SBDC Team

Program Management

Maria D. Juarez-Serna, Director
Maria D. Juarez-Serna serves as the UTRGV SBDC Director since April 2005. She oversees the program and works with staff in delivering quality advisement and training to the business community. Through strategic and tactical planning as well as through key stakeholder relationships, Ms. Juarez-Serna guides the UTRGV SBDC team to meet and exceed goals in the areas of business development as a way to positively impact the economic climate of the Rio Grande Valley. Ms. Juarez-Serna holds a Master of Arts in English Literature, Master of Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Science, Biology major, and Chemistry minor from The University of Texas-Pan American.

Business Development Specialists

Aaron Gonzalez, Senior Business & Innovation Advisor
Aaron L. Gonzalez joined the UTRGV SBDC and Rural Business Program in 2009, where he provides one-to-one advisement, business planning assistance, and training. In addition to his experience in food and product commercialization, Mr. Gonzalez has worked with agripreneurs and rural communities. Mr. Gonzalez holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin with a Business Foundations certification.

Arturo Gonzalez, Senior Business & Trade Advisor
Arturo Gonzalez joined the UTRGV SBDC in February 1997, and has since provided business advisement, business plan assistance, and training in both English and Spanish to countless of clients. Mr. Gonzalez is credited with developing and creating the original business Start-up Guide for the UTRGV SBDC and charged with maintaining partner relationships for the center with the Cities of Brownsville, San Benito, South Padre Island, and Matamoros, Mexico. Mr. Gonzalez holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a specialization in Finance from The University of Texas at Brownsville.

Cristina Cantu, Senior Business & HR Advisor
Cristina Cantu joined the UTRGV SBDC in March 2009, where she provides one-to-one bilingual advisement, business plan assistance, and training. Ms. Cantu’s expertise includes tax regulations with state agencies, payroll compliance, and retail. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from The University of Texas-Pan American and an Associate of Applied Science in Accounting from South Texas College. She also holds a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Marcela Arredondo, Senior Business & Trade Advisor
Marcela Arredondo joined the UTRGV SBDC in 2008, where she provides one-to-one advisement, business planning assistance, and training. Her expertise includes purchasing and supply chain management in the Maquiladora industry. She is also a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP). Ms. Arredondo holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business Management and Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas - Pan American.

Training and Partner Relations

Esperanza P. Delgado, Business Training Coordinator
Esperanza P. Delgado joined the UTRGV SBDC in 2002, where she oversees the coordination and promotion of business training in the Rio Grande Valley. In this capacity, she assists the team with managing training schedules through a network of resource partnerships; print, video, and digital media platforms for targeted outreach; collateral development for the program; and event and project management. Ms. Delgado holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business Management with a specialization in Economics from The University of Texas-Pan American.

Administration & Client Services

  • Eva Martinez, Office Supervisor
  • Mariana Hernandez, Client Services