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DHR Health’s Mario Lizcano continues building his deserved reputation as a “Servant-Leader” on behalf of the Valley and Texas, say area state lawmakers - Titans of the Texas Legislature

FEATURED, FROM LEFT: Kelly Rivera Salazar, President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Sabrina Walker-Hernández, 2023 Woman of the Year, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, and Mario Lizcano, Administrator of Corporate Affairs, DHR Health, and Immediate Past President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. This image was taken Wednesday, November 8, 2023, during the organization’s Annual Installation & Awards Banquet, held at the Region One Service Center, 1900 W. Schunior Street in Edinburg.



DHR Health’s Mario Lizcano continues building his deserved reputation as a “Servant-Leader” on behalf  of the Valley and Texas, say area state lawmakers

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Mario Lizcano, Administrator of Corporate Affairs, DHR Health, has held many professional and volunteer titles in service on behalf of the Rio Grande Valley and the Lone Star State. But a designation that may best describe him is “Servant-Leader,” say area state lawmakers and business leaders.

One definition of “servant-leader” follows:

“A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the ‘top of the pyramid,’ servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.”

“That’s an accurate description of Mario, who brings honor to himself through his impressive efforts on behalf of so many people,” said Sen. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen. “But through his work, he also brings honor to the values and contributions of his home region and state.

”Recently, Lizcano wrapped up his one-year term as Chairman, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, where “together, we have achieved milestones that have strengthened our bonds and propelled us towards a future of endless possibilities.

“I stand before you today with gratitude and a heart filled with pride as I reflect upon the remarkable journey, we have taken together during the past year,” he told hundreds of members of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce during its Annual Installation & Awards Banquet, held on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at the Region One Center, 1900 W. Schunior Street in Edinburg.

During that gala event, Lizcano reflected on the achievements of the 500+ member group during his 12-months as a president – a volunteer position.

(A gala event is a formal and prestigious event that is typically held to celebrate a special occasion, such as an anniversary, fundraising event, or awards ceremony. Galas are often held to raise money for charity, promote a cause, or honor individuals who have made significant contributions to a particular field. These events are usually black-tie affairs and feature elegant attire, fine dining, and entertainment.

Those accomplishments under Lizcano’s presidency for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and the  community included:

  • Increased networking;
  • Business education;
  •  Effective communications;
  • Public affairs updates;
  • Festivals and quality of life events; and
  • Charitable events.

“These contributions have made a meaningful difference in the lives of those we support, underscoring our commitment to giving back to the community that has given us so much,” Lizcano praised his fellow Chamber members. “To each and every one of you who contributed to these accomplishments, I extend my deepest gratitude.”

Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and Rep. R.D. “Bobby” Guerra, whose House legislative districts, combined, include most of the city, said Lizcano understands that leadership in Texas comes in many forms.

Canales, who serves as Chair, House Committee on Transportation, noted that the Texas House or Representatives in 2021, through House Resolution 366, congratulated Lizcano for being selected as the 2020 Edinburg Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year.

House Resolution 366, which was written by Canales, noted some of the many accomplishments by Lizcano.

“Mr. Lizcano is the administrator of corporate affairs at DHR Health, and in that role, he works to increase awareness of the services and programs offered by the hospital system,” Canales stated in House Resolution 366. “His commitment to going above and beyond in behalf of his community has earned him esteem of his colleagues, and in 2020, he received the DHR Health Hero Award.”

DHR Health, a for-profit non-government institution, operates two general acute hospitals, the only dedicated women’s hospital south of San Antonio, a rehabilitation hospital, a behavioral hospital, and more than 70 clinics Valley-wide.

DHR Health offers the most comprehensive and sophisticated healthcare services in the Rio Grande Valley including – but not limited to – advanced cancer services, the only transplant program in the Rio Grande Valley, and as of September 8, 2021, the first 24/7 Designated Level One Trauma Center south of San Antonio.

Home | DHR Health | Edinburg Hospital & ER | Serving McAllen and Rio Grande Valley

Guerra, who serves as Chair, House Committee on Resolutions Calendar, also congratulated Lizcano for being selected as the 2020 Edinburg Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year, for his subsequent service as Chair, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, and for much more.

“Mario has taken it upon himself to volunteer thousands of hours of his expertise, skills, and experiences to help bring to countless people a better education, a higher quality-of-life, the tools and the opportunities to reach their dreams and goals in their lives,” said Guerra. “As a result, he is well-known and highly respected throughout South Texas, including at the State Capitol.”

Lizcano’s credentials earned him on Monday, March 22, 2022, a prestigious appointment by Gov. Greg Abbott to serve on the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. The commission establishes and enforces standards to ensure that the people of Texas are served by highly trained and ethical law enforcement, corrections, and telecommunications personnel.

“What I have learned from the many volunteer groups whose members have allowed me the privilege to work with, is that the Rio Grande Valley has so many gifted and talented individuals who dedicate their lives to helping others in need,” he said.

In his capacity as President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, Lizcano praised his fellow board members and the staff members of the chamber.

