Bill Strickland is the President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its subsidiaries, Manchester Craftsmenâ€™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 earned a bachelorâ€™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 â€œComing Up Tallerâ€ Award presented in a White House ceremony by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. In 1996, he received with the MacArthur â€œGeniusâ€ 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 onthe 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 Foundation, 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.