MCALLEN, RGV – IBC Bank in McAllen chose feeding the homeless and undocumented their first civic event of 2018.
Working with Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and Koko’s Mexican Restaurant, the bank provided hamburgers and refreshments at Sacred Heart Church’s respite center in downtown McAllen.
IBC Bank officers and tellers, as well as Koko’s kitchen staff, served the food.
“We are just continuing to support the community in this holiday season. This is where a lot of us were born and raised, this is the public we serve and especially during this season, this is reflective of what our culture is, and that is to help people in need,” said Adrian Villarreal, the new president of IBC Bank in McAllen. “We are just being a good corporate citizen.”
Sister Norma Pimentel, director of Catholic Charities RGV, said Sacred Heart’s respite center helps undocumented immigrants, many from Central America, as well as the homeless.
“This meal is for the homeless and the strangers in our community. To be welcomed, to be fed. It touches my heart. This is what we are about in the Valley and why the Valley is so special and important. I thank IBC for stepping up, for being champions in our community, showing others how it is done. We are sharing the goodness of what God gives us with those who need it.,” Pimentel said.
“I particularly want to thank Mr. Villarreal. It is a great way for the new president of the bank to kick off the new year, in such a generous fashion. It highlights the sort of person he is. We are looking forward to future collaborations.”
Pimentel added: “We must remember that no matter what our responsibilities in life, we must always have that special humanitarian respect of others and the dignity of human life.”
Villarreal said a shout out should go to Dora Brown, IBC McAllen’s vice president for marketing.
“Dora, she is planning events year-round. She keeps us busy, doing as much as we can for the community. We have a pretty full calendar. We are just going to do as much as we can in 2018.”
Asked what IBC Bank employees get out of such events, Villarreal said:
“It is extremely rewarding. It is not just our bank officers, but also our tellers. It touches them inside and gives them a sense of identity, of what is really important, the priorities they have. I am proud of our staff. It is part of our culture at IBC. We do not do it because we have to do it. We do it because we care. We care about those in our community. We just want to play our role.”
Giving to those less fortunate is also a Valley trait, Villarreal told the Rio Grande Guardian.
“A lot of us, growing up in this culture, being able to help people comes natural to us. It is part of the Valley’s culture. We get a lot of self-fulfillment out of it.”
IBC Bank’s Brown said: “We wanted to do something for Thanksgiving but unfortunately we could not do it. Then Christmas came around and something happened, but I was determined that we were going to do this and with Adrian Villarreal’s help, here we are. I asked if we could do something to celebrate the Three Kings and he said go for it.”
Asked why her bank chose to collaborate with Catholic Charities RGV, Brown said. “Because of the good work they do at the respite center. The respite center is not only for immigrants. They also help the homeless, the poor that do not have food to eat that day. Or, now that it is cold, they do not have anything to wear. They help the whole community.”
One of the VIPs to attend was Lorena Saenz Gonzalez, wife of U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez.
“I am so pleased Sister Norma invited me. We did a toy drive with her a couple of weeks ago, in north Donna. We brought toys we collected at Vicente’s Christmas Bash. This lunch is a wonderful way of giving back. It is good to create awareness of the needs of the homeless and of immigrants, no matter what time of year it is,” Gonzalez said.
Villarreal’s appointment as president of IBC Bank in McAllen was announced late last year, following longtime president David Guerra’s retirement. Asked how he was settling in, Villarreal said:
“There is so much work to do. I have been so busy there has not been time to reflect on it. David had done such a good job and has been so involved in the community that he has made it easy for us. We are just trying to continue that legacy he provided us.
“We are excited about 2018. There is a lot of need but there is also a lot of opportunity. We have got a lot of tenured staff.”
Here is IBC Bank’s news release announcing Villarreal’s appointment:
Dec. 11, 2017 [ McAllen, Texas — R. David Guerra, president and CEO of International Bank of Commerce (IBC) – McAllen announces his retirement and Adrian Villarreal, senior executive vice president assumes the CEO leadership position.
Guerra has been contemplating retirement and feels now is the right time. After working three and a half decades with IBC, he is confident that the experienced and committed staff, which he helped develop, will continue his legacy. “We’ve developed a very hard-working and talented team at IBC who are fully committed to our customers and our community,” Guerra said. “I feel confident in turning the bank leadership over to Adrian Villarreal, senior executive vice president who has been with the bank for 25 years. We have achieved many accomplishments at IBC and now I look forward to pursuing other lifelong goals.”