“Nayeli Zenteno, Ronnie Larralde, Imelda Rodríguez, and Dulce Cortina, who are vital as staff members for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, are second-to-none in the performance of their duties for this outstanding organization,” he said. “Not only are they the lifeblood of our group, but they also do an excellent job of serving our existing businesses, and working with the City of Edinburg and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation to bring new business and their good jobs to our community.”

Larralde, who serves as Executive Director, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, provided additional details on the major accomplishment by Lizcano during his time as President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.

Under Lizcano’s leadership, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce helped the city in many ways, including:

• Through public affairs updates, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce provides the latest news about government regulations, law changes, and resources for its members and their employees through its Public Affairs Luncheons and Breakfast events throughout the year. 

“The Chamber’s Public Affairs series is an initiative introduced in 2006, and since then has covered popular topics with speakers that cover important community and legislative issues,” Larralde said. “The vision is to inform, involve and educate chamber investors and civic leaders. The event also allows business professionals to meet, network and create opportunities for the companies they represent.”

Among the key events that took place during Lizcano’s chairmanship were:

• Edinburg Chamber Public Affairs Luncheon on Tuesday, April 13, 2023: Congresswoman MónicaDe La Cruz. R-McAllen, brought insight into her top priorities for the 118th Congressional Session;

• Edinburg Chamber Public Affairs Breakfast on Thursday, September 28, 2023 featuring Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortéz; and

• Edinburg Chamber Public Affairs Breakfast,  Texas Chamber of Commerce Week, on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, featuring Drew Scheberle, Executive Director, Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives, and Senior Advisory, Texas Association of Business.

• Through networking, which built strong partnerships with more businesses and provided additional opportunities for investors to promote their firms. As a result, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce provided ribbon-cutting ceremonies more than 100 new business to the City of Edinburg. 

• Through business education, which featured almost 40 educational in-house or digital seminars hosted by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. The organization also partnered with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Small Business Development Center and industry leaders in providing smart tools to several businesses to help them effectively evaluate and grow their business.  

• Through effective communications, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce was in direct contact with more than 1,700 business and community leaders throughout the region, with a weekly newsletter that had a high readership. The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce’s other social media presence – such as its website, Facebook, X, formerly known as Twitter, and YouTube – allowed it to deliver important business and economic development news to more than 40,000 individuals.

• Through festivals and other quality-of-life events, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce held 138 events that brought together a combined total of 12,558 people to create personal and business friendships within the business community. Also, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce hosted The Night of Lights Parade, Fiesta Edinburg and Texas Cook’Em, which, combined, attracted more than 80,000 people, combined, to Edinburg . These events not only enriched the community but also contributed significantly to Edinburg’s sales and hotel tax revenue. 

“I am particularly proud of our charitable contributions,” Lizcano added. “Through our programs, event proceeds, and fundraising efforts, we donated more than $43,500, combined, to University of Texas Rio Grande Valley military veterans, high school scholarships, and the American Legion.

True to form as a “servant-leader,” Lizcano – who is now Immediate Past President, Board of Director, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce – gave special thanks and credit to his successor, Kelly Rivera Salazar, President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.

“Everyone played key roles in the achievements during the year that I was privileged and honored to help lead the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, but we also couldn’t have done it without the advice and support we received from Kelly Rivera Salazar,” Lizcano said. 

Salazar, an attorney, is Partner, Linebarker Goggan Blain & Sampson, LLP in Edinburg.

“The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and the residents of Edinburg are in the very capable hands of Kelly, and I am see seeing her vision, work and successes unfolding before our very eyes,” Lizcano added. “We are all here to help her take us to continuing greatness.”

Mario Lizcano 

Mario Lizcano was born in McAllen, Texas, grew up in Pharr, Texas and graduated from Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School in 1987. He attended the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, Texas and the University of Texas-San Antonio. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with a Major in Marketing and a Minor in Biology/Chemistry. 

At DHR Health, Lizcano’s leadership has increased the awareness and education of health issues in the Rio Grande Valley, by setting up, organizing, writing proclamations and presenting them at surrounding cities, along with Hidalgo County Commissioner’s Court. 

Lizcano also exemplifies his dedication to leadership skills to the youth by being a guest speaker at local Junior High and High Schools and providing inspiration and direction to the students so they may excel in their health career endeavors. 

His strong leadership skills have also allowed him to plan, coordinate and execute events to benefit local non-profits and agencies. 

He has been praised by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, who nominated Lizcano for the DHR Hero Award, which recognizes employees and departments who exemplify the hospital system leadership’s vision to provide world-class health services. 

Lizcano has publicly been recognized by U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, U.S. Congressman Vicente González, D-Edinburg, and U.S. Congressman Filemón Vela, D-Brownsville, with a Congressional Certificate of Recognition and Congressional Record for his direction in organizations that affect this community. 

He was recently appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to serve as Texas Commissioner for the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement for a six-year term due to his initiative, dedication and diligent work in support of local, county and state law enforcement agencies.  

