Haven for Hope Loses ‘Titan of Philanthropy’

Carlos Alvarez
Carlos Alvarez | Image by Haven for Hope/Facebook

San Antonio-based Haven for Hope is mourning the death of Carlos Alvarez, a founder of the non-profit organization and a titan of philanthropy in the community.

“Carlos was an original member of Haven’s Leadership Advisory Council when it started in 2017,” a statement from Haven for Hope reads. “He has been an avid supporter of Haven and Haven’s Volunteer Center bears his name, welcoming hundreds of visitors and volunteers each year. Carlos was also one of Haven’s most significant individual contributors each year.”

Haven for Hope uses a “one-stop-shop” approach to fighting homelessness, offering a number of homeless services like counseling, drug and alcohol treatment, and job training on the same campus where it maintains transitional housing.

The model has been credited with a 77% reduction in unsheltered homelessness in downtown San Antonio and has previously polled favorably among Dallas residents, the majority of whom disapprove of the amount of homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling that can be seen in their neighborhoods and across the city.

Alvarez founded the Gabrionus Company in 1986, which is known throughout the world for brewing award-winning craft beers. The company owns the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, TX, and crafts Shiner ales. The company also owns the Trumer brewery in Berkeley, California, and is responsible for Trumer Pils.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg requested a moment of silence in honor of the “titan in our community” at the most recent city council meeting to honor Alvarez.

Alvarez was responsible for bringing Mexican lager brands Modelo and Corona to the United States. Modelo recently surpassed Bud Light as the most popular beer in the United States, according to reporting by The Wall Street Journal.

He was born in Mexico City and learned the beer trade from his father, who owned a beer distribution business. Alvarez earned a degree in biochemical engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Monterrey, Mexico, as reported by the San Antonio Report.

“Carlos chose San Antonio as his home, and San Antonio is a better place because of it,” said Phil Green, chair and CEO of Frost Bank, where Alvarez served on the board of directors since 2001, in a statement. “This is where he became a citizen, this is where he built his business, and this is where he worked so hard to make people’s lives better. Through his philanthropy and his passion for education, he made a tremendous difference to thousands of people.”

Alvarez leveraged his business success to become a major contributor to various philanthropic venues throughout the region, including Haven for Hope, the Alamo, UTSA, Texas Public Radio, and the San Antonio Health Center.

“As an institution, we wouldn’t be where we are today without Carlos’ passion for helping our students invest in their dreams, just as he did for himself and his family,” UTSA President Taylor Eighmy said in a statement.

His philanthropic efforts led to several buildings on various campuses being named in his honor. One major recipient of his generosity was the Long School of Medicine, which created the Malú & Carlos Alvarez Center for Transplantation, Hepatobiliary Surgery & Innovation with a donation from Alvarez.

“The Long School of Medicine has benefited from their generosity, allowing us to hire outstanding faculty to advance the field of transplantation and immunology, including research and discovery in many other critical areas of health care,” said Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, director of the transplant center and a longtime friend of Alvarez and his wife.

“Carlos always gave credit for his success to those who helped him along his career journey and believed in doing the same for others,” Cigarroa added. “He was an outstanding humanitarian and philanthropic leader who will be profoundly missed.”

Alvarez is survived by his wife, Malú Alvarez, his daughters, Malú Alvarez and Carla Brozovich, his son-in-law John Brozovich, and two grandchildren, Carlos Brozovich and Carla Brozovich.

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