Meet Othal

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About the man...

 

Othal is a faithful husband of Sara, father of four, and grandfather of six.  He is a public servant and philanthropist who has lived in McAllen all his 65 years. 

He attended McAllen public schools (Crockett Elementary, Lamar Junior High, McAllen High School) and graduated from Texas Christian University in 1976 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. 

He serves as a deacon at Calvary Baptist Church where he’s been an active member since 1961. 

About his business experience...

 

For 17 years Mr. Brand has worked as an elected official for Hidalgo County Water Improvement District #3, leading as its president and general manager for the past 15 years.

 

Accomplishments:

 

  • To stem the flow of illegal aliens, human trafficking, and drug trafficking at the pump station, thereby protecting a vital source of river water for McAllen, Mr. Brand installed towers, floodlights, internet, cameras and jersey barriers for better illumination, observation, communication and greatly reduced illegal vehicular traffic at the pump station.

 

  • Mr. Brand then installed a boat ramp, the Jaime Zapata Launch Point, for use by Border Patrol and other Law Enforcement agencies at the river. 


  • Mr. Brand installed a very low-cost, outside-the-box solution: an ice station for use by Border Patrol and other law enforcemen offices for their personal ice chests while working because it gets very hot here in the summer months.  This significantly increases law enforcement presence at the pump station.


  • Mr. Brand raised the height of the new pump station above that of the levee, so that a rising river will flood over the levee before flooding out the new pumps.  This was actually tested during Hurricane Dolly, when other water districts had to pull their pumps out, but Water District #3 kept right on delivering water for use by McAllen citizens.


  • Mr. Brand then added natural gas-engine generators that switch on automatically during any power failure, like the one the entire Valley experienced during the cold spell a few weeks ago.  Most of the other water districts were shut down due to no electricity, but Hidalgo County Water Improvement District #3 kept right on delivering water to McAllen and other users without missing a beat.


  • Mr. Brand also had the original old pumps refurbished and the building fitted with submarine water-tight doors, so that the old pumps can now operate even if the building is under 35 feet of water!


  • Mr. Brand has worked hand-in-hand with U.S. Border Patrol, ICE and other law enforcement agencies in helping to secure our border and protect our water supply.  In 2013, Mr. Brand was called to testify before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Border Security because of his personal knowledge of real-time activities on the border at or near Water District #3’s pump station.


  • As a businessman, Mr. Brand rents space on his many 500-foot-tall telecommunications towers to cell phone providers and to many law enforcement agencies for communication.


Mr. Brand's additional work experience includes:


  • 2001-2018: Owner/President of Rioplex Wireless, McAllen (Internet company)
  • 1987-Present: Owner/President of O.E. Investments, Ltd., McAllen (communications company)
  • 1976-2000: Partner/Vice President of Griffin & Brand, McAllen (fresh produce company)
  • 1976-1998: Owner/President of Trophy International, McAllen (agricultural farming company)


About his community service...


  • Board Member since 2003, and Board President since 2006 - Valley Baptist Mission and Educational Center, Harlingen, TX
  • Chairman since 2006 - Brand Christian Youth Camp, Mission, TX
  • Board Member since 2010 - Valley Symphony Orchestra, McAllen, TX
  • Board Member since 2021 - South Texans Property Rights Association
  • Board Member since 2014 - McAllen Mayor's Prayer Luncheon Committee
  • Elected Official (Board Member  President  General Manager) since 2004 - Hidalgo County Water Improvement District #3.