Houston Treasures for 2005
Photo by: Alexander’s Fine Portrait Design
Joan Alexander grew up in New York City, but after her marriage to Stanford some fifty years ago, she moved to Houston and graduated from the University of Houston with a B.A. in English. Her writing pervades every aspect of her life. Through the years, Joan has been involved in many cultural, political, spiritual, humanitarian and women’s initiatives in the community.
Joan has been a passionate advocate for mental health issues starting with being an executive board member of Houston Child Guidance and was recently honored with the Spirit of Hope Award by the Mental Health Association of Greater Houston for initiating their “Stamp Out Stigma” of mental illness campaign. She has served on numerous boards and committees including the Museum of Fine Arts, Holocaust Museum Houston’s Art and Finance Committee, and the Israel Public Affairs Committee. She and Stanford played a major role in the founding of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Houston and Joan was a founding member of the Houston Orton Dyslexia Society.
Among the other boards and committees which have benefitted from Joan’s participation are Interfaith Ministries, the Greater Houston Partnership Government Relations Committee, Crisis Intervention, Houston Food Bank, S.E.A.R.C.H. and Congregation Beth Israel. The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston’s “Outstanding Young Jewish Woman Award”, the Institute of Religion’s “Caring Spirit Award” and Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s “Woman of Distinction” are among her honors.
Stanford Alexander, president and CEO of Weingarten Realty Investors (WRI), is a native Houstonian. Educated in the Houston public school system, he attended the University of Texas and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. Through his guidance, today WRI trades on the NYSE and encompasses shopping centers and industrial properties in twenty states.
Stanford’s many accolades have been attributed to his business acumen as well as his passion and support for many worthwhile causes. Awards and honors include being chairman of NAREIT, the Bronze and Gold Star from the Wall Street Transcript and being inducted into the 2001 Texas Business Hall of Fame. He has served and serves on numerous boards, committees and in trustee positions. His firm donated the first homes for the Houston Food Bank, Dress for Success Houston and SEARCH’s House of Tiny Treasures.
He and Joan have most recently been honored with the Holocaust Museum Houston’s “Guardian of the Human Spirit” award in recognition of their tireless activism and commitment to Houston. Their greatest source of joy and accomplishment however is their children, Drew and his wife Julie, Ilene, and Eric of blessed memory, and their grandchildren, Kevin and Amy.