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United Way of South Texas Announces the South Texas Hero of the Year

March 19, 2024
Blanca I. Villalobos, IBC Bank, South Texas Hero Award Recipient

The United Way Board of Directors announced Blanca I. Villalobos, Senior Vice President – Commercial Lending, IBC Bank, as the 2023 South Texas Hero. She was congratulated by over 200 guests at the Volunteer & Company Awards Ceremony held in March.

 The South Texas Hero Award is presented to an individual that demonstrates commitment and leadership in the community, through extraordinary engagement in year-round service projects. The award was established in 2008, in honor of Ray Alexander, retired General Manager of KRGV TV 5. He was instrumental in leading and strengthening collaborations between United Way of South Texas and other non-profits. He also played an essential role in establishing the Rio Grande Valley’s “211” Information and Referral program.

Ms. Villalobos is an inspiring leader at IBC Bank, and in her role as Past Board Chair of United Way of South Texas. Her expertise on financial projects and community service are admirable. During her tenure as a Board Member, Ms. Villalobos has held the following critical positions: Board Chair for two years; Finance Co-Chair and Finance Committee Member for four years; Small Business United and Fund Distribution Committee Member. In every role, she encourages others to expand their commitment to service and lean into their respective volunteer opportunity, which she assures would be the “greatest reward”. She has played an integral part in the success of United Way programs, services and accountability.

“Thank you so much for the recognition, I’m very honored and very dedicated to what we do every day,” Villalobos expressed. “I’m very appreciative, I love my family and I thank everybody for supporting our collaborative work. I recognize everything that UW does, and am proud of the impact that we make in the community.” Former South Texas Hero recipients include the following: Tyler Stone, Rioco Partners; Dr. J.A. Gonzalez, former McAllen ISD Superintendent; John Herrera, Magic Valley Electric Co-op; Dr. Marla Guerra, South Texas ISD (retired); Adrian Villarreal, IBC Bank; Lee Jones, AEP Texas; Jeanette Ahlenius, Wayland Baptist University; Steve Ahlenius, McAllen Chamber of Commerce; Joe Vera, III, City of McAllen; Commissioner “Eddie” Cantu, Precinct 2; and H-E-B.