Bill Alfond – Philanthropist and Investor
Alfond has made significant donations in his home state of Maine to health care, education and scholarship funds benefitting young people, such as funding the Waterville YMCA, Boys and Girls Club of Waterville, Thayer Hospital as well as Colby College.
Alfond’s gift enabled the school to build the state-of-the-art Bill Alfond Field for hockey and an athletic arena, two landmark facilities that enhance student experience at school.
Early Life and Education
Alfond met his opportunity while on a trip to Skowhegan Fair in 1939, picking up a hitchhiker who informed him about a shoe factory available for sale in Norridgewock, Maine. Utilizing money from selling their car, Alfond and his father purchased and established Norrwock Shoe Company with money they received from selling the vehicle they sold their family car with. Over time they expanded their business, manufacturing mid-priced leather shoes that were casual but sturdy for casual and formal events as well as military footwear for use within military units worldwide.
Following the sale of Dexter Shoe, Alfond increased his charitable giving exponentially. He quickly challenged donors to match his gifts at building dedications or events – this practice increased fundraising, inspired teamwork and fostered community spirit. Together with his wife Bibby he had four children – Ted, Susan, Bill and Peter who all live in Belgrade Maine – they established The Harold Alfond Foundation which supports education, healthcare and youth development programs throughout Maine.
Alfond played an instrumental role in building Dexter Shoe Company into a successful bowling shoe line that helped him amass an enormous fortune. Additionally, Alfond is an avid art collector who maintains an extensive contemporary art collection at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida – his alma mater.
Alongside his business career, Alfond is active in his community through the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation, supporting educational, healthcare, and charitable institutions in Maine, New England and Puerto Rico.
His passion for philanthropy can be seen through his numerous donations to various Maine charitable organizations and projects, from funding scholarships and growing collegiate athletic programs, to community development initiatives like Dirigo Labs in Waterville.
Achievement and Honors
Alfond and his wife Bibby are quick to assist any worthy cause in Maine or elsewhere that requires funding, providing millions to medical societies and hospitals, prep schools, symphonies and youth service organizations throughout their years of giving.
Alfond family’s charitable work has been recognized with honorary doctorate degrees from Colby College and University of Maine at Orono. Furthermore, the Alfond Foundation has given scholarships to thousands of needy students through its scholarship programs.
Alfond has long been active in Waterville’s community boards and serves as a trustee emeritus at his alma mater, Governor Dummer Academy. Together with his wife he has three sons, one daughter, 14 grandchildren and has expanded their lives through extensive travels with their three sons, daughter-in-law and 14 grandchild travels – Alfond Commons is named in their honor in downtown Waterville.
Alfond was an avid philanthropist who donated millions to health care, education and youth development initiatives. He also provided funding for major community projects like Waterville YMCA, Boys and Girls Club and parks and recreation department. Many facilities built with Alfond’s funds had to be shared among all.
He and his family maintain an impressive art collection at their Weston home and are generous benefactors to Rollins College. Additionally, they co-own the Portland Sea Dogs baseball team affiliated with Boston Red Sox.
Even though he has amassed vast riches, he remains humble about it all. Although not publicly disclosed, his height appears to be quite considerable.
Bill Alfond is an American investor and philanthropist with an estimated net worth of around $2.4 billion, along with his sister Susan who also is worth that sum. Together they own shares in Fenway Sports Group which owns Liverpool FC and Boston Red Sox along with New England Sports Network.
Harold established the Dexter Shoe Company in 1958 at a former wool mill in Dexter. This business flourished, and in 1993 Harold sold it for $433 million in Berkshire Hathaway stock to Warren Buffett; by 2022 these shares had increased in value substantially.
Bill has made numerous donations to educational institutions including Colby College, Bowdoin College in Brunswick and the University of Maine at Orono. Additionally, he serves on multiple community organizations and charities’ boards of directors.