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Finding Mr. Amigo each year isn’t easy

January 15, 2019

Arturo Trevino, president of the Mr. Amigo Association, said the search committee failed to land a big fish this year.

But they did land a big shark, he said — a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that Arturo Elias Ayub, revealed as Mr. Amigo 2018 last month, is a panelist on the TV show Shark Tank Mexico.

He’s also CEO of the philanthropic giant Telmex Foundation, director of UNO TV and director of strategic alliances for America Movil, Latin America’s biggest wireless telecomm provider, controlled by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim.

The Mr. Amigo Association normally covers the honoree’s air fare (along with hotel and meal expenses), though this year the association won’t have to since Ayub, the husband of Slim’s daughter Johanna, will fly in on a private plane, Trevino said.

Ayub will arrive on Feb. 27 and be in Brownsville, which he’s never visited, for three days of Charro Days festivities. It’s hard to find someone of Mr. Amigo caliber willing to make such a time commitment, Trevino said.

“His agenda has to match our agenda first,” he said. “He has to agree to it and be available.”

Four of the association’s former presidents make up the search committee, which sifts through the nominees to find someone who meets the necessary qualifications in addition to being available, Trevino said.

“First of all he has to be Mexican,” he said.

He (or she) also has to be someone who promotes the improvement of quality of life in the Hispanic community and serves as a role model for citizens of Mexico and the United States, according to the association. Ayub certainly fits the bill, Trevino said.

“He’s one of the entrepreneurs behind the scenes who’s made a lot of things happen,” he said.

Everyone wants Mr. Amigo to be a celebrity, though that’s much easier said than done, Trevino said.

The association doesn’t pay its Mr. Amigos, which would go against the spirit of the thing anyway, so it can be tough to get famous people, he said.

“At the end of day its whoever we have access to,” Trevino said. “There’s always representatives in the way — managers and stuff.”

In proper Mr. Amigo fashion, on Feb. 8 a contingent of Brownsville officials will attend a ceremony in Mexico City to officially invite Ayub to come to Brownsville.

“That’s the way it should work,” Trevino said. “Sometimes there’s no time to do it.”

The association’s big annual fundraiser “Taste of La Frontera” takes place Jan. 21 at the Brownsville Events Center.

sclark@brownsvilleherald.com

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