Thursday, November 7, 2019
  Awards and Recognitions, Around Campus, Community

By Letty Fernandez

 PHOTO GALLERY by David Pike
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BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – UTRGV’s Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship has recognized three area business leaders for their contributions to business and commerce.

The Business Leaders Luncheon, held Nov. 6, at the Venezzia Event Venue, honored:

Keynote speaker was Leo Gomez, president and CEO of Brooks Development Authority and an alumnus of UTRGV legacy institution UT Pan American.

John Cowen Jr.
John Cowen Jr., president of Cowen Group, Brownsville. (UTRGV Photo by David Pike)
Elsa Astudillo Zolezzi de Guerra
Elsa Astudillo Zolezzi de Guerra, founder, Turismo del Golfo, Matamoros, Mexico. (UTRGV Photo by David Pike)
Val LaMantia Peisen
Val LaMantia Peisen, owner and partner, L&F Distributors, McAllen. (UTRGV Photo by David Pike)


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.