Atlanta-based Preferred Apartment Communities (PAC) has announced that the company’s co-founder, chairman, and CEO, John A. Williams, passed away suddenly on April 16, 2018.

The company’s board of directors has appointed Daniel M. DuPree, vice chairman and chief investment officer, to succeed Williams as chairman of the board and CEO. PAC co-founder Leonard A. Silverstein has been appointed vice chairman of the board and will continue to serve as president and COO.

"John was a dear friend, partner, mentor, and influence in our lives and careers,” DuPree and Silverstein said in a joint statement. “He was a visionary and understood the importance of creating a company that is built on culture, associates, reputation, and brand. We are committed to continuing John's vision to create the pre-eminent real estate investment trust in the United States."

Williams directed the development, construction, and management of more than $15 billion in real estate properties over the course of his career, approximately $5.5 billion of which was in multifamily housing. He founded Post Properties in 1970 and took the company public as a REIT in 1993. When he resigned as Post's chairman in 2003, the company had approximately 30,000 apartment units and had averaged funds from operations growth of 7% per year since the firm's initial public offering.

Williams is on National Real Estate Investor's list The 20th Century's Most Influential Developers and received accolades from the Atlanta Business Chronicle and Harvard Business School. He was inducted into the Multi-Housing News Hall of Fame: First Class in 2004 and given The Four Pillar Award in 2007 by The Council for Quality Growth.

He served in many industry positions, including as president of the Homebuilders Association of Metropolitan Atlanta, chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and chairman of the Metro [Atlanta] Business Forum.

PAC and its board of directors stated that they are indebted to Williams for “his strong leadership, real estate vision, outgoing personality, and boundless energy.”

Williams is survived by his wife, Nancy; his three children, Jay, Sarah Brook, and Parker; and his two grandchildren, Jack and Harrison.