William Harry Stern, affectionately known as Bill Stern, is the third of four children of Holocaust Survivors, Jadzia and Ben Stern.  He is a lifelong Columbia resident and is Chairman of Stern Development, a commercial real estate development company.  He married his wife of 40 years, Linda Cherry, and they have three sons:  Brian, Jason, and Benji.  Jason is a newlywed of one year to McCree O’Hare, and Benji is soon to be married to Sarah Bates.


Growing up in Columbia, Bill watched his parents contribute their time and efforts within the Jewish and secular communities.  This was the model that he replicated.  Throughout his adult life Bill has participated in public and community service.  He was  appointed  to  serve  as  Chair of the SC Ports Authority  by  governors  of  both 

parties, and in 2000 he was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s top civilian honor. Bill has served on a multitude of State commissions and boards, including the SC Council on the Holocaust, of which he was one of the original 12 commissioners. In 2018, he was a Presidential appointee as a trustee to the US Holocaust Memorial Council in Washington, DC. 


Bill never forgot his roots and has served on boards at Beth Shalom Synagogue, including serving as President. He is Chair of the Beth Shalom Foundation board. He received the Beth Shalom Magan David Award, the highest service award for the synagogue. He was a member of the Columbia Jewish Federation board and the Katie and Irwin Kahn JCC board. He serves as a member of the AIPAC National Council. Both Bill and Linda were honored at an event by Israel Bonds.  


Bill continues to be an ambassador for our Jewish community in many capacities in our city, state and nationally. He is aware of the importance of education and dialogue, understanding and listening, but will speak out when necessary. Bill Stern is humbled and proud to be the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the Columbia Jewish Federation.