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Ambassador SPRING 2015

‘A Win-Win’: Clubs Embrace New Donation Drives Goodwill Shatters 2014 Employment & Training Goals New Goodwill Store Planned in Nashville’s Bellevue Community iLost my iPhone! Goodwill Team Answers the Call



Ambassador SPRING 2014


I Got it at Goodwill


Goodwill Success Stories 2015

President and CEO


Goodwill Shatters 2014 Employment & Training Goals



Dressing Lessons: Fashion Show Teaches Girls Thrifty Shopping, Self-Esteem

Editor and Writer

Matthew S. Bourlakas Karl Houston

Senior Director of Marketing & Community Relations

Chris Fletcher

PR & Communications Manager

Art Director EJ Kerr

Manager of Creative Services


New Goodwill Store Planned in Nashville’s Bellevue Community


Goodwill Store, Career Solutions Near Completion in Clarksville


'Win-Win': Clubs Embrace New Donation Drives


iLost my iPhone! Goodwill Team Answers the Call


H&R Block Partnership Benefits Goodwill and Its Employees


Goodwill Ranks High on List of Most Inspiring Companies


Hook a Winner, Change a Life : Goodwill Bass Challenge set May 9


Log On With a Mission: Goodwill Social Media

The Goodwill Mission


Goodwill Week 2015

opportunities for people who have


I Change Lives: Byron Sheffield

Ambassador Spring 2015

Ambassador is a quarterly magazine published by Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc., 1015 Herman Street, Nashville, TN 37208. For the nearest retail store, donation center, or Career Solutions center, please call 800.545.9231 or visit www.giveit2goodwill.org. Ambassador provides readers with stories of the events, activities and people who support the mission of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee. We are pleased to provide you this information and hope you will share our publication with others. Please note that the opinions expressed in Ambassador do not necessarily reflect the opinions or official position of management or employees of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.

We sell donated goods to

provide employment and training disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs.

Our mission is changing lives.



got it

Lu wrote:



GREAT FINDS AND DEALS FROM GOODWILL SHOPPERS Do you have some fabulous finds in your home or closet that you purchased at Goodwill? Share them with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and we might feature them in our next edition!

Eatwearlove wrote: “Thrifting GOLD. A pair of $400 Salvatore Ferragamo suede loafers in the richest chocolate brown for $8.”

“Wearing a muumuu is what the kids are doing, right? Dress and hat from Goodwill.”

Post your great finds:


Erica wrote: “I'm a Little Tea Pot, brand new and never been used from Goodwill. How adorable am I?”

Loves2teach: “My Goodwill half-off score for the day. Five nice name brand polo style shirts (they all retail for over $20 each, and one still has the $75 Dillard's tag) for $2.50 each.”

Ambassador Spring 2015


3 2




Thank you! ­­­­– James


For 38 years, James worked in the funeral home business. He was there for people in their hour of

need, consoling their sorrows. But when James lost his job in 2011, it appeared that no one would be there for him. He applied for jobs at numerous funeral homes without success. “Due to my age, it seemed like no one had an opening,” he said. “So, for five months I was at home, not knowing what I would do.” A friend told James’ wife about Goodwill Career


Thank you! ­­­­– Debi

Solutions, and she suggested he give it a shot. At the Rivergate center, he was introduced to computers. He also received training in retail and help updating his resume. Then, he went home to wait. “I waited about four weeks, and then one day at 1:10 p.m. my phone rang,” James recalled. His Goodwill career counselor asked James if he was ready to go to work. “I told her I sure was,” he said. James started as a clothes tagger in one of Goodwill’s downtown Nashville warehouses. Supervisors quickly


Thank you!

recognized his potential, and now James is an assistant supervisor, responsible for a team that places more than 12,000 garments on hangers each day. James said his co-workers are like family. “Now, I’m working with people that are happy,” he said. “It’s like a big family.”

­­­­– Deontae 4

Ambassador Spring 2015

Our mission is changing lives.


