By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
As originally published by Texas Border Business newsprint edition January 2018
Edna De Saro, Senior Vice-President and Marketing Director at Lone Star National Bank, acted as the Mistress of Ceremony announcing the new branch and first bank coming to Alton Texas. “This will be Lone Star National Bank’s 33rd location across South Texas, but more than anything we are celebrating the continued growth of the Rio Grande Valley.” She continued, “This location is going to serve our communities, our people and that means more services, more opportunities, and more growth for all of us.”
A bank in Alton Texas is a ‘big deal”, as Alton’s mayor said. Alonzo Cantu, Chairman of Lone Star National Bank, attended this prestigious event. Other board members attending David Deanda, president; Oscar Gonzales, Cruz Cantu; David Penoli; Miss Angie Vera and Abdala Kalifa.
Deanda took the podium and said, “The Bible says that everything takes place in time, and I’ve been working with Alton’s mayor for a couple of years concerning this branch, and it’s finally coming to fruition.” He continued, “I think this is going to be great for the City of Alton, this community will have many services available to them.”
Deanda took the opportunity to challenge Cantu, the chairman of the bank to have the branch ready in 90 days. He also said, “If the weather cooperates I think you’ll do it for us, and I know you’ve done it for us in the past.”
Alton’s Mayor, Salvador Vela welcomed Lone Star National Bank, “I’m glad you’re all here, this is a damn big deal for Alton.” He continued, “Everybody is saying, “Is it a big deal?” Yes, it’s big, it’s a damn big deal, we don’t have a bank. Of course, that’s a big deal.”
He pointed out that, Alton’s current estimated population is 16,800, and he is estimating that probably Alton will grow to 20,000 by the next census.
Bank officials were jubilant; the Alton branch comes to a community that has never had bank service. De Saro said, “I want to share something with you – January 23rd of 2018 will mark the 35th anniversary of Lone Star National Bank, the Valley’s bank, providing services to our communities. So, what an amazing way to end the year and to kick off 2018 with the groundbreaking of this amazing new location.”
Felipe Gomez, President of the Alton Chamber of Commerce said, “What can you tell a bank that’s been in business 35 years and has 33 locations? I mean, are they short of any success? Lone Star National Bank is deeply rooted in our community; their deep understanding of our society, in general, is well known. They’ve been through the ups and downs of our economy, they stay strong and growing.”
Robert Rosell president of the Mission Chamber of Commerce said, “It says a lot about the community and the support that Lone Star National Bank has here in the City of Alton and around the Mission area and throughout the Valley.” He continued, “On behalf of the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors, our ambassador Team Go Mission, congratulations on your 35th anniversary.”
Cynthia Sakulenzki, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said, “What a great compliment to Lone Star National Bank, 35 years, remember the very, very first trailer that you all started out with in January 23rd of 1983, and with ten employees and now with over 700 employees. I mean, what a boost you all have done and given the Rio Grande Valley.”
Steve Ahlenius, president of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, said, “When you get a significant player in the local economy investing in the community it is good for the entire region. Our best days are in front of us.”