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Edinburg EDC: Thousands who attended 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg at H-E-B Park saw first-hand why the community is becoming a “Destination City”

Featured, some of the members of the winning teams, judges, and community leaders who participated in the 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg competition held on Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2, 2017 at H-E-B Park in Edinburg. The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, was a major financial sponsor of the event, which draws hundreds of visitors to Edinburg. Front row, from left: Proudly sporting their  team red outfits are Myranda Johnson with Road Crew BBQ, Lauria Franklin Kelley with Road Crew BBQ; Gary Kelley with Road Crew BBQ; and Ross Kelley with Road Crew BBQ, whose team from Sinton, Texas was the Texas Cook ‘Em Overall Champion for 2017; and Jerry Cárdenas with Loaded Smoke of Raymondville, the Reserve Grand Champion for the International Barbeque Cookers Association (IBCA); Michelle Dang, Judge with the Steak Cookoff Association (SCA); and Fred Robles with Rio Valley Meat of Weslaco, Grand Champion of the International Barbeque Cookers Association (IBCA). Featured, middle row, from left: Marty Martin with Rio Valley Realty and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; J.J. Flores with Chorizo of San Manuel and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Ashley Tapia, Assistant, International Barbeque Cookers Association; Judy Tapia, Assistant, International Barbeque Cookers Association; Eddie Tapia, Head Judge, International Barbeque Cookers Association; Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Ronnie Larralde, Director of Marketing and Special Events, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Stephanie O. Larralde with The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Ambassador, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Michelle Gallaway, Judge, Steak Cookoff Association; and Sara Treviño, Secretary, International Barbeque Cookers Association. Featured, back row, from left: Martín Rivas, Director of Membership, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Imelda Rodríguez, Director of Tourism, Edinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau; Brett Gallaway, Judge, Steak Cookoff Association; Roddy Treviño with Roadster BBQ and 1st Place Winner in the H-E-B Steak Challenge; and Jake Barrera, Judge, International Barbeque Cookers Association.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE
 

Featured: Joe González, Manager, H-E-B Rio Grande Valley Meat Market, provides expert advice to help contestants select rib-eye steaks for the premier portion of the 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg, held at H-E-B Park in Edinburg on Saturday, July 2, 2017. The steak selection was a process by which the teams chose their meat for the day-long competition, which drew 127 teams from Edinburg, the Valley, Texas and beyond. Initially done by a lottery, the teams then lined up in numerical order based on that lottery and picked their steaks. The Steak Cookoff Association (SCA) is the sanctioning body for the steak portion of Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg. The SCA requires the event to provide the same high-quality steaks for equal competitive opportunities for all the teams.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE
 

Featured, Mike Eli, vocals/guitar for the Eli Young Band, performs as part of the final featured act on Friday, July 1, 2017 during the two-day 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks at Edinburg, held at H-E-B Park in Edinburg. An estimated 2,000 people bought tickets to that evening’s concert, which included two of Edinburg’s own talented musical performers – Matt and the Herdsman (http://www.mattandtheherdsmen.com), and Southern Ashes (https://www.facebook.com/SouthernAshesMusic/). The turnout for the concert that evening does not include people at the adjacent Edinburg Municipal Park who showed up to see the fireworks display during the concert. The following day, on Saturday, July 2, 2017, an estimated 3,000 people bought tickets to see the the world-class barbecue competition, as well as to enjoy many other activities going on that day, including another concert. 

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

Featured: Hundreds of fans of Los Lonely Boys cheer for the San Angelo-based “Texican Rock n’ Roll” band, which combines elements of rock and roll, Texas blues, brown-eyed soul, country and Tejano, on Friday, July 1, 2017 at the amphitheater of H-E-B Park in Edinburg. Los Lonely Boys were one of two national acts which performed on the first evening of the two-day 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg. H-E-B Park opened earlier in 2017. H-E-B Park is described on its web site as “the premiere sports and entertainment destination and focal point for the entire community. H-E-B Park serves as a community hub of outdoor space for active and recreational use including sports, live music, and corporate events.” H-E-B Park, which is privately owned and which is located at 1616 S. Raul Longoria Road, boasts a $16.8+ million, 9,735-seat professional soccer stadium as part of the 37-acre site with all amenities, an amphitheater with a capacity of 2,000 people, well-lighted parking, and security and medical personnel for major gatherings. The building permit issued for H-E-B Park represents the initial investment for the stadium, at that time valued at $16.8+ million, but the total financial worth of H-E-B Park, which is the name of the stadium and the fairgrounds with all improvements and assets, now that this outdoor sports and entertainment complex is open, is much higher.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