Doctors told Debi she might never sing again. Of course, at the beginning of her medical odyssey, it was all doctors could

do to keep the former professional singer breathing. A massive heart attack in 2004 set off a chain of surgeries, setbacks and rehabilitation for Debi that


Repeat donors who bring their gently used clothes and household items to the

Goodwill store on Murfreesboro Road in Franklin can count on being greeted by Deontae’s smiling face, rain or shine.

lasted seven years. Initial vein grafts failed. Doctors

The 25-year-old donations attendant is the longest-

induced comas and gave her a tracheotomy. One

serving employee at the store, having been there

surgery left her with no feeling in her left leg.

five years. He graduated from Franklin High School in 2008 and then spent six months in Goodwill’s

“I woke up and I couldn’t remember anything. I had to relearn how to read and write, walk, talk and eat."

Transitional Employment Services Program. His cheerful nature is as constant as his hard work and

When her rehabilitation ended, Debi began looking for

loyalty. He keeps his work area clean and organized.

work, but that, too, proved traumatic.

“I like doing donations,” he said.

“Nobody would give me a chance because of that big

Deontae has faced his share of struggles, however. In

lapse in employment,” she said.

the summer of 2014, one of Deontae’s five brothers, Decarlos, who was disabled and also worked for

A friend recommended Debi visit the Goodwill Career

Goodwill, died of medical causes. The two of them

Solutions center in Spring Hill. After job readiness

shared a home donated by Habitat for Humanity.

classes, she began working at the same center through Goodwill’s Transitional Employment Services Program. Within six weeks, she was hired as an administrative assistant. A year later she moved and was transferred to the Goodwill store in Hendersonville. For the last year she has served as its office administrator.

Deontae’s Goodwill family has been there to support him. His co-workers have spent many hours with him outside of work, whether enjoying one of his favorite pastimes — like bowling or going to movies — or just keeping him company. “He’s very close with the people that work with

“I feel useful and productive,” she said. “Goodwill gave

him,” explained store manager Chuck Nebel. “He is a

me the chance to start over.”

pleasure to work with. He sees joy in everything and

What’s more, she is singing once again. She is in a band

loves Goodwill.”

with five other musicians. They play oldies, Motown,

Deontae is thankful for his Goodwill family.

jazz, funk and blues. The band performs at private

Asked what working at the store has meant to him, he

parties and benefits, frequently for veterans. “We have a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s a small thing I can give back.”

Ambassador Spring 2015

replied, “It has given me a chance to improve and be part of a team."



Goodwill Shatters 2014 Employment & Training Goals


oodwill Industries of Middle

fairs for its roughly 1,700 employer partners. In

Tennessee far exceeded its mission

2014, Goodwill Career Solutions centers hosted

goals for 2014, providing free

1,289 job fairs attended by 22,012

employment services and job training to 28,159 people and helping 9,558 land jobs.

job-seekers. In addition to job fairs, the centers provide a

Goodwill’s goals for last year were to assist

wide range of free training, from job readiness

20,000 people and to place 6,000 in jobs. Those

and computer literacy to retail, hospitality

benchmarks were met by September.

and logistics programs. Many Goodwill clients

In 2015, Goodwill expects to bring at least two new Career Solution Centers online, bringing the total to 31 across its 48-county territory in middle and west Tennessee. Through the center’s combined efforts, Goodwill will strive

also receive more advanced training and certificates in areas ranging from health care to security to forklift operation. In all, more than 17,100 people received training or certifications in 2014.

to assist at least 30,000 people and place 11,000

People served by Goodwill face some barrier to

in jobs this year.

employment. For example, 18 percent of people

The centers got off to a strong start in January, with a more than 50 percent rise in the number of people placed in jobs. One of the ways Goodwill continues to surpass

assisted by Goodwill Career Solutions reported a disability, and 26 percent had a criminal background. Nearly 90 percent of Goodwill’s clients who find jobs are placed with other employers.







its mission goals is by hosting job


Ambassador Spring 2015

Our mission is changing lives.



