Executive Speakers

William (Bill) A.V. Cecil, Jr.

President and CEO
The Biltmore Company

William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil, Jr.

William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil, Jr. is the President and CEO of The Biltmore Company, which owns and operates Biltmore in Asheville, NC. A National Historic Landmark, Biltmore is the private estate of the late George W. Vanderbilt, Bill’s great-grandfather. The estate, which is completely self-sufficient and receives no outside funding, is open to the public and welcomes over one million guests annually.

The estate includes Biltmore House, America’s largest private home, designed by renowned 19th century architect Richard Morris Hunt.  Frederick Law Olmsted, known as “The Father of American Landscape Architecture,” designed the gardens and forests surrounding Biltmore House. Biltmore also features the most visited winery in the United States, producing about 170,000 cases of award-winning wines each year. In addition, the Inn on Biltmore Estate now welcomes guests year-round with gracious Vanderbilt hospitality. There are retail shops and fine restaurants as well, to make any visit to Biltmore more enjoyable.  In addition to these offerings, guests can take advantage of the great outdoors with biking, hiking, rafting, and equestrian activities.

Bill has also served in many capacities across the estate, including his work as project coordinator for the construction of Biltmore’s winery, eventually becoming winery manager, then president of the Biltmore Estate Wine Company. He has also served as assistant vice president of operations, vice president, and senior vice president of The Biltmore Company. He is a member of The Biltmore Company Executive Committee and its Board of Directors.

Community relations is another important focus for Bill, and he is a past chair of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and has been a Board Member since 1997. In addition, he has served on the Southeast Tourism Society Board of Directors since 2005 and was a member of the Manna Food Bank Board of Directors from 2000 to 2006, holding the office of President in 2005.

A graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Bill earned a geography degree with a concentration in environmental conservation. He is also a graduate of Leadership Asheville 8, the Young Executive Institute (an intensive senior management training program at the University of North Carolina), and Bell Leadership Institute’s Leader’s Roundtable program. He has been a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization/World Presidents’ Organization since 1998. Bill and his wife have three children and reside in Asheville, NC.

The mission statement of The Biltmore Company – “The preservation of Biltmore as a privately owned, profitable working estate” – remains the standard for guiding Bill’s efforts to enchant guests and to maintain the business of preservation.


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