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UTRGV’s Dr. Lydia López Aguilera gains highest standard of certification for pharmacists

Dr. Lydia López Aguilera, Director of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley/UT Austin College of Pharmacy and Clinical Associate Professor in the UTRGV Cooperative Pharmacy Program, has added another level of expertise to an impressive list of accomplishments by achieving board certification in ambulatory care pharmacy from the National Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). Aguilera is a native of Edinburg.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Visitors to Dr. Lydia López Aguilera’s office are greeted by a wall full of framed educational accomplishments, recognitions of her achievements and thankful notes from her pharmacy students at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Now, at age 60, the director of the UTRGV/UT Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program has added another level of expertise in her field by achieving board certification in ambulatory care pharmacy from the National Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). “Gaining the certification builds your foundation of knowledge. It’s a review, but you also learn new things – and knowledge is power – allowing you to not only help your patient, but also your team of doctors, nurses, dieticians and other healthcare team members,” said Aguilera, a Clinical Associate professor who has headed UTRGV’s cooperative program since 2010. The announcement of her latest achievement was made on Thursday, August 31, 2017. Board certification through the BPS is recognized as the highest standard for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced levels of practice.

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Edinburg EDC: Bob’s Steak & Chop House, a world-class establishment, is the latest addition to Edinburg’s prestige as a destination city

Featured, front row, representing Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg, the Edinburg City Council, and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, include, from left: City Councilmember Homer Jasso; Juan Luis Mussenden, General Manager, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg; Peter Higgins, Managing Partner, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg; Gus García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation (immediately behind Peter Higgins); Mayor Richard García, who also serves as President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; and City Councilmember Richard Molina. These leaders were among the several hundred area residents who participated in the Wednesday, July 19, 2017 ribbon-cutting of the five-star, multi-million dollar restaurant, located at the Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley. The restaurant is just off U.S. Expressway 281 in the heart of Edinburg. Bob’s combines a lively atmosphere, fine wines and large cuts of the finest prime steaks, chops and seafood to make Bob’s the best steak house in any town. Known for their prime filets, Bob’s only serves prime beef, hand-selected from the top two percent of all beef, perfectly trimmed and expertly grilled. Bob’s also offers delicious sides and desserts made from scratch, and included with every steak, their famous pickles, choice of potato and signature big glazed carrot. Letty González, President of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, shared community leaders enthusiasm for Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg. “We are excited to welcome our new member to Edinburg,” said González. “Bob’s is a beautiful and unique dining experience that will be unparalleled in our area. This is just an indication of all the great things going on in Edinburg.”

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

Featured, from left: Gus García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, congratulates Peter Higgins, Managing Partner, Bob’s Steak and Chop House in Edinburg, following the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the restaurant, which took place on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. “Edinburg’s restaurants are fantastic, and they serve phenomenal food, great meals, you name it. Now, having an elite restaurant like Bob’s Steak & Chop House changes the image for the entire South Texas region. This is the first nationally-recognized five-star restaurant in Edinburg and deep South Texas,” said García. “Bob’s has a nationally known reputation. By doing well in Edinburg, it will once again prove that our region can support, and deserves, the very best life has to offer.” Higgins heaped praise on deep South Texas. “People have asked me several times recently, ‘Why Edinburg, Texas?’ Well, I’ll tell you why. It is a tremendous growth environment,” Higgins said. “If you look at the city itself with its growth, a new Hidalgo County Courthouse that will be built, several world-class hotels, a nationally-ranked university with a School of Medicine, and the Bert Ogden Arena and H-E-B Park near our site – well, the list goes on and on.”

Featured, from left: Jaime Cazares, District Sales Manager, Ben E. Keith Foods; Debra Stolley; Roger Stolley, NAI Rio Grande Valley (Commercial Real Estate Services Worldwide); Byron Jay Lewis, President and CEO, Edwards Abstract and Title Co., and Peter Higgins, Managing Partner, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg, seated inside the Lenox Lounge in the multi-million dollar five-star restaurant, located at 591 East Trenton Road in Edinburg, at the Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley. The Lenox Lounge, part of the approximately 9,000-square-foot facility, is named in honor of William “Bill” W. Lenox, former president of the Bob’s Steak & Chop House national chain of fine dining establishments. Lenox, who died on Friday, January 20, 2016, was the key player in bringing the restaurant to Edinburg. According to his obituary, published in the Dallas Morning News, “Lenox, known for his entrepreneurial success, generous spirit and engaging character, passed away after suffering a heart attack at his home in Vail, Colorado. He was 70.” (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dallasmorningnews/obituary.aspx?pid=183988366)

