Episode 32

Bill Cummings on Becoming a Titan of Business and Philanthropy


Bill Cummings never aspired to be a billionaire – and never acknowledged he was one until long after it happened. The immense enjoyment he gets from building and growing successful businesses, and his singular dedication to giving back, is what motivates him.

Not only has he built a 500-person firm, with a debt-free commercial real estate portfolio of 10 million square feet, but established Cummings Foundation. The Foundation now has more than $2 billion in assets and has awarded more than $225 million in recent years.

Bill and his wife, Joyce, were the first Massachusetts couple to join the Giving Pledge, a campaign started by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage wealthy individuals to contribute a majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

Bill sat down with host Robert Glazer to talk about his career, the importance of developing talent, and why successful people have a responsibility to give back. Bill is the author of the 2018 book Starting Small and Making It Big.

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Show Notes

On this remarkable episode, you’ll learn about:

  • Bill’s experience growing up in the great depression
  • Bill’s business career, from Vapor Rub to fruit punch to real estate
  • How business schools can do better at preparing students for the real world
  • Bill’s open dialogue with his wife, Joyce, about his career goals and work-life balance
  • Bill’s dedication to grooming his successor as CEO of Cummings Properties
  • Bill’s philanthropic work
  • How Bill made generosity a family value
  • A mistake Bill has made, and what he learned from it

Links from the Episode

Episode Transcription
Starting Small and Making it Big by Bill Cummings


Guest: Bill Cummings
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cummingsfoundation?_rdr
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/our-building-power-charities/about/

Host: Robert Glazer
Twitter: https://twitter.com/robert_glazer   
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/glazer

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