Our 2013 came to a close with the untimely passing of one our founding Board Members, Michael Ward. He was the consummate volunteer, and had a passion for the community that lead him to a life of public service. We join the community in mourning his loss.
Mike was elected to serve two terms as the Mayor of Irvine starting in 1992 and then as a City Councilman continuing his involvement until 2004. His service to the community was not limited to his duties of his elected position, he also served on several regional boards including the Orange County Transportation Authority, San Joaquin Transportation Authority, the Integrated Waste Management Board and was elected as Chairman of the Board of the Orange County League of Cities, Orange County Fire Authority, and the Foothill Eastern Transportation Authority. Mike’s 12 years in city government brought tremendous insight to the inner-workings of local governments and agencies that was an invaluable asset to Integrity Housing’s efforts to bring affordable housing to communities in need. His knowledge of the unique intricacies associated with navigating the proper communication channels facilitated both the establishment of affordable housing and the application process for the requisite loans and grants crucial toward our goals.
Mike was with us from the beginning helping us formulate our vision of being an exceptional nonprofit developer and operator of quality affordable housing for low-income seniors and families. Drawing upon his example of community devotion he greatly aided our pursuit of our mission to create and sustain high quality affordable housing. He exemplified our values of demonstrating integrity amongst our staff and affiliates and in our actions, creating trust in our relationships, maintaining flexibility and an adaptive entrepreneurial spirit within a highly motivated and mutually respectful work environment all aimed at enriching the lives of our residents and the surrounding communities through the work we perform.
We are saddened by the loss to his family, his wife of 43 years Teri and his daughter Alison. However keeping with Mike’s indomitable spirit, we choose to celebrate his lifetime community service efforts by establishing the Michael Ward “ACE” (Advancing Community Enrichment) Grant Program as a living tribute. His spirit and enthusiasm for local communities will be remembered in this most appropriate fashion, and will greatly temper our feelings of loss of a most valuable member of the Integrity Housing family.
Photo: From left to right, Teri Ward, fiancé of Alison Ward David Roberts, Alison Ward, and Michael Ward.Michael Ward ACE Grant