Fashion Show Teaches Girls Thrifty Shopping, Self-Esteem

ella LeMieux snagged a silver top

“It’s eye-opening for everybody,” Principal

Their purchases were made mostly with

and feathery peach skirt for $9.

Becky Kegley said. “We have girls who

funds donated by educators at Winfree

Kaitlynn Hibdon chose a grey

go to expensive stores and never thought

Bryant Middle School. Supporting

sweater-dress, pink leggings and sparkly

about shopping at Goodwill. They suddenly

Goodwill, which provides training and

boots for $14. And Christina Brenner

realize, ‘Wow. This is really cool. I can shop

employment opportunities for people in

bought light-blue pants and a “really cute”

here and get just as good of an outfit.’”

Wilson County and across middle and west

purple blouse for $13. They were among 36 girls from Lebanon’s Winfree Bryant Middle School who combed through the racks at the local Goodwill store Jan. 31, seeking runwayready expressions of their unique style. The store opened an hour early for the group. The students from grades 6-8 showed off their newly acquired apparel at the school’s annual Second-Hand Chic fashion show March 2 in the school auditorium. Preparation for the annual public event introduces the girls to wise shopping habits, showing them it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money to find stylish clothes.

But dressing sharp on a budget is just one of the lessons students learn, Kegley said. “Middle school is a really hard time for girls. A lot of them have low self-esteem, so we give them a moment to shine,” she

Tennessee, makes the experience even better, Kegley said. Her students agreed. “It makes me feel really good, because I feel like I’m giving somebody a job,” said eighthgrader Christina Brenner.

explained. “Also, it’s about supporting the

On the day of the show, before the girls hit

girls and finding mentors to help them see

the runway in their outfits, accompanied

their true value and worth.”

by music, local beauty salons provided free

Participants in the show — 12 from each grade — were hand-picked from a group of

makeup and hair styling, and a business provided food.

about 300 interested girls representing a

“Any time we can get the message across

wide range of backgrounds and resources,

that they are beautiful, that they have true

Kegley said. Each of the participants

worth, and that we love them, we have

shopped with a teacher or parent to help

accomplished great things,” Kegley said.

them select their outfits.

Katie Johnson, a Winfree Bryant

Bella LeMieux, a sixth-grader at

Genecia Foutch smiles while

Middle School seventh-grader,

Winfree Bryant Middle School in

walking the runway in Goodwill

shows off the sparkly blouse and

Lebanon, gets shopping advice from

clothing at the Second Hand Chic

black pants she bought for under

Morgan Turngate at the Lebanon

fashion show March 2.

$10 at Goodwill for her school's

Goodwill store.

fashion show.

Ambassador Spring 2015



An artist's rendering of the new Goodwill in Clarksville, Tennessee.

New Goodwill Store Planned in Nashville’s Bellevue Community


t’s been a long time coming, but citizens of Nashville’s

“The Bellevue Harpeth Chamber is excited for the opportunity

Bellevue community will soon have a Goodwill store and

that Goodwill has taken to fill the retail space formerly occupied

Goodwill Career Solutions services close to home.

by Toys-R-Us,” said Jad A. Duncan, president of the Bellevue

The new facility, which will also include a Donation Express Center, will open in the former Toys “R” Us location at 7663 U.S. Highway 70 South in early June. The 35,091-square-foot property

Harpeth Chamber of Commerce. “Our excitement seems to match the sentiment of the Bellevue community as well." “Goodwill is an excellent organization that truly embraces the

will be completely remodeled, and 45-50 jobs

spirit of our community by giving back to our

are expected to be created at the site.

citizens,” he added. “With two other locations

“We’re excited to bring the full complement of Goodwill’s employment and training services to the Bellevue area and to increase our longstanding investment in the community” said Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee President and CEO Matthew Bourlakas. “The new Goodwill Career Solutions Center will be a convenient resource to help area residents find employment, right beside a store that will provide a top-notch shopping experience at the reasonable prices Goodwill is known for.”

