Texas Border Business
By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
In the flourishing city of Rio Grande City, Texas Regional Bank recently celebrated the start of construction of their new branch; the bank’s first banking center in this rapidly evolving community. The commemorative event was held at 4389 E. US Highway 83 Loop and drew a significant number of attendees.
Key figures from Rio Grande City and Starr County, including Texas State Representative Ryan Guillen, attended the celebration alongside executive leaders from the bank. Retired Deacon RC Salinas from Sacred Heart Church of Escobares led the invocation, asserting “We are here for you, Texas Regional Bank, committed to supporting you every step of the way. We’re proud to be part of Rio Grande City’s story. Thank you for choosing us.”
The vibrant community extended an incredible welcome to the bank. The prestigious ceremony included a presentation of colors by the JROTC of Rio Grande City High School and a Pledges of Allegiance to both the U.S. and Texas flags by Scouts BSA Troop 93 Rio Grande City. Both organizations provided a heartfelt and patriotic display.
Texas Regional Bank Director of Business Development, Jamie Brown-Rosas, officially welcomed honored guests and community members. She invited Alex Meade, the bank’s Executive Vice President of Economic Development and Public Finance, to address the audience. Meade praised the city’s planning department and City Hall, highlighting their dedication, efficiency and strong work ethic, which played a significant role in finalizing site plans.
Among those recognized for their leadership were Dr. Antonio Falcon, a bank board member and Dr. Adalberto Garza, an advisory board member, who advocated for Rio Grande City’s readiness for a Texas Regional Bank location. In addition, Sam Vale, President of the Starr-Camargo Bridge Co., was applauded for his valuable support of the bank’s plans to establish a banking center in the city.
CEO & Chairman of Texas Regional Bank, Michael Scaief, expressed, “Never in our history have we seen a community come together like Rio Grande City has, to assure success and make things happen. RC perfectly summarized our mission when he stated, ‘We’re here to help you guys be successful.’ I extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone as you keep striving for that success every day.”
Texas Regional Bank, A New Chapter in Rio Grande City
Elaborating on the bank’s history, Scaief stated, “Texas Regional Bank has proudly carved its niche as a homegrown institution, with its roots deeply embedded in the Rio Grande Valley. We started our journey 13 years ago in Harlingen, marking the birth of our first branch. Since this key milestone, we’ve witnessed significant expansion. Our network has grown to encompass 13 branches across the Rio Grande Valley, with an additional 29 branches in the Texas Hill Country, Houston, and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. In contrast to many financial institutions, our ownership structure is unique. It isn’t centralized but distributed among a myriad of shareholders. There is no single dominating shareholder; rather, our strength lies in the diverse ownership of approximately 1200 individuals. In essence, we epitomize a community bank, offering a wide range of services, including banking, mortgage, wealth management, trust services, and insurance.”
At the ceremonial groundbreaking event, Rio Grande City Mayor Joel Villarreal warmly welcomed Texas Regional Bank, highlighting, “The bedrock of banking is trust, a virtue that Texas Regional Bank personifies. It fosters relationships grounded in loyalty, trust, and due diligence, reflecting the core values of our cherished Rio Grande City.” He also underscored the city’s significant investments in infrastructure to accommodate future growth.
Additionally, Mayor Villarreal accentuated the city’s robust international trade networks, evident through an active land port and billions of dollars in trade. He also highlighted the city’s diverse range of commodities and services, a young dynamic workforce, and a cost of living remarkably lower than the national average – 26% less to be exact.
State Representative Ryan Guillen, addressing the crowd, expressed, “These groundbreaking stands as a testament to the relentless effort and the exceptional individuals that form the beating heart of Rio Grande, our city, and our county. I extend my deepest appreciation to the city for supporting this project, and to the EDC and Texas Regional Bank for their investment. I had the privilege of flying a flag over the capitol, which will soon fly proudly in front of the bank upon its opening. I extend my congratulations to the community and look forward to our continued partnership to ensure the prosperity of this bank and our community. Thank you.”
Scaief unveiled the ambitious plans for the new Texas Regional Bank banking center during the ceremony, adding that it would be an architectural treasure, with brickwork that complements historic downtown Rio Grande City. “This endeavor represents an investment of roughly 4 million dollars. The facility will feature a ‘Welcome to Rio Grande City’ sign, placed prominently at its entrance,” he shared. The bank will take center stage, with professional offices situated behind, and retail spaces further back, creating a diverse and comprehensive hub,” concluded Scaief.