Bill Harwood – MAN of ACTION™

 

 A Celebration of Women™ 

is elated to Celebrate the Life of a very generous and awakened male energy.  

This unsung hero has devoted his life to helping others, and is now here to help the women of our world, as he embraces the vision, comprehends the state of our planet and has the desire and heart to Take Action.

 

MAN of ACTION™ 

 

 

Mr. Bill Harwood

 
 
In 1973, I was an established tenure track Faculty member and administrator at Antioch College, with literally more than 600 advisees (the students were allowed to choose) and a principle role in formation of new branches (we referred to it as the system) when my phone rang and the people who were staff of New Schools Exchange, formed many years before to promote alternative and innovative schools.
 
It was said to me, “Bill, we are at an impasse. We are out of aces and have no idea what to do with NSE and we have decided you are the only person on earth that could possibly take it to the next stage.

“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”

—Horace Mann, First President of Antioch College
 

 

“I had a farm, was well-established …”

So why did I sell my farm, resign my position (with a new 3 year contract on the table) and take on this challenge?
 
The Visionary

I bought the 6th highest mountain in Arkansas and moved half a dozen Antiochians, including a fellow faculty member and his wife who I was inseparable from for 17 years.

They live on that mountain still and have given the world three talented daughters as have I, born there, the only difference is that I delivered all of mine and set out to create a new world.

The 10 years I spent there, including two years when I was Director of the Arkansas Issues Project for Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (another activity I was recruited for by Tom McRae who was president of WRF.
 
 

He told me, “Bill, we know all about Arkansas. We know who everyone is and what they represent and what they care about. What we do not know is what ideas are already resident in their heads that they cannot give words to. The things that will be critical issues in the future once they have emerged. We want to get ahead of the curve and work to affect public policy in such a way to make dramatic changes to public policy and we think you are just the man to find out what these issues are and what we can do about them.”

 
I was off on a slight side venture which resulted in the creation of a 408 page book, School Days, Contemporary Views of Arkansas Public Education which is a verbatim representation of interviews I conducted with 29 citizens, including the man who had head the system for 27 years, Arch Ford. After listening to my initial interviews on a broad range of topics (I recorded them) the Foundation staff concluded that no one would believe what peole said to me so this was the only feasible way to publish our findings.

The State Department of Education in Arkanas is labeled the Arch Ford Building. Arch resigned three weeks after the publication of my book. By that time I had generated 11 front page articles in the major newspapers, 5 banner headlines.

Bill and Hillary stepped in and revolutionary change swept through the system.

Another mission impossible.
 
 

I have sort of spent my last 12 years in a state of personal relaxation, due to a personal illness, which is another story. Now I have given up my house in Amsterdam (where i lived 10- of the past 12 years) and shipped my bikes, skates, books and art works back to Virginia, to the farm my wife and I have owned for the past 30 years on which we created Virginia Berry Farm, the largest producer and distributor of container grown fruit plants on earth.

We still live here but have sold our business and now live from the rent that the new owner pays us for the four houses (aside from the one we live in) and other facilities on our farm. He pays the rent, taxes, maintenance and insurance so we (debt free) are able to have some time and space to once again do things which are valuable to the world.

 

“We all learn by doing …”

 

I am now Director (President and Owner) of Berlage, LLC and Berlage.US, BV. We are working, in concert when many others, to create an Active-Adult, Retirement Community @ Carmel Church in Ruther Glen, Virginia. We will have one of the finest communities on earth; building in the Amsterdam School style and dedicating the community (called Berlage) to the memory of Hendrik Petrus Berlage, the great Nederlandse Architect and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Amenities include a Community Center with activites for the community, a Wellness Center, with Olympic size swimming pool, basketball court, and facilities for massage, lectures, activities, as well as a small cafe. The centerpiece of our community will be Hortus, a world-class horticultural garden with production greenhouses, demonstration greenhouse and acres of demonstration gardens and water features.

