Author Archives: Ricardo Cavazos

Ricardo D. Cavazos is a journalist and business executive who has over 30 years of experience as a reporter, editor and publisher and is currently managing allied health schools in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo. Working for Freedom Communications, Cavazos served as editor of The Monitor for eight years and was publisher of The Brownsville Herald for 14 years. He also served as publisher of the Valley Morning Star for one year and launched two Spanish-language publications - El Nuevo Heraldo and El Extra. He is an Edinburg native currrently living in Harlingen.

History Echoes in Edinburg

A wedding reception in full swing at the historic Echo Hotel in Edinburg. (Courtesy)

The windows that wrap around Stephen Reynolds’ office at the Echo Hotel look out into a city that has grown around the nearly 60-year-old facility. “It’s one of the grand hotels of the (Rio Grande) Valley,” said Reynolds, the general manager and one of the owners of the iconic Edinburg hotel. “It was built by the citizens of Edinburg and it’s still a great facility with a lot of character.”…

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Serving Up a Family Tradition

Milano’s head chef Albert Garcia plates some of the Italian restaurant’s signature dishes. (VBR)

Angela Milano grew up in a home that room-by-room became an iconic restaurant that brought Italian food – and pizzas – to the Rio Grande Valley. Still going strong on West Pike Boulevard in Weslaco amidst farm scenery that evokes memories of a Valley of yesteryear, under a third generation of family leadership Milano’s endures, a Valley dining favorite that features family, great food and longstanding personal connections to their…

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Squeezing a Profit from Lemons

Soul Sista’s was among the youthful businesses at last year’s Lemonade Day. (Courtesy)

Lemonade stands pop up every year around McAllen as the local chamber seeks to spark an entrepreneurial spirit in the city’s youth. Lemonade Day is held every May as stands set up shop in front of McAllen-area businesses. Lemonade Day is a national event and is held in 65 U.S. cities and 23 states. McAllen’s first Lemonade Day came in 2012, and since then the McAllen Chamber of Commerce has…

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A Mission to Promote New Business

Cultura Agency owner Art Alcantar is one of the entrepreneurs who launched a business with the help of the Mission EDC. (VBR)

Art Alcantar spent years away from his native Rio Grande Valley building a multimedia career that specializes in digital and social media marketing. In recent years, when he looked around the Valley for a facility to that could meet the needs of his technology-driven business, Alcantar found the ideal landing spot in Mission. The 55,000-square-foot Mission Economic Development Corp. facility has all of the high-end technological amenities that Alcantar’s business…

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Lighting a Fire in Edinburg

Edna Pena

On a recent Friday, Edna Pena walked into the Dustin M. Sekula Memorial Library in Edinburg and seemed to know everyone and everything before making her way to the office of the director. “I’m a social butterfly and a free spirit,” said Pena, the president of the Edinburg Arts Foundation and a former president of the local chamber. “I never start at zero. I start at 100 percent and go…

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The Business of Teaching Creativity

Hands In Art owner Margie Ramirez has built a business out of teaching art techniques to young people.

Anaid Madrigal stands before a group of young girls enjoying a birthday party with an added twist. Madrigal is teaching the girls how to improve their artistic skills as each one draws little mermaids on their individual canvas boards. “Everyone paints differently, so you can paint your own version,” said Madrigal, an instructor at the Hands In Art Studio in downtown Mission. Combining a birthday party with a tutorial on…

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Small Banking Has Big Rewards

Greater State Bank President and CEO David Salinas in front of the vault.

David Salinas’ first job in banking was to make sure the candy bowls for customers were kept full at First State Bank on the downtown square in his hometown of Edinburg. Building on that modest start, Salinas has lived a full career in banking that includes working for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency before working for large regional banks like Texas Commerce Bank, International Bank of Commerce…

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Latina Hope Encourages Women Entrepreneurs

Businesswoman Elizabeth Aguilera Davis, left, and Laura Robles of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce at a recent meeting of Latina Hope. (Courtesy)

The spark of an idea to start a business can come from anywhere. It can be an example someone has demonstrated in inspiring budding entrepreneurs to set off on their own, or turning a passion and love of a hobby into a business. The seed of a business may even come from a dream. Rosie Castillo dreamt of bright angels fluttering all around her, with one brighter than the others.…

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Promoting a Passion for Fitness

Footworks owners Jun and Edith Ellorimo. (VBR)

It started as “a hobby business,” a vehicle for a husband-and-wife team of physical therapists to promote their passion for fitness. The vision that began in 2011 for Jun and Edith Ellorimo to get people “walking and running” is today a Footworks Start To Finish store with a wide community reach to go with a growing network of runners and cyclists. “It has gone beyond what we envisioned,” Jun said…

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New Look for Western Wear

Owner Sandy Pena and longtime Arcy Rodriguez

Sandy Pena’s love for downtown Weslaco runs deep and reaches back to her childhood when she and her cousins used to play summertime hide-and-seek in the adjoining buildings owned by her father and aunt. “It was our playground,’’ Pena said. “It’s where we grew up.’’ Those days of frolic are long behind her, and Pena today owns and runs the downtown store her father, Lionel Oliveira, started almost 60 years ago and still…

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