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.

Partnership Bridges Technology Gap

Three students present their concept for a mobile app that would scan the contents of an individual’s refrigerator and pantry and find recipes to use those ingredients.

Code/Interactive and Mission EDC join forces with school district Students at Mission Consolidated Independent School District’s Rafael Cantu Junior High School displayed computer coding skills Friday that they are learning as part of a program to better prepare young people to succeed in the high-tech job market. The Mission school district has launched the program in partnership with the Mission Economic Development Corporation and Code/Interactive of New York which brings…

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Online Tool Sizes Up Local Competition

SizeUp logo

McAllen Chamber tool helps small businesses from Laredo to Kingsville Many small businesses cannot afford consultants or market research to help them keep up with the competition or identify potential customers. But the McAllen Chamber of Commerce offers access to a free online tool that can help. SizeUp McAllen allows business owners to do their own local market research through its extensive database that includes revenue comparisons, consumer demographics, labor…

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Aerotropolis: An Airport’s Vision for the Future

Valley International Airport may soon see an expansion that would further solidify its ranking as the Rio Grande Valley’s air cargo leader. FedEx, which maintains two cargo jets at the Harlingen airport that fly nightly round-trips to its sorting facility in Memphis, Tenn., is in the final stages of making a decision to expand service. “Right now air cargo is amazing for us the way it’s going,” VIA Aviation Director…

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Business to Botana Builds Relationships

Gisela Muzquiz and Michael Salas represented Muzquiz Security Systems, where they were holding a free raffle for a doorbell video kit with installation.

Brownsville event makes connections for public and businesses The Brownsville Events Center became a business showcase as the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Business to Botana Expo Sept. 27. More than 50 companies were represented in what was described as a networking event for the business community. “We are excited to welcome the community to explore and discover the varying businesses in attendance,” said Esmy Villarreal, Brownsville Chamber…

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Old-Fashioned Customer Service

The Eiler family, Ken, Debbie, Loretta and Bob, stand in front of the store’s new paint department.

The store is clean and modern. At the same time, it stands as a testament to an era when the local hardware store stood as a community fixture. Borderland Hardware in Mercedes is among only a handful of locally owned, old-fashioned hardware stores left in the Rio Grande Valley. Owners Bob Eilers, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday; his wife of 67 years, Loretta; and son Ken and wife Debbie,…

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For the Love of Animals

Owner Leroy Moreno with one of his personal pets, an albino Burmese python. (VBR)

Moreno’s adapts to modern pet ownership A love of animals and their care keeps Leroy Moreno coming to work every morning with a smile on his face. The enthusiasm he has for his business, Moreno’s Feed and Pet Store in Weslaco, is contagious as he talks about his passion for animal husbandry. One of six children growing up on a farm north of Donna, Moreno remembers his father, Gus Moreno,…

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Building Boats One at a Time

Cougar Marine at the helm of construction Bill Gagan started a fiberglass and composite fabrication company in a 600-square–foot shop in the Dallas area. Business boomed and his company became one of the largest fiberglass and composite fabrication companies in the world, operating out of a 115,000-square-foot building. Gagan holds several patents and copyrights and has fabricated high-speed racing boats, race car parts, components for Disney attractions, signs for franchise…

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A Pro Teaches Home Cooks

McAllen Culinary Academy makes cooking comfortable Food excites Chef Marcel, and he shares that enthusiasm with cooks who turn to him to sharpen their skills in the kitchen. The McAllen Culinary Academy may sound like a school for cooks wanting to become professional chefs, but that’s not what inspires Marcel. “I’m not looking to teach professional cooks,” Marcel said. “I am more for people who want to better themselves for…

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Venues Connect with Valley’s Past

A handful of event centers in the Rio Grande Valley set themselves apart from the crowd by offering venues steeped in the history and heritage of Deep South Texas. From historic buildings to outdoor settings, these businesses specialize in helping customers plan everything from weddings to corporate gatherings. The businesses featured here represent a small sampling of venues that reflect the heritage and natural beauty of the Valley.   Villa…

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Sweet Business: A Natural Approach to Success 

Wicked Good owner Jonathan Hogan added on to his house to create storage space for his growing product line. (VBR)

Wicked Good keeps it fresh and local After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Jonathan Hogan began applying for graduate programs and wondering how he would be able to pay for it. With time on his hands, he began experimenting with making marmalades, jellies and jams in the kitchen of his Mission home. At one point his father weighed in that the marmalade was so good he felt wicked eating it. Thus Hogan’s company Wicked Good was…

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