Author Archives: George Cox, VBR Managing Editor

George Cox is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years experience as a newspaper writer and editor. A Corpus Christi native, he started his career as a reporter for The Brownsville Herald after graduating from Sam Houston State University with a degree in journalism. He later worked on newspapers in Laredo and Corpus Christi as well as northern California. George returned to the Valley in 1996 as editor of The Brownsville Herald and in 2001 moved to Harlingen as editor of the Valley Morning Star. He also held the position of editor and general manager for the Coastal Current, a weekly entertainment magazine with Valleywide distribution. George retired from full-time journalism in 2015 to work as a freelance writer and legal document editor. He continues to live in Harlingen where he and his wife Katherine co-founded Rio Grande Valley Therapy Pets, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising public awareness of the benefits of therapy pets and assisting people and their pets to become registered therapy pet teams.

Leadership: Sergio Contreras

Sergio Contreras

Editor’s Note: Leadership can mean different things to different people. The Valley Business Report turned to experienced business leaders in the Rio Grande Valley to learn more about their views on leadership in their own words. Through a question-and-answer format, Leadership Matters presents comments on leadership from Valley CEOs and other business leaders. Sergio Contreras is president and CEO of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. The RGVP is the primary…

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Exploring a World of Coffee

Customers visit or work on laptops while sampling coffee from different parts of the world. (VBR)

Michelle and Danny Quiroz have been on a coffee journey for more than a decade. Today, they roast beans from all over the world and serve hot, steaming cups of java at Reserva Coffee Roasters in McAllen. “My husband and I have been coffee enthusiasts for a long time, like over 10 years,” Michelle said. “We really had an affinity for good coffee. Everywhere we would travel we would seek…

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Creating a Culinary Adventure

Brandi Hackett and Walter Greenwood have teamed with restaurateurs Scott and Bob Friedman to create South Padre Island’s newest restaurant. (VBR)

With culinary lessons learned at fine-dining establishments in places like New Orleans, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, a couple has teamed up with Laguna Madre area veteran restaurateurs to create a new dining experience on South Padre Island. “There are some really great restaurants here but we wanted to offer something different,” said Walter Greenwood, executive chef of F&B SPI. “For example, we want to bring coastal Italian flavors here.…

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Investment Pays Off for SPI

Hotelier Barry Patel is upping his ante in the South Padre Island tourism economy with the construction of a Courtyard by Marriott near his Hilton Garden Inn on the north end of the coastal town. He is wagering the Island’s future will deal him a full house. “I am very optimistic about the Island,” said Patel, a former mayor. “The things that the city has done in the last three…

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Sales: Believe in Yourself

Chris’mere Mallard pumps up participants during group activities at a sales seminar in Weslaco. (VBR)

Selling is hard work, and successful sales people constantly push the envelope and step outside their comfort zone. “There is nothing good inside your comfort zone,” Chris’mere Mallard told about 30 sales people during a recent seminar at the Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce. And, to prove his point, Mallard used interactive tactics to put most everyone in the room on the spot, either in group exercises or individual challenges.…

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Summer Camps Keep Kids Busy

JHK Equestrian Country Club owner Jamie Ricks instructs a student in the riding arena. (VBR)

When the final school bell rings in the summer break, many parents turn to private businesses for programs to keep their children active through new experiences. Throughout the Rio Grande Valley there are dozens upon dozens of summer camps offering just about any activity that catches a youngster’s fancy. From horseback riding to physical fitness and art to academics, these businesses offer year-round classes in their fields, but come summer…

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Batten Down Your Business

Hurricane Harvey narrowly missed the Valley in 2017 as it churned its way along with Texas Gulf Coast. (National Weather Service)

The Rio Grande Valley dodged a bullet last year as Hurricane Harvey made its way up the Texas Gulf Coast, where it left a trail of damage and flooding from Corpus Christi to Houston and beyond. Record-breaking rainfall left southeast Texas besieged by deep water that trapped people in their homes and made it next to impossible for businesses to operate. Every year as hurricane season starts in June, Valley…

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Leadership Matters: Paul R. Rodriguez

Paul R. Rodriguez

Editor’s Note: Leadership can mean different things to different people. Valley Business Report turns to experienced business leaders in the Rio Grande Valley to learn more about their views on leadership in their own words. Through a question-and-answer format, Leadership Matters presents comments on leadership from Valley CEOs and other business leaders. Paul R. Rodriguez is president and CEO of Valley Land Title Company, which provides title insurance products and…

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Building ‘Soft Skills’ for Success

UTRGV students collaborate on last-minute details during the GreenpowerUSA South Texas Electric Car Competition. (Courtesy)

Public-private collaborations to build a workforce for the future have picked up speed in recent years amidst growing concerns that some skills needed to prosper are lagging behind advancements in technology. Electric cars whizzing around at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour offer a recent example of how some young people in the Rio Grande Valley are looking forward. Thirty-one teams representing middle schools, high schools and colleges…

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