Each year the WSU Center for Real Estate and the Kansas Chapter of Certified Commercial Investment Members (CCIM) present their annual Lifetime Achievement Award. The award honors local professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the commercial real estate profession, and is a great honor and a tribute to individuals who represent the finest examples of Wichita’s rich history of entrepreneurship in the real estate industry.
2014 Honoree – Donald C. Slawson
Donald C. Slawson is the recipient of the 2014 WSU Center for Real Estate and Kansas CCIM Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award, the first posthumous honoree. In 1957, Mr. Slawson founded Slawson Companies – an independent oil and gas exploration company which drilled over 4,000 operated wells in 10 states and at one time was the most active driller in the State of Kansas. This company became the foundation for Mr. Slawson’s extensive involvement in the Wichita real estate community.
Slawson Companies’ community-enhancing real estate developments span Wichita, from NewMarket Square on the northwest to the Tallgrass master-planned community on the northeast. One of Mr. Slawson’s proudest achievements was the development of a former sod farm into what is now NewMarket Square Shopping Center. The launch of NewMarket Square in 2001 directly answered the burgeoning demand for quality and variety in shopping options in the city’s rapidly expanding west side. Today, NewMarket serves as the region’s largest outdoor marketplace, with 850,000 square feet of building area and over 100 businesses. Across town, the 840-acre Tallgrass community is noted for its upscale neighborhoods, championship golf and carefully integrated commercial development. Current ventures include Oak Creek, a master-planned community at the southwest corner of 21st St. and Greenwich and Cross Pointe, a retail development at the southeast corner of 21st St. and Greenwich Road.
Since the early 1980’s, Slawson subsidiaries have developed 28 residential developments in west and east Wichita – including Briarwood Lakes Estates, Brookhaven Estates, Mill Pond, Evergreen, Socora Village and Woodbridge. Current residential projects include Fontana, Wilshire, Glen Meadows and Forest Gate.
Today, Slawson Companies employs more than 950 people in offices located in Wichita, Denver, Oklahoma City, Houston, Binger, Oklahoma and North Dakota.
Don cared deeply about his community and worked hard to make Wichita a better place to live. He served as a member of the Kansas Health Foundation’s Investment Committee for twenty years and was the founding Chairman of the Wichita/Sedgwick County Partnership for Growth and the Founding Chairman of the Wichita Downtown Development Committee. Don served on numerous Boards of Directors including: the Wichita Airport Advisory Board, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, Wichita Collegiate School, Intrust Bank, Cessna Aircraft Corporation, Kansas Gas & Electric Company and Security Benefit Life Insurance Company.
Don and his wife Judy supported many Wichita community projects, but their favorite project was the Slawson Family Tiger Trek at the Sedgwick County Zoo.
Mr. Slawson is the tenth recipient of this award, joining Colby Sandlian, the late Jack Hunt, George Ablah, Jack DeBoer, Michael & Nestor Weigand, Stephen L. Clark, Herbert L. Krumsick, David Burk and Rod M. Stewart.