A recent meeting held in Pharr by the Texas Border Coalition solidifies the city’s role as an economic catalyst for the region, according to economic leaders. The city after all brandishes an international trade engine that brings a multitude of transportation and logistical infrastructure opportunities.
The City of Pharr hosted the Texas Border Coalition’s quarterly meeting on Thursday Feb. 11. The meeting was preceded by a special welcoming reception for TBC on Feb. 10 at the city’s Economic Development Corporation offices.
As part of its commitment to foster community awareness, the city’s Innovation and Technology Department broadcasted the meeting live on it’s website, Pharr.Life.
“We are delighted to have everyone here, and have this great organization with many visitors from all over the state. We are very excited to have you here. I am a citizen of Pharr as well as the city’s newly elected mayor and I am very excited and very proud to have everyone here tonight,” said Pharr Mayor Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez at the evening reception. “It takes a lot of effort, a lot of organization and planning to get underway and have it go successfully. The City of Pharr always stands firm behind everybody who wishes to do business in the city, and who wants bring organizations here, especially when it absolutely impacts the region. We think as a region. This is why we love having TBC here.”
Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos was the keynote speaker at the meeting on Thursday. Guest speakers include General Services Administration’s Regional Administrator Sylvia Hernandez and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Boardmember Aaron Wendt.
During his speech, Cascos spoke on the importance of border affairs for Texas.
“What I have seen throughout is that people tend to paint the border with one broad brush, but we know that the communities are different, along with the people. But we do have a common thread,” Cascos said. “It’s culture and customs. Family is a big deal to everyone, so when you leave today I want you to go forth and think about how nice it would be if somebody said ‘we have to win the border if you want to win Texas’.”
The Texas Border Coalition is made up elected and business leaders who strive to speak on behalf of 2.3 million Americans residing in 17 border counties along the 1,250-mile Texas-Mexico border. TBC is committed to working to develop innovative policies and legislation at the national and state levels that will help border communities grow and prosper.
Its officers include TBC chairman JD Salinas, Vice-Chairman and City of McAllen Commissioner Richard Cortez, Laredo Mayor and TBC chairman-elect Pete Saenz, and treasure Eddie Aldrete from IBC Bank.
“For us, we are fortunate enough that Texas Border Coalition saw Pharr as an economic catalyst for our region. They see that we are an international trade engine that brings in transportation and logistical infrastructure opportunities,” said Pharr EDC director Sergio Contreras, who is also chairman of TBC’s Transportation Committee.
“TBC was able to select Pharr EDC as a host entity to be able to bring in others in our area to shed some light because the growth we have is due to the fact that our regional partners are coming in and investing here,” Contreras said. “Pharr in itself carries a lot of weight when it comes to international trade, so that helps us shed some light on challenges and opportunities.”