Noche de Gala Great Recipients Selection, the Best of the Best!

R. David Guerra, Eagle Award Recipient 

By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

As originally published by Texas Border Business newsprint edition May 2018

The RGV Hispanic Chambers annual “Noche de Gala” took place on Saturday, March 3rd at Mario’s Banquet Hall in Mission. This is one of the flagship events for the chamber which consists of Business Awards, a specially picked dinner, open bar, silent & live auction, Cork Pull on some delicious wines, dancing, and simulcast horse racing.

The Golden Eagle Award recipient this year was R. David Guerra, recently retired President/CEO of the International Bank of Commerce (IBC).

Mr. Guerra is known for his involvement in community events throughout the Rio Grande Valley. His concern for non-profits that focus on issues that affect the Valley are paramount to him.

Dr. Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa, Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC.
Dr. Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa, Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC.

Dr. Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa also was recognized as the Business Woman of the Year. Fred Del Barrio was awarded Business Man of the Year. Recipients for Small, Medium and Large Corporations were Spa La Posada, Chick-fil-A of north McAllen and Edinburg, and Whataburger Valley-wide.

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David Guerra is an established leader in the Rio Grande Valley, most of his career was in banking until he retired. He has provided invaluable counsel and business insight that has played a critical role in IBC’s unprecedented and continued growth throughout the past two decades.

Guerra’s commitment to volunteerism and philanthropy is spirited by his passion for increasing access to educational opportunities and financial resources for South Texas students seeking higher education.

His commitment to improving the quality of life for all South Texans has spearheaded his active involvement in other community-focused initiatives as well.

Dr. Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC.  She holds a Leadership Studies from Our Lady of the Lake University, where she currently is a full-time faculty member in the School of Business and Leadership Studies teaching in Leadership Studies.

She is publisher/owner of the Mercedes Enterprise newspaper. She is also a published author, having published a number of books, including Are You a Ten? The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader. Her books are available on Amazon and are included in Good Reads and other similar media outlets.

Fred Del Barrio, McDonald's
Fred Del Barrio, McDonald’s

Fred Del Barrio began his career with McDonald’s in January 1984 and from the moment he began working for McDonald’s, it was clear to him this was definitely where he wanted to be. With great dedication, passion, and commitment, Fred started working through the ranks and ultimately the hard work paid off first in 1995 when Fred became a partner with Ted Cureton and then again in 1996 when he became an independent owner/operator in Pharr, Texas.

Now as a proud owner of 13 restaurants, in the Rio Grande Valley, he and his wife Nelda continue to promote the spirit of being Mr. and Mrs. McDonald’s to the communities that they serve.

Edna Posada’s self-starter attitude has made her one successful entrepreneur in South Texas. She owns Spa La Posada. Posada was born in Brownsville and raised in San Benito in a very humble, traditional setting with a stay-at-home mom and a hard-working entrepreneurial father.

As the eldest of five children, she learned responsibility at a very young age and started working outside of the home at age 15. Her childhood motivated her to chart a path to success.

She’s grateful for her two children, Alexandria and Daniel, for being her staunchest supporters throughout the “blood, sweat, and tears” in building her business and for putting up with cereal as dinner on some nights.

Rudy Martinez, Chick-fil-A
Rudy Martinez, Chick-fil-A

Mr. Rudy Martinez started working for Chick-fil-A 33 years ago, starting as a Kitchen Team Member at Chick-fil-A La Plaza Mall in 1984 after moving from Mexico. He worked there for 11 years before becoming Operator of Chick-fil-A South Park Mall in San Antonio. He later transitioned to the 10thStreet location in 2002. With the exception of his now 5-year-old grandson, Jude, all of his family members work with him in the Restaurant; his wife, Petty, and his children, Laura, Rudie, and Isaac. With their support, he applied for and was selected in 2015 to operate Chick-fil-A Edinburg in addition to the 10thStreet location.

David Cantu, Director of Operation, Whataburger
David Cantu, Director of Operation, Whataburger

Over six decades ago on August 8, 1950, an adventurous and determined entrepreneur named Harmon Dobson had a bold idea:  to serve a burger so big that it took two hands to hold, and so good that after a single bite customers couldn’t help but exclaim, “What a Burger!” He named his humble burger stand, located on Ayers Street in Corpus Christi “Whataburger”. In 1955 Mr. Harmon married Grace Williamson and raised 3 children: Hugh, Lynne, and Tom. In the first 10 years, Mr. Harmon opened up 21 stores, which includes one in Florida and Tennessee.  In 1967 tragedy struck the Whataburger family when a plane crash took the life of Mr. Dobson. The whole family came together and supported Ms. Grace as she took over the business.