— Bill Lerner, as the president and CEO of iPark, is known for his parking empire with almost 150 facilities across New York City. iPark was always a future forward-thinking company. As a result, it forged innovative partnerships with Tesla Motors, Inc., and CarCharging to be able to service electric vehicles. Lerner credits the rise of computers for the astounding growth of iPark from the 12 garages at the time he took over the family business to the parking empire it is today, by enabling automated billing, ticketing and bookkeeping. More than a creative visionary for two decades now, Lerner has also been well-regarded as an active philanthropist. One of his biggest projects was founded just recently in 2013. The organization is called Billy4Kids, which takes a characteristically out-of-the-box approach to fighting parasitic hookworm infections in children by giving them access to reliable footwear. To date, the organization has helped more than 4,000 children in countries such as Ghana, Haiti and Brazil, earning Lerner the Humanitarian Award at the Annual Edeyo Gives Hope Gala and recognition from St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children for three consecutive years.
For Bill Lerner, philanthropy is more a string of opportunities than simply a standalone activity. His company supports a wide range of charitable organizations, but it is his instincts towards helping others that become more evident as one learns about his life. In 2014, during a New York blizzard, Lerner noticed so many elderly people struggling to get to their cars that he had an epiphany to start a program, which would help drivers dig out vehicles that have been buried in snow or ice across the city for free. “There are so many opportunities to help other people that can sometimes get overlooked,” says Lerner. “I think it’s a matter of looking at the world differently and always having an eye for how you might leave a positive impact, whether large or small. I feel very blessed with my success, and I recognize the best way to express that is by sharing it with the community.”
As Abraham Lincoln observed, “When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad.” It is this simple cause and effect that Lerner encourages everyone to be aware of. “Billy4Kids has especially brought an incredible amount of joy, perspective and humility to my life, which has even proved to be beneficial in and outside of the business world,” says Lerner. “If something makes you feel that good, you can trust that the rest of the world is feeling it as well.”
When he’s not working tirelessly with iPark and Billy4Kids, Bill Lerner’s ultimate passions in life are his wife and three children. He’s been recognized as a thought-leader in his field, and frequently appears on television programs to share his expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs and industry professionals. Lerner’s accomplishments have been featured in The Atlantic, Leaders Magazine, on Radio America, WABC-TV, and 33Voices.
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