Author Archives: Ricardo Cavazos, VBR content editor

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.

Housing Construction Surges

There are few industries more sensitive to the immediate changes in the push-and-pull of economic trends than the housing industry. A year ago, the general economy came to a near standstill in the United States. The housing industry was hardly immune to the shock. “There was a pullback last March and April,” said Eddie Cantu, a Hidalgo County commissioner who is also a land developer. “People were waiting it out…

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Experience Brings New Vision To Edinburg

UTRGV's main campus is in Edinburg as well as the main office of its regional medical school.

Ron Garza built a reputation as an administrator who could foster cooperation among Rio Grande Valley cities when seeking state funding and developing transportation systems.  He served for years as the executive director of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council. The job allowed him to work on projects with county judges, mayors and city managers across the Valley. Regional agreements are becoming more the norm in a historically divided…

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Connecting The Valley To Better Opportunities

Isidro Ramos, workforce development manager, works with a VIDA student as part of individual case management the workforce training provides. (Courtesy)

The Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement has proven to be a nimble workforce training program. In 25-plus years, it has been helping unemployed and underemployed residents land better-paying jobs. It demonstrated that again recently when VIDA launched an electrician journeyman training program. Administrators at VIDA see the Liquefied Natural Gas project coming closer to reality at the Port of Brownsville. They recognize there is a growing market for electricians.…

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Uniform Store Honors Paramedic’s Legacy

Aracely Salinas honors her late husband, a paramedic, through her business.

Aracely Salinas’ start in business was born of grief as well as inspiration from her late husband. Michael Bryant Salinas was a longtime Rio Grande Valley paramedic and CPR instructor. For years, Aracely accompanied her husband to classroom and training sessions. Here, her husband taught the essentials of emergency medical care.  When he died in August 2018, Aracely had life-changing decisions to make. One came fairly quickly when she decided…

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Investor Group Boosts RGV Entrepreneurship

An employee at Composite Access Products oversees a step in the making of a manhole cover, which in part, is made possible by capital provided by a Valley investment group.

In his days as a business school professor in Brownsville, John Martin had a key piece of advice for his students. “If you want to be a high salaried employee, leave the Valley, but if you want to be an entrepreneur, stay here,” Martin said. Martin is a member of the Rio Grande Valley Angel Network. The investor group provides seed money for aspiring entrepreneurs in return for equity in their…

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Changing A Legacy Product

Two CAP employees team up to handle a freshly made manhole cover.

Chad Nunnery was a high school state champion in distance running in his native Massachusetts. Seeing the long road and keeping at it are traits that would serve him in a future career. Nunnery would go on to start a business and guide it to early success in the challenging industrial manufacturing field. The New Englander-turned-South Texan now owns a manufacturing facility wedged between 23rd and 29th streets in McAllen. …

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The Eatery Gives A Cool Vibe

Weslaco entrepreneur Mario Mendiola says The Eatery is giving the Mid-Valley a new attraction.

Mario Mendiola is an energetic, man-on-the-go entrepreneur and realtor who has a passion for both his hometown and its downtown.  In early 2020, he saw through a lengthy restoration of a historic two-story building on the corner of Texas Avenue and Sixth Street in downtown Weslaco. A formerly abandoned building is now a stylishly restored building for offices and upstairs apartments.  Mendiola had another downtown project brewing. He wanted to…

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Coffee Roaster Incorporates Vast Influences

Michelle Quiroz’s coffee shop looks global but has local elements.

Michelle Quiroz is an engineer by training and had a fascination for a topic beyond her work for a large corporation with manufacturing operations along the border. The science and craft of coffee roasting fascinated her and got Quiroz wondering how to apply her disciplined thinking to a dream of owning and running a small business. It would lead to the beginnings of Reserva Coffee Roasters in McAllen. It opened…

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New Tower Highlights Rio Bank Growth

The stylish lobby of the new Rio Bank corporate headquarters in McAllen.

The view from Ford Sasser’s sixth-floor office offers a wide expanse view of the expressway traffic running beneath it. Rio Bank’s new office tower looks out over Expressway 77/83 in McAllen since its opening in October. The city’s hospitals and medical district are just across the way. Sasser, Rio Bank’s president and chief executive officer, is a fixture on local television with a signature and folksy line. “Your kind of…

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Turning A Hobby Into Sweet Elegance

In the social media-driven world where a hobby can turn into a business in a flash, Samantha Cervantes is proof how fast such a thing can happen. The mid-20s-year-old mother of two children was looking for a job last year to help her family’s finances. It was a tough go of it as the employment market contracted with the shutdowns and slowdowns. Cervantes also had the issue of childcare for…

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