Publisher’s Word: A Champion Among Philanthropists


Robert C. Vackar

By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez,

As originally published by Texas Border Business newsprint edition August 2016.

He is not only an intrepid businessman, but a champion of philanthropists in the region.

This month, Texas Border Business’ feature story is Robert C. Vackar, the President and C. E. O. of Bert Ogden Auto Group in the Rio Grande Valley.

It was important to Texas Border Business to have him as our front cover. He has given significant gifts towards education that as Dr. Guy Bailey, founding president of the University Of Texas RGV said, “For us this is a game changer.”

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Read the comments of other leaders of the area about Mr. Vackar, I know that you will find them to be interesting and inspiring.

On another matter, the announcement of The Harbor, a multimillion dollar family entertainment has become the talk of the day.

Real estate developer Miguel Kamel, of Kamel Salomon Investments, a resilient businessman is bringing this unique project to Mercedes, Texas. Mercedes has shown its ability to handle significant investments like the Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets and now to include Kamel’s entertainment project. See more inside.

When I learned that Kristoffer “Kris” Kristofferson, the big international star, singer, songwriter, musician, and actor had been in the Valley. Texas Border Business thought that it was a good idea to find out more about it.

The story is that he is originally from Brownsville and that he was raised by a Hispanic woman born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas and raised in Brownsville. The care and love that this woman gave him was enough for Kris never to forget. More inside.

Edinburg continues as one of the leading cities in growth, sales and economic development. The building activities in Edinburg from January through June 2016 have passed the $131 million level, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has reported. More inside.

On Safety, Texas Border Business met with Garret Velardi. He is a reviewer in the damage prevention department with the Railroad Commission in Austin Texas.

Just recently TBB spoke with him during an expo event created to educate city employees and the public about damage prevention.

Congratulations to Carlos L. Margo, he has been selected to serve as STC’s Associate Dean of Industry Training and Economic Development.

Margo has long been recognized for his expertise in assessing companies’ workforce needs. Industry Training and Development then takes those needs and customizes training at the college to provide employers with highly qualified and well-trained employees.

The State of Texas as a whole is doing great. The state released numbers showing double-digit growth for new Texas business creations for the first half of 2016 compared to the first half of 2015.

The two-time Ruby Red Ventures award winner from Mission, Pilar Gonzalez is happy to say that H-E-B is spreading her DIP-IT product to hundreds of stores across Texas. This is another must read story.

When I heard David Contis, the president of Simon Malls that La Plaza Mall generates $400 million in sales a year, and that they pay $33 million a year in sales tax and $4 million in real estate taxes, I was very impressed.

It’s been several months since he said it and I still can’t forget it. What a contribution to the City of McAllen.

As you have seen, construction is all around La Plaza Mall, the Macy’s parking deck will be finished by fall of this year. The additional building that will house the new stores occupying the space where Sears was, also shows good progress. Read more inside this issue.

I know that you will enjoy it! TBB