William Courtney (Bill) from Memphis, TN has been married to his wife Lisa for 32 years and is the father of four children, Maggie (27), Molly (26), Will (25), and Max (24).
Bill is the founder and CEO of Classic American Hardwoods, Inc. a hardwood lumber manufacturing company with a 50-acre facility in Memphis, Tennessee; four sales offices in the US; one in Shanghai, China; and one in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. His 2001 startup company now boasts 125 employees and over $80 Million in annual sales. His company has received numerous accolades including Business of the Year awards and the United States EXIM banks’ US Exporter of the Year award.
In 1991, Bill graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in Psychology. While at Ole Miss, he served as the Lieutenant Commander of Sigma Nu and was active in Psi Chi and Sigma Tau Delta. He was a featured columnist for the Daily Mississippian and the recipient of the first annual Chi Omega service award for Outstanding Community Involvement. Additionally, he was one of the founders of the Sigma Nu Charity Bowl which has now grown to be the largest Greek philanthropy project in the US.
Bill was the subject of the Academy Award winning film, Undefeated, a globally heralded documentary about his work as the volunteer football coach at Memphis’ Manassas High School. He is the author of Against the Grain, a nationally best-selling manifesto covering leadership, character, commitment, and other life defining tenets. He has appeared on numerous outlets such as Fox News, CNN, News Max, ESPN, as well as countless TV and radio shows discussing civility and leadership in today’s trying times.
Bill is currently an executive producer on two films in production, is working on his second book, has been the voice of EA Sports’ Madden Football game, serves on the Boards of Directors for numerous organizations and businesses, and continues to run the day-to-day operations at Classic American Hardwoods, Inc.
Bill is a sought after, nationally recognized speaker keynoting at venues across the country such as Nike, Fed Ex, Frito Lay, Firestone, St Jude, The US Olympics, and other highly recognized organizations.
Most recently, Bill has joined with Iron Light Labs to produce his podcast, “An Army of Normal Folks”. Launched on I Heart Radio in 2023, it has ranked as high as the #10 podcast in the US on Apple as it highlights amazing stories and accomplishments of average daily Americans working to better their communities.