It’s no secret that Dave Ward loves Madisonville.
The myriad of community organizations he has been involved with — or is involved in — says it all. Ward, a Madisonville native, doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon either.
“When I sold my car dealerships, I guess my wife thought I would sit in the rocking chair and sleep half the day,” he said. “Madisonville will always be home to me. I want to continue to help it grow enough to the point where kids who graduate from college can come back and find employment here.”
Ward is a big advocate for education. He helped hand out 14 Madisonville CISD Scholarship Foundation scholarships and 10 Madisonville Sidewalk Cattleman Association scholarships last week.
“I enjoy being able to help kids go to college,” Ward said.
A 1964 graduate of Madisonville High School, Ward grew up in a blue-collar family. He left for Houston shortly after graduation, and became a millionaire three years later.
“I left Madisonville with $300 to my name,” Ward said. “I’m living proof that you can make it if you really want it. I have a great family behind me and the Good Lord has always been behind me.”
By age 21, Ward earned his first million in the automobile business. He had four used car dealerships and three new car dealerships in Houston.
Ward sold his dealerships in Houston in 1980, and relocated to Bryan/College Station in 1983 where he operated a Nissan dealership. He sold the dealership nine years later and relocated to Madisonville with his wife, Jan, in 1992.
Ward took over the General Motors dealership in 1992. He now is the owner and operator of Dave Ward Investments, D&J Storage and the Dave Ward Cattle Company.
In addition to his business ventures, Ward is a busy man. He is involved in the MSCA, Madison County Chamber of Commerce, Madison St. Joseph Health Center, Madison County Economic Development Corp., MCISD Scholarship Foundation, Madison County Fair Association, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and the Madison County Go Texan Committee.
Ward is the president of the MCISD Scholarship Foundation and the Madison County Economic Development Corp. He also is past president of the MSCA and the Madison County Chamber of Commerce; past member of the Madisonville City Council and Brazos County Economic Development Council; and past chairman of the St. Joseph Foundation, Madison St. Joseph Health Center, Madisonville Building Standards Commission, Madisonville Crime Stoppers, Madisonville Fire Board, Bryan Building Standards Commission and the Houston Heights Historical Association.
Dave and Jan raised four sons — David, Trey, James and Jason. The couple also has nine grandchildren and is active in First Baptist Church.