Bill Simon

Chairman, Founder

Bill Simon, Jr. is co-chairman of William E. Simon & Sons, an investment firm which he co-founded in 1988 with his brother and their father, William E. Simon, Sr., former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

Bill also serves as co-chairman of the William E. Simon Foundation and the Cynthia L. and William E. Simon, Jr. Foundation. Through these foundations, Bill helps needy youngsters, adults and families in urban areas through faith-based efforts. A strong proponent of physical fitness, Bill is chairman of the National Urban Squash and Education Association as well as founder, with his wife Cindy, of the Sound Body Sound Mind Fitness Program for high schools and middle schools.

Bill has served on many charitable boards, including Covenant House California, of which he is chairman emeritus, and the St. John’s Health Center Foundation in Los Angeles.

A graduate of Williams College, where he is trustee emeritus, and Boston College Law School, Bill has a strong interest in education. He is a visiting professor in both the Law School and the Economics Department at UCLA.

Bill is co-author with Michael Novak of Living the Call: An Introduction to the Lay Vocation (Encounter Books, 2011). “The idea for Parish Catalyst came about largely as a result of my research for the book,” says Bill. “I came away thinking that the famous opening lines of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities could equally well apply to the Catholic Church in America today: ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’ Although I was struck by the extraordinary vitality of some parishes, where there was a strong sense of community, vibrant worship, and effective outreach, I also saw plenty of parishes in a rut, where worship was rote and the congregation was shrinking. Somewhere in between were most parishes, which rolled along pretty well but could be so much more. I began to wonder what makes some parishes thrive while others decline? Parish Catalyst will explore this question, and my prayer is that it will be a fruitful workshop for parish growth and spiritual renewal in the years ahead.”