Leadership Mid-Valley held a graduation ceremony for Class XIV on Friday, May 10 at the Valley Nature Center in Weslaco. The program featured keynote speaker Reynaldo Limas, CEO, Con Carino, Inc. and class member Sara Walker, who was elected by fellow classmates as class speaker. With this year’s class, the Leadership Mid Valley program has graduated 191 students.
Con Carino, Inc. CEO Reynaldo Limas shared his own professional background and the importance of being ready for leadership roles, because inevitably, Limas stated, "leadership roles will find you." Limas, a product of the Mid Valley, graduated from Edcouch-Elsa High School and Pan American University. In 1977, Limas began a 12-year career with IBM and a few years shortly after, moved back to the Rio Grande Valley to establish Con Carino, Inc. - a Texas Medicaid Provider since 1992 that has included adult day cares, provider services and food services.
Class speaker Sara Walker talked about the group's journey through the program, the challenges they faced together as a group and overcoming those challenges. Walker also pointed out an important discovery that she made.
"My mistake was assuming that Leadership Mid Valley would teach us how to become leaders," remarked Walker. "During my time with the class, I've come to realize that we were already leaders, each in a different and valuable way."
As part of the Leadership Mid Valley program, class members are assigned a project based on their perspective on the needs of the Mid Valley area. The class selected Frontera Audubon as their project, which included clearing out the garden by the main entrance and adding a pathway, plants, benches and a bird bath to that area.
Every year, the Leadership class elects five members of the group to serve a three-year term on the Leadership Mid Valley Steering Committee. This committee is responsible for organizing and coordinating the class sessions, as well as overseeing the class fundrasier and project. This year's class elected Ismael Quiroz, Jr., Laura Rangel, Monica Resendez, JJ Serrano, Jr and Sara Walker.
Leadership Mid Valley, sponsored by the Weslaco Chamber of Commerce, is a program which seeks to identify and motivate emerging leaders and develop their potential for community leadership by exposing them to the realities, opportunities and problems of the community. Monthly field trips were taken by the students which allowed them to see firsthand how Mid-Valley businesses, agencies and government impact the community. Agriculture, healthcare, and local media are among the areas visited by the LMV class. In addition, the group takes a class trip to Austin to visit the State Capitol. This year, Class XIV joined the delegation for RGV Day, organized by the RGV Partnership and the Lower RGV Development Council.
Leadership Mid Valley will be accepting applications for the 2019 - 2020 year in July. For more information, contact Barbara Garza at the Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce at 956-968-2102.
CAPTION: Leadership Mid Valley held a graduation ceremony for Class XIV on May 10. Pictured (standing L-R): JJ Serrano, Jr, H-E-B Distribution Center; Laura Lopez, LaserLux; Monica Resendez, Lone Star National Bank; Christina Yepez, Knapp Community Care Foundation; Laura Rangel, Hope Insurance Agency. (seated L-R): Sara Walker; Arielle Caraveo, Hidalgo County Pct. 1, Pl. 2 and Angelina Lopez, Texas National Bank. Not pictured: Edgar Lopez, Royal Garden Flower Shop; Ismael Quiroz, Jr, Burton Auto Supply and Zach Sunderland, CHRE.