Photograph By MARCO DAVID SOLIS

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Edinburg EDC: Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, UTRGV Provost and former member of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, appointed by New York Gov. Cuomo as President of The University at Albany

Featured at the podium is Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, founding Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, on Saturday, July 23, 2016, welcoming the UTRGV School of Medicine’s Class of 2020 for the inaugural White Coat Ceremony at the Performing Arts Center in Edinburg. Among the dignitaries who also participated in the South Texas landmark event were, front row, from left: Dr. Leonel Vela, then-Senior Associate Dean for Education and Academic Affairs; Dr. Guy Bailey, President of UTRGV; and UT System Chancellor William H. McRaven. Rodríguez, a former member of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, caught the attention of statewide leaders in higher education and state politics on the East Coast which resulted in the Wednesday, June 21, 2017 announcement by New York Gov. Mario Cuomo that the longtime Edinburg resident has been selected as the 20th president of The University at Albany. The appointment will take effect in mid-September.

Photograph By DAVID PIKE

Dr. Havidán Rodríguez generously credits the people of South Texas – including his colleagues on the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation — for helping prepare him to serve as the 20th president of The University at Albany in upstate New York. Rodríguez believes one of the strengths of his successful candidacy for the presidency of The University at Albany was his work on the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors from June 2013 through May 2015, which allowed him to develop expertise in municipal government, economic development, and state legislative affairs. “I think it was critically important because it got me, and it got UTPA (The University of Texas-Pan American), and later UTRGV, to remain connected to the city, and continued to fortify and strengthen the university relationships with the city,” he said. “We established great partnerships that benefited both the city and UTRGV, and especially the students. This was a fabulous experience in my professional development.” The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. The Edinburg EDC, of which Gus García is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Gus García are not related. Gus García said Rodríguez’ efforts on behalf of the Edinburg EDC and UTRGV have been impressive and appreciated. “From working with the Edinburg EDC and the Edinburg City Council on its joint efforts that have brought hundreds of millions of dollars in economic growth to the community, to helping the city’s leadership on its pro-business and high quality-of-life strategies that have resulted for years in one of the lowest unemployment rates in deep South Texas, soon-to-be President Rodríguez has made his presence felt in these and many other ways,” Gus García said. Among their many duties, members of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors attend board meetings and vote on key issues regarding job creation and social, cultural and economic development of the community. They, along with the Edinburg EDC staff, also visit with potential business investors and consultants who work in collaboration with the city, as well as facilitate and attend joint meetings with the university and the city’s key officials.

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Edinburg EDC Board of Directors to review quality-of-life goals and business prospects at noon Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at Edinburg City Hall

Featured: Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, helped salute the estimated 2,401 graduates at the McAllen Convention Center on Saturday, May 13, 2017 as they walked the stage during the Spring 2017 Commencement Ceremonies to accept the degrees they worked so hard for over the years. More than 700 graduates also were honored during an evening ceremony on Friday, May 12, 2017 on the UTRGV Brownsville Campus. A combined total of more than 3,100 UTRGV graduates were celebrated in four ceremonies over a two-day period. Rodríguez is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg Council.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

With the month of May featuring graduation ceremonies from local and area high schools, South Texas College and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, one of the most influential supporters of publication in the Valley – the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation – will hold its public meeting on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, at Edinburg City Hall. The session, which begins at 12 p.m., will be held at Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 West University Drive. The Edinburg EDC, of which Gus García is the Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Gus García are not related. According to the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors’ agenda, which is also posted online at: http://edinburgedc.com/meetings-agendas/, they will meet to consider the following: Open Session: Call meeting to order; Roll Call; Presentation by Capable Kids Foundation; Discuss and consider authorizing the Executive Director to renew the Professional Services Agreement with Signature Public Affairs, Inc.; Discuss and consider approval of termination of the Interlocal agreement with the City of Edinburg regarding Project Wildcat; and Discuss and consider approval of a sponsorship for the Valley Symphony Orchestra. Executive (Closed) Session: Deliberate the offers of financial or other incentives to business prospects; Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with Dennis Owens; and Consultation with Attorney.

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