Rene Capistran looks for every opportunity to encourage high school students to stay in school, graduate and pursue higher education with an eye toward careers in the Rio Grande Valley.
“I think we have to,” he said. “It’s our responsibility. … As a community we are given one chance to make a difference. The opportunity we have now with SpaceX, with the medical school at UTRGV and with the activity at the Port of Brownsville will only come around once in a lifetime. I feel that nothing will happen if we don’t have the human capital.”
Capistran, 44, is a Brownsville native and president of Noble Texas Builders, a commercial construction firm that he started after rising through the ranks to serve as president of SpawGlass’ South Texas division for 15 years.
Brownsville has every opportunity to do like San Antonio did years ago when it promoted itself into the economic powerhouse it is today, he said, “but we have to have the human capital.” That’s why he constantly seeks opportunities to encourage local high school students to stay in school, frequently meeting with them in group and individual settings.
“As I tell the students, you’ve got to be open to the possibility of achieving your dream,” he said.
In Capistran’s case, he’s achieved many of them. He graduated from PorterHigh School in 1991, joined the U.S. Navy and went to college on the GI Bill. He studied criminal justice and worked in law enforcement for several years before realizing that construction was his passion.
Longing for his own company he started Noble Texas Builders, which is based in Weslaco, in 2015. Now, he’s added NTB Development in Brownsville, engaging Ramiro Garza, the former city manager of Edinburg, as its president.
We can help grow the economy,” he said. “Ramiro’s ideas and concepts can help us be up to par with the other cities of the Valley and the big metro areas.
Capistran is involved with numerous community organizations, notably the Sunny Glen Children’s Home and United Way of Southern Cameron County, both of which he helped to raise funds for renovated facilities.
He helped organize initiatives such as the Hooked For Life Kids Gone Fish’n, and a United Way Football camp that became the largest Dallas Cowboys football camp in Texas.
He received the Distinguished Business Leader of the Year award from the University of Texas at Brownsville School of Business in 2012 and an Outstanding Community Leadership award from the Career and Technology Education Association of Texas in 2011, among other awards.