The country was just emerging from the depths of the economic crisis in 1991, when Martu Mangam was asked to help lead the hard-hit real estate industry into the future.
Since then, Mangam has consistently served as the first CEO San Antonio Real Estate Council (RECSA), the main voice of developers and others working in the sector, which is estimated to have an impact on the city’s economy of $ 38.2 billion a year.
Mangum lately announced that she plans to retire after 30 years of work in the organization. RECSA has appointed Stephanie Reyes, former Vice President for Public Policy of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, as its successor.
When Mangam is about to retire, RECSA President Brad Carson acknowledged her long work and accomplishments. “There is only one Martha Mangum,” Carson said, “and it would be foolish to look for her clone.”
RECSA represents commercial property owners and professionals and provides education and information to develop industry leaders. It represents 250 member firms and over 1,100 individuals.
Founded in 1991 and with about 200 members, the group was faced early on with a growing number of regulations affecting developers and a maze of urban processes that made it difficult to do business.
“Well guess what? The best way to solve this problem is to communicate, ”said Mangam. “Over the years, we formed groups to meet separately with [city and county departments] that our members work with … so we have a streamlined process [and] confidence in the process.
“We don’t get together and have happy hours, dinners or whatever,” she added. “We are an advocacy group.”
‘We are talking’
The Dallas native Mangum received her degree in education from the University of Texas at Austin and worked as a teacher until the early 1980s, when she went to work for developer Walter Embry, the company’s founder. Embrey partnersin San Antonio.
Embry was associated with other local developers at the National Association of Industrial and Office Real Estate (NAIOP), and after her son Mangam was born in 1984, she helped Embry open the NAIOP San Antonio branch, the first branch in the country, according to Mangam. …
After the real estate crash in the late 1980s, Mangam said that Embry, along with La Quinta Inns founder Philip Barshop and others, recognized the need for a more localized organization and asked Mangam to help form RECSA shortly after her daughter was born. … She was named the organization’s executive director.
Today her work at RECSA includes helping group members understand city regulations and processes. She also helps city officials, CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System understand the impact of the proposed regulations so that they work well for both city residents and developers. She and the leaders of other organizations meet regularly with city staff.
“That doesn’t mean everything is perfect,” she said. “This does not mean that we always agree with the city or they always agree with us, but at least we communicate.”
In fact, the relationship between the municipal government and the developer community was once highly controversial, said assistant city manager Rod Sanchez, who has worked in the city of San Antonio for 28 years. But that all changed with Mangam’s leadership, he said.
“We were able to build a really, really good relationship,” Sanchez said. “We can meet with this group and share our thoughts with them and receive their thoughts. We come up with really great solutions because we have built this great relationship and Marta is at the center of it. “
Sanchez described Mangum as a passionate advocate who leaves “big boots in charge.” simply because of her long history with RECSA. She has been involved in major changes in the way the city manages growth and development, including the creation of the Trees Ordinance, the Unified Development Code, and the City Development Services Department.
Grow and prosper
Under her supervision, Mangam watched San Antonio’s commercial real estate sector grow into a multibillion-dollar industry, employing 143,000 people and generating $ 263 million in local tax revenue, according to research by John Hockenios, president of an Austin-based public policy firm. TXP.
“I think San Antonio has a fantastic future,” Mangam said. “I think the people in our industry are responsible for development. Obviously we’re still growing [and] we have responded to the request; we are focused on accessibility.
“[San Antonio developers] are investing here and want San Antonio to continue to grow and thrive responsibly. “
Mangam is proud of its efforts to create an organization’s leadership development program for aspiring professionals under the age of 40, which was interrupted last year by the pandemic. She extended her retirement date from June to the end of September to resume the program in 2021-2022. After retirement, Mangam plans to spend more time with his family.
“It’s kind of funny because now I see the second or third generation,” leading family-owned development companies in San Antonio, Mangam said. “It was really interesting to see the changes in the various organizations and the rising generation that will lead them.”
One of them is RECSA member Trey Dawson, senior vice president of Pape-Dawson Engineers and grandson of company founder Gene Dawson Sr.
“Martha’s influence on the San Antonio real estate community is so great that the true impact of her dedication to the industry will never be fully known,” said Trey Dawson.
His father, Gene Dawson Jr., President of Pape-Dawson, echoed this view: “Martha has been a consistent and passionate voice in the commercial real estate industry for 30 years. Her leadership will be lost. “