Texas Border Business
By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
Many of you have seen this familiar face, she is Edna De Saro, Executive Vice President, and Marketing Director for Lone National Star Bank (LSNB). For the last eighteen years, Edna has been the LSNB’s connection with the communities of the Rio Grande Valley. She has become a most effective emissary for the bank.
Lone Star National Bank has a tradition of helping communities throughout South Texas and outside its banking footprint. The most recent case is Uvalde, a small community of less than sixteen thousand. A tragic event impacted that community, and Lone Star National Bank immediately started raising funds to help the families of the victims of that tragedy.
Edna led the campaign on behalf of Lone Star National Bank, bringing together the Rio Grande Valley’s media to send a message to Valley donors to join the bank in this noble cause. The fundraising culminated with Edna traveling to Uvalde to deliver the funds in person. She said, “I felt like a beacon of hope for that community.”
During another very recent event, she hosted the 44th annual Easterseals Rio Grande Valley Telethon for the fourth time in a row. For over 70 years, Easterseals RGV has been providing critical services, education, outreach, and advocacy so that children and adults with disabilities can live, learn, work, and play in our community.
“The funds help to provide endless possibilities for a child. They should be able to dream of being whatever they want to be in the future. And that is what makes my heart beat.”
On behalf of LSNB, Edna conducted the three-hour telethon in her 3½” high heels. It was broadcasted by KRGV Channel 5 from the Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg.
As always, the connection with the community is vital. Lone Star National Bank is known for philanthropic activities that only a few have done in South Texas. Edna is a tireless professional. When she starts a project, she sticks with it until the end.
She told Texas Border Business that people get surprised when they find out that she had been in banking for more than 22 years. That is because before working with LSNB, she worked as a marketer and business development officer for another bank.
Is there a book that you follow for success?
“No, I don’t have a book. My job is not a Monday to Friday job. I firmly believe that success is dedication, love, and long hours,” she said. “I don’t know who came up with that joke about bankers’ hours because bankers’ hours are way more than just eight to five.” She added that other factors for success are to network, network, and network, at any level and in any business.
Edna keeps a tight and active work calendar; she is a multitasker. Her full-time position with LSNB is public relations, creation, and marketing. “I’m very passionate about what I do. I love creating billboards. I love creating print ads, TV and radio commercials, and web ads. I love everything in the aspect of telling the story and brand of a company.”
She pointed out that the PR aspect is the giving back factor. “I consider myself extremely blessed to have the opportunity to go out and to fundraise to give back, all while representing the wonderful people I work with.”
Edna is a loyal, loving, and resilient woman. She is dedicated, hardworking, and a self-made professional.
When you love, do you love a lot or just a little?
“I don’t know how to love just a little. You can see that as a weakness. But when I love, I love a whole lot, and I am very loyal. And sometimes, I also seem to get hurt.”
Edna graduated from McAllen Memorial High School; she is a Mustang. “I attained my undergraduate degree from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth in three and a half years. I loved school; I always took more than 12 credit hours. I registered for 16 hours and always did more.”
“I used to work on campus as a file clerk in the admissions office. I also worked at a local restaurant as a hostess at Ninfa’s restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas.” Edna said, “I put myself through college. I had an amazing collegiate experience at TCU. I got my undergraduate degree in business with an emphasis in marketing and a minor in Latin American literature.”
Once she finished at TCU, she moved back to the Valley and started a banking career. Years later, she was hired by LSNB.
Later, she went back to school at Pan American University to attain her master’s degree. “I earned my MBA in business administration from University of Texas Pan American, so I have both undergraduate and graduate school degrees.” Edna savors her accomplishments in college.
Professionally, she is proud of the longevity of her career. “I think that’s a huge accomplishment for me. I’ve been able to sustain a career in banking for 22 years.”
Another significant success she has enjoyed is that of being a small business owner. “I co-own De Saro/Rodriguez, an advertising agency.”
How important is God in your life?
“God lives within me and my heart,” she said. “I am here as a child of God.”
“El Que Quiere, Puede,” Edna De Saro
We mentioned that she is a multitasker. Well, she is about to embark on the production of an audio podcast. She said, “Latina on the Border is a very personal project of mine. Something that I was inspired to create back in 2019.”
Numerous projects were about to start almost three years ago; many were postponed or suspended because of the pandemic. “2022 feels like the right time.” So, Edna is in the process of launching the Latina on the Border podcast very soon.
She says, “I am planning to feature all the goodness of the Rio Grande Valley, its leaders, its food, and what is the Valley all about. It is a great place to raise a family, start a business, and live.”
Among other topics, what are the strengths of the region? She said, “We have two ports in the Valley, one in Harlingen and the other in Brownsville, plus multiple international gates with Mexico.” She added, “Education, public sector, industry, the Hispanic motivation to succeed, and technology are also the main drivers.” So, get ready. It will be a pretty interesting podcast. Stay tuned for the announcement.
Another personal project on the burner is a children’s book she has written and will be publishing. “It’s a self-growth book for children.” She continued, “Sometimes we think about how adults need support to be able to grow and to be able to strengthen themselves as professionals. We often forget about children. Children also need to be spoken to with encouragement. And I think now more than ever, children are facing many adversities and different challenges that we in other generations didn’t face in our lifetime.”
In this book, she will talk to children about the importance of self-love. “Yes. And stop worrying about other people’s opinions. Love yourself for who you are. And so, I cannot wait, Roberto. It will be sooner than later. I don’t want to spill the beans yet, but it’s coming. It’s coming,” she finalized.