Featured, on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at Edinburg City Council as part of Texas Chamber of Commerce Week for October 16-20, 2017, are, from left, front row: Ronnie Larralde, Director of Marketing & Special Events, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Lee Castro, Funeral Director, Legacy Funeral Home and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Verónica Gonzáles, Vice President for Governmental Affairs, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Alex Ríos, District Office Director, Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and Chairman, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; and Jacob De León, Funeral Director, Memorial Funeral Home, and Immediate Past Chairman, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. Back row, from left: Councilmember David Torres; Councilmember Richard Molina; Mayor Richard García; Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt; and Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr.
Photograph By IMELDA RODRÍGUEZ
Featured, promoting the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce’s Public Affairs Luncheon, set for Monday, October 30, 2017, which will showcase U.S. Congressman Vicente González, are, seated from left: Verónica Gonzáles, Vice President for Governmental Affairs, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Elva Jackson Garza, Vice President | Marketing Manager, Edwards Abstract and Title Co.; and Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. Standing, from left, are: Amy Cantú, Senior Vice President | Commercial Loan Officer, PlainsCapital Bank; Michael Williamson, PlainsCapital Bank- Market President;, Byron Jay Lewis, President & C.E.O., Edwards Abstract and Title Co.; Cris M. Torres, Vice President | Loan Officer, Greater State Bank; and Mario Lizcano, Administrator of Corporate Affairs, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance. The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce will welcome Congressman Vicente González, who represents the 15th Congressional District in Texas – which features Edinburg as the largest population center – as the guest speaker during the quarterly Public Affairs Luncheon, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, 118 Paseo Del Prado. Tickets may be purchased for $20 each, or a reserved table of eight for $200 for the Public Affairs Luncheon by contacting the Edinburg Chamber office at 956/383-4974 or [email protected] . For more information please call the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce or visit the website at http://www.edinburg.com.
Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE
Edinburg EDC: Edinburg Chamber of Commerce honored for vital roles it plays in promoting economic growth, prosperity in local community
The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce has excelled in promoting its hometown and its many assets, and has played key roles in helping other major champions for the city, such as elected officials, government and private entities, and business and community leaders, in their efforts to improve the quality of life locally, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.
As a result, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce was honored for their invaluable services to their community by the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council and by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.
The Edinburg EDC, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, joined in congratulating the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce for that nonprofit business group’s many successful efforts in helping positively increase prosperity and citizen participation in the community.
“Gov. Greg Abbott proclaimed Texas Chamber of Commerce Week for October 16-20, 2017, noting that ‘local chambers of commerce have distinguished themselves through the promotion of local communities and projects,’” said Agustín García, the Executive Director of the Edinburg EDC. “Here in Edinburg, we have a local chamber of commerce that is second-to-none, and on behalf of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors and our staff, I salute the leadership and staff of this outstanding pro-business organization.”
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 Agustín García are not related.
“All of their many efforts, from organizing groundbreakings and ribbon-cuttings for our local businesses, to hosting public affair luncheons, organizing Leadership Edinburg, helping lobby the Texas Legislature for key laws to help our community, and organizing other major events, such as Fiesta Edinburg, the Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg, iShopEdinburg, Night of Lights, [email protected], and through its key committees, are essential to the economic growth and well-being of our economy,” said Agustín García.
The staff for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce features Letty González as President, Ronnie Larralde as Director of Marketing & Special Events, Martín Rivas as Director of Membership, and Imelda Rodríguez at Director of Tourism.
Here in South Texas, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce is a network of leaders serving Edinburg and the region as an advocate and resource, strengthening commerce and improving the quality of life, according to its mission statement (edinburg.com).
“Our charge is to lead the effort in advancing commerce and the quality of life in Edinburg and the region. We will foster service, development, and growth by forging positive relationships, advocating volunteerism, and leadership development,” further states the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce on its website. “We will be ambitious in our endeavors, operate effectively and efficiently, promote mutual respect and honesty, seek commitment, ownership, and accountability, and have fun.”
Rep. Canales: Edinburg Chamber of Commerce “really deserve accolades for their work”
Statewide, the governor summarizes the importance of chambers of commerce.
“Texas has become an economic power thanks to the ingenuity and hard work of its residents. In many cases, the dreams of these Texans become relating with the held of local chambers of commerce,” the governor stated in his proclamation. “By fostering job creation, improving education and developing infrastructure, these organizations have literally laid the foundation for many communities, contributing to a better future for all Texans.”
