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Publisher’s Word: 2020 Was Brutal; I Pray 2021 Brings a New Day


Robot Being Constructed Downtown with A.I. Potential

Fab Lab is a 501-C3 non-profit in Downtown El Paso that aims to provide accessible educational experiences for students and professionals to support the development of more ingenious and resourceful products.
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I don’t think that we will ever forget 2020. It had just about every twist and turn that we could ever imagine. The COVID-19 pandemic was totally out of our control; it remains persistent even as we end the year. 

I admit that this pandemic was a formidable challenge that crippled our ability to do business the way we knew it. But as devastating that it was for everyone, there were people in the Rio Grande Valley that looked for ways to help the businesspeople in distress.

Such is the case of the Harlingen Economic Development Corp. (HEDC) that put aside one million dollars and offered it as interest free loans for small businesses in their city. In a way, this is the best and a most noble way to face adversity.

In this issue, find the Exclusive story, and meet Raudel Garza, manager and CEO for the Harlingen EDC. You will learn more about their activities during these challenging times.

On another subject, as is traditional for us, in this issue find the best Exclusive interviews we had during 2020.

We started with Mayor Jim Darling; the article is titled “Being Mayor in Today’s World is Facing Complex Challenges”

In February, I spoke to Elva Cerda, the Managing Director of the McAllen Heritage Center and a founding board member since 2006. The story was titled: “If We Do Not Know Who We Were, We Don’t Know Who We Are.”

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Then came Victor Escalon Jr., the Regional Director for the Department of Public Safety South Texas Region. His Exclusive was titled “Making the U.S./Mexico Border Safe Is Not a Piece of Cake.”

This year we also had Natasha Del Barrio, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Bert Ogden and Fiesta Auto Group in the Rio Grande Valley. Her Exclusive is titled “Natasha Del Barrio, an Exceptional Woman CEO in Auto Retail.”

Another story for all businesspeople was inspiring exclusive, “If You Can Visualize It, You Can Realize It” -Art Ortega, Freedom Bank, The Valley’s Newest Bank has a New Chairman and CEO.

We then moved to entertainment arenas, the Exclusive titled “Professional Sports Should Be a Point of Civic Pride for A Community” – Ron Patel, GGE President. He is the new president has great ideas for Bert Ogden Arena and HEB Park, the Gems.

Another inspiring story was about a couple titled, “A Husband and Wife Remind Us the American Dream Is Alive.” I remember that I left the meeting with a great feeling, knowing that the American Dream is alive and well. It was indeed an honor meeting Juan Rafael Cano and his wife Sara Ana Cano.

And how can we forget, Yvonne Gonzalez, better known as Bonnie, the Chief Executive Officer of Knapp Community Care Foundation (KCCF) located in Weslaco, Texas. The article titled, “Bonnie Gonzalez, Bringing Prevention and Wellness to the Mid-Valley” was very interesting.

I also had the pleasure of interviewing Mayor Trey Mendez from Brownsville. His Exclusive is titled “Mayor Trey Mendez, Strong Leadership for Brownsville’s Future” and indeed he has proven to have brought visionary leadership.

There is so much talent in the Rio Grande Valley that I found Laura Warren Ogletree to be among the top players in her field. Her Exclusive titled, “Laura Warren Ogletree Architect with No Borders” is a window to how she has triumphed.

These and more in our new December Edition!


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