Beckham Media Catches Up With Bill Strickland President & CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and Chats with him About His Book “Make the Impossible Possible.”
“A successful life is not something you simply pursue, it is something that you create moment by moment,” says MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” winner Bill Strickland. Bill wants us all to dream big and dare to achieve the extraordinary, a goal he outlines in his new book, “Make the Impossible Possible.”
Bill believes everyone of us has the potential for remarkable achievement, and he should know. He has been able to accomplish some amazing goals, including lecturing at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, serving on the board of the National Endowment for the Arts, he and his company Manchester Bidwell have been the subject of three Harvard Business School case studies.
If you live around Pittsburgh, it is likely you know of Bill Strickland and his many accomplishments. Bill is one of the few men I know who walks the walk, especially when it comes to enhancing the lives of disadvantaged youth and adults. For over 30 years he has helped those less fortunate pursue their dreams by offering them opportunities at Manchester Bidwell, a jobs training center and community arts program. 90 percent of the kid s who enroll in the programs get high school diplomas and enroll in college.
How does Bill transform lives by using the arts? He believes if we are given the right inspiration and motivation we can all achieve our dreams. In the book, Bill hopes to convey to anyone the fact that hope is important and you can control your destiny and can create your own opportunities if you are determined.
I got a chance to discuss with Bill his initiative to build 200 centers worldwide and his desire to help those in need. Bill says he is proud of his center because it serves as a symbol of hope for people who would not otherwise have a chance, and he hopes to continue to be a source of inspiration for young people.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Success is the point where your most authentic talents, passion, values, and experiences intersect with the chance to contribute to some greater good. ” - Bill Strickland
According to MacArthur Fellowship “genius ” award winner Bill Strickland, a successful life is not something you simply pursue, it is something that you create, moment by moment. It is a realization Strickland first came to when, as a poor kid growing up in a rough neighborhood of Pittsburgh, he encountered a high school ceramics teacher who took him under his wing and went on to transform his life.
Over the past thirty years, Bill Strickland has been transforming the lives of thousands of people through the creation of Manchester Bidwell, a jobs training center and community arts program. Working with corporations, community leaders, and schools, he and his staff strive to give disadvantaged kids and adults the opportunities and tools they need to envision and built a better, brighter future.
Strickland believes that every one of us has the potential for remarkable achievement. Every one of us can accomplish the impossible in our lives if given the right inspiration and motivation to do so. We all make ourselves “poor ” in one way or another when we accept that we are not smart enough, experienced enough, or talented enough to accomplish something. Bill Strickland works with the least advantaged among us, and if he can help them achieve the impossible in their lives, think what each of us can do.
AMONG BILL STRICKLAND'S BELIEFS:
People are born into this world as assets, not liabilities. It’s all in the way we treat people (and ourselves) that determines a person’s outcome.
The sand in the hourglass flows only one way. Stop going through the motions of living--savor each and every day. Life is here and now, not something waiting for you in the future.
You don’t have to travel far to change the life you’re living. Bill grew up in the Pittsburgh ghetto, four blocks from where he came to build one of the foremost job training centers in the world. He now speaks before CEOs and political leaders, church congregations and civic leaders. You only need to change your thinking to remake your world.
Through lessons from his own life experiences, and those of countless others who have overcome their circumstances and turned their lives around, Make the Impossible Possible shows how all of us can build on our passions and strengths, dream bigger and set the bar higher, achieve meaningful success and help mentor and inspire the lives of others.
ABOUT BILL STRICKLAND
Bill Strickland is the President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its subsidiaries, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG) and Bidwell Training Center (BTC). His duties include: developing and implementing major fund-raising plans of action; working with Boards of Directors and an Industry Advisory Board; encouraging participation of corporate executive officials from major multi-national Pittsburgh corporations. Strickland has completed the development of a new 40,000 square-foot production greenhouse, created for agricultural training; a 70,000 square-foot medical technology complex; and a 62,000 square-foot facility as a mortgage free asset for both MCG and BTC. The facilities include a 350-seat music/lecture hall, library, arts studios and labs, dining and meeting rooms, state-of-the-art award winning audio and video recording studios. Together they serve as a demonstration site for Hewlett Packard and Steelcase equipment.
Strickland was born in Pittsburgh in 1947, and graduated from David B. Oliver High School in 1965. In 1969,he earned20a bachelor’s degree in American history and foreign relations from the University of Pittsburgh and graduated cum laude.
Throughout his distinguished career, Strickland has been honored with numerous prestigious awards for his contributions to the arts and the community. In 1999, he was presented with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Arts Leadership and Service Award. In 1998, he received the Kilby Award and “Coming Up Taller” Award presented in a White House ceremony by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. In 1996, he received with the MacArthur “Genius” Award for leadership and integrity in the arts.
He has also served as Chairman of the Expansion Arts Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in Washington, D.C. and served a six-year Presidential appointment as a Council Member to the NEA. He was also a Council Member on the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, a trustee at the Carnegie Museums,and a Consultant with the British/American Arts Association in London, England.
Strickland has excelled in cultivating collaborative partnerships in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Baltimore and Kansas City. He has developed successful relationships with prominent foundations such as the ALCOA Foundation, Helen Bader Foundation, The Danforth Foundation, Ford Foundation,The Forbes Fund, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, the Milwaukee Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Social Venture Partners, Pittsburgh Foundation, E. M. Kauffman Foundat ion, Heinz Foundation, R. K. Mellon Foundation and Pew Charitable Trust.
In 2002, Strickland was sworn in as a member of the Presidents Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. He also serves as a consultant, grant evaluator and mentor in the field of arts and arts education, community development and workforce development training.
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