Jim Enholm received the 2017 Director's Award. Jim is an active Island business person and described by those close to him as pleasant, positive, caring and funny! He moved to South Padre Island in 1979 and is a carpenter by trade. He worked for his father for a time, then co-owned a boat building company for 17 years. We understand he is a talented wood working craftsman. From boat building, to Sea Ranch Marina Harbor Master in 2009, a part time real estate agent and dedicated father, you know by now I am talking about Jim Enholm.
Since 2015 Jim has been active as a SPI Chamber Islander and he brought us the idea for the highly successful Sea Ranch Marina “Walk the Dock” chamber mixer. He is a committed Island Ambassador.
In his “spare time” Jim is active in the Port Isabel Rotary Club where he is the Community Service Lane Chair which includes spearheading the Dictionary Program for elementary students, Thanksgiving pies for the Food Bank, the Annual Winter Texan Fish Fry and creation of the Youth Activity Center in Port Isabel. Jim has been recognized with the Paul Harris Fellowship and Rotarian of the Year Award. Jim also has been known to be a frequent volunteer at the SPI Birding and Nature Center.
Judith Beat received the 2017 Ambassadors' Award. Judith is an energetic entrepreneur, and has been an active chamber member for more years than we can remember. She frequently is in attendance at Chamber ribbon cuttings, mixers and luncheons. Our recipient came to South Padre in 1995 and operated a home based travel service. In 1997 she took over at Padre Island Travel and stayed there until 2004. In her work as a travel coordinator, she recognized that South Padre was poised to become a wedding destination. And what did she do??!! In 2002, she started an all inclusive wedding planning business! She recently sold her wedding business and guess what! she is poised to open yet another Island business - Gaia’s Flowers and More!
Victor Barrera received the second 2017 Kukui Award. Victor is a person that most of you have no idea that he is assisting you with your business, by helping to educate your future employees. As an educator and student mentor at Port Isabel High School, Victor has for many years taught local students the principles of business and hospitality. He is also the faculty sponsor for the Port Isabel High School DECA Club that provides practical business training and education to our area students, our future employees. Over the years he has coached students in DECA competition, and arranged internships and jobs for students. Victor is a volunteer member of our Chamber’s Junior Leadership Program Steering Committee and serves as the Program’s school liaison. Our Junior Leadership program invites 20 Port Isabel High School students each year to participate in a 6 month program to familiarize them with the business community in the Lower Valley.
Community Partner Award
Blue Marlin Supermarket
This year we honor and recognize Blue Marlin Supermarket as our only supermarket on South Padre Island, for the economic impact their business has on the Island and for their longtime membership support of our Chamber.
Owner Gary Meschi built the original Blue Marlin in 1986 and moved to its current location in 1990. The Blue Marlin is a long time generous supporter of our Ladies Kingfish Tournament and every year makes donations to our Gala and Scholarship Fundraiser. Meschi’s Blue Marlin staff members Bocho Sanchez and Albert Barrera regularly represent the Blue Marlin in our community by attending our Chamber luncheons and events.
One of our most lasting memories of the Blue Marlin is the extraordinary efforts put forth by owner Gary Meschi and his staff to keep the Blue Marlin open and shelves stocked following the bridge collapse in 2001.
RGV Walk of Fame
Each year nominations are received from chambers of commerce and cities across the Rio Grande Valley for recognition in the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame at State Farm Arena, sponsored by the City of Hidalgo in conjunction with BorderFest. Nominees are considered for induction based on their life achievements and significant civic contributions.
The South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce nominated longtime chamber member and Island business owner Jimmy Parker to the RGV Walk of Fame for 2017. Parker was selected for this great honor and was recognized at the official induction ceremonies on February 28, 2017, at State Farm Arena.
Through his years of active involvement in the McAllen, Laguna Vista and South Padre Island business communities, Jimmy Parker has actively aided economic development across the Rio Grande Valley. From 1974 to 1980 he was a partner with the then largest accounting firm in the Rio Grande Valley. He worked with many large RGV clients including banks, savings and loans, municipalities, counties and school districts. During his years at the accounting firm, he also constructed and sold single family custom and spec homes in McAllen, at a time of rapid development in the upper valley.
Parker’s passion for the beach at South Padre Island led him and other investment partners to pursue real estate development on South Padre Island. He participated in building two “landmark” beachfront properties totaling $48 million in construction costs. From 1981 to 1983 he was a Principal and CFO of Padre Grand, Inc. the development company that built and sold Padre Grand Condominiums, a $15 million, 13 story, 85 unit complex. From 1982 to 1986 he was a Principal and CFO of Bridgepoint, Inc. which built and sold Bridgepoint Condominiums, a $33 million, 28 story, 114 unit complex. Parker was also Manager and Principal of Bahama Campeche Development Venture, which built and developed an 8500 square foot, 6 unit commercial condominium building on South Padre Island.
Currently Parker is Manager, Principal Broker and Sole Member of SandDollar Realty, LLC, a longtime, leading real estate company established in 1986 on South Padre Island. In 2002, the company became a Century 21 franchisee, and in its second year became the number two franchise in the RGV. Parker is also Manager and Sole Member of Laguna Golf Development, LLC, which developed, built and sold the Greens Condominiums at the South Padre Island Golf Club, in Laguna Vista.
Parker is a charter member of the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce. In 1988-89 Parker, along with Ray Elledge from CP&L, each with a $500 contribution established the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce as a separate entity from the then joint Port Isabel/South Padre Chamber. Parker also served 12 years on the South Padre Island Economic Development Corporation as Treasurer and Board Member from 1997 to 2009, and was a founding Board Member of the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, a branch of the World Birding Center in the RGV.
Parker’s commitment to his chosen profession, and to the economic development in the Rio Grande Valley, through both good times and challenging times, is a testament to his professional character and strong will, which has resulted in positive long lasting growth for the RGV and South Padre Island.
Parker is a CPA, and certified through the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy and Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, and a Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts. He is a licensed Texas Real Estate Broker, a Member and past Director of the South Padre Island Board of Realtors, past Member of the Harlingen Board of Realtors, and past President and Board Member of the Laguna Madre Are Property Listing Service. He is also a 30 year member of the Island Baptist Church, and has served as a Deacon since the early 1990’s.
Parker grew up in McAllen, where he graduated from McHi in 1969. Following graduation he attended Baylor University, and returned to the Valley to help with the family farming business. He graduated from Pan American University with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Accounting in 1974.
Jimmy Parker is the son of the late Jack and Norma Parker of McAllen. His wife, Jane Parker, retired from Point Isabel Independent School District after teaching for 25 years, and currently teaches at Laguna Madre Christian Academy. Jimmy and Jane have three sons Jack, Steve and Sean all of whom grew up in the Valley and attended school in the Point Isabel Independent School District.
Jimmy joins the outstanding list of SPI Chamber’s RGV Walk of Fame inductees including Troy Giles, Richard Franke, Robert N. Pinkerton, Jr., Jake Falgout, Darrell Mangham, Dan Stanton, David Friedman, Lynne Tate, Bill Donahue, Gary Meschi, JoAnn Evans and Mickey Furcron.