Remember (We Lost) the Alamo

I made my first trip to Texas a few years ago. I was in Dallas for a conference and my roommate met me afterward for a little road trip. 

After passing what seemed like 15 different dead animals on the side of the highway—I swear I saw an ocelot among the roadkill—Steph and I arrived in San Antonio. First order of business: margaritas and Mexican goods.

We made our way to a tourist haven on the River Walk and indulged in our first delicious and overly priced drinks. As we sat there in the oppressing humidity, I marveled at the size of my mango margarita. I know, I know, everything is bigger in Texas, but this was a pleasant surprise nevertheless.

A little tipsy, we left the restaurant and made the obligatory Alamo stop. There, we learned that we had not won the Battle of the Alamo—which, if I’m being completely honest, was news to us. “Remember the Alamo…where the Mexicans won” would have really helped in elementary school.

Feeling woefully uneducated, we left and headed to our happy place—a series of markets known as El Mercado. In English, this translates to “place where you will spend four hours before leaving with a massive, indecision-induced migraine and five pieces of Mexican pottery.”

Weighed down by all of our new trinkets, Steph and I finished our San Antonio adventure with dinner at Mi Tierra. In English, this translates to “place where you will eat enchiladas so good, you’ll weep—and then feel slightly embarrassed.” We wanted to stay inside of this heavenly restaurant forever, preferably wrapped in a warm tortilla, but it was time to hit the road. 

Little did I know I’d be back in the Lone Star State a few years later (about the same time I finally digested those enchiladas). 

This fall I traveled to Dallas to interview Brad Williams, CPM, Regional Vice President, Southwest Region, of Lincoln Property Company and 2014 NAA Chairman of the Board. 

The Dallas native has 40 years’ experience in multifamily housing—all of which has been spent at Lincoln Property Company. He began working as a porter for the company when he was 19, and returned summer after summer while attending the University of Texas, graduating in 1972. He toyed with the idea of running for public office after graduation, but he lacked both the capital and confidence.

Instead, he returned to Lincoln’s Village Country Club and was soon invited to apply as a manager trainee at Lincoln’s flagship Village Apartments. 

Four decades later, Williams oversees 53,000 units and 1,200 employees. He credits his tenure to the company’s stability of leadership and dedication to promoting from within.

Beyond Lincoln, Williams has been actively involved with NAA since 1990, and says his year as Chairman of the Board will be defined by a strong push for lobbying. Lobbying, and sopapillas at every conference.

“We shouldn’t ride the coat tails of those who are trying to protect our livelihood,” Williams says. “We all have to give back to the industry that provides for our families.”

And try the green sauce at Mi Tierra. 

For more, check out “Texas Star” in the November issue of units Magazine, which mailed Nov. 10.

Lauren Boston is NAA’s Staff Writer and Manager of Public Relations. Unsurprisingly, she writes a lot—most often for units Magazine and as a weekly blogger for APTly Spoken. She enjoys making people laugh, sharing embarrassing childhood stories and being the (self-proclaimed) Voice of the Apartment Industry. She welcomes feedback, unless it’s negative (in which case, please keep it to yourself).