The UTRGV Center for Border Economic Studies (CBEST) on Friday, Jan. 27, hosted its Economic Forecast Luncheon at the McAllen Public Library Conference Center. Visitors heard about the research and predicted outcomes of economic development in the area from speakers that included Francisco Cabeza de Vaca, governor of Tamaulipas, Mexico; Dr. Salvador Contreras, director of CBEST; Dr. Dennis Jansen, professor of economics, Texas A&M University; Maria D. Juarez-Serna, director of the UTRGV Small Business Development Center; and Dr. Keith R. Phillips, assistant VP and senior economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, San Antonio Branch. Contreras addressed current and future regional economic activity, including the new, large retailers building in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area that place the MSA among some of the top metros in Texas, including San Antonio and Austin. The luncheon concluded with Tamps. Gov. Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca, who told the crowd, “We can grow juntos (together) more than we can as two,” and encouraged our country to “build bridges, not walls.” (UTRGV Photo by Silver Salas)