Category Archives: Finance/Banking

VITA Provides Free Tax Prep Services

Texas Southmost College Accounting Technology students are currently offering free tax preparation services via the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. For almost 20 years, TSC has partnered with the United Way of Southern Cameron County to offer the VITA service. Students from TSC’s Special Topics in Taxation course are now assisting individuals and families in the Rio Grande Valley. “Every year this experience proves to be a great opportunity for…

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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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RGV Banker Elected To State Association Board 

Ricky Leal

An executive with First Community Bank has been elected to the board of directors of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas. Ricky Leal, the senior vice president/commercial lending for First Community, was selected during the organization’s recent virtual annual convention. Leal joined First Community 15 years ago as a commercial lender before rising to serve on the company’s executive team. First Community is the only bank company of its type…

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Lone Star Steps Up To Help

Restaurants like this one in Brownsville are the type of businesses that applied for SBA emergency loans. (VBR)

Lone Star National Bank President David Deanda knew he and his staff had the challenge of a banking lifetime before them.  The outbreak of COVID-19 had brought the South Texas economy to a sudden and shocking halt. Small businesses in the Rio Grande Valley were soon desperate for help. The federal government offered two lifelines. One was the Paycheck Protection Program. The other was the Economic Injury Disaster program.  Both…

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Containing COVID Is Key To Economic Recovery

Restaurants and retailing have been hurt badly by COVID-19 outbreak and business shutdowns. (VBR)

The Rio Grande Valley’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis will be prolonged. It could take 12-to-18 months, at the minimum, said leading bankers and economic development specialists. They say the recovery from the widespread business shutdowns this spring will stretch well into 2021. Recovery will also be dependent on one key factor. “It’s all going to depend on how we contain COVID,” said David Deanda, the president of Lone…

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Alamo EDC Continues to Offer Popular Incentive

Alamo EDC Micro-Loan Program

During these rough times, the Alamo Economic Development Corporation continues to offer its programs to aid businesses in Alamo. One of the EDC’s most popular options is the Micro-Loan Program. The creation of the Micro-Loan Program came in order to help local business owners with storefront improvements, repairs and renovations. This program now utilizes a micro-loan as working capital to help alleviate operating costs that business owners have trouble covering.…

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Women of Purpose Includes Farewell

The annual Women of Purpose Social Mixer on March 4 hosted by IBC Main in McAllen was even more special than past years. Keynote speaker Dalia Martinez, IBC executive vice president, spoke from the heart about overcoming challenges to earn mentorship status. Adrian Villarreal, IBC McAllen president and CEO, also spoke. But the evening belonged to Dora Brown. It was a retirement party. After years of doing what she loves,…

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Quiroga Uses Immigrant Experience As Motivation

Joe Quiroga is the first Valley banker to serve on the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

It’s an eventful road from being a 6-year-old child and recent immigrant struggling to learn English to being on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Joe Quiroga has been on that journey. He recalls the days when as a young boy, he would spend hours at the library in the coastal Texas town of Palacios. Quirgoa would pore over books, taking in a new language.…

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Serving Brings McAllen CPA Joy

Lorena Castillo-Saldaña is a partner at Negrete & Castillo LLP in McAllen.

Born and raised in McAllen, Lorena Castillo-Saldaña loved visiting her maternal grandmother’s corner store in Reynosa. She would watch her grandma, her mom and her aunts as they worked. “I would see my mom tallying up lines of numbers,” Castillo- Saldaña said. “And I would think, ‘I want to do that!’”   That desire did not wane. After graduating from McAllen High School, Castillo-Saldaña enrolled at the University of Texas-Pan American…

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IBC Bank Hosts Mentorship Presentation

IBC Bank-Brownsville recently held a luncheon at its Main Bank for the bank presidents from the four Minitropolis programs in the Brownsville area. Invitations went to Hudsonville, Cowboyville, Kenmont and Episcopal Day School Mintropolis presidents. Here, they had the chance to network and engage in conversation regarding the importance of their roles. In addition, IBC Bank-Brownsville President & CEO Al Villarreal introduced a mentorship program. It will allow students of…

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