About Us: Janet Vackar
The McAllen Chamber announced that Janet Vackar has been selected as McAllen’s Woman of the Year.
Since 1955, the Chamber has honored outstanding individuals for their contributions to the City of McAllen. “The selection committee received many strong nominations from throughout the community, and although it was quite difficult, the committee made a fantastic selection,” said Steve Ahlenius, President/CEO of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.
“The City of McAllen is very fortunate to have such devoted people who care so much about their community that they volunteer their time and support to events, and go above and beyond what is required of them to help create the quality of life that makes McAllen a wonderful place to live,” he added.
Our Woman of the Year, Janet Ogden Vackar, grew up in the Rio Grande Valley where her parents began the Bert Ogden Auto Group with a Pontiac, Buick and GMC dealership in Edinburg, TX. It’s no secret that Janet has always enjoyed making people laugh and smile; seeing people happy brings her great joy.
She once told her father that he looked a little nervous on the dealership’s TV commercials and he asked her to be in them with him. They were the first father-daughter duo in the ads before the untimely death of her parents Bert and Dorothy Ogden in 1992.
Janet is so grateful to have shared, and cherishes, those special moments and memories with him. In 32 years of representing the Bert Ogden name on TV, Janet continues to use her father’s favorite trademark saying, “Dale Gas!” in honor of him; it’s her way of keeping him close.
Over the years, Janet has repeatedly expressed her appreciation and admiration for her husband Bob, who she refers to as “her rock,” as he stepped in to operate the family business. It was his support along with the blessings of the Rio Grande Valley that helped Janet get through the hardest time in her life.
“No matter how you feel… get up, dress up, show up, and never give up!” – Janet Vackar
It was through these difficult moments that Bob and Janet became the team they are today. As the dealership began growing, Janet became ever increasingly devoted to giving back to the community that so generously supported her family’s business. Janet is forever grateful to the Rio Grande Valley, all of whom she calls her friends, and is wholeheartedly committed to giving back and finding ways to make this a better place for all who live here.
The Vackars are deeply invested in furthering higher education for Valley students, both by helping to create scholarship opportunities as well as helping to invest in improving the caliber of the educational programs offered here.
Through nearly 40 years of dedication to the Easter Seals Foundation, Janet’s leadership has earned the Vackars the Humanitarian of the Year award and the Business of the Year award, and have even been honored as the Perfect Pair.
In 2012, Janet committed the Vackars to chairing the first-ever Holiday Show benefitting the Renaissance Cancer Foundation, which became a huge fund-raising success. The community named Janet “Miss RGV TV 2013” and Bert Ogden continues to be the “Reader’s Choice” for automotive dealerships.
Janet has been recognized by the Zonta Club as a Shining Star recipient and was awarded the Lizzie Award by the Junior League of McAllen’s 1st Annual Dios Festivos for most ticket sales.
In 2016, Janet was named Business Woman of the Year by the Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Chamber. Together, Bob and Janet were also honored in a highly prestigious way as the first ever couple to be named The Border Texan of the Year – 2016, joining the ranks of highly respected legislators, community leaders and even a past United States president.
Last year, Bob and Janet created an endowed scholarship at UTRGV and Janet was honored as a Woman of Influence by Social Life Magazine, amongst a group of other influential women in 2017. Janet is very proud to serve on the Board of the Vannie Cook Cancer Foundation and values other important long-term partnerships such as the Student of the Week Scholarship Program, various Boys & Girls clubs, Palmer Drug Abuse Program, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Palm Valley Animal Shelter, just to name a few.
When asked about her success and achievements, Janet gives all the credit to her family and the people of the Rio Grande Valley who inspire and motivate her. Janet and Bob motivate each other every day and live by the mantra “No matter how you feel… get up, dress up, show up, and never give up!”
Their personalities complement one another very well; he is the strong, quiet type and she is the energy behind it all. Goodness in others is a very powerful motivator for Janet: a happy smile as well as a grateful heart go a long way for her. Janet and Bob believe that family is the most important driver in their lives and are excited to see their family grow.
The Vackar family includes their daughter Kristin, son-in-law Will, and four beautiful grandchildren: Walt, Sawyer, Emmylou, and Dorothy (named for Janet’s mother).
Article originally posted by the Texas Border Business. Link here.