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5:30pm - Cocktails

6:00pm - Seated Dinner

6:30pm - Program Begins



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Mr. Leon J. Backes

Chairman and Founder

Provident Realty Advisors, Inc.

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Mr. Ray L. Hunt

Executive Chairman

Hunt Consolidated, Inc.

Leon J. Backes graduated from the University of Missouri in 1979 with a degree in Business Administration.  Upon graduating, Leon entered the Coldwell Banker (now CBRE) management training program in Houston, Texas.  Coldwell Banker transferred him to Dallas in 1980, Leon left CB in 1981 with the firm’s two top producers to form Leon Brothers & Associates, specializing in the sale and leasing of industrial real estate.


In 1983 Mr. Backes formed Backes & Platt Investments and was a partner in that firm until 1991 when Mr. Backes formed Provident Realty Advisors, Inc.  Provident’s initial focus was the opportunistic acquisition of real estate assets from failed financial institutions.  During the early 1990’s Mr. Backes was able to acquire a land portfolio of over 85 land and other assets at the trough of the market.  When those opportunities ended, Provident, in addition to land, broadened its interests becoming a major real estate investment and development company focused on opportunistic real estate projects which offered the potential for risk adjusted above market returns.   Following this model, Mr. Backes has formed and led partnerships to invest in or develop real estate with a market value in excess of 3 billion dollars.


Today, PROVIDENT REALTY ADVISORS, INC is involved in land acquisition and development, the acquisition, development, leasing and management and construction of retail, office, apartment and self-storage projects.   Provident has developed or acquired more than $500 million dollars of retail developments, over 30 self-storage projects, 1.5 million square feet of office, over 15,000 apartment units, several thousand residential lots and currently manages a land portfolio exceeding 8,000 acres (inclusive of active development projects).


Additionally, Mr. Backes is an opportunistic purchaser of distressed notes on real estate and other assets.


Mr. Backes has substantial oil and gas holdings and majority ownerships in an institutional pharmacy business, commercial lighting distributor, and several free-standing emergency rooms.


Over the years, Provident has enjoyed successful relationships with many major financial institutions such as Comerica Bank, US Bank, Plains Capital Bank, BBVA, Simmons Bank, Wells Fargo, as well as many regional and local firms.  Investors with Mr. Backes or Provident have included; Angelo Gordon Real Estate, Institutional Housing Partners (CalPERS), Farallon Capital Management, Centerline Capital Group, Hudson Housing Capital, The Kroenke Group and many local and regional firms and individuals.



Mr. Backes is the former Chairman of the Board and current board member of New Horizons Ranch and Center, a non-profit residential treatment center specializing in the care of sexually and physically abused children


Mr. Backes is married to Jane Backes and has two sons, John, and Blake.  He resides in Dallas, TX.

Ray L. Hunt is Executive Chairman of Hunt Consolidated, Inc.  His association with Hunt Oil Company began in 1958 when he joined as a summer employee in the oil fields.  Hunt’s business activities have been principally in the oil and gas and real estate industries.


Under Ray Hunt’s leadership, Hunt Oil Company has become an international exploration and production company with operations in multiple countries around the world.  Hunt Oil Company has been active on every continent except Antarctica and been responsible for projects that have been transformational beyond energy production boosting economic growth, education and public welfare in countries like Peru, Romania, Yemen, and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.


While Ray L. Hunt’s career has traditionally been defined by his successful stewardship of the oil and gas company his father created in 1934, Ray Hunt is also known for his many contributions to real estate and community development throughout North Texas for almost 50 years.  Hunt’s first project was the Reunion development, a joint undertaking with the City of Dallas on approximately 60 acres on the western end of Dallas’ Central Business District which had fallen into disrepair.  Considered one of the first “public/private” partnerships in the United States, Reunion became the home of the iconic Reunion Tower and the 1200-room Hyatt Regency Hotel at Reunion.


Hunt’s long-term positive view of the industry led him to seek innovative partnership opportunities where available.  Over the 45 years since Hunt started what is now Hunt Realty Investments, Hunt has partnered with key civic leaders such as Walt Humann (Bon Terre Investments) and John Scovell (Woodbine Development Corporation) as well as several national successful operating companies, including JPI, Newland Real Estate Group, Bridge Development Partners, Trinsic Residential and many others.  By working with these groups, Hunt Realty has enjoyed a significant presence in multiple product types including hotels, multi-family, industrial, office, senior living and master planned communities in a wide range of markets across the United States.  Hunt continues to partner with select, high-quality sponsors in unique projects impacting the North Texas community, including Woodbine as it expands its footprint and transitions to the next generation of Scovells.   


Today, the real estate business that Hunt created is still making its mark throughout North Texas. Hunt Realty’s direct-owned assets in Dallas include its Reunion Holdings – the Reunion Tower, the Hyatt Regency Hotel at Reunion and approximately 20 acres of contiguous undeveloped land, the North End Apartments (which occupy approximately 11.1 acres adjacent to the Perot Museum in Uptown) and Hunt Consolidated’s downtown headquarters campus adjacent to Klyde Warren Park.  Hunt Realty is also partnering with The Karahan Companies, Chief Partners and Cross Tie Partners to develop the 2,500-acre master-planned and mixed-use project in Frisco known as Fields.  Within Fields will be residential and mixed-use commercial properties as well as the national headquarters of the PGA of America, an Omni Resort Hotel and two championship-level golf courses owned and developed by TRT Holdings. 