Canales, the House District 40 lawmaker who represents much of Edinburg, said “Many don’t know that, the Edinburg Chamber has a rich history, starting with its founding in 1932. Typically, the chamber work behinds the scenes but the staff and volunteers at the Edinburg Chamber are involved in almost every event in this community and really deserve accolades for their work.”
The legislative resolution by Canales was presented to the group’s leaders and staff during the Tuesday, October 17, 2017 public meeting of the city council, along with a similar proclamation by the Edinburg Mayor and the Edinburg City Council.
“Since its inception, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce has contributed significantly to the prosperity and vitality of this city and the local business community, and its achievements truly merit special recognition, Canales said. “Its achievements truly merit special recognition. Thank you so much to the Edinburg Chamber Board of Directors past and present for all that you do for this community.”
Alex Ríos, who serves as Canales’ District Office Director in Edinburg, is the new Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.
Ríos thanked Canales, the Edinburg Mayor, and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg EDC staff and leadership, for publicly recognizing the value and achievements of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, and he extended his gratitude for being selected as the new chairman of the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.
“It is a great honor, and I am excited to continue working with the the Edinburg Mayor, Edinburg City Council, and its staff, and with the leadership of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors,” said Ríos. “There are some great events that will be taking place during my one-year tenure as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, and we couldn’t ask for better partners and friends than the mayor, city council, and Edinburg EDC.”
In order to be selected Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, a person must have been on the board of directors for at least five years, from which the chairman is selected by a special nominating committee of that organization, he explained.
Ríos has been a member of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce for 19 years, he added.
“The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and its members are vitally important because we work hand-in-hand with the City of Edinburg and the Edinburg EDC to promote and attract businesses to our community,” he said. “By organizing and hosting the many events that we do every year, we help spread the good word about what our city is all about, and what we offer to residents, businesses, and visitors.”
As part of their numerous programs and events, the city economy benefits because those activities bring prosperity to the community through increased hotel and motel reservations, more shopping, restaurant and entertainment revenue, and helps build the positive image of Edinburg as being a “Destination City”.
In general, a “Destination City” is defined as a community which can be marketed to groups or individuals as a place to visit or hold an event.
“The Edinburg EDC is a great partner to work with because they allow nonprofit organizations such as the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce to receive economic, financial, legislative, and marketing expertise and support because they understand we are a great asset for everyone in our city,” Ríos said. “Working closely with Gus (Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García) and his top staff, along with the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, is such a big advantage because they understand we greatly contribute to our city of many different levels. It is a win/win for everyone.”
Edinburg Chamber Members Sponsor Public Affairs Congressional Luncheon Edinburg
The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce Public Affairs Committee will welcome United States Congressman Vicente González, D-McAllen, as the guest speaker during the Public Affairs Luncheon scheduled for Wednesday, August 30.
The luncheon will be held at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance located at 118 Paseo Del Prado from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets may be purchased for $20 each, or a reserved table of eight for $200 for the Public Affairs Luncheon by contacting the Edinburg Chamber office at 956/383-4974 or [email protected] . For more information please call the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce or visit the website athttp://www.edinburg.com .
During the Public Affairs Luncheon, the first-term congressman will give remarks for 10-15 minutes on the importance of bipartisanship, immigration reform, taxes, NAFTA, and more on what he has been doing since he arrived in Congress at the beginning of this year.
“By recognizing the growing opportunities for businesses in South Texas, we can start to plan ahead for responsible measures when economic growth presents itself,” González said. “I look forward to joining the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and updating them on the current dynamics of Congress, the possibility for tax reform, and other measures that can boost economic certainty in Texas and across the country.”
Edwards Abstract and Title Co. is the Title Sponsor for the Public Affairs Luncheon.
The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce also recognizes Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (Diamond Sponsor), Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson (Diamond Sponsor), PlainsCapital Bank (Diamond Sponsor), the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (Silver Sponsor) and Greater State Bank (Silver Sponsor) for their contributions to the luncheon.
“We are delighted to have such prominent supporters of our Public Affairs Luncheon,” said Letty González, President of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. “They understand the importance of these programs that are held to inform and educate our community on specific topics and issues that affect our area. We encourage everyone in the community to attend the luncheon to stay informed and network,” she added.
