Gilbert Garcia and Eric Carr’s Affordable Housing Partnership Was Underway Long Before Garcia Decided to Run for Mayor
AUBREY R. TAYLOR REPORTS©
A lot of people wait until they decide to pursue a public office before starting to do anything to help others, but not Gilbert Garcia, the former Chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, and managing partner at Garcia Hamilton & Associates. Don’t you hate those fake grip and grin photos that career politicians take? I don’t know about you, but as for me, I can spot manufactured goodwill from a mile away. That being said, I can also spot a genuine deal when I see one.
For the record, I’ve been watching former prizefighter Eric Carr, and owner of E&E Construction for many years. He first came on my radar several years ago when I saw a report that aired on FOX 26, titled, “Angel in a hard hat a blessing for the collapsed church.” The first thing I thought was, who are they talking about?
“Angels don’t always come with wings – sometimes they wear hard hats,” said Fox 26 News Reporter, John Donnelly, in his opening paragraph. “I don’t go to church here, but I believe in what Pastor Boudreau is talking about,” explained Eric Carr.
Eric Carr went on to say, “I believe he’s a straight guy, a fair guy and I think he’s for the people.”
“He’s giving us mercy," said, Pastor Johnny Boudreaux, speaking of businessman Eric Carr. You see, Carr, was answering a call to service, as he’s been doing for many years.
Long story short, Eric Carr, back in 2016, Pastor Boudreaux had just left the church when disaster struck. The devil is always busy – isn’t he? Anyways, the roof to the main worship center of the Truth Faith Missionary Baptist worship center caved in, leaving Pastor Boudreaux bewildered.
According to the FOX 26 report, “The pastor says he had paid the insurance premiums, but also says the insurance company didn’t want to pay up until they investigated.” Pastor Boudreaux explained, “They couldn’t believe it was so unprofessionally structured, lasting just 24-to-25 years.”
“CARR STEPS IN.”
After not receiving much money from the insurance company, Pastor Boudreaux was at his wit's end. However, with the little money given by the insurance company, and a handful of donors, he was ready to have the old structure demolished.
Thanks to Eric Carr, doing the demolition for less than half the price some others were estimating, the job got done. Yep. Eric Carr did all of the work for a fraction of the price. “I just want to help,” says Carr.
After the sudden passing of his beloved mother, Gwendolyn Carr, back on March 22, 2023, Eric Carr, paused things for a moment, but he’s hitting full stride now. “Eric, you make sure you make a lot of money because you like to run things,” he fondly remembers his mother telling him way back when he was only 14 years old. “I think that’s what inspired me to go to work at Kroger,” he says.
Well, as God would have it, Gwendolyn lived long enough to witness her son mature into a highly successful businessman after a rocket start, and a few hiccups along the way.
“My wife and I are very excited to answer the call for more affordable housing,” says Gilbert Garcia, who running for Mayor of the city of Houston on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, against a stellar field of mayoral candidates vying to replace Mayor Sylvester Turner, who is term-limited.
According to Garcia, “We’ve learned firsthand how difficult the permitting process is. It must be reformed to get more properties built to address high housing costs and to increase property tax revenue for the city.”
“We are building a moderate-income housing development in the Settegast neighborhood in Northeast Houston,” explains Garcia. “We are using a small minority-owned builder and friend Eric Carr.”
“As an MWBE firm owner myself, I’m always looking for ways to expand opportunities,” he said of the unique partnership that he’s forged with his good friend and partner on the Affordable Housing Development that’s currently underway.
Gilbert Andrew Garcia, CFA
Mr. Garcia received a B.A. in Economics from Yale University. After graduating in 1985, he joined Salomon Brothers in New York City where he became a Vice President specializing in mortgage-backed securities. In 1990, he moved to Houston to join former Mayor Henry Cisneros in building Cisneros Asset Management Company, ultimately becoming its President. In 2002, he joined Garcia Hamilton & Associates and is the Firm’s Managing Partner. Under his leadership, the Firm has grown from $200 million in fixed-income assets under management to over $16.8 billion (as of September 30, 2022).
Mr. Garcia is proud to have served on two SEC FACA Committees: SEC’s Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Board and SEC’s Asset Management Advisory Committee, where he led the Diversity and Inclusion subcommittee. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Dallas Police & Fire Pension System and is the longest-serving board member with Chairman Henry Kravis on the Board of Directors of SEO, a non-profit providing summer internships on Wall Street for minority undergraduates. Mr. Garcia was awarded SEO’s Alumni Leadership Award in 2015 alongside other honorees, including the former mayor of New York City, Michael R. Bloomberg, and Co-Founder & Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, David M. Rubenstein.
Mr. Garcia and GH&A have received numerous industry recognitions. Most recently in 2022, Houston Business Journal recognized the Firm as an Outstanding Diverse Organization within their Diversity in Business Awards. Mr. Garcia was also recognized as a Diversity Champion in 2022 and 2021 for his promotion of diversity and inclusion within the Firm as well as in the Houston community. In 2020, Mr. Garcia received NASP’s Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr. Award, which was established to honor the financial services professional who best exemplifies entrepreneurial achievement, community service, and high moral standards. In 2019, he was awarded Houston’s Most Admired CEOs, and the Firm was ranked among Houston’s Best Places to Work in 2018. The Firm also received Pensions & Investments’ Best Places to Work in Money Management five years in a row (2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016), and Emerging Manager Monthly has awarded the Firm Fixed Income Manager of the Year three years in a row (2019, 2018 and 2010). Other past awards include the 2018 US Fixed Income Manager of the Year presented by Fundmap, Institutional Investor’s Intermediate-Term Fixed Income Manager of the Year in 2016 and 2015, and Institutional Investor’s 2014 Fixed Income Investment Grade Manager of the Year. In 2018, Mr. Garcia was co-chair of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The same year, he was awarded “Male Entrepreneur of the Year 2018” by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Garcia was recognized by the American Jewish Committee Houston (AJC Houston) with the Human Relations Award in 2016.
In 2022, Mr. Garcia was the Co-Grand Marshall of the 44th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Houston, Texas. From 2012 - 2016, Mr. Garcia served as Chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County where he implemented the “Garcia Rule,” which requires at least one diverse investment manager to be included in every asset class search. Under his leadership, METRO received transparency awards and earned the 2015 APTA Award for Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement. Mr. Garcia previously served as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Houston Downtown Management District for 13 years. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Yale Club of Houston and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System. In addition, he is a Class X graduate of Leadership Houston. Mr. Garcia is married with four children and enjoys martial arts and coaching youth sports.
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