Mr Roland W Betts is Founder and Chairman of Chelsea Piers, LP, which developed and operates the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment complex in New York City. Chelsea Piers is one of the most visited sites in New York City, with annual visitation in excess of four million.
Mr Betts is also Founder and President of Silver Screen Management, Inc, which raised more than $1 billion in four limited partnerships from 140,000 investors to finance and produce over 75 films with the Walt Disney Company. Films include Beauty and the Beast, Pretty Woman, The Little Mermaid, and Three Men and a Baby. Additionally, Mr Betts is the President of International Film Investors, Inc, which produced and financed numerous films including Gandhi and The Killing Fields. Mr. Betts is responsible for the financing of approximately 100 feature films.
In 1968, after graduating from Yale, Mr Betts taught public school in Harlem and trained teachers as part of a not-for-profit corporation called The Teachers Incorporated. Mr Betts remained in public education as a teacher and assistant principal until 1975. Mr Betts wrote Acting Out: Coping with Big City Schools, a book published by Little Brown in 1978 that explores his experiences in the public school system. Mr Betts graduated from Columbia Law School in 1978 and practiced law for several years in the entertainment department at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
Mr Betts recently completed a term as Senior Fellow of the Yale Corporation, which he held since 2003. He served as Alumni Fellow of the Corporation from 1999-2003 and has served as a trustee of numerous organisations including: the American Museum of Natural History, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Columbia University Law School, the National Park Foundation, the United States Olympic Committee and Treasurer of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. As a director of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation from 2001 to 2006, Mr Betts assumed a leadership role in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site.
For nine years, Mr Betts was lead owner of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. The Texas Rangers were purchased in 1989 by a group of investors assembled by Mr Betts and US President George W Bush.