Hunt has also been active in acquiring land for ranching and conservation purposes.  Hunt Realty and another Hunt company, Hoodoo Land and Cattle, own and operate one of the largest aggregate holdings of private ranchland in the United States, with property located in Texas, Arizona, Utah and Wyoming. 


Hunt has been recognized numerous times throughout his life by groups within the oil and gas industry including the American Petroleum Institute Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement, the Public Service Award of the Society of Petroleum Engineers; and the Distinguished Service Award for the Texas Oil and Gas Association.  Hunt has been elected an All- American Wildcatter and the Southwestern Legal Foundation gave him the John Rogers Award “for distinguished service to the petroleum industry and civic institutions.”


Hunt is also a member of the National Petroleum Council, an advisory organization to the Secretary of Energy in Washington., D.C. where he served as its chairman from June 1991 to July 1994.  Hunt served President George W. Bush as an appointee to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board in Washington, D.C.  In addition, Hunt was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas where he served as its chairman of the board from 2002 to 2006.


Active in civic affairs throughout his professional career, Hunt currently serves on the Boards of Trustees of Southern Methodist University (where he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1992), the Dallas Medical Resource (where he currently serves as chair), the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. D.C. and  The Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of the George W. Bush Foundation in Dallas, Texas. 


Hunt also currently serves on the Board of Directors of King Ranch, Inc.  Previous board memberships are numerous and include the Halliburton Company, PepsiCo, Inc. and Bessemer Securities Corporation.


Other awards Hunt has received include the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce’s J. Erik Jonsson Award; the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies Award for Corporate citizenship; the Dallas Morning News’ Linz Award and the SMU Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award.


Hunt graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1965 where he was designated a University Scholar with a degree in economics.   He was recognized as a Distinguished Alum in 1997.

2020-2021 MICHAEL F. McAULEY

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Ms. B. Diane Butler

Co-founder and previous Executive Chairman/CEO of

Butler Burgher Group

B. Diane Butler was the Co-Founder and previously Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Butler Burgher Group (BBG), a leading national due diligence commercial real estate firm. She continues to serve on BBG’s Board of Directors and is a Shareholder.


She has more than 30 years of commercial real estate expertise in valuation, consulting and feasibility studies. Diane has significant experience in all types of multi-family housing, student housing, healthcare, single and multi-tenant office buildings, industrial, retail, mixed-use developments and master-planned communities including expertise in Agency, FHA and Affordable Housing Appraisals and Market Studies.


In 1998, she co-founded Trophy Investments with David Burgher, using their multi-disciplinary backgrounds to invest and develop various projects. This included grocery-anchored and strip shopping centers, office buildings, a self-storage facility, industrial and medical office buildings, specialty hospitals, various tracts of commercial land and the redevelopment of a 28-acre, 270,000 square foot mixed-use project in Fort Worth.


Diane is a change agent and visionary acknowledged nationally for building organizations and growing revenue. As an entrepreneur and business consultant, her expertise includes:

  • Real Estate Development, Acquisitions and Dispositions

  • Investment Management and Consultancy

  • Location and Footprint Strategy

  • Market Research and Diligence

  • Business Consulting

  • Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Property and Portfolio Financing Strategies

  • Risk Management and Underwriting

  • Valuation Counseling

  • Board and Advisory Leadership


She served as Chairman of TREC (The Real Estate Council) in 2016, and previously was Chairman of TREC FightNight and Chairman of the TREC Foundation. Diane was the CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) National President in 2012, received the “CREW Entrepreneurial Spirit Impact Award” in 2016 and was honored nationally as a “CREW Distinguished Leader” in 2014. She was a Trustee of the CREW Foundation and was inducted into the “CREW Visionaries” program in 2007 for advancing women in CRE.


Diane was also recognized by Real Estate Forum among “Women of Influence in CRE,” honored by Commercial Property News as a “Top Woman Executive in CRE” and selected by Bisnow as one of “Dallas’ Most Influential Women in CRE.” Additionally, she has been recognized multiple times in DCEO Magazine‘s “Dallas 500” among “Top Commercial Real Estate Executives.” Diane was honored as the “2018 Extraordinary Woman” by the Powerful Purses organization.


She is a member of the National Multifamily Housing Council, National Association of Corporate Directors, Appraisal Institute, Urban Land Institute, Dallas Assembly, Dallas Regional Chamber Executive Women’s Roundtable, City of Dallas Housing and Acquisition Development Board and Interprise Design Board.


Her non-profit leadership roles have included CREW Dallas, TREC, North Texas Appraisal Institute, Governor's Greg Abbott’s Small Business Forum for Women, Texas Women’s Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, WINGS Advisory Board, Volunteers of America LPGA Classic and First Tee.


Diane is also a designated expert witness and has testified in a variety of court cases concerning real estate valuation. She was born in Alligator, Mississippi, but as the saying goes, “got to Texas as fast as she could.” A graduate of Mississippi State University, Diane has a bachelor’s in business administration with a double major in finance and real estate. She holds the MAI, FRICS and CCIM designations.

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Randall & Stacey Wilkins

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Special thanks to Hall Group for the generous wine donation

Thank you to our Media Partner –

Dallas Business Journal

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Richard & Pam Squires

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