Lizcano’s involvement in his hometown of Pharr include serving, or having served, as:

  • Chairman, Board of Directors, Greater Pharr Chamber of Commerce
  •  Vice-Chairman, Board of Directors, Pharr Economic Development Corporation
  •  President, Board of Directors, Pharr Housing Authority
  •  Commissioner, Pharr Civil Service
  • Board Member, Pharr Parks and Recreation Department

Lizcano is also heavily involved in all local chambers of commerce of the Rio Grande Valley. 

He served as a Volunteer Firefighter with the rank of Rescue Captain for the Mission Fire Department for 15 years. Lizcano has also been a volunteer firefighter in the city of Pharr and Palmview, Texas with a combined volunteer fire service of more than 20 years. 

Lizcano served as President, Rio Grande Valley Firefighters and Fire Marshals Association (representing fire departments from Brownsville to Zapata) for six years.  

He was a certified Emergency Medical Technician through the Texas Department of Health and serves as an instructor for the Texas Extension Service from Texas A&M Fire Schools. 

Lizcano was named the Diplomat of the Year by the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce and has been recognized by local organizations, schools, and clubs for his relentless efforts in the community.  

He presently serves as the Volunteer Administration Liaison for the City of Mission Police Department and as a Civil Service Commissioner for the City of Pharr as an advocate for public servants.  

Lizcano has been named the Volunteer Fire Fighter of the Year for the City of Mission twice in his career and has been honored as the Firefighter of the Year for the Rio Grande Valley, chosen by all local fire departments from Roma to Brownsville for his efforts in fire protection and fire prevention. 

He has been named the Runner-Up for the Firefighter of the Year for the State of Texas (competing with all fire departments from all over the State of Texas representing over 20,000 firefighters).  

For his efforts in obtaining lifesaving devices (AED defibrillators) for surrounding rural fire departments through a federal grant, Lizcano was recognized by the American Heart Association and a research grant has been named in his honor at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. 

He has participated in countless hours of community service in promoting and bringing awareness to the importance of health care, education and community service. Lizcano has been recognized by his organization Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Healthcare System for exemplary volunteer community service hours and is honored to be employed as the Administrator of Corporate Affairs.

Lizcano believes in serving others and is known for running in a 5k in full firefighter gear to raise money for others. He has helped and volunteered in more than 500 events throughout the Rio Grande Valley and the State of Texas.

Community Involvement

  • Texas Commissioner – Texas Commission on Law Enforcement 
  • Pharr Economic Development Corporation – Vice-Chairman  
  • City of Pharr – Civil Service  – Vice-Chairman, Board Member
  • City of Pharr – Parks and Recreation Department – Board Member
  • Pharr Housing Authority – President 
  • Greater Pharr Chamber of Commerce – Chairman of the Board 
  • Edinburg Chamber of Commerce – Board Member – Chairman of the Board 
  • Hidalgo County Health Services – Board Member 
  • Guns and Hoses  – Board Member 
  • AACT – Advocacy Alliance Center of Texas – Ambassador 
  • McAllen Chamber of Commerce  – Ambassador Chairman 

Community Involvement 

  • City of Pharr – Golf Committee – Advisory Board Member 
  • City of Edinburg Census Committee – Chairman 
  • UTRGV Athletic Council  – Member 
  • Hope Family Health Center  – Vice-Chairman, Board Member
  • University of Texas Pan American Athletic Fund Board – Board President 
  • CASA of Hidalgo County  – Board Member 
  • La Joya ISD Health Careers High School  – Advisory Board Member 
  • Comfort House – Board Member 
  • PSJA ISD C.A.T.E. Committee  – Club Vice President 
  • ACE Club – Assisting and Caring for Everyone Club  – Member 
  • American Heart Association RGV Chapter -Board Member 
  • Rio Grande Valley Partnership  – Board Member
  • Mission Chamber of Commerce  – Board Member 
  • Mission Boys and Girls Club  – Board President 
  • RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce  – Board Member
  • Children’s Advocacy Center  – Estrella’s House  – Founding Board Member 
  • Mission Lions Club  – Club President 
  • Rio Grande Valley Fire Fighters and Fire Marshals Association  – Board President 
  • Mission Volunteer Fire Department  – Volunteer Firefighter/Rescue Captain 
  • Pharr Volunteer Fire Department  – Volunteer Firefighter 
  • Palmview Volunteer Fire Department  – Volunteer Firefighter/Fire Instructor 
  • PSJA ISD C.A.T.E. Committee  – Club Past President
  • McAllen ISD Education Foundation – Advisory Board Member 
  • City of Mission Ambulance Committee – Board Member 
  • Easter Seals Society  – Board Member 
  • Teach for America – Chairman/Board Member 
  • Vitalant – Community Leadership Council Member 
  • RGV Partnership  – Leadership Class I
  • Pharr Leadership Program 
  • Mission Leadership Program 
  • Edinburg Leadership Program


For more on this and other Texas legislative news stories that affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature (

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