William “Bill” D. Carson Jr.

Title: Chief Executive Officer
Company: The Orchard
Location: Little Switzerland, North Carolina, United States

William “Bill” D. Carson Jr., Chief Executive Officer at The Orchard, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in astronautic engineering.

Mr. Carson became involved in his profession due to his love for mathematics. In high school, he was the valedictorian and wanted to further show his prowess with something related to the math and engineering fields. Upon attending Purdue University, he was at the forefront in astronautics, as they were a gateway to the space field. He wanted an important role in the space area, thus remaining at the institution to earn his Master’s degree. In 1961, he achieved a Master’s degree in engineering.

Mr. Carson began his career as a rocket scientist with IBM and then he became the vice president of the federal systems division of IBM. He recalls his career highlight was working on two space programs while with IBM, in which he held very high and responsible roles. Since 1995, he has been the chief executive officer of The Orchard, where he holds 150 music performances. Enjoying music was a family tradition in Mr. Carson’s upbringing, as it was a time to dance and get together with people. With this tradition, he wanted to create a business out of his love for music and community bonding.

In his career running The Orchard, Mr. Carson remembers one day in particular when the music was blasting and everyone was having fun except one young woman. He invited her to dance and she accepted, which was a surprise to her parents because she was autistic and had never agreed to dance with anyone before. The young woman went on to become a dance instructor at an autistic camp. Mr. Carson most enjoys magical moments like that and hopes to continue to create such beautiful memories. Whether some people attend The Orchard to dance, mingle or reconnect with old friends, the purpose is to pass the time and have fun without worry.

As a testament to his success, Mr. Carson has received Esse Quam Videri from the North Carolina Tourism Department. He was named Volunteer of the Year and Keeper of the Way by Blue Ridge Parkway, as well as named Traditional Artist by Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. In addition, he received the Charles J. Parker Award for outstanding contribution to the development and promotion of the travel industry of North Carolina. He has also been inducted as a member of Phi Beta Phi. Mr. Carson attributes his success to his ability to accept his flaws and work to make himself a better person and business operator. In five years’ time, Mr. Carson hopes to be in his second retirement. He wants to make sure The Orchard is left with a solid future, in regards to leadership and finance.

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