Category Archives: Profiles

Mission Expands Youth Opportunities

Mission community leaders joined together for the groundbreaking for the expansion of the city’s Bannworth Gym into a full Boys & Girls Club. (Courtesy)

The way Mission Mayor Armando O’Caña likes to tell it, it was out of the mouths of babes where Mission drew inspiration to expand the city’s Bannworth Gym into a full Boys & Girls Club unit. “Back about six years ago, maybe even five years ago to be exact, I had a fifth-grader from the Sharyland school district come up and he planted the seed,” O’Caña said. “’Why do I…

Read More

Connecting Rural Areas to the World

Jeff Shooshtari introduced wireless internet services to the Rio Grande Valley when he established Twin Communications. (Courtesy)

Jeff Shooshtari started with one antenna atop the Chase Bank tower in downtown McAllen. It was 1997 and the beginning of Twin Communications of McAllen/Edinburg. It was then the era of dial-up to the Internet. Moving large volumes of data online was the province of large companies. What is commonplace today was a rarity 20 years ago when Shooshtari, an engineer by training, began with microwave technology to launch wireless…

Read More

Nonprofit Las Huellas Expands Reach

Fundraiser attendees hold a plate of shrimp during Las Huellas’ Crawfish and Shrimp Boil fundraiser. (VBR)

Restoring the wild turkey population in the Rio Grande Valley has been the chief goal of Las Huellas of South Texas, but the now decade-old nonprofit organization has become a benefactor for many others. In the 10 years since it broke away from the National Turkey Federation, Las Huellas has given out close to $800,000 to nonprofit entities needing infusions of money to implement their programs. Organization that have benefited…

Read More

Rich Border Heritage on Display

A display of some of the merchandise available in the gift shop at the Brownsville Historical Complex on East Washington Street. (VBR)

Many historians contend that Brownsville is the second most historic city in Texas, ranking behind only San Antonio. Facts to back up that claim abound, with the Brownsville Historical Association acting as a primary resource to discover that story. With a valuable arsenal of facts, information and buildings that open doors to the past, the association offers a look back to the original city founders, battles fought in this part…

Read More

Nature Abides in Harmony

Timing is everything. If one needed even more reasons to visit South Padre Island, they are here. This summer, why not combine fun and education for the entire family? The South Padre Island Birding, Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary now also boasts an alligator sanctuary, where visitors of all ages can discover something new and visit 50 contained alligators. The new home for what some consider nature’s most interesting and beautiful reptiles held a public event in…

Read More

Pacheco Joins Edinburg Chamber

Zayda Pacheco

Zayda Pacheco the new director of membership for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. She will work closely with leadership and staff to forward the mission of the chamber while expanding and improving the membership program. “We’re excited to have Zayda on board,” said Ronnie Larralde, executive director of the Edinburg Chamber. “She is taking on a very important role for our business community .We are confident that her experience and…

Read More

Teaching Students to Succeed

Partners Angie Moreno and Janie Garza Reyes started Advanced College & Hair Design in Weslaco 30 years ago.

Going from one classroom to another, Janie Garza Reyes gives a tour of a barber school that started with a handful of chairs 30 years ago, and is now the largest school of its type in the Rio Grande Valley – and one of the largest in Texas. “We opened this school from zero,” Reyes said, referring to the longtime partnership between herself and Angie Moreno in starting and building…

Read More

Bootique Creates Retail Niche

Chrissy Santana arranges merchandise in the Bootique’s newly created western wear section. (VBR)

The history of a legendary Rio Grande Valley bootmaker provides the backdrop for the Bootique, a clothing and gift shop in downtown Raymondville. The store is in a portion of the brick building where Abraham Rios crafted custom footwear for decades. The building’s current owners, Cruz and Sonya Tijerina, ran the Bootique until they sold the business to Elma Chavez, former director of the Raymondville Chamber of Commerce. The Tijerinas…

Read More

Giving Back: A Noble Donation

Noble’s Rene Capistran and Alfredo Garcia, in light blue shirts, prepare tacos for the participants at a children’s fishing tournament in Brownsville. Texas Noble Builders also served as sponsors for the event. (VBR)

When Noble Texas Builders unveiled its new headquarters in La Feria, scores of business leaders and elected officials showed up. Many wanted to check out the remodeled building that had been empty for a number of years. There were company employees brimming with enthusiasm. They now had one of the most modern office buildings in the Rio Grande Valley. In this small city of about 7,000 people, Texas Noble Builders…

Read More