Author Archives: Contributor

Mission CEED Building Accelerates Businesses

Jose Laguna and Ximena Alvarez from Foldio present their 3D printed products at a recent open house.

Innovative new businesses flock to CEED Building High tech, education and creative small business and startups have set up shop in the Mission EDC’s CEED Building to help create a magnet for innovation in the area and solidify the commitment to growing local enterprises. Not even a year old, the Center for Education and Economic Development has lured game developers, a 3D printing firm, the RGV headquarters for Teach For…

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Port Debuts New Marketing Tool

2017 Port of Brownsville Directory

Directory is comprehensive guide for potential clients The Port of Brownsville has launched its newest marketing and communications tool, the 2017 Port of Brownsville Directory, a comprehensive annual guide featuring in-depth articles, facts and details about the port and related industries. The full color, 82-page publication serves as a guide for prospective clients to learn more about the port’s role as a vital economic engine of the Rio Grande Valley.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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