Author Archives: Contributor

Economic Boost from Under the Sea

UTRGV researchers are building one of the biggest artificial “low-profile” reefs in the Gulf of Mexico off the South Texas coast. (UTRGV photo by Veronica Gaona)

Man-made RGV Reef impacts local environment and economy Red snapper is one of the important commercial fish along the lower Texas Gulf Coast and researchers are building an artificial reef to help maintain and grow habitat for that popular fish and other species. In 2015 red snapper hauls totaled more than 2.2 million pounds, according to the Texas Almanac. That catch was worth more than $9.4 million. Researchers from UTRGV’s…

Read More

Young Entrepreneurs Explore Smart-Farming 

Students perform repairs and modifications on a robot during the UTRGV Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center summer camp in June.

Camp combines farming and business The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s McAllen Teaching Site was crowded with eager IDEA high school students waiting to showcase their smart-farming robots, whose yield ultimately would determine the fate of their newly founded small businesses. Students cheered as the robots they had built collected simulated crops and piglets. The university’s Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC) this summer hosted its sixth annual summer camp for IDEA…

Read More

Port of Brownsville Supports Wetlands Restoration

Proposed and expanded Carl “Joe” Gayman channel

Agreement with Rio Grande LNG supports Major Bahia Grande Wetlands A provisional commitment has been reached by the Brownsville Navigation District Board of Commissioners and Rio Grande LNG towards the restoration and enhancement, as well as preservation of the Bahia Grande wetland complex. The commitment includes the expansion of a pilot channel into a permanent and enhanced source of tidal flow to the Bahia Grande. Accoding to a press release from…

Read More

Six Unwritten Rules Related To Business Etiquette

business etiquette

Celebrating National Business Etiquette Week I’m sure many of you are familiar with etiquette when it comes to dining. However, did you know that there was a thing such as business etiquette? Similar to dining etiquette, these unwritten rules of behavior can help you not only close the deal, but also leave a great impression on potential partners/customers. From web communication to interpersonal communication, being aware of unwritten rules can…

Read More

Millennial Investors: The "Slow and Steady" Generation

Millennial investors bring changes to investing With some $30 trillion poised to change hands over the next several decades from parents and grandparents to so-called Millennials – those 90-million-plus Americans aged 18 to 33 – the financial services industry will have its work cut out for it. Popular investing wisdom states that the younger you are, the more time you have to ride out market cycles and therefore the more…

Read More

Casa Los Ebanos hosts weddings 

“This is the perfect place for custom weddings,” agreed Taylor and Martha Blanton of Casa Los Ebanos, a grand, 82-acre estate located just outside San Benito. The property has served as the site for hundreds of such events, as well as other gatherings, over the past 15 years. “Here we let you pick your own caterer, band, everything, and fit it to your budget,” said Taylor. Developing a cost-friendly yet…

Read More

Celebrating the season in style  

As VBR’s fashion columnist, I plan for this new column to spotlight not only clothes and style but the local business people who wear them. My favorite historical building in Harlingen, now known as “The Reese,” was built in 1925, and four years ago underwent a red carpet-worthy makeover.  Fashionista Jo Rae Wagner was the brilliant mind behind that masterpiece of repurposing.  Always stylish, Wagner became the first woman to…

Read More

Providing better diets for pets 

Irazema Walters, co-owner of The Paw Pantry, a natural pet foods store in Harlingen, has learned that better nutrition can transform any dog’s or cat’s life, maybe even save it. That’s why she opened the pantry two years ago, after having operated a more traditional pet-store business, where she had slowly added healthier food products. “I love helping pets, helping to cure them,” she said, “so that their owners will…

Read More

Women in Charge of the Garage

The sign in Andrea Garcia’s tow truck proudly reads “girl power,” a boast made true not only at her self-named wrecker service but also at her family’s garage, Double A. Women play a central role in both Harlingen businesses. “Without them,” says Tony Garcia Jr., who opened the garage in 1995, “I probably would have closed by now.” The women who run the shop today include Tony’s first wife Josie…

Read More

Incubation Time 

Sergio Adame, founder of API Real Estate, wanted to create a little bit of buzz in the Harlingen business community. After realizing that some prospective businesses were having trouble starting up because of financial issues, he decided to offer office space in the Bank of America building that his firm owns. “I was thinking that if a start-up doesn’t have money, you give them a space for free or at…

Read More