Always Welcome is the story of a remarkable man who has worked hard to discover the secrets to success. His 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.


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 recently inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame.  In the last few years, he also received the Trailblazer’s Award from the American Advertising Federation of Houston, the Crusader’s Award from Houston Neighborhood Centers, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Houston Technology Center, the Distinguished Service Award from CoreNet Global and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Houston Business Journal. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Houston Partnership where he was a long-time Chairman of its Higher Education Committee. Welcome and his wife, Joanne, will soon celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary with their five children, sixteen grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren. Read his full bio here.

Welcome has led a life that rivals any Texas tall tale. 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.


  • A Texas real estate success story, 61 years in business–Welcome’s “Rules of Order”: How to succeed in business and life by avoiding his mistakes
  • On Donald Trump: “The thing that nobody knows is, if the election were held today, Trump would be reelected in a landslide.” Find out Welcome’s thoughts behind this statement. Welcome has dealt with people like Trump all of his life. And he has spent most of his life in business backing elected officials, has worked under several elected officials, and has known and been friends with many for years.
  • His efforts to help University of Houston achieve Tier One status
  • How to find success using the fine art of the “Wilson deal.” Always balancing his vision of what was possible with hard work and homework, Wilson learned early from his father and grandfather that you’re not going to get a good deal unless you ask for one. 3 tips for someone just starting out in real estate development
  • From milking cows before hitchhiking to school to witnessing a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific to zip-lining through Costa Rica, Welcome’s secret to a long and interesting life