Recently, the Rotary Club of Houston presented David. S. Wolff, chairman and president of Wolff Companies, with its 2020 Distinguished Citizen Award. The honor recognizes his contributions to the Houston community, including his significant efforts to enhance and preserve the natural beauty of land, while meeting the ever-changing needs of business and community development.
Since 1962, the Distinguished Citizen Award is presented annually to a leading Houston citizen exhibiting high ideals, leadership and philanthropy in addition to the Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self. Prior recipients include President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush, James A. Baker, George Mitchell and Michael DeBakey. On behalf of Mayor Sylvester Turner, former Mayor Bill White presented Wolff with a mayoral proclamation, declaring September 25 David S. Wolff Day in Houston.
Wolff, a leader in Houston’s real estate and business community is a philanthropist; dedicated husband, father and grandfather; civil servant and visionary, foreseeing the growth of West Houston and helping pioneer what Houstonians know today as The Energy Corridor. He has made a lasting impact on the Houston metro area as founder and chairman of 50-year-old Wolff Companies, developing thousands of acres into high-quality, master-planned mixed-use environments, including office, business and industrial parks, and sites for healthcare, hotels, retail and residential projects, such as Ten Oaks, Central Park, Interwood and Gates Ranch, the community of family farms in Washington County.
“David is not just a developer, he is a visionary, with a vision for Houston, for our business and our community,” said White. “Today, we are honoring him because of his many civic contributions. Thank you, David, for improving the quality of life of all of our citizens and thank you to the Rotary Club for honoring one of our city’s behind-the-scenes members, who has made Houston what it is today.”
Born in Philadelphia, Wolff graduated with honors from Amherst College, where he has since served on the Board of Trustees. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he has been an advisor to the faculty in the development of the study of entrepreneurship. He has devoted considerable time and business acumen to a number of civic organizations in Houston, including the West Houston Association, which he co-founded and chaired for six years; the Houston Parks Board, on which he served for 12 years, including two terms as Chairman; the Houston Grand Opera, where he was vice president and chairman of the finance committee; and the Greater Houston Partnership. He also served as a chairman of METRO (the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County) from 2004 to 2010. He is also part-owner in the San Francisco Giants and owner of a 1,680-acre working cattle ranch in Independence, Texas. He’s been married to his wife, Mary for 47 years and is a loving father to two daughters who help him run Wolff Companies and have given him the joys of five grandchildren.
“I’d like to express my appreciation to Mayor White and The Rotary Club of Houston for this honor,” said Wolff. “I’m particularly touched when one looks at the previous recipients. I want to take this opportunity to really express my appreciation for the opportunity to be a citizen of Houston. When I came here 50 years ago, the city gave me the opportunity to make a life, have a family, build a company and to create high-quality developments. I don’t think I would have had this opportunity in very many cities in the country or around the world. I appreciate my friend Mayor Bill White who did such a great job as the Mayor of Houston for being the honorary chairman of this event and I express again my gratitude to the Rotary Club of Houston.”