First State of the Valley address takes place Feb. 5


WESLACO, RGV – The Society for Marketing Professional Services will host the first State of the Valley luncheon Feb. 5 featuring the four county judges of Willacy, Cameron, Hidalgo and Starr counties.

Brian Godinez, a board member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), said this event seems to be the first of its kind where all four county judges are speaking together. The panel features Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. of Cameron County, Judge Ramon Garcia of Hidalgo County, Judge Eloy Vera of Starr County and Judge Aurelio Guerra of Willacy County.

The moderator will be Sergio Contreras, president of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership.

The judges will be asked a series of questions and some of the talking points for the judges include each of the county’s visions, challenges and opportunities. Each county has its own share of projects from a transportation, drainage and facility standpoint, but SMPS also wants to include regional discussion on how the counties can work together.

“We want to talk about the possibility of the Metropolitan Planning Organization–MPOs combining into one, or the possibility of combining all our drainage initiatives and water districts to form [an] organized effort to take care of our region-wide drainage issues,” Godinez said. “And lastly, everyone is concerned about the next census. What’s going to happen if we actually combine the [Metropolitan Statistical Area] (MSA) of Brownsville and the MSA of McAllen with the idea that if we’re one entity, we can can ask for more money together as one [entity] than as separate entities.”

At the beginning of every year, it’s common for communities to host State of the City addresses. Similarly, Godinez said Senator John Cornyn recently came down to talk about the State of the State of Texas.

“So, having the State of the Valley and the perspective of the four judges–specifically from a county perspective [that] deal so much with … public service–to hear from four of them and their perspectives together should be very very interesting to sit back and listen to.”

According to SMPS RGV’s website, the chapter is a community of marketing and business development professionals in South Texas working to secure profitable business relationships. It is going on its first year as a local organization and is comprised of architects, engineers and contractors.

Godinez said SMPS hosts monthly luncheons featuring special guests such as city makers from the public and private sectors to discuss their organizations. During these luncheons, members of SMPS listen for possible opportunities to provide professional services such as architecture, engineering, general contractor or construction services.

The State of the Valley will occur Feb. 5 at the Knapp Conference Center in Weslaco, TX. The event is open to the public with a fee of $25 and a membership fee of $15. Those interested can RSVP at