UH System Board of Regents Elects FY2015 Officers

Tilman J. Fertitta to Serve as Board Chair, Welcome Wilson Jr. is Vice Chair and Beth Madison is Secretary

A new leadership team is in place for the University of Houston System (UHS) Board of Regents for the upcoming fiscal year. During its quarterly meeting in August, the board elected new officers. FY2015 UHS Board of Regents officers are:

  • Chair – Tilman J. Fertitta
  • Vice Chair – Welcome W. Wilson Jr.
  • Secretary – Beth Madison

The UH System consists of four universities: the University of Houston (UH), UH-Clear Lake (UHCL), UH-Downtown (UHD) and UH-Victoria (UHV). It also includes three branch campuses: UHCL Pearland, UHS-Northwest and UH Sugar Land. Additionally, the system has one multi-institutional teaching center, UHS Cinco Ranch.

Fertitta, president, CEO and controlling shareholder of Landry's Inc., succeeds Jarvis Hollingsworth, an alumnus of the UH Law Center, as the board’s chair.

“I want to thank the Board for the honor and privilege of serving as your chair,” Hollingsworth said to his fellow Regents. “I am moved by your confidence in my leadership, and I look forward to supporting your new officers in the next fiscal year.”

Fertitta was appointed to the University of Houston System Board of Regents in 2009 to a term that expires Aug. 31, 2015. In the past year, he served as vice chairman of the UH System Board of Regents; vice chair of the Facilities, Construction and Master Planning Committee; a member of the Finance and Administration Committee; and a member of the Executive and Compensation Committee. 

A native of Galveston, he attended UH's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. The expansive properties of Landry’s Inc. include the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Biloxi, Lake Charles, the Kemah Boardwalk, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, and restaurant chains such as Morton's The Steakhouse, McCormick and Schmicks, Chart House, Bubba Gump, Rainforest Café, Saltgrass Steakhouse, and Vic and Anthony's.

In 2004, Fertitta was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame, the second-youngest inductee ever to receive this honor next to Michael Dell.

Fertitta is chairman of the Houston Children Charity and the Houston Police Foundation, is on the executive committee of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and serves on the boards of Texas Heart Institute, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Sam Houston Area Council - Boy Scouts of America, and the Greater Houston Partnership. 

Wilson was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2011 and will serve through Aug. 31, 2017.  For fiscal year 2013-2014, he served as secretary of the Board of Regents, chair of the Academic and Student Student Success Committee and the Facilities, Construction and Master Planning Committee, a member of the Finance and Administration Committee and the Executive and Compensation Committee.

Wilson is president and chief executive officer of GSL Welcome Group, a real estate development firm specializing in single-tenant office buildings and industrial properties with warehouse and manufacturing facilities.  He has extensive experience in industrial development, residential subdividing, office buildings, and retail centers.  He also serves as developer with Kingham ∙ Dalton ∙ Wilson Ltd., a Design/Build construction affiliate of GSL and director of River Oaks Financial Group, Inc.

Wilson serves as chairman of the board of the Southwest Houston Redevelopment Authority, Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number 20, and the Houston Realty Business Coalition. He is director of the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation and serves on the board of the Texas Business Hall of Fame.  He also has served on both the Greater Houston Partnership’s Common Grounds Initiative Committee and Energy Collaborative Cluster Council Leadership Committee.

Wilson’s philanthropic endeavors include serving on the board of the Houston Food Bank, where he previously served as vice chairman, and the American Lung Association Regional Advisory Board.  He served as director of the Houstonian Club Advisory Board and president of the Kinkaid Alumni Association. Wilson is a native Houstonian and attended the University of Denver.

Madison was appointed to the University of Houston System Board of Regents this year and will serve through Aug. 31, 2015. During this fiscal year, she served as a member of the Facilities, Construction and Master Planning Committee; the Endowment Management Committee; and the Audit and Compliance Committee.

In 1983, she founded Madison Benefits Group, Inc., which in 2008 became a wholly owned subsidiary of Higginbotham, a commercial risk management and insurance firm.  Madison is a certified employee benefits specialist, certified property and casualty underwriter and a chartered life underwriter. She served as president of the Houston Estate and Financial Forum and on the board for the Houston Chartered Life Underwriters as well as national advisory boards for multiple insurance companies. 

Madison is active in Houston philanthropic activities, serving as trustee of Madison Charitable Foundation, past chair of the Houston World Affairs Council, senior chair of the Houston Grand Opera, secretary for the board of the Alley Theatre and secretary for the Rice University Shepherd School of Music Society. She has served on the boards for The Houston Symphony, Trees for Houston, Preservation Houston and the Advisory Boards for Baylor College of Medicine Teen Clinic and the Baylor Partnership. She has been recognized for her services by ABC/13 as a Woman of Distinction in 2011 and named Ambassador in 2014.  She received the Community Pillar Award from Preservation Houston, and was named a Visionary Leader by the Houston Symphony in 2012. She was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame in 2013.  

Madison received a BA from the University of Houston and has been active in supporting the Business, Music, Athletic and Engineering Schools.  She was awarded the President’s Medallion and named Distinguished Alumni in 2010.

Regents also officially swore in new student Regent Asit Shah, and thanked outgoing student Regent Benjamin Wells, whose term expired, for his service.

For more details on the UH System and the UH System Board of Regents, visit http://www.uhsa.uh.edu/.