– 12 ICONS OF NEW ORLEANS –
Selected by JPMorgan Chase
THE ICON: Bill Goldring
THE LEGACY: Bill Goldring has spent years working to improve the lives of New Orleanians while helping to spark global interest in the city as a place to create a fruitful livelihood.
The New Orleans native has garnered considerable acclaim for his work as chairman of Sazerac Company, but it’s his philanthropic efforts with the Goldring and Woldenberg family foundations that have truly changed the face of New Orleans. The Goldring Family Foundation has contributed to countless projects focused on education, welfare and health, ranging from the establishment of the Goldring Institute of Culinary Medicine at Tulane University to its work in supporting the city’s public schools after Hurricane Katrina.
Beyond bolstering the city’s educational hubs, however, Goldring explains that he’s just as eager to support attractions that draw visitors from around the world. Prime examples include the National World War II Museum, Woldenberg Park and the picturesque Great Lawn at City Park, all of which complement the unique environment for which New Orleans is known.
These achievements represent only a fraction of the change that Goldring’s efforts have enacted through the foundations he operates, but the Crescent City icon remains humble concerning everything he’s done, explaining, “It’s just paying it forward.”
Goldring doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon, either. The source of his commitment to philanthropy, he says, traces back to the enduring influence of a letter he received from his father just before turning 21.
The letter wished Goldring health, happiness and wealth, but it also explained that wealth brings responsibility. Goldring’s father advised him to share his earnings, as the opportunity to benefit many would be accompanied by lasting fulfillment.
It’s this sentiment that has guided Goldring since, and there’s little doubt that the impact of these words will be felt throughout the city for years to come.
THE INSPIRATION: “When you’re part of a community, you’ve got to give back to the people that have made you who you are.”