Congressman Vicente González maintains in the city a congressional district office, which is located at 2864 West Trenton Road, Edinburg, Texas, 78539. Constituents may visit his local office or call at 956/682-5545 or toll free at 888/217-0261. Office hours at from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT, Mondaythrough Friday (except holidays).
The office staff in Gonzalez’ District Office in Edinburg features Desiderio Romero as Caseworker/Outreach; Karen Hinojosa as Caseworker; Nuriddin Kalam as Caseworker; Stephanie Toscano as Office Manager; and Lucy Phenix as Receptionist.
In Washington, D.C., the congressman’s office is located at 113 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C., 20515. Constituents may visit his Washington, D.C. office or call at 202/225-2531. Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday ET (except holidays).
The office staff in his Washington, D.C. office features José Borjon as Chief of Staff; Paulina Carrillo as Scheduler; Aryn Fields as Press Secretary; Louise Colbath Bentsen as Senior Legislative Assistant; Fred Castro as Legislative Counsel; Ron Jauregui as Financial Services Fellow; Jorge Galindo as Special Assistant; Jenna Hopkins as Legislative Correspondent/Staff Assistant; and Steven Franz as Staff Assistant.
Keeping Edinburg as a key center of congressional power
Early on, in order to keep Edinburg as a key center of congressional power, which keeps constituent services for local residents much closer to home, the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, agreed to cover half of the lease for González’ office.
González, whose first two-year term in Congress is from January 3, 2017 until January 3, 2019, was elected on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 to to serve the House District 15 congressional district, which features Edinburg as the largest population center. He succeeded Congressman Rubén Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, who did not seek reelection after a 20-year career in Congress.
“Currently, the United States Congressional District Office Number 15 is located within the City of Edinburg at 2864 West Trenton Road. U.S.CongressmanVicente González is requesting to continue leasing office space at the current location in order to maintain the office locally and provide greater accessibility for the City’s officials, staff, and citizens,” Sonia Marroquín, Edinburg’s Assistant City Manager, reported to the Edinburg Mayor and the Edinburg City Council at the January 3, 2017 public meeting.
González wanted to utilize the local congressional district office that had been used by Hinojosa.
“The congressman-elect seeks consideration of the City re-entering into a lease agreement with Cielo Realty for the congressman’s term from January 3, 2017 to January 2, 2019. Cielo Realty’s proposed base monthly lease payment for the period of January 3, 2017 through January 2, 2018 is $3,847.00 plus a $50 storage rental fee and $50 designated parking space, for the total monthly sum of $3,947.00,” Marroquín reported last January. “Cielo Realty’s proposed base monthly lease payment for the period of January 3, 2018 through January 2, 2019 is $3,943.00 plus a $50 storage rental fee and $50 designated parking space, for the total monthly sum of $4,043.00.”
About Congressman Vicente González
According to his official biography on his congressional website:
Vicente González serves in the United States Congress as the elected representative of the 15th District of Texas which encompasses the growing suburban counties of Brooks, Duval, Jim Hogg, Karnes, and Live Oak as well as portions of Guadalupe, Hidalgo, and Wilson counties.
González came to Washington to continue fighting for South Texans and ensure that individuals and communities have the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.
González earned his GED in 1985 before attending Del Mar College where he received an Associate’s degree in Banking and Finance in 1990. He worked his way through college at Embry Riddle University where many of his classmates were active duty military personnel.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Aviation in 1992 and later earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now Texas A&M School of Law) in 1996. While attending law school, González worked as an intern in the office former Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz.
In 1997, González opened his law practice, V. González & Associates.
González was influenced by his father, a Korean War veteran, to help individuals fight for their rights and practiced law for 20 years. He stood with working families wronged by powerful corporations and took on unscrupulous vendors, recovering millions in school bond revenues for taxpayers.
In Congress, he is fighting to protect Social Security and Medicare and to ensure that veterans, military members, and their families have the care and compensation they earned through their service. He is committed to improving health care for those who need it most: children with special needs, seniors, and the disabled.
As a small business owner, González understands the challenges facing American businesses. He secured a position on the Committee on Financial Services. In Congress, he is working across party lines and with local, state, and federal government to expand economic opportunity for all.
A lifetime resident of South Texas, González is married to Lorena Sáenz González, a former teacher and school administrator in Edinburg and McAllen. They reside in McAllen.