New U.Va. Rector Bill Goodwin asked the five new members of the board of visitors not to be outwardly critical of the rest of the board after a decision has been made.

As a businessman, Bill Goodwin has said he tends to take a long-term view of things. He is not one to let go of an investment quickly.

The long view also seems to be the driving principle behind his philanthropic work.

Goodwin and his wife, Alice, have been in the news in Richmond over the past year because of their support for building a freestanding children's hospital in the region - and their willingness to donate $150 million as seed money.

The children's hospital proposal at this point remains only an idea. But in the Richmond area and elsewhere, the Goodwins have long been major financial supporters of other health care initiatives, including cancer research, as well as education.

Bill Goodwin is reluctant to talk about the specifics of his philanthropy.

"I will give you my philosophical point of view," he said. "Our formula is that we like to think we are doing something that is not just keeping the ball moving at the same pace, but that we are changing things and helping to start something.

"We are trying to make investments that will pay dividends down the road for other people, not for us," he said. 

Much of the couple's support for health care "is geared toward things that would not otherwise get done right now, either because there is not enough of a payoff right now or it is more research-oriented," Goodwin said.

His career started in the 1960s in the computer business, then moved into investments including real estate. He is the retired chairman and president of Riverstone Group LLC, the parent of CCA Industries and CCA Financial Inc.

The company is best known locally as the owner of The Jefferson Hotel, but it also owns other hotels and resorts.

"I happen to think capitalism is a pretty successful model, but that doesn't mean we can’t do things to help other people,” Goodwin told students and other guests in a talk he gave at the University of Richmond  this year.

“We are only here for a bit,” he said. “Different people have different talents, and I think people need to use those talents to help other people."


Role model

The ones that come to mind are my father, Jim Wheat, Tom Rice and Paul Hammaker, who was my professor at the Darden School.

Something that might surprise others

I am more shy and introverted than people would expect.

Something you’d like to do

Shoot my age in golf.

Favorite movie/book

"The Bridge on the River Kwai," "The Dirty Dozen" and any of John Grisham’s books.

A small moment in life with a big impact

I think my marriage to my wife, the births of our five children and the memories we have had as a family have had the most impact on my life. In business, it was the moment when I realized that my business would be successful enough to support my wife and our growing family.

Proudest accomplishment

My family.

Favorite thing about Richmond region

The lifestyles that Richmond offers and the ability to get around the metropolitan area without a great deal of congestion.


Position: retired chairman and president, CCA Industries Inc.

Born/hometown: Oct. 21, 1940; Richmond

College: Virginia Tech (bachelor's in mechanical engineering), University of Virginia Darden School of Business (MBA)

Family: wife Alice, five children, 10 grandchildren

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