On Thursday evening, New Orleans Saints Owner Tom Benson will be inducted into the San Antonio Business Hall of Fame.
Mr. Benson will be recognized with this honor by the Junior Achievement of South Texas organization based on his business accomplishments in San Antonio, his contributions to the city's economic development and his numerous charitable endeavors.
Mr. Benson first entered the San Antonio market to manage a Chevrolet dealership as a junior partner in 1956. Six years later he took full control of the company and established a multi-dealership organization with franchises in both the San Antonio and New Orleans area. He still owns several dealerships in both regions, including Chevrolet, Honda and Mercedes-Benz outlets in the Alamo city.
Mr. Benson also became involved in the banking industry in both cities and eventually took his banking network public as Benson Financial World. In 2003, he re-entered the San Antonio banking industry and through the merger of two institutions created Lone Star Capital Bank, which has four locations.
In addition to his business activities, Mr. Benson's recognition is also based on his commitment to community service in both New Orleans and San Antonio. His most recent contribution in San Antonio allowed him to combine his passions for both athletics and education as he and his wife, Gayle, funded the building of a football stadium on the University of Incarnate Word campus, named Gayle and Tom Benson Field. With his support, the team first took to the field in 2009. In addition, Mr. Benson and his family also established an endowment fund at Central Catholic High School in San Antonio that is dedicated to the memory of his son, the later Robert Carter Benson, who graduated from the school in 1962. He also donated the Benson Memorial Library at Central Catholic.
In addition to Mr. Benson, three other members of the San Antonio business community, Edward and Sam Steves Jr. of Steves & Sons door manufacturer and Rockspace chairman Graham Weston, will be honored at the event.