in Bellevue, Goodwill expanding its footprint in

“The Bellevue Harpeth Chamber is excited for the opportunity that Goodwill has taken to fill the retail space formerly occupied by Toys-R-Us.”

the community makes perfect sense and we look forward to years of partnering together.” The new Goodwill store and Career Solutions Center are a reflection of Goodwill’s commitment to the community and an outgrowth of Bellevue’s support over the years for Goodwill’s mission, Goodwill Vice President of Retail David Jenkins said. “This is not your typical Goodwill,” he said. “Our average store sales floor is 17,000 square feet. Bellevue’s store will have a sales floor of 25,000

Goodwill first established a presence in

square feet, making it the second-largest in our

the Bellevue Community in 1997 with a

48-county area.”

donations site. In December of 2006, Goodwill chose 247 Old Hickory Blvd. in Bellevue as the site of its first free-standing, drive-through Donations Express Center. There is another Donations Express Center at 8056 Highway 100 in the Shoppes on

A new covered drive-through for donations will be located on the side of the store. It will be Goodwill’s third Donation Express Center in the Bellevue area.

the Harpeth.


Ambassador Spring 2015

Our mission is changing lives.

Goodwill Store, Career Solutions Near Completion in Clarksville


larksville’s first free-standing

This will be Goodwill’s third store in

will offer training in resume preparation,

Goodwill facility is expected to

Clarksville, its fourth Career Solutions

online job search, basic computer skills

open in mid-May for shoppers,

Center and its fifth Donation Express

and more.

job-seekers and donors .


Work is nearing completion on the

About 40 employees will work onsite,

roughly 28,000-square-foot building at 2001 Needmore Road. The location will house a retail store, a Goodwill Career Solutions center and a covered, drivethrough donation area.

including a career counselor who will provide training and employment opportunities for job-seekers. Like most of Goodwill’s Career Solutions centers, the site will host numerous job fairs and

David Jenkins, Goodwill’s Vice President of Retail, said the location was chosen because of its potential to serve a large number of customers and Career Solutions clients. At 19,000 square feet, the sales floor will be Goodwill’s largest in Clarksville.

Goodwill Opens Two New Donation Express Centers in Lyles and White House


ickman County’s first Goodwill facility opened on Dec. 22 at the East Hickman Convenience

Center, 7665 Highway 7, in Lyles, Tenn. Prior to the opening of the new Donation Express Center, the nearest


onors in White House have a

finding and keeping jobs,” said Goodwill

new place to drop off their gently

Donations Manager Randy Taylor.

used items. Goodwill opened a

Donation Express Center on Dec. 15 behind White House Heritage High School at 7744 Highway 76 in White House.

Prior to the opening, the closest Goodwill Donation Express Center was located in Springfield. The new center is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week. It was the

Goodwill location was in Dickson about

“We are looking forward to our

third Donation Express Center to be opened

15 miles away.

collaboration with White House Heritage

on the grounds of a Middle Tennessee high

High School to help promote Goodwill’s

school. The first two centers, at Harpeth

mission of providing employment and

High School in Kingston Springs and

training opportunities to people who have

Hillsboro High School in Nashville, receive

disabilities and others who have trouble

steady traffic and many donations.

Hours at the new center are 6 a.m.-2 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 7 a.m.-3 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays.

“We are looking forward to our collaboration with White House Heritage High School to help promote Goodwill’s mission of providing employment and training opportunities to people who have disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs.”

