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Celebrating the Legacy of Randy McLelland

South Texas Affordable Homes, Inc. Ribbon Cutting and Naming Ceremony

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Randy McLelland: A Good Heart Champion of Affordable Housing and Community Development. Photo by Roberto Hugo González
Randy McLelland: A Good Heart Champion of Affordable Housing and Community Development. Photo by Roberto Hugo González

Texas Border Business

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On October 4, 2023, a momentous event unfolded at South Texas Affordable Homes, Inc. (AHSTI) that marked not only the opening of a new Construction Services building but also the dedication of its conference rooms to two remarkable individuals, Arturo “Tito” Torres and Randy McLelland, long-standing supporters of AHSTI. This occasion brought together community leaders, business professionals, and well-wishers to celebrate their contributions and the continued commitment of AHSTI to its mission.

Ms. Lorena Castillo, the Board President of Affordable Homes of South Texas, took the stage with gratitude in her heart. She expressed her excitement about the day’s significance and the opportunity to honor two exceptional individuals who had played crucial roles in the success of AHSTI.

Seven Texas Regional Bank collaborators, along with Mrs. McLelland, at the momentous AHSTI event honoring the legacy of Randy McLelland. Photo by Roberto Hugo González

“Today, we are here to celebrate two people who have made an indelible mark on our organization and community.” One of those remarkable individuals is Arturo “Tito” Torres, whose vision and dedication were instrumental in founding AHSTI. His firm commitment to improving the lives of families in Hidalgo County has left a lasting legacy, and his name now graces one of the newly named conference rooms.

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Representing Texas Regional Bank, Jason Leal shared his perspective on this special day. “We are here to recognize not only the accomplishments but also the guidance and input that Tito and Randy brought to the organization.”

Leal acknowledged that Tito Torres played a vital role from the beginning, setting the organization on a path of transformation and community service. AHSTI has touched countless lives and families thanks to Tito’s vision.

Randy McLelland, South Texas Senior Credit Officer at Texas Regional Bank, was praised for his contributions to the banking industry and his mentorship to many. “Randy provided guidance not just within the banking industry but also helped individuals like me make crucial decisions,” said Leal, reflecting Randy’s impact beyond AHSTI.

In the field of affordable housing and community development, some individuals stand out as true champions, dedicating their time, expertise, and passion to making a difference in the lives of others. Randy, a prominent figure in the McAllen Affordable Homes community, is one such champion who has left an indelible mark on the organization and its mission.

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Bobby Calvillo, the Executive Director for AHSTI, recounted the journey that brought Randy into the fold of affordable housing advocacy. Nearly three decades ago, Bobby was a banker contemplating a career change when he met Randy, then McAllen Affordable Homes’ board chairman. Besides dedicated individuals like Alonzo Cantu, Gracie Silva, and Glenn Timmons, Randy invited Bobby to join their cause. Randy’s encouragement and support were instrumental in Bobby’s decision to take the plunge into the world of affordable housing.

Randy’s service to McAllen Affordable Homes began in 1989, and he served as the board president for two terms until 1999. Even after concluding his board service, Randy’s dedication did not fade. In 2001, he co-founded the Community Development Corporation of South Texas, an organization committed to providing affordable housing opportunities to qualified families in neighboring communities. Randy served as the founding chairman of this board and played a central role in expanding the reach of affordable housing initiatives.

Though he retired from board service in 2004, Randy’s profound commitment persisted. In 2011, he once again agreed to serve on the board of Affordable Homes in South Texas, Inc., and he remained a trusted advisor to many until his retirement from the board in 2021.

Randy shared his perspective, reflecting on his involvement with affordable housing and Bobby Calvillo. His journey began when Othal Brand approached him in 1989 requesting an unsecured million-dollar loan at a 5% interest rate. At the time, prevailing interest rates were significantly higher, but Randy recognized the importance of the mission and, after careful consideration, approved the loan. This decision proved to be one of the most impactful of his career, leading to a lasting partnership with AHSTI.

Over the years, Randy continued supporting AHSTI through various financial arrangements, praising the organization for always meeting its commitments. He also acknowledged the community’s firm support, with every mayor, including Othal Brand, actively championing AHSTI’s cause. Randy expressed his gratitude to Jim Darling, particularly for his outstanding support. Darling is also a former McAllen mayor and an attorney.

In his closing remarks, Randy emphasized the honor of being involved in an enterprise that truly makes a difference in people’s lives. He took pride in the quality of the homes AHSTI built and their positive impact on families, especially children who tended to perform better in school and life. Randy’s humility and dedication shine and leaves the enduring spirit of community service that drives organizations like AHSTI.

In the annals of affordable housing and community development, Randy McLelland’s legacy will forever stand as an example of what can be achieved through dedication, collaboration, and a genuine commitment to improving the lives of others. His journey with McAllen Affordable Homes inspires all who aspire to make a lasting impact in their communities.

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