Featured, from left: Larry Edward Safir, Media Healthcare Executive, DHR Health; Jericka Gaskamp, Liaison, Renaissance Cancer Foundation; Elizabet Jondreau, Interim Director, DHR Health Advanced Care Center; Marissa Castañeda, Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Operations Officer, DHR Health; S. David Deanda Jr., President, Lone Star National Bank; Edna De Saro, Senior Vice President, Marketing Director, Lone Star National Bank; Janet Vackar, Co-Owner, Bert Ogden Auto Group; and Robert C. Vackar, Co-Owner, Bert Ogden Auto Group. These South Texas leaders participated in DHR Health’s Renaissance Cancer Foundation Gala on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, where $318,791 was raised to support patients throughout the Rio Grande Valley. The Renaissance Cancer Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide support for cancer patients in the Rio Grande Valley. Since 2008, the Renaissance Cancer Foundation has dedicated its efforts to building community awareness while providing cancer education, emotional support, financial assistance and guidance for underserved patients. The funds raised at the 2018 Gala will allow the Foundation to fulfill their mission of providing local patients with services to help them during their cancer journey.
Photograph By GERARD GARMENDIA, DHR HEALTH
Featured: Antonio and Rebecca Díaz of Edinburg were among thousands of South Texans who witnessed family members and friends receive their university diplomas from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley during graduation ceremonies held on Saturday, December 16, 2018, at the McAllen Convention Center. The previous day, graduation ceremonies also were held on the Student Union Lawn at UTRGV in Brownsville. UTRGV graduated more than 3,100 students during the two days of ceremonies. Since UTRGV opened in 2015, the university has awarded more than 12,800 degrees.
Photograph By SILVER SALAS
Featured, from left: William H. McRaven, Chancellor of The University of Texas System; Janet Ogden Vackar and Robert “Bob” C. Vackar, owners of the Bert Ogden Auto Group, which began in Edinburg and spread Valleywide; and Dr. Guy Bailey, President, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. The UT System and UTRGV were celebrating a donation of $15 million by the Vackars to UTRGV by naming its business college the Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship. The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, along with the City of Edinburg, also promotes the best interests of UTRGV and the UTRGV School of Medicine through its extensive legislative lobbying efforts before the UT System Board of Regents, the Texas Legislature, and Congress.
Photograph By PAUL CHOUY
Edinburg’s retail economy during April 2016 had the best rate of improvement – 3.05 percent – over the same month last year among the Valley’s major cities, while by comparison, cities statewide reported a combined average decrease of 1.2 percent in April 2016 compared with April 2015, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. A growing economy in the city is influenced by the hard work ethic of the community and by the generosity of business success stories in the city, such as the Vackar family, whose last name on wife Janet’s side of her family, is set to grace the Bert Ogden Arena currently under construction in southeast Edinburg, and which will be the largest entertainment venue in South Texas.The Vackars – owners and principal dealers of the Bert Ogden Auto Group, which includes 13 dealership locations housing 16 individual franchise lines across the Valley – both grew up in the Valley, the children of entrepreneurs who owned Edinburg-based businesses and inspired dedication to hard work and community service.
Featured: An IMAX theater, similar to the one featured in this image by pocket-lint.com, will be coming to Carmike 20 Cinemas in Edinburg and is scheduled to open next year, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The news comes as the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts released statewide data showing the retail economy in Edinburg for the month of March 2016 is more than eight percent better than the same month last year.
Edinburg’s retail economy during March 2016 was more than eight percent ahead of the same period last year, much better than the statewide average of all Texas cities for the same period, which came in with a 1.4 percent improvement, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. This latest positive news about the Edinburg’s economy, which was prepared by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and released on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, came as Carmike Cinemas’ corporate headquarters revealed they have begun large-scale renovations at its Carmike Cinemas 20 entertainment complex in Edinburg. The nearest IMAX to the Valley is located in Corpus Christi.
Featured, from left: George Cárdenas, Senior Vice President, Inter National Bank, McAllen; Shekhar Gianchandani, Chief Financial Officer, Qube Hotel Group; City Councilmember Richard Molina; Hiren M. Govind, Chief Operating Officer, Qube Hotel Group; Himesh Jeram, Chief Executive Officer, Qube Hotel Group; Mark Iglesias, President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Agustín García, Jr., Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; and Ellie M. Torres, Secretary/Treasurer, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. The group was participating in the Tuesday, November 17, 2015 groundbreaking of the $10 million Marriott Towne Place Suites being built near the intersection of Professional Drive and Trenton Road. Not pictured is Mohan Tewani, Chief Development Officer, Qube Hotel Group. The new facility is the latest sign of economic growth in the city, which is also showing continued gains in its retail economy.
Photograph By DIEGO REYNA
Edinburg’s retail economy from January through October 2015 was 7.16 percent ahead of the same period last year, a figure that is almost double the the statewide average of all Texas cities, which came in with a 3.6 percent improvement when comparing the same 10-month periods, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The EEC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members. For the month of October 2015, the city’s retail economy registered a 7.55 percent rate of improvement over the same month last year, the EEDC added, according to data released on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. These figures are based on sales made in October 2015 by businesses that report tax monthly. Among its many duties, the Texas Comptroller’s office is the state’s chief tax collector, accountant, revenue estimator and treasurer. The 7.55 percent increase over the same month last year was the best showing among the Valley’s larger economies. During the first 10 months of 2015, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $20,245,270.46 in local sales taxes, compared with $18,891,654.50 for January through October 2014, resulting in the improvement of 7.16 percent. During October 2015, the city’s retail economy generated $1,568,278.46 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,458,157.23 for October 2014, representing the improvement of 7.55 percent, also according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The local sales tax is used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the EEDC uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city. The amount of local sales taxes collected also helps reflect the strength of an economy, along with construction activities, per capita income, education, historical performances, and related trends. The sales tax, formally known as the State Sales and Use Tax, is imposed on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services. Texas cities, counties, transit authorities and special purpose districts have the option of imposing an additional local sales tax for a combined total of state and local taxes of 8 1/4% (.0825).