Saturday, September 15, 2018

Book Nook: Always Welcome - 9 Decades of Great Friends, Great Times, and (Mostly) Great Deals

Welcome Wilson Sr. is the author of Always Welcome: 9 Decades of Great Friends, Great Times and (Mostly) Great Deals.

Welcome worked hard to discover the secrets to success. This candid memoir, spanning ninety years of a life well-lived, shares the wisdom won through good deals and bad, hard times and happiness. Wilson’s colorful anecdotes bring history to life, providing fascinating business, political, and social vignettes and commentary. Anyone interested in real estate, politics, higher education, or the personalities that helped Houston boom from a sleepy Southern town into an international city, with find this a treasure trove of information–and a collection of great stories. Wilson’s desire to learn from every experience has allowed him to play a part in many of the significant moments as the 20th century unfolds. The energy and enthusiasm for life detailed in the pages of this book are truly inspiring.

I had a chance to interview him to learn more.

Why did you decide to write this book?  When I became Chairman of the University of Houston Board of Regents in 2007, I started thinking about writing  a book, because monumental things began to happen at UH. We selected a new President who was electrifying UH (Renu Khator).  I thought there ought to be a journal of what was happening.
What were some of the biggest surprises you've encountered in real estate? The developer is not the businessman, the economy is the businessman.

What are some success tips in real estate that apply to anyone involved in business deals? You must be able to keep a straight face when proposing something highly in your favor. Don’t ever be afraid of a no answer. Ask for the order. 

Wilson is Chairman of the Board of Welcome Group, LLC, which, as landlord, owns eighty-seven manufacturing and other industrial facilities in Texas comprising just less than 4 million square feet of space. He has been a real estate developer in Texas for sixty-one years beginning with his first project in Galveston County, which is now the incorporated City of Jamaica Beach. Welcome was received numerous awards and recognitions. He and his wife, Joanne, will soon celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary with their five children, sixteen grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren. 

In his nine decades, he has accomplished things many people only dream of experiencing–in multiple arenas. Entrepreneur, entertainer, Navy man, public servant, businessman, advocate and fundraiser: in all these roles he has found success, met challenges, gained wisdom and mentored others. Through it all, his family, his faith and his sense of humor have allowed him to keep life in perspective and find meaning, adventure–and probably a good deal–in every new day.

And his unusual name? When Welcome W. Wilson, Sr., was born in San Angelo, Texas, his parents were so surprised that he wasn’t a girl, they couldn’t even name him. From the moment his father said, twenty-two days later, “We will name this baby Welcome, so he will know he was welcome, even though he is not a girl,” he has found that his congeniality and willingness to work hard to create opportunity for all involved have made him welcome wherever his eventful life has taken him.

Read his full bio here.

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