Affectionately known as the “Mayor of Snider Plaza,” Jerry Washam has been selected University Park’s 2017 Citizen of the Year.
President of the Ralph Porter Company, Washam oversees the leasing and management of a substantial portion of properties in Snider Plaza, the city’s picturesque town square that his grandfather began developing in 1927. Washam’s involvement in the company started in the early 1970s before he graduated with a business degree from SMU.
Washam said that when Mayor Olin Lane Jr. called him with the news, he responded, “You must be joking, there are so many people in this community who have done so much more than me.” He was also told the mayor he was “pleased and proud” to receive the honor.
Those who nominated Washam were quick to point out his years of service to the community. A member of the Park Cities Rotary Club for more than 40 years, in addition to being a past president, he has worked on numerous club committees, including the one that is responsible for hosting the Park Cities July 4 parade and picnic. Working closely with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and Snider Plaza merchants, he also has been instrumental in the growth in size and popularity of the city’s Snider Plaza Tree Lighting event that highlights the start of the holiday season.
Born in Dallas, Washam is a longtime resident of University Park, having lived in his current home on Stanford for 39 years. In addition to his wife Mary, he has two children, J.J. and Katie, and one grandson, Evan.
After riding in the July 4 Parade, Jerry will be presented with a plaque and a special Citizen of the Year gift during a brief ceremony at the Goar Park Gazebo. The Citizen of the Year award was created by the City Council in 2005 to boost public awareness and appreciation for the many residents who work, often behind the scenes, to better the city’s quality of life.