Houston Treasures

Welcome & Joanne Wilson


Photo by: Evin Thayer Studios

wilson welcome joanneJoanne Guest Wilson has spent her life in the service of her family and the fine arts community of Houston. She graduated from Lamar High School at age 16, and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Houston. She is a recognized decorator, an expert gardener, a leader in fashion and a gourmet cook.

For many years, Joanne was President of the Houston Ballet Ambassadors. She has served as Chair of the Ballet Ball, on the Board of Directors of Houston Grand Opera and as Chairman of the Houston Symphony Run. Joanne is an exhibited artist, and the largest space at the UH Blaffer Museum of Fine Art is named the Joanne Guest Wilson Gallery. She is a fitness advocate at the Houstonian Club, where she was an early member. A dedicated runner for 40 years, Joanne has completed several Houston marathons.

Welcome Sr. (as he has been known to all since Welcome Jr. came along) is Chairman of Welcome Group, LLC and is a long-time Houston Real Estate Developer. His first major projects were Jamaica Beach and Tiki Island in Galveston in the 1950’s. In his varied and distinguished career, Welcome Sr. has owned two Houston banks, was Chairman of an American Stock Exchange company and owned 10% of the Houston Astros baseball team. He served in the Executive Office of the President under Eisenhower and Kennedy, and witnessed the Atom Bomb test in Nevada and Hydrogen Bomb test at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. Welcome Sr. served as Special Ambassador to Nicaragua under LBJ, and he was a naval officer in Japan in the Korean War.

One of the University of Houston’s most influential supporters, Welcome Sr. served many years as Chairman of the UH Board of Regents and is now the Chairman of the UH Political Action Committee. He is also a director and Higher Education Chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership. His honors include being inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame, receiving Lifetime Achievement honors from the Houston Business Journal, and receiving an Honorary Doctor’s degree from UH.

Joanne and Welcome Sr. have five children, sixteen grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.

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