Photo: Valerie Williams, second from left, of Bank of America Merrill Lynch is awarded the TAAHP Jean MacDonald Affordable Housing Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Texas Housing Conference, hosted by the Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers (TAAHP). She is pictured with TAAHP Executive Director Roger Arriaga, left, Justin MacDonald (grandson to Jean MacDonald) of the MacDonald Companies and TAAHP 2018-2019 President Debra Guerrero of The NRP Group.

(AUSTIN, TEXAS) August 8, 2019, The Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers (TAAHP) is pleased to announce Valerie Williams of Bank of America Merrill Lynch as the 2019 recipient of the Jean W. MacDonald Lifetime Achievement Award for her long-time commitment to affordable housing in Texas. She joins only eight former awardees who have demonstrated the kind of forward thinking and fortitude necessary to help the most vulnerable citizens in Texas achieve a better quality of life.

“I am excited to see Valerie honored with this most prestigious award,” says TAAHP Executive Director Roger Arriaga. “Her work at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and at TAAHP, serving on multiple committees and the Board of Directors, has helped propel our industry in Texas by supporting the development of affordable housing for low-income residents living here,” he says.

“I am very honored and grateful to the McDonald Family, TAAHP, and the Committee, to receive the Jean W. McDonald Award,” says award recipient Valerie Williams of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Since college, my goal has been to make a decent living, have a career and provide an example for others to follow, especially women. I am proud to have demonstrated Jean’s legacy in what I do to promote safe, quality, affordable housing, and continue to mentor and sponsor women in the industry.”

In 2011, the Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers (TAAHP) created the Jean W. MacDonald Affordable Housing Lifetime Achievement Award. This award honors and recognizes a woman in the affordable housing industry in Texas who exhibits trailblazing courage and has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities. More specifically, the awardees embody the philosophy of providing quality affordable housing to all Texans.

Jean W. MacDonald was the inaugural recipient and namesake of the Jean W. MacDonald Affordable Housing Lifetime Achievement Award. Mrs. MacDonald was an industry leader who was active for many years in the home building and development community. Her legacy includes some of the most prestigious neighborhoods and communities in Austin, Kerrville and around the state of Texas. She managed to grow a strong and successful business in a male-dominated industry, becoming one of the most successful custom home builders in Austin, Texas. Later in her career, Jean and her son Granger pivoted into developing and building affordable multifamily housing throughout rural areas of Texas after seeing the drastic need of our state to house its growing workforce.

Mrs. MacDonald was the first woman to serve as president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin, formerly called the Texas Capitol Area Builders Association (TXCABA). She was also appointed and subsequently reappointed to the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas under the administrations of Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton; and served as the Bank’s Chairwoman for six years.

“It is essential to recognize women like Valerie who works on a daily basis for the future of our great State of Texas,” says TAAHP President Debra Guerrero.  “She is a great example of using her skills, knowledge, experience and heart to create a better quality of life for seniors, children and the families of Texas through the financial investment of quality affordable housing.”

About the Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers (TAAHP)
The Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers (TAAHP) is a non-profit trade association serving affordable housing industry providers. TAAHP works to increase the supply and quality of affordable housing for Texans. Founded in 1997, TAAHP is considered the “Voice of Affordable Housing in Texas,” and represents housing industry professionals involved in the financing, design, development, and management of affordable housing communities in Texas through public/private partnerships. TAAHP members have produced tens of thousands of award-winning affordable housing communities with state-of-the-art designs, amenities, and resident services. For more information, visit www.taahp.org.

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