Ambassador Spring 2015



'WIN-WIN' Clubs Embrace New Donation Drives

The money adds up quickly, considering


the average Goodwill donor brings

aula Cowden

two bags weighing 25 pounds each.

offered a brief

Donations of heavy items like furniture

phrase to sum

can boost the payback exponentially.

up the recent Goodwill

In Hendersonville, while the soccer

donation drive she

foundation was wrapping up its annual

participated in. “It was a win-win,” she said.

weekend-long winter tournament inside the high school, some players and parents were

The treasurer of the Hendersonville High School Soccer

outside, collecting, sorting and bagging donations and loading them

Foundation and mom of a soccer player ought to know. The group

onto three Goodwill trailers.

has done more than its share of fundraising over the years, paying for the lion’s share of a $180,000 soccer field with stadium-seating. The foundation’s president calls the facility “one of the best in the state.” Now, they need money to upgrade the field’s lighting. Enter Goodwill.

Planning for the donation drive began a month earlier, when Goodwill Donations Specialist Brynn Waller contacted foundation President Greg Hunter. She walked him through the process and provided him with scripts for emails announcing the event, which were sent to soccer player’s parents, teachers and friends, as well

On Jan. 25, the foundation and the high school’s male and female

as coaches of the 65 teams playing in the tournament. Brynn also

soccer players participated in a new kind of club fundraiser being

provided fliers that were distributed to local businesses, churches

offered by Goodwill to school clubs, bands, choirs, civic groups, etc.,

and neighborhoods. She stressed that advance promotion was the

across Middle and West Tennessee. In these Fundraising Drives,

key to a successful drive.

Goodwill partners with the organization, helping to set up and promote a one-day event. The club does the work of collecting donations of gently used clothing, household goods and furniture, and Goodwill in return pays the club 10 cents for every pound of donations collected.


Ambassador Spring 2015

The group put information about the drive on their website, and parents and players posted updates on their Facebook pages and other social media. And they started gathering donations right away, storing them at their houses until the big day.

Our mission is changing lives.

“It really worked out well,” Hunter said. “We actually rented a 26-foot U-Haul truck so that we could take donations on Saturday before the donation drive, and we filled it up.” On Sunday, Hunter set up a tent by the trailers and soccer players stood by the street and held signs provided by Goodwill, alerting motorists to the drive. Other players made runs in their cars to pick up items from neighbors who couldn’t make the trip.

Donation Services Expanded

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee is rolling out or ramping up several donation initiatives in 2015.

And donors streamed in to the high school parking lot.

Fundraising Drives:

“People came out of the woodwork,” Hunter said. “It happened

interested in raising funds while supporting Goodwill’s mission.

to be cleaning day for a church down the road, so they ended up

Goodwill supplies support, marketing materials and pays by

dropping a lot of stuff off for us as well.”

the pound for donations raised. The organization promotes the

By the end of the drive, the foundation and its supporters had packed three Goodwill trailers with donations. Total weight: 19,180 pounds. A few days later, Goodwill presented the Foundation with a check for $1,918.

For school groups, nonprofit organizations and churches

drive and supplies manpower to sort and load donations onto Goodwill trailers.

Corporate Drives: For companies seeking a socially and environmentally responsible way to build employee or customer engagement.

Goodwill’s Fundraising Donation Drives kicked off in December. The first three events by La Vergne High School Girls Softball, Jackson North Side High School Project Graduation and Hendersonville High School Soccer Foundation resulted in a payout of $2,978.

These include drives in which employees gather donations — often as part of a contest, and drives in which customers bring in donations — sometimes in exchange for discounts on goods or services. Goodwill also picks up overstocked, surplus or salvage merchandise and items left over from corporate relocations.

Neighborhood Drives: For communities that want to provide residents with a convenient and centralized location to donate items to Goodwill

“The school had lots of participation from not just the soccer family but everybody at the school and in the neighborhood,” foundation treasurer Cowden said. “The kids had fun, it was easy for them to participate, and people had a chance to clean stuff out of their homes that they didn’t need. We supported Goodwill, and Goodwill supported us. It was all-inclusive.”

after group yard sales or other events, such as move-out days at college dormitories. Goodwill will also pick up large items, such as furniture, from the homes of donors who are unable to deliver them to a Goodwill Donation Express Center.

