Residents of the Town of Addison recently elected a new mayor and three new city council members, during the May 6 elections. This week saw the swearing in of Joe Chow as mayor, and Ivan Hughes, Tom Braun and Lori Ward as council members. They will join the current council members – Jim Duffy, Al Angell and Paul Walden.
Originally from Taiwan, Chow moved to the United States in 1979 to complete his Master of Administrative Studies degree at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He worked for several businesses in the restaurant industry before opening his own restaurant called May Dragon in 1986. In 2002, he was first elected to the Addison city council, and he served as Mayor Pro Tempore in 2004. In 2005, he was elected Mayor and served in that position until 2011. He is currently an insurance agent and holds a real estate license. Chow is also a member of the Addison Business Association and Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce, and is a current board director for the Greater Dallas Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce. He is a former board director for Texas Medical Radiologic Technology (appointed by governor Greg Abbott), Boy Scouts of America, Contact Crisis Line, North Texas Commission, and the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce. During his free time, Chow enjoys playing various sports and spending time with his seven children, four grandchildren and wife, Chi Chi.
Hughes is now serving as Mayor Pro Tempore on the Addison city council and is on the council’s finance committee. He is also a council liaison to the Community Partners Bureau, the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the North Texas Commission and the World Affairs Council. He is bringing his unique experience to the City Council position, from his career in human resources, from living in other cities and countries, and from serving in a number of civic and private volunteer roles. His career began with Texas Instruments, which he joined after completing his master’s degrees in labor and industrial relations and German at Michigan State University. During his lifetime, he has worked for many companies, including Sterling Software and CenturyLink, where he was the senior human resource officer. His career gave him the opportunity to live in France, Germany, the U.K. and other countries. Before being elected to the Addison city council, Hughes served the Town as a planning and zoning commissioner, as board chair of the Addison Legacy Commission, and as treasurer for the Addison 2012 Bond Campaign PAC. He has also been on the board for the Oaks North HOA, and was chairman of his church’s finance committee. Hughes has also graduated from Addison’s Citizens Academy and the Metrocrest Leadership Program, and was selected as a Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce Rising Star. Even though he was born in Pennsylvania, Hughes considers himself a Texan because he and his wife moved here more than 36 years ago and had two kids here. In his free time, Hughes loves visiting the Addison Athletic Center, and he enjoys music, languages and family time. He supports the Boy Scouts and the Shriners, and he and his wife are foodies who love trying new restaurants in the Town.
Braun, and his wife Anita love living in Addison. They have lived in their home on Lexus Avenue since 1992, and have both developed a deep sense of pride for the Town. They are grateful for the quality of life that Addison offers, and have lived here for so long because they love the small town community inside a big city. Anita is a past board member of WaterTower Theatre. Braun has a degree in construction management and engineering from Kansas State University. In 2004, he founded VertiCon Construction, a commercial general contractor specializing in offices, restaurants, retail and medical facilities. Two years later, he founded VertiCon Residential, which specializes in custom residential projects. This is not Braun’s first time serving as a city council member for Addison – he also served from 2004 until 2010. Additional past community involvement includes being the planning and zoning commissioner, a member of the 2016 Inwood Road Study Committee, Addison “2030” Vision Project, Addison Charter Review Commission, Addison Citizen’s Academy graduate, and an Addison city council liaison for Metrocrest Social Services, Special Care and Career Services, WaterTower Theatre, and DISD George H. W. Bush Elementary School. In his free time, Braun and his wife enjoy traveling, scuba diving, theater and art collecting. Also, they have a yellow Labrador, Sonny, who loves people, other dogs and exercising.
Ward currently lives in Addison Circle, although she is a Texas transplant. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, with the Phi Beta Kappa designation, from the University of Oklahoma. Afterward, she taught Spanish for several semesters at OU, while working toward a graduate degree and preparing for a transition to the corporate world. For most of the past 22 years, Ward has worked in commercial business development and management. Currently, she oversees the Addison office for a web-based GPS tracking firm and handles business transactions across the U.S. and Latin America. Ward is also very passionate about serving the community. In addition to her new role as city council member, she is also involved in the Addison Midday Rotary Club, which she joined soon after moving to Texas. She currently serves as program chairperson and participates in their many service projects, which demonstrates the Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self.” In her spare time, she loves reading, watching movies, and dining out with friends in Addison.