Author Archives: Contributor

Port of Brownsville Supports Wetlands Restoration

Proposed and expanded Carl “Joe” Gayman channel

Agreement with Rio Grande LNG supports Major Bahia Grande Wetlands A provisional commitment has been reached by the Brownsville Navigation District Board of Commissioners and Rio Grande LNG towards the restoration and enhancement, as well as preservation of the Bahia Grande wetland complex. The commitment includes the expansion of a pilot channel into a permanent and enhanced source of tidal flow to the Bahia Grande. Accoding to a press release from…

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Six Unwritten Rules Related To Business Etiquette

Celebrating National Business Etiquette Week I’m sure many of you are familiar with etiquette when it comes to dining. However, did you know that there was a thing such as business etiquette? Similar to dining etiquette, these unwritten rules of behavior can help you not only close the deal, but also leave a great impression on potential partners/customers. From web communication to interpersonal communication, being aware of unwritten rules can…

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Millennial Investors: The "Slow and Steady" Generation

Millennial investors bring changes to investing With some $30 trillion poised to change hands over the next several decades from parents and grandparents to so-called Millennials – those 90-million-plus Americans aged 18 to 33 – the financial services industry will have its work cut out for it. Popular investing wisdom states that the younger you are, the more time you have to ride out market cycles and therefore the more…

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Casa Los Ebanos hosts weddings 

“This is the perfect place for custom weddings,” agreed Taylor and Martha Blanton of Casa Los Ebanos, a grand, 82-acre estate located just outside San Benito. The property has served as the site for hundreds of such events, as well as other gatherings, over the past 15 years. “Here we let you pick your own caterer, band, everything, and fit it to your budget,” said Taylor. Developing a cost-friendly yet…

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Celebrating the season in style  

As VBR’s fashion columnist, I plan for this new column to spotlight not only clothes and style but the local business people who wear them. My favorite historical building in Harlingen, now known as “The Reese,” was built in 1925, and four years ago underwent a red carpet-worthy makeover.  Fashionista Jo Rae Wagner was the brilliant mind behind that masterpiece of repurposing.  Always stylish, Wagner became the first woman to…

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Providing better diets for pets 

Irazema Walters, co-owner of The Paw Pantry, a natural pet foods store in Harlingen, has learned that better nutrition can transform any dog’s or cat’s life, maybe even save it. That’s why she opened the pantry two years ago, after having operated a more traditional pet-store business, where she had slowly added healthier food products. “I love helping pets, helping to cure them,” she said, “so that their owners will…

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Women in Charge of the Garage

The sign in Andrea Garcia’s tow truck proudly reads “girl power,” a boast made true not only at her self-named wrecker service but also at her family’s garage, Double A. Women play a central role in both Harlingen businesses. “Without them,” says Tony Garcia Jr., who opened the garage in 1995, “I probably would have closed by now.” The women who run the shop today include Tony’s first wife Josie…

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Incubation Time 

Sergio Adame, founder of API Real Estate, wanted to create a little bit of buzz in the Harlingen business community. After realizing that some prospective businesses were having trouble starting up because of financial issues, he decided to offer office space in the Bank of America building that his firm owns. “I was thinking that if a start-up doesn’t have money, you give them a space for free or at…

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Nicho’s niche: fruits and vegetables

“I love working here,” said Tommy Villarreal, president of Nicho Produce Company in Edinburg. “It’s a thrilling environment.” The wholesale company is a hive of activity, fronted by a war room of agents negotiating orders for shipments from over 500 suppliers from around the country and backed by warehouse employees loading and unloading boxes of produce, and kitchen workers moving a variety of vegetables and fruits through the fresh-cut process.…

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More than pumping iron: getting fit  

At the turn of the millennium, the U.S. fitness industry was on the cusp of a huge growth decade. Young adults in the 18–34-year-old range drove membership, helping to make it the fastest-growing job market by 2006. Large gyms, of more than 10,000 square feet, studded with endless rows of Nautilus equipment and treadmills, dotted the typical upscale suburban landscape. In recent years, however, the robust $20-billion-plus industry has undergone…

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