Monday, June 6, 2016

To Silo or Not to Silo~Is That The Question? A Quick Glance at United Brownsville and Its Latest Wingman Mike Hernandez III

United Brownsville Lead Tri-Chair Irv Downing
Academics, motivational speakers, even rappers, come up with catch phrases that stretch the language into new places and illustrate a point of view they want to exalt or preach against.

Irv Downing, the newly installed President of United Brownsville, after accepting the baton from Fred Rusteberg, and during his pep talk to the newly constituted UB coordinating board May 18, cautioned repeatedly "not to work in silos," but, instead, to work "collaboratively," while thinking "regionally."

Since "working in silos" was a new phrase to us, we went to to see what the reference site had this to say about "silo mentality," finding this definition: A mind-set present in some companies when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce the efficiency of the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.

Mike Hernandez III(Photo by
Brownsville Herald's Miguel Roberts)
Talk about serendipity, but Mike Hernandez III, not an academic, motivational speaker or a known rapper, but a car salesman, was quoted in the Brownsville Herald's puff piece Sunday to the effect that "the local government entities, for example, seem to work in silos."  Can we assume our favorite auto trader has been rubbing elbows with the more loquacious of United Brownsville like Irv Downing and his camera-shy bud, Carlos Marin?

Yet, as we go back into recent history, United Brownsville's Binational Economic Development Zone Summit  2013, or Bined, held at UTB/TSCs  Gran Salon December 6, 2013, was not as inclusive as it might have seemed, actually more silo-driven.

One bank, Fred Rusterberg's IBC, and one engineering firm, Carlos Marin's Ambiotec, represented their respective industries at the event. While the mayors of Brownsville, Harlingen and Matamoros, were on prominent display, Cameron County officials, like County Judge Cascos, were conspicuously not there, and we were later told, not invited.

Yet, this was a regionally-focused industrial, manufacturing, import-export seminar that tried to compare the region to San Diego-Tijuana.  How could it be justified to invite only certain city officials, not county, and only those connected with United Brownsville? 

Yes, the Gran Salon was filled that day with little silos of ambitious folk with close ties to United Brownsville and the powerful elite, who almost never want to share information or anything else with anyone not in their silo. 


  1. Crisp, nicely phrased, with an economy of words, while logical.

  2. Mike strikes me as many odd things, but most valuably a self taught hustler. I suppose one could mock his profession in used autos, but it's something he wasn't given from a parent or relative. He built what he has. lack of production and profess annoy him, and rightfully so. Those that don't understand his ambition and intolerance of mediocracy will never understand his point.

    1. Mike's drive and ambition are not in question, but, then, Gilberto Hinojosa, Carlos Marin and others are just as driven. What we question is Mike's feeble, amateurish attempt to manipulate our elections with money and his choice to align himself with an individual of such obvious self-interest, Carlos Marin.


  3. Wonderfully written Jim!

    1. Thanks. Your brief commendation came just an hour or so after blistering criticism from our non-resident dumbass, Duardo, the man formerly from Kyle, TX, but currently from whatever city a relative or friend lives in, that has not yet tired of his incessant mooching.

      The irony is that this Duardo, AKA the Imp, the Putz, Eddie Bowlcut, fired from the Brownsville Herald for lack of journalistic integrity, would attempt to critique any written word, when NO company has taken the risk of hiring him for the last two decades, including the Bargain Book.

    2. Wow and the Bargain Book hires almost anyone.

    3. "Wow and the Bargain Book hires almost anyone."

      Not quite. Especially, if you're not just out of high school, they want references. It's not a soup line. They want someone who has proven he can and will show up for work. If a person has been, off the grid, so to speak, for a number of years, it raises questions.