Deborah Wratten and Erika Amador, managers for two of Darden Restaurants Inc. restaurant brands in El Paso, have received the Florida company’s annual Diamond Club Award for being among its top managers in North America. Wratten is managing partner of the Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen in Las Palmas Marketplace in East El Paso. Amador is general manager of the Olive Garden at 1870 Joe Battle Blvd., also on the East Side.
Erika Amador, general manager of the Olive Garden restaurant on Joe Battle in El Paso.
Wratten is one of only five general managers and managing partners to get the award among 156 Cheddar’s in North America. Amador is one of only 42 general managers in about 800 Olive Garden restaurants to get the award — the second time she has received the honor. The awards go to managers deemed to provide high-quality customer service, strong employee relations, and are active in their communities.
Left to right: Aliana Apodaca, Angelica Rosales, Joe Rosales Sr., Kathy Santos, Joe Rosales Jr., and Richard Castro at CommUnity en Acción’s first Latino Legacy Awards y Fiesta Oct. 14. Joe Rosales Sr., founder of of JAR Construction Inc., was given an award. Apodaca, is chairwoman, and Castro founder of the community group. community group.
Joe Rosales Sr., and Jose Santos were given CommUnity en Acción’s first Latino Legacy Awards at a ceremony Oct. 14. Rosales is founder of JAR Construction Inc., and Santos is founder of Food City. The two were honored as Latino business owners who overcame adversity, including discrimination, to build their El Paso businesses, Aliana Apodaca, CommUnity en Acción chairwoman, said in a statement.
Jose Santos, founder of the small Food City grocery store chain, was given CommUnity en Acción’s Latino Legacy Award at an Oct. 14 ceremony.
Rosales started JAR Construction, formerly JAR Concrete, in 1957, and in 1969 became the first minority contractor in Texas to do highway work. It’s now a large road contractor in Texas. The company is now operated by Rosales’ son, Joe Rosales Jr.
Santos opened his first grocery store, El Rancho Mart, in 1964 on South Stanton Street in Downtown. Today, the company operates three El Paso Food City grocery stores. The small chain is now operated by Santos’ son, Stanley Santos, and other family members.
El Paso-based Hunt Companies Inc., a national real estate development and management group, recently acquired the syndication division of Alden Capital Partners from Denver-based Alden Torch Financial for an undisclosed amount.
The firm, to be renamed Hunt Capital Partners, will focus on the syndication, or sale, to investors, of federal and state low-income housing, historic and solar tax-credit investment funds. Hunt Capital Partners was an affiliate of Hunt until it was sold to create Alden Capital Partners in 2015. Hunt Capital Partners now has 35 institutional investors in its tax-credit funds in 41 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
"This acquisition represents our continued commitment to the affordable housing industry," Hunt CEO Chris Hunt said in a statement.
El Paso-based Mimco has bought the 40-tenant City Base Landing shopping center in San Antonio.
Mimco, an El Paso-based shopping center developer and owner, has acquired City Base Landing shoppping center in San Antonio. The 200,000 square-foot center, located at Interstate 37 and SE Military Drive, is Mimco’s largest shopping center outside El Paso, reported Troy Marcus, Mimco’s Central Texas president. No sales price was disclosed, but City Base is appraised for tax purposes at $45.1 million, Marcus said. City Base has about 40 tenants, including Best Buy, Office Depot, and JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store. Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores are adjacent to City Base.
Greg Watters, GECU board chairman, with scissors; Armando Jimarez, GECU board member; and Crystal GECU CEO, cut the ribbon at the Oct. 21 grand opening of the credit union’s new branch at 716 N. Piedras in Central El Paso.
GECU, El Paso’s largest credit union, had the grand opening of its 16th high-tech, neighborhood branch Oct. 21 at 716 N. Piedras St., and Yandell Drive in the Five Points neighborhood in Central El Paso. It has four virtual tellers, two automated teller machines, and an office for people to open new accounts, and apply for loans.
GECU also operates four large, traditional branches, and special branches inside Del Valle, Pebble Hills, and Coronado high schools for students and the schools’ staffs. The 85-year-old credit union has about 360,000 members, about 800 employees, and $2.6 billion in assets.
FirstLight Federal Credit Union officials celebrated the grand opening Oct. 21 of FirstLight’s newest branch at 2200 N. Zaragoza in East El Paso. Left to right, front row: Margie Salazar, Debbie Ferreira, FirstLight officials; Rosalyn Thorton, executive director of Legal Shield; Karl Murphy, FirstLight CEO; Teresa Vargas, Rapid Refill sales representative; and Marcos Lozano, Luemar representative.
FirstLight Federal Credit Union celebrated the grand opening of its 10th branch Oct. 21. The new, high-tech branch, which features virtual teller machines, is located at 2200 N. Zaragoza Road and Charles Schulte Drive in East El Paso. The 62-year-old credit union has total assets of about $960 million. Three of its branches are in Las Cruces.
Meghan Curry, new program manager at Insights Science Center.
Meghan Curry was hired in September to be program manager for Insights Science Center. She’ll use her scientific and entrepreneurial experience to help Insights bring science, technology, engineering and math, or STEAM, experiences to area schools. She has a master’s degree in entomoloy. She had an edible insect advocacy business after graduate school, and co-founded a global virtual conference for the edible insect industry.
Mary Kipp, El Paso Electric CEO. (Photo: COURTESY)
El Paso Electric CEO Mary Kipp has been elected to a three-year term on the Smart Electric Power Alliance board of directors.The alliance, based in Washington, D.C., helps utilities, customers, and others deploy and integrate solar, storage, demand response and other distributed energy resources. The alliance board’s 22 members include executives from electric utilities, solar firms, and other distributed-energy developers, as well as former policymakers.
Chris Morrill, left, and Santiago Reyes, chefs and owners of Gallery 3 Kitchen inside the Best Western Plus Hotel in East El Paso.
El Paso chefs Chris Morrill and Santiago Reyes are now operating Gallery 3 Kitchen inside the Best Western Plus Hotel at 6655 Gateway West and Airway Boulevard. The chefs first business was Around the World Catering, which began in 2011 out of a small kitchen in an apartment complex in South Central El Paso, reported the El Paso Small Business Development Center, which helped them with their businesses.
They now operate the catering service from their new restaurant location. Gallery 3 serves American-Latin fused food, or what Morrill and Reyes call "comfort food with a twist."