2003 Winner

William E. (Bill) Strickland, Jr.

President and CEO, Manchester Bidwell Corporation

Strickland builds partnerships to help the disadvantaged build a better future. He’s also the author of Make the Impossible Possible, which includes his story of how a kid from Pittsburgh’s ghetto would go on to lecture at Harvard and serve on the National Endowment of the Arts board. The MacArthur Fellowship “genius” award winner is also founder of the Grammy-winning MCG Jazz, the most successful jazz subscription series in America.

The Manchester Craftmen’s Guild (MCG), founded by Strickland in 1968, attempts to rescue at-risk school children by using art to teach them life skills. The Bidwell Training Center (BTC), established in 1972, is focused on building partnerships with local companies to train displaced adults for real work in real jobs. In developing these programs, Strickland has formed strong corporate and foundation partnerships, built state-of-the-art facilities, and launched innovative enterprises. Both have grown into multi-million dollar operations.