Panel Symposium to focus on possibilities, accomplishments of women in McAllen

As part of its celebration of Women’s History Month, the City of McAllen will be honoring female community trailblazers in McAllen, women who are making a difference in their industry and helping to put McAllen on the map.  These women will be part of panel symposium, presenting to the female employees of the City of McAllen on Thursday, March 8, 2018, also known as International Woman’s Day, at a breakfast presentation, starting at 8:30 a.m. at the McAllen Convention Center Exhibit Hall.
“We are so excited to be able to recognize these accomplished women that are shaping the economic, educational, cultural, social and actual skyline of McAllen,” said Mayor Jim Darling. “It is also important that we let all of our City of McAllen female employees know that there is no glass ceiling within the organization and that we encourage and in fact, expect them to help lead us to the next level and keeping McAllen as the leader in the Rio Grande Valley.”
According to City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, the trailblazers concept is one he feels is effective in demonstrating to the employees how not only women can succeed, but together as a team, can move an organization forward and prosperous.   Last year, the trailblazers were leaders within the City of McAllen; women in non-traditional female roles.
“This year, we decided to look outside of our organization and identified women who are leaders in their own right,” said Rodriguez.  “This next class of women is truly representative of the creativity, dedication and success that women are not only capable of, but also, achieving for themselves, their respective organizations and most importantly, their families.”
The women selected as this year’s community trailblazers are:
  • Paula Gonzalez, Athletic Director, McAllen I.S.D.;
  • Alma Johnson, Region Bank President for South Texas & El Paso, Wells Fargo Bank;
  • Angela Navarette, Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing Solutions, Etravision;
  • Dr. Shirley Reed, President, South Texas College; and
  • Laura Warren, AIA, President/Principal, The Warren Group Architects, Inc.
Please see attached bios on each of the women for more information on their accomplishments.
The trailblazers will offer insight and wisdom, based on their experiences in their respective fields.  Employees will get a chance to ask questions of the panelists, as well.
Organizers for the event point out how important it is that Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day continue to be promoted because women often shun the limelight in their personal and professional life.  They often struggle to find a balance between their working woman role and their expected role of family caretakers.
“Women are taught to ‘get along,’ and ‘play nice’ while men are told to go after what they want,” said Rebecca M. Olaguibel, Director of Retail and Business Development.  “We need to be reminded that women can go after what they want, even while getting along and playing nice.”
Christina Flores, another one of the principal organizers pointed out that the community trailblazers are not just role models for women, but also, for anyone looking to reach a goal and want to inspire both male and female coworkers. Laura Warren, one of this year’s panelists, is hoping to get that same message across, stating, “The best opportunity is the one that you give yourself.”
Later this month, the City of McAllen will host female students from South Texas College to promote the various careers available in public service with municipal government.  This is the second year in a row the City of McAllen has hosted Women’s History Month and International Women’s Days activities.

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