The Board of Directors of IBC McAllen today named Adrian Villarreal to lead its Hidalgo County operations as president and CEO. Villarreal has 29 years of experience in the banking industry and has been with IBC Bank for 25 years.
In 1981, Guerra joined IBC as a senior vice president, assisting in the supervision of the lending departments. Prior to coming to McAllen, Guerra served as executive vice president of IBC Laredo. Guerra’s previous work experience also included tenure as a National Bank Examiner for the U.S. Treasury Department Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
As president and CEO of the very successful IBC Bank, Guerra has been a partner and supporter of growth with his service to IBC customers since first arriving in McAllen in 1990. During his tenure, IBC McAllen grew to 29 banking facilities serving communities throughout Hidalgo County. He also led the bank in establishing itself as a strong corporate leader in giving back to the communities it serves.
Dennis Nixon, IBC Chairman, stated, “David Guerra has served with distinction not only at IBC, but also as a community leader. His efforts have contributed to the growth of IBC as well as the RGV. We wish him well in his new endeavors.”
Villarreal recently served as the manager of the bank’s commercial and retail banking departments. As president and CEO, he will oversee the entire Hidalgo County market, which includes branches located in McAllen, Edinburg, Mission, Weslaco, Pharr, San Juan, Alamo, Alton, Palmhurst and Peñitas. He also continues his role as the head of sales and retains his position on the bank’s board of directors.
Other board members include; Dennis Nixon, Richard Cortez, Antonio Aguirre, Jr., Donald King, Ricardo Minor, Paul Moffit, Humberto Rodriguez, Ray Wilkinson and Vic Kasan.
“IBC Bank has played an important role in the economic development of South Texas. Villarreal is a seasoned executive with a strong background in managing commercial and retail banking for IBC McAllen. His rich history and 25 years of experience at IBC McAllen make him a natural replacement for retiring David Guerra.” Nixon said.
Villarreal will certainly continue the bank’s legacy of customer service excellence. “Our top priority is to continue to deliver the ‘We Do More’ experience to our customers and by offering our excellent products and services to new customers, we will continue to grow!” Villarreal said.
In keeping with the IBC tradition, Villarreal is committed to serving his community. He currently serves as the treasurer of United Way of South Texas whose mission is to improve the educational, health and financial stability of those in need. Due to his active participation with this organization, he was awarded the prestigious “South Texan Hero Award.” Villarreal also serves as the Treasurer for the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. He is a past board member of the McAllen Economic Development Council and the McAllen Industrial Corporation.
Villarreal received his Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from the University of Texas at Austin. He is married to Lupita Villarreal and has three children, Nicholas, Christopher and Alyssa.
IBC’s local board and management, led by Adrian Villarreal, is committed to continue to deliver the “We Do More” experience to all their customers and the communities they serve.
National Immigration Forum
In other IBC Bank news, Eddie Aldrete, its senior vice president, has been named chairman of the board of the National Immigration Forum.
Aldrete had previously served as vice chairman, assuming that role in 2015.
The Forum, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., is one of the leading immigrant advocacy organizations in the country. Founded in 1982, it works with constituencies around the country and across the political spectrum to advocate for the value of immigrants and immigration to the nation.
Aldrete will serve a three-year term as chairman of the board. Aldrete takes the helm of this advocacy group at a time when the country is widely divided on the issue of immigration reform. Compounding this challenge is the upcoming retirements of many members of Congress.
“We will need to educate a new group of (Congressional) members on the issues,” Aldrete said.
Aldrete predicted the National Immigration Forum will play a crucial role in underscoring the importance of immigrants and immigration to American workers and nation’s communities and economy. While strong rhetoric is being issued by both sides of the immigration debate, the Forum “has become the moderate voice for immigration reform,” Aldrete said.
“The current political climate makes the work of the National Immigration Forum all the more important,” said Ali Noorani, executive director for the Forum. “On behalf of the organization’s staff, we are thrilled Eddie is stepping into this crucial leadership role.”
Aldrete’s work requires him to handle a lot of cross-border issues. This past spring, for example, he was appointed chairman of the Texas Mexico Trade Coalition — a pro-NAFTA organization made up of executives of IBC Bank, as well as officials from the Texas Association of Business, the Texas Business Leadership Council, the Borderplex Alliance, and the Texas and National Associations of Manufacturers.