The Valley Symphony Orchestra is enormously proud to have Edna De Saro, Executive Vice President and Marketing Director of Lone Star National Bank as this year’s Bravo! VSO Honorary Chair. We sat down with her recently to learn more about her community leadership and involvement, her history with the arts, and her former stint as a flute player! Read on to learn more about Edna’s dynamic and impactful presence in the Rio Grande Valley:
Tell us about your history of community involvement. What sorts of causes are you passionate about?
My passions in the Rio Grande Valley have been education, promoting the importance of voting, and increasing health awareness in the community. I am also passionate about giving back to organizations that help grow our community and those that aid children with disabilities.
Tell us how music plays a role in your life. What musical interests do you have?
When I was growing up, and this is something that a lot of people don’t know, I played the flute. As a child I was always intrigued by the idea of playing an instrument and in junior high school I joined the band. I have a love and passion for playing music.
What are your aspirations for the RGV relating to the arts? How have you seen arts and culture grow in the Valley?
It is of the utmost importance that the Rio Grande Valley continues to support the arts. Too often, people have to travel out of the Valley to experience concerts, art galleries, museums, etc. My vision for the Rio Grande Valley is that we continue to grow the presence and impact of the arts so that the young and future generations have access to the arts such as the Valley Symphony Orchestra right in their home community.
You have been an enormous champion of the Rio Grande Valley. When and how did your interest in service begin?
I started volunteering at a very young age. When I was in high school, I joined the Honor Society, and we would go out to children’s homes and nursing homes, always volunteering our time to those that needed love and attention.
In college, I joined a national sorority that practices philanthropy focused on geriatrics and the battle against Alzheimer’s disease.To help raise money, we would do a number of fundraisers, for example selling lollipops, all with the aim of assisting those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Fast forward to today, little did I know what God was preparing me for, my father got Alzheimer’s, and in hindsight, the volunteer time with the sorority really helped to prepare me for this personal challenge.
Tell us about your banking career journey. What are some highlights?
I have been at Lone Star National Bank for 17 years, and my banking career in its totality spans 21 years. I am pleased and proud to have been a part of developing the Lone Star National Bank brand and establishing the bank as a financial leader in South Texas. Lone Star National Bank has expanded into new markets and widened its footprint in the Valley over the last nearly 20 years. Some personal highlights include creating the tagline ‘The Valley’s Bank’ and overseeing the creation and design of the Cowboy Cash mascot and accompanying program that promotes financial literacy among the youth. This last one is especially important because if we don’t educate our youth to be financially literate, we are doing them a significant disservice.
Tell us why you’re looking forward to the gala, and why you said yes to the honorary chair opportunity (we’re so thrilled you did!).
I am absolutely honored to be the 2021 Honorary Gala Chair, and I have an enormous amount of love and respect for the RGV community. This is where I was raised; this is where I’m from. The RGV has been so good to me, and it is the place where I’ve made my professional life, so it is important for me to give back to my community and to help make the Rio Grande Valley a better place for generations to come. I am honored to help the VSO this year. Keep the Symphony going so that we can continue to be inspired and enamored by the lovely music!