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Leadership Mid Valley Celebrates Fifteen Years

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This year marks the fifteenth year of Leadership Mid-Valley, an initiative of the Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce. Pictured L-R, Front row: Mae Vela, Bob’s Steak and Chop House; Dina Murrillo, WoodmenLife; Jessica Estevez, Estrategia Group; Maria Belmares, Designer Zoo Closet Exchange; Jessica Marin, South Texas Federal Credit Union; Cinthia Bernal, Affordable Homes of South Texas; Sonya Gonzales, Villa de Cortez and Alex Montenegro, Frost Bank. Back row L-R: Jose Angel Luna, H-E-B; Violeta Valdez, Vantage Bank; Christian Martinez, Navy Army Community Credit Union; Ralph Zelno, Knapp Community Care Foundation and Gerardo Flores, Texas National Bank.

Texas Border Business

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The Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that this year marks the fifteenth year of Leadership Mid Valley. A program of the Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Mid Valley is an eight-month program that seeks to identify and motivate emerging leaders and develop their potential for community leadership by exposing them to the realities, opportunities, and issues of our community may face.

Leadership Mid Valley consists of monthly meetings that focus on one particular industry or topic, including agriculture, history, healthcare, economics, media and more. In addition, each class is responsible for organizing a fundraiser and class project. The goal is to introduce current and potential leaders to the needs of the Mid Valley and equip them for community involvement and service. Many of the participants go on to serve as volunteer board members of various local organizations. 

“As the RGV continues to evolve, LMV does too, now focused not only on the Mid Valley, but it also gives insight to the growth of our region and the economic impact the Rio Grande Valley has not only on the state of Texas but also at the federal level,” remarked Raquel Limas, LMV XIII and chairwoman elect of the Leadership Mid-Valley Board.  “With the nation’s eyes on the border, we provide local emerging Mid-Valley leaders an education of the successes and problems our region face, changing the perspective of life on the border.” 

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For current class participant Maria Belmares, owner of Designer Zoo Closet Exchange in Weslaco, Leadership Mid Valley was an opportunity to become reconnected with her community.

“I’m from Weslaco, but then moved away for six years,” remarked Maria.  “I came back, and I wanted to do more, meet more people, do something for the community.”

At the start of the program every September, a class retreat is held to allow the group members to get to know each other through a variety of ice breakers and team-building exercises. Leadership Mid Valley alumni were present at this year’s retreat to share their own experiences and feelings about the program, which solidified Maria’s choice to become involved.

“They described [Leadership Mid Valley] as life-changing and I knew it obviously means a lot because we’re hearing it from all these different people,” added Maria. “For me, it’s time and money well invested.”

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For more information about how you can contribute or participate in Leadership Mid Valley and/or the Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce, visit Weslaco.com or call 956-968-2102.

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