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Leadership Institute Columbus State University The Forum

Bill Strickland

Bill Strickland

Community Leader, Author and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation

For 30 years, Bill Strickland has used his innovative arts and training centers to transform the lives of thousands of impoverished adults and teenagers. A commanding speaker, his resonant message of self-worth leaves audiences in tears and on their feet. “Strickland is a genius,” says former e-Bay president Jeff Skoll, “because he sees the inherent genius in everyone.”

Strickland has changed lives, restored our faith in ethical leadership and reshaped the business of social change. As president and CEO of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation—an extraordinary jobs training center and community arts program—he and his staff work with corporations, community leaders and schools to give disadvantaged kids and adults the opportunities they need to build a better future. Centers are currently running in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Grand Rapids, New Haven, Boston and Buffalo. Many more are in the planning stages, including international centers in Israel, London and Japan.

In 2010, Strickland was named as one of the 25 members of the White House Council for Community Solutions by President Obama. For years now, in front of enraptured audiences, this MacArthur Genius has shared his unshakable message of leadership, self-worth and the intrinsic ability in all of us to achieve remarkable transformation in our lives. He was also honored by the U.S. Senate for his contribution to social innovation.

Strickland is also the author of “Make the Impossible Possible;” a recipient of The White House’s “Coming Up Taller” Award; and the founder of the Grammy-winning MCG Jazz, the most successful jazz subscription series in America.