon as the first Watch alert is sounded seven days out, and follow it day by day until it’s a Warning 24 and 12 hours out. Take action regardless—it can save your life,” he stressed, “Run from water, hide from the wind.” This year‘s National Weather Service products includes improving communication with a new information source for Spanish-speaking residents. Maria Torres, Spanish Language Program Leader, explained the new Spanish translation service with the weather updates and warnings in Spanish for both sides of the border. Tim Smith has been a popular weatherman at KRGV-TV for 32 years. He came in 1981, the same year a destructive hurricane named Allen struck the Valley. He said, “I guess you could say, I blew in with Allen in 1981--believe me, that was quite a welcome.” The speakers urged all to (1) Stay alert, (2) Be prepared, (3) Verify your insurance policies, (4) follow instructions, (5) Evacuate if ordered to do so--don’t try to be a hero. Steve Drillette, Meteorologist-in-Charge, can be reached at 956-504-1432 X 222, or www. weather.gov/brownsville and Maria M. Torres, Meteorologist/Forecaster at 956-504-1432, or Maria.Torres@noaa.gov. TBB
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• June 2014 •
Appointed Hidalgo County Sheriff is seeking the Democratic nomination for Sheriff By Texas Border Business
ormer Hidalgo County Precinct 4 Constable J.E. "Eddie" Guerra who is interim Sheriff for Hidalgo County wants to continue being Sheriff. Guerra was appointed Sheriff during the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court meeting on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. Eddie told Texas Border Business that he wants to continue being Sheriff to make a difference in the Valley. “This is where I was born; here in Hidalgo county is where my family is. This is where my family raised me and our family has been here for over one hundred years.” He also said that his family has always been involved in politics. “ We’ve always wanted to give back to the community and I feel that I can make a difference in the Sheriffs office.” If you were the elected Sheriff what changes would you make to the Sheriff’s office? “Well I am the interim Sheriff now, and if I am elected I would continue to do exactly what I am doing right now.” He said. He pointed out that the changes in the Sheriff’s office are not going to happen over night, they are not going to happen next week or next month. He
The Guerra Family shown from L-R: Andres (son), Krystiana (daughter), Norma (wife), Sheriff Eddie Guerra, Laryssa (daughter), and Miguel (son). said, “The changes that I want to make here are going to take time, I want to take the professionalism of this office to a level that is acceptable to my level.” He explained that the changes are like turning around a huge aircraft carrier, “You cannot turn it around on a dime because it’s a slow process to make the change and that’s how I feel about the changes that I want to make here.” He emphasized that it will not happen overnight and that it will take time. Why do you think that you should be the Democratic nominee for the Sheriffs office? As I said we were raised
Edinburg Mayor Richard H. Garcia Meets UTRGV Presidential Finalist Dr. Guy Bailey
DINBURG, Texas —Edinburg Mayor Richard H. Garcia, at right, recently met with the sole finalist selected to be University of Texas Rio Grande Valley President, Dr. Guy Bailey. Bailey will head the new
regional institution bringing a medical school. UTRGV is the product of a merger between the existing University of Texas-Pan American and University of Texas at Brownsville. The first UTRGV classes are expected to begin fall 2015. TBB
to always give back to the community and today I am looking to be the nominee by the Democratic Party.” “My family has always been involved in the Democratic Party and I remember my first campaign. My Grandfather was helping out trying to get Dolph Briscoe elected Governor and then we helped Lloyd Bentsen get elected. My uncle Ramiro Guerra was the Hidalgo County judge; my cousin Bobby Guerra was the Democratic Party Chairman and my cousin Art Guerra was elected as state judge here. My father, Dario V. Guerra
served on the school board for over twelve years in Edinburg and I’ve had many uncles serve on city commissions throughout the Valley,” he said. Would you terminate corruption in the Sheriff’s office or would you only be able to control it? “In the Sheriff’s office I will terminate corruption.” Is that a possibility in any county? “You’ve asked me about the Sheriff’s office and I believe that within time by changing the policies, procedures, and the leadership here at the Sheriff’s office; yes, we can.” He added, “We now have a strong relationship with our federal, state and local partners. Working together we can eliminate the corruption here in the Sheriff’s office.” He mentioned that his number one goal is to restore the public’s trust. “I am focusing on bringing back the trust into the Sheriff’s office, because with everything that has transpired, the public has lost the trust. We have a dark cloud over this agency, so my goal to restore the public’s trust.” He continued, “For the people that don’t know me I’ve done this before at the constable’s office. When I took over that office it also was under a dark cloud and that is what I am going to do here.” TBB
• Texas Border Business • June 2014 •
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• June 2014 •
• June 2014 • Texas Border Business •