William Solomon earned his B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 1960. Soon after, he began working for Anheuser-Busch and rose through the ranks eventually to retire in 1992 as the Vice President/General Manager for the Container Division. In this position, William developed skills in leadership and management that he would later use in service to the St. Louis community.
Shortly after retiring, William began volunteering with the Midland Division of the Salvation Army, headquartered in St. Louis. After serving as a volunteer consultant and member of the Advisory Council, he was named Chair of the Council in 1997. Since William began volunteering his time with the Salvation Army, he has helped the division conduct strategic planning, set goals and objectives, develop work teams, improve client use, design a mentoring program, develop an employee wage grade system and raise funds. William also uses his experience to hold workshops on management skills at division and territorial seminars throughout the Midwest. To ensure that the organization achieves its objectives, William meets weekly with numerous local Salvation Army staff. In recognition for William’s contributions, he was named the Salvation Army Territorial Volunteer of the Year in 2000.
William’s service to his community extends beyond the Salvation Army. Through the Social Action Committee of his temple, Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel (BSKI), William and his wife Karen have spent time planting trees in urban parks, building playgrounds and serving food at homeless shelters. As a former treasurer of the interfaith social action group Faith Beyond Walls, William has helped further the group’s mission to improve the quality of life in St. Louis neighborhoods. William currently serves as chair of the board of directors for Kids Place, an after-school mentoring program for at-risk youth in University City. William has spent one afternoon per week with the children since 1998, and has partnered with BSKI to provide reading material for the program.
In his nomination, WUSTL alumnus John Stein describes William’s strong motivation to serve others. He writes, “Bill’s efforts reflect his personal belief that individuals must take personal responsibility for mending the physical world and its inhabitants through action. He is committed to social justice, individual dignity, and the encouragement of self-reliance. Many less privileged in our community have been the beneficiaries of Bill’s selfless efforts to help those in need.”