Foundation Fridays: Meet Bill Wiedmann!

ElizabethkilloughSubmitted by

Bill has a full life with four children, an active role in their school, a growing business, lots of international traveling to meet with Fair Trade farmers, and a beautiful garden (well, he would tell you it’s his beautiful wife, Claire’s garden, but I’ve seen him work in it!). Yet he agreed to be on our foundation board AND be the treasurer, which is a tall order for a foundation that provides loans.

Here’s more on Bill………

How did you meet Hal and Norma? I heard about Hal long before I met him. I am from Media but was living in Hawaii when I started a business that practiced fair trade with vanilla farmers. My sister mailed me an article featuring Hal which announced that Media had just become the first fair trade town in the USA. I remember thinking that it would be great to meet Hal and talk with him. A few years later I moved back to Media, became involved with the Media Fair Trade Committee and finally met Hal.

What drew you to the Untours Foundation board? Since Hal and Elizabeth were passionate about it, I knew it had to be good.

What is most unique to you about the foundation? The Untours Foundation philosophy of giving a hand up rather than a hand out resonates with me. I think it is an effective and sustainable model for helping businesses that can’t get funding through traditional means.

Favorite book:  Finding the time to read books for myself eludes me. A book I enjoyed semi-recently was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

Favorite children’s book: I get to read a lot of these. We Were Tired of Living in a House by Liesel Moak Skorpen is a good one. My kids enjoy the original version illustrated by Doris Burn, which I fondly remember from my childhood.

Childhood ambition: To be magic (or at least have super powers).

Indulgence: Ice Cream.

Biggest challenge: Keeping in touch with old friends.

First job: Busboy at Friendly’s Ice Cream.

Current job: Co-Founder of a vanilla company.
Animal friends: A dog, a cat and a flock of chickens.

Mission statement: Do things you will be proud of and don’t be a hypocrite.

Favorite foods: Things that begin with frying onions and garlic in olive oil.

Couldn’t live without: My wife and kids.

Sweet or salty: A little of both.

Earliest childhood memory: Being able to see my older sisters’ school bus coming from two streets away because the trees in my neighborhood were all so young.

Pet peeve: Litterbugs.

Most unusual gift given: A rock and a piece of thorn tree branch from Kenya.

Most unusual gift received: A Papua New Guinean “chief staff” and shell money necklace.

Proudest accomplishment: Starting and running a company.

Perfect Friday night: A home cooked meal with a glass of wine followed by story time with my kids and a video with my wife.

“All virtue is summed up in dealing justly.” Aristotle

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