INNO 5th Annual Bi-National Innovation Conference 2017

Ms. Laura Warren, Warren Group Architects Inc.; Mr. Blake Hastings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Mr. Mike Rhodes, Tres Lagos and Dr. Carlos Marin, P.E., President & CEO, Ambiotec Engineering Group.

Texas Border Business

South Texas College preparing to celebrate the 5th Annual Binational Innovation Conference (INNO 2017), scheduled for the 20th of October, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Each year, this conference is held at the STC Technology Campus, located at 3700 W. Military Highway, and is offered to the public with the goal of promoting regional economic growth and development through stimulating innovation in both the public and private sectors. In particular, emphasis is placed on providing information and resources to facilitate the success of new and existing business interests.

In the past, conference-topics have ranged from the role played by technological innovation in the ongoing expansion of commercial activity to the importance of entrepreneurship for private enterprise in the Rio Grande Valley and Reynosa.

This year’s topic will address new innovations in “regional urban development and planning.”   With the continuous growth of the Rio Grande Valley, fueled largely by ongoing commercial investment, the importance of urban development and planning to the success of both private and public sector activities cannot be underestimated. Dean Mario Reyna, Division of Business, Public Safety & Technology, South Texas College is extending a special invitation to all individuals and groups who are interested in learning more about regional urban development and planning and how it can benefit them and their particular business enterprise.

As INNO 2017 is a collaborative binational undertaking between South Texas College (STC) and El Instituto Internacional de Estudios Superiores (IIES) in Reynosa, Mexico, experts from both sides of the border have been invited to participate as speakers and panel members.

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The Conference is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. with a brief welcome from Dr. Shirley Reed the Presidents of STC and IIES, respectively, both of whom have been instrumental to the ongoing success of the INNO Conferences.  The featured speakers will include Mr. Blake Hastings from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, who will provide an economic overview of the Rio Grande Valley; Mr. Carlos Marin of Ambiotic Civil Engineering, who will discuss specific innovations in urban development and planning and how they impact our region; and Mr. Mike Rhodes of Tres Lagos Development, who will discuss how effective urban development and planning benefits businesses and the overall public. Also, Ms. Laura Warren, Warren Group Architects Inc. with a topic of Urban Development in the Rio Grande Valley

In addition to the keynote speakers, the Conference offers two panels on topics related to regional urban development and planning. The first is entitled, “Urban Development in the RGV” and will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Panel members represent all of the counties located in the Rio Grande Valley and are experts in the areas of economic development, municipal governance, and urban planning.  They include Ms. Michelle Leftwich, Assistant City Manager for the city of McAllen; Mr. Michael Leo, Economic Development Director for Hidalgo County; Mr. Sergio Contreras, President of Rio Grande Valley Partnership; Mr. Pilar Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority; and Ms. Rose Benavidez, President of Starr County Industrial Foundation.

The second panel is scheduled to run from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will address the relationship between business growth and expansion and effective regional urban planning.  It is comprised of Ms. Leticia Flores from the Office of the Governor; Mr. Keith Patridge, President and CEO of the McAllen Economic Development Commission; Mr. Victor Perez, Executive Director of the Pharr Economic Development Corporation; Mr. Alex Meade, Chief Executive Officer of the Mission Economic Development Commission; and Mr. Agustin Garcia, Executive Director of the Edinburg Economic Development Commission.  The Conference will conclude at 3:30 p.m. with closing remarks from Dean Mario Reyna.