Parking entrepreneur Bill Lerner has risen into fame with his parking business iPark and charitable initiative Billy4Kids. The parking business was established by Lerner’s father Jack in 1962 with one 25-car lot. Bill took control of the business in 1978 and expanded it to more than 100 garages throughout New York.
His Strategic Business Approach
According to Bill, parking has become similar to the airline and hotel business where everybody shops online for convenience and the best price. Bill wished to make something easy to navigate and friendly to users so if somebody is driving into the city, he knows where he is parking before he even leaves his house. After he took over iPark, Bill has supervised the growth of the company into the biggest, family-operated parking lots and garages in New York.
The Soft Side of Him
Bill Lerner is also philanthropist and has been engaged in various charities in New York City such as the Children’s Tumor Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association. It is Bill’s desire to help other people that prompted him to establish his own non-profit organization Billy4Kids which is committed to helping kids in need by offering them shoes.
According to Bill, he realized that he has been lucky enough in life and he wished to give back with something he owns. After a talk with his friend Alexson Roy, Billy4Kids’ co-director, the charity was founded. Alexson connects with third-world countries to know their needs. They have begun talking about kids who were dying from foot-borne diseases as they had nothing to give their feet protection against street sewage. Bill and Alexson work together to set the idea of giving these kids a pair of shoes by distributing such items to kids who live in underdeveloped communities such as Haiti.
With his 110 New York iPark garages used as a vehicle for exposure, Bill set up big green boxes in each facility where everybody can donate their worn or new shoes in all sizes. According to Bill, people normally just throw out the shoes of their kids if they have outgrown them or the shoes shit in the closet for many years when their children cannot wear then anymore. Their initiative allows people to unclutter their closet by donating the shoes to Billy4Kids through a box located in an iPark garage while they retrieve their car. The organization also expands its outreach to Brazil and Ghana.