The Rotary Club of Houston 
David S. Wolff
2020 Distinguished Citizen Award

What is DCA 2020

Rotary Distinguished Citizen Award is presented annually to someone in Houston who exhibits high ideals, leadership and philanthropy. The funds raised support our on-going service activities. This year we are honored to present the Distinguished Citizen Award to David S. Wolff for his service to the growth and development of Houston.
Since it was first presented in 1962, the Rotary Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award has gone to an impressive array of individual Houstonians and Houston institutions. The Rotary Distinguished Citizen Award is the Rotary Club of Houston’s major fundraiser for its many community service projects.
Meet Our Honoree
David S. Wolff
David is a leader in Houston’s real estate and business community; a philanthropist; dedicated husband, father and grandfather; civil servant; and visionary, foreseeing the growth of West Houston and becoming one of the pioneers of what we know today as the Energy Corridor.
Born in Philadelphia, he graduated with honors from Amherst College and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. A dedicated alumnus, he has served as a Trustee of Amherst College and is presently a Trustee Emeritus. He has also been an advisor to the faculty of Harvard Business School in the development of the study of entrepreneurship as well as the major gifts chair of his last three reunions, all of which broke fundraising records.
As Wolff Companies’ Chairman and President, he has made a lasting impact on the Houston metro area. In 1970, he founded what has evolved into Wolff Companies, one of the leading land development and investment companies in the Southwest. He has developed thousands of acres into high-quality, master-planned mixed-use environments, including office, business and industrial parks as well as sites for healthcare, hotels, retail and residential projects. Among its current holdings are Central Park, located in the Energy Corridor; Ten Oaks, adjacent to Texas Medical Center’s West Campus; and the 1,500-acre Gates Ranch residential farm project near Chappell Hill, TX.
Delivering on his belief that thoughtful planning, green spaces, culture and high-quality infrastructure enhance long-term real estate values, David has devoted considerable time and business acumen to a number of civic organizations, 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.
David has a long history of preserving and enhancing the natural beauty of each property he develops by protecting trees, adding landscaping and preserving green spaces for the benefit of current and future generations. When developing Westway Park, he preserved an existing arboretum that included tree specimens from all over Texas, some of which were over 100 years old.  Today and in perpetuity, Carolyn H. Wolff Park, named after David’s mother, serves as an urban nature reserve and a peaceful respite.
The American Society of Landscape Architects, Scenic Houston, Keep America Beautiful, the American Institute of Architects and the Municipal Art Commission have all recognized Wolff Companies’ developments for enhancing and preserving the natural beauty of land, while meeting the ever-changing needs of business.
When not working on land deals, David keeps busy as a partner in the San Francisco Giants and owner of a 1,680-acre working cattle ranch in Independence, Texas. David and his wife, Mary, have been married for forty-seven years and have two daughters, both of whom help him run Wolff Companies, and five grandchildren.