MCALLEN, Texas – Rio Grande Valley native Julian Alvarez, the retiring representative for labor on the Texas Workforce Commission, is joining Lone Star National Bank as senior vice president.

Alvarez made his announcement at a reception held in his honor by the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. The event was held at the McAllen Convention Center.

“So, many of you have been asking and I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you, and maybe the color of my suit may give it away as to where I’m going to be working. But I have accepted a position as a senior vice president of Lone Star National Bank,” said Alvarez, to applause from the audience.

The chairman of Lone Star Bank, Alonzo Cantu, was in the audience to hear Alvarez’s remarks. So was the bank’s president, S. David Deanda, Jr.

“Julian Alvarez will be joining Lone Star National Bank as senior vice president. He will be in charge of business development,” Deanda told the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service. “We are excited to see what he can do for the Rio Grande Valley because of the experience and exposure that Julian has had to small business and all business, really, in the Rio Grande Valley. We are looking forward to it.”

The reception was held late afternoon on Thursday, Dec. 15, Alvarez’s last day as commissioner with TWC. He told the Guardian he was “off the clock” at exactly 5 p.m. 

Appointed by Gov. Abbott, Alvarez has been a commissioner for TWC since 2016. Before giving his final speech as a commissioner, Alvarez received the inaugural RGV Legacy Award from the Partnership. His last major announcement as a TWC commissioner was to confirm that the Valley Grande Institute for Academic Studies had been approved for an apprenticeship program for allied health professionals by the U.S. Department of Labor. The institute’s president and CEO, Anabell Cardona, was present to receive an official certificate from Alvarez.

Alvarez announced he would be stepping down from his position as TWC commissioner a few weeks ago. There had been speculation that Alvarez’s next venture would be based in the Valley. In his speech he said he was proud to have been given a T-shirt from Weslaco Economic Development Corporation executive director Steve Valdez that stated: “I’m a 956er.” He wore it recently outside the state Capitol.

Alvarez proceeded to explain why he was honored to be joining Lone Star National Bank.

“I’m very honored to be doing this because what they’re allowing me to do is continue to work with folks like you, making sure that every person in the Rio Grande Valley has an opportunity to succeed and not only take care of themselves but their families. Because, at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want?” Alvarez said.

“We all want to make sure that we’re all self-sustaining, taking care of ourselves. That’s the common denominator that us 956ers have in common. That we want to take care of one another.”

Alvarez said there are many people in the Valley that need the help of those in the audience.

“And, I’m very grateful that I’ll be working with that family. I met some of my partners that are at the bank, that are going to be working with me, and I look forward to learning from the experience that they have in the banking industry. And, of course, other folks in the banking industry and those folks that are in economic development.”

Alvarez said he would always make myself available.

“I have always defended this great region of ours. Always. Regardless of where I was at,” Alvarez said. “I am always going to be available to help the poor. So thank you for the award. It means so much. I’m humbled by this. You don’t know how much it means to be here with a roomful of people that I love so much. So thank you.”

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