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Where Homelessness Ends and Healing Begins

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Bill Greehey

Haven for Hope founder, Bill Greehey, served as the founding CEO and Chairman of Valero Energy Corporation from the company’s inception in 1980 until he retired as CEO in 2006 and as Chairman in 2007. He directed Valero’s growth from a small, regional pipeline company into the largest refining company in North America, ranking No. 15 on the FORTUNE 500 when he retired as Chairman. Mr. Greehey went on to serve as Chairman of the Board for NuStar Energy, which spun off from Valero in 2007. Along with the company’s leadership team, he helped build NuStar into one of the largest petroleum pipeline and terminal operators in America. Mr. Greehey retired from NuStar Energy in 2022.

A nationally renowned philanthropist, Mr. Greehey made community service a core value at each organization he led. Following his leadership by example, NuStar employees give millions of dollars and tens-of-thousands volunteer hours to charitable and civic causes each year. Mr. Greehey established The Greehey Family Foundation in 2004, and he has funded it with over $200 million, plus he has given an additional $131 million to hundreds of worthy charitable causes. This includes a $25 million grant to the University of Texas Health Science Center to fund research and treatment for children’s cancer. He also gave a $25 million gift to the business school at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, his alma mater, to expand its recruitment of top business students, attract internationally known business professors, and promote business ethics and community service among future business leaders.

Mr. Greehey is also a major supporter of the United Way and the Boy Scouts of America and has served in national and local leadership capacities for both organizations. And he is the past chairman of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.

While countless San Antonio nonprofits have benefitted from his leadership and generosity, his greatest legacy is the creation of Haven for Hope, the national model in the fight against homelessness. In 2005, prior to his retirement from Valero, he saw the need for and envisioned a better system not only to serve the homeless but to transform their lives and break the cycle of homelessness. With the support of City and County leaders, he led an extensive research effort to find the best practices from other transformational campuses across the country, then combine those best practices to develop the blueprint for Haven for Hope. Haven helps individuals and families identify the root causes of their homelessness and then provides them with all of the resources they need on a “one-stop” campus to get back to independent, productive, and happy lives. Mr. Greehey raised more than $101 million to build the Haven for Hope campus, with more than 60 percent of the funding coming from the private sector. Through the years he has personally given more than $44 million to Haven for Hope and its partner agencies. In 2022, Mr. Greehey retired from his role as Chairman of Haven’s Board but still serves as Haven’s Founder and Chairman Emeritus.

For his tremendous commitment to philanthropy and community service, Mr. Greehey was awarded an honorary doctorate of social work from Our Lady of the Lake University and an honorary doctorate of philosophy from St. Mary’s University. He received the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ International Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award, and he was selected to receive the prestigious Horatio Alger Award, which recognizes individuals who have climbed from humble beginnings to personal and professional success and have achieved the “American Dream.” 

In 2012, The Harvard Business Review named Mr. Greehey one of the best-performing CEOs in the world based on his tenure as CEO of Valero. He is also a member of the Texas Business Hall of Fame.