Banquet to honor local apartment pioneers

Wichita's apartment industry will honor some of its pioneers at its first Hall of Fame banquet tonight.

The dinner is a way to recognize nine people who have built and managed Wichita's more than 20,000 apartments over the decades.

"These are the people who have made an impact and who are remembered by more than just their families," said Carolyn Emery, vice president for Builders Inc.

"We got the idea of starting the hall to honor those who are still alive and to memorialize those who are past."

One of the honorees is Alan Huffman, founder and president of Key Management for three decades.

Huffman, who got his start as a security guard at an apartment complex in south Wichita, said he was flattered by the attention. He's bringing his parents to the event.

"It's a big deal and nice to have," Huffman said.

The group plans to continue the Hall of Fame banquet in future years, Emery said.

In addition to Huffman, the honorees are:

* Melvin Davis, owner and founder of Southlake Village Apartments.

* Jack DeBoer, owner of Consolidated Holdings. At one time, he was the second-largest builder in the country.

* Willard Garvey, founder of Builders Inc., who developed more than 2,700 apartments in Wichita, along with many other developments.

* Robert Hanson, president and founder of Weigand Omega Management, the area's largest apartment management company.

* Lee Hufford, founder of Fidelity Management.

* David Lewis, property manager, Weigand Omega Management.

* Clark Lindstrom, regional property manager, Peterson Cos.

* Jim Savage, founder of Wichita Apartment Guide.