Most residents will be housed in 5 12-story buildings. On top of the first one will be a glass restaurants which will allow you to view Richmond or Fredericksburg as you eat. There will also be the the opportunity to build your own villas, individual houses along the perimeter, all with a lake view. Those directly bordering the lake must be earth-sheltered, reaching a height no higher than the ground above.

You will soon be able to watch our progress at www.Berlage.US which will track progress in the creative stage and list all facets of the community.
 

Bill Harwood
Director at Berlage, LLC.
Ruther Glen, Virginia Real Estate
Current
Director at Berlage, LLC
Previous
Vantage Point, Ltd., Virginia Berry Farm, Inc, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
Education
AB, Philosophy of Education/Psychology at Antioch College

TODAY: Creating an active-adult (age 55+) retirement community at Carmel Church, Ruther Glen, Virginia. Berlage will consist of 5, 12 story towers of 100 units. The front tower will have a restaurant on top and we also will have world-class Wellness Center and Community Centers specializing on art and culture.

This Partnership, between Jane Warner (also my wife) is a 50/50% registered Virginia Partnership, empowered to do anything which is legal. It created and operated the Virginia Berry Farm, Inc., throughout the time from 1984 until it was sold in 2007. Present purpose is to create an Active Adult Retirement Community on our property at Carmel Church in Virginia.

My partner (Jane Warner) and I began Virginia Berry Farm and built it into the largest producer of container-grown Fruit plants in the world. We produced and distributed a full range of temperate climate fruit plants from the Mississippi River eastwards. Our customers included Home Depot, Lowes, Cosco, Giant Eagle, as well as many of the nation’s leading private nursery dealers. Our plants are at Longwood Gardens, National Cathedral in Washington, DC, Wintethur in Philadelphis, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, New York City parks, and throughout the US. We sold this business in 2007 to Scott Smythe who now operates is as Commonwealth Berry Farm, LLC.

Consultant-Arkansas Issues Project
Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

June 1987 – April 1989 (1 year 11 months)

As Director of the Arkansas Issues Project I authored School Days, Contemporary Issues Project, a 408 page book about Arkansas Public Education .

This was based on 39 interviews, conducted with a broad range of citizens and educational professionals. This book was widely disseminated and had a profound impact on public policy, dramatically changing the public school system in the state.

I also did similar research and interviews into the agricultural world fo the state but the results were only published in a few documents and no similar impact was realized on public policy.
General Partner-Owner
Shanti Gardens
March 1973 – December 1982 (9 years 10 months)


 
Established by Grace Dailey-Harwood, Lee & Louise McCoy and myself, we bought the 6th highest mountain in the Ozarks, located in Pettigrew, Arkansas.

We bailed hay, operated a subsistence farm and developed the 5th largest blueberry nursery in America, distributing our plants throughout the Mid-South. Our primary product was highbush blueberry plants (Vacinium Corymbosum)
 
 
 
 
Associate Director, Center for Cooperative Education
Antioch College
Educational Institution; 51-200 employees; Higher Education industry
June 1971 – June 1973 (2 years 1 month)

Directed placement of 250-400 students in work roles in education nationwide.
Faculty Member, Center for Cooperative Education
Antioch College
Educational Institution; 51-200 employees; Higher Education industry
June 1970 – April 1973 (2 years 11 months)

 

My role consisted of placement of students in jobs in education throughout the United States. Students worked also in a variety of roles in Educational Planning Centers and Prisons. I also was advisor to 36 students who were majoring in Education.

 
Bill says to Catherine of A Celebration of Women™: “I have spent my life doing this. Creating an organization as vast and contrary to prevailing social norms as you have done is valiant. ”

Bill says of our mission with WOMAN of ACTION™ – Dr. Shabnam Nazli, Pakistan, “I have been supporting women’s rights activities for many decades and did that in Amsterdam, where I lived for 10 years.

I actually met Shabnam through ACOW and now I will continue to explore a solution to her needs. We have received good response from a number of groups and individuals and the outlook is pretty promising at this point.”

 
 

 

 A Celebration of Women™ 

honors the work and welcomes the man into our Alumni of MEN of ACTION™


 

Bravo Bill!

 
 

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