Real Estate Pickups: For people moving to a new home or apartment who have

Donors can also claim a deduction on next year’s taxes. Thus the

clothing, household goods or furniture they no longer need. Also

“win-win.” But there is one more major benefit. The donations

for those downsizing for the move into assisted living facilities

the soccer foundation collected will be sold to pay for Goodwill’s

and those settling the estate of a loved one who has passed away.

mission of providing employment and training opportunities

Goodwill professionals will pack donations, pick them up and in

for people in need of work. Last year in Sumner County, where

some cases provide an itemized inventory donation receipt. All

Hendersonville High School is located, nearly 1,300 people

donations are tax-deductible.

received Goodwill’s services and 572 of those found jobs. “I’m glad we are giving back to the community,” said

Donation Drop Bins: For apartments,

Austin Stevens, a 17-year-old striker and midfielder for the

condominiums, universities, businesses and office complexes

Hendersonville High School boys soccer team. “It makes us all

that want to provide residents with a convenient way to donate

feel good to help out.”

items on an ongoing basis.

To set up a Fundraising Donation Drive, contact

For more information or to arrange for these services, contact Goodwill at (800) 545-9231 or donations@givegw.org.

Brynn Waller at brynn.waller@givegw.org or call (615) 346-1629. Ambassador Spring 2015



iLost my iPhone!



is ringtone may be “Bad to the Bone,” but Brian Davis is

later, Matthew Bourlakas, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Middle

good to his word.

Tennessee, walked in to join the celebration. “I never guessed it

The 37-year-old former Eagle Scout told employees at the

would be this big procession,” Kelsey said.

Goodwill store on Indian Lake Blvd. in Hendersonville, Tenn.,

Davis, his wife and their two young children were shopping in

that he was going to reward them for finding and returning his

the store on Dec. 27 when he lost his phone. He was shopping for

lost cell phone. He also told them he was going to alert Goodwill’s

a purple shirt to wear to the Music City Bowl, where his wife’s

chief executive to their good deed. They promptly forgot about it.

beloved purple-and-gold Lousiana State University Tigers were to

“To be honest, I didn’t believe it,” said Jeane, a supervisor in

play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

training at the store who helped return Davis’ iPhone 6 Plus.

He realized his phone was missing when he got to the car, but the

“Nothing against him — it’s just that people say that sort of thing

kids were buckled in, so they decided to drive the five minutes to

a lot, and it usually doesn’t mean anything.”

their home and check there first.

So when Davis showed back up at the store on Jan. 7 with a

Meanwhile, Jessica, who is 18, had spotted the fancy new iPhone.

tall stack of pizzas for employees, Jeane and cashiers Jessica

It was on the floor near the empty shopping carts at the front of

and Kelsey were more than a little impressed. A few minutes

the store. She picked it up and, unsure what to do with it, took it


Ambassador Spring 2015

Our mission is changing lives.

to her co-worker and friend Kelsey, who is 21. Then it started ringing. “Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh.” The phone played George Thorogood’s classic rock riff. “Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh.”

“What you all did is what you would hope someone else would do for you,” Goodwill CEO Matthew Bourlakas said. "You did the right thing, and that means more to me than I could possibly tell.”

H&R Block Partnership Benefits Goodwill and its Employees Goodwill has teamed up with H&R Block to offer its employees a potential discount on tax preparation services and its donors yet another way to support Goodwill while getting a tax break. Goodwill employees received a coupon worth $25 off

“I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t want to answer it, so

preparation of a 2014 personal tax return. At the same

we decided to take it to Jeane,” Kelsey said. A few minutes later,

time, Goodwill stands to benefit from H&R Block’s

the phone rang again. On the other end of the line, a clearly

Nonprofit Referral Program.

worried Davis asked, “Who’s got my phone?”

Fliers are being distributed to donors from Goodwill’s

Jeane explained that she was a member of management and

Donation Express Centers. Every time a Goodwill donor

would take care of it until he returned. “I was very relieved,”

who hasn’t used H&R Block before brings one of the fliers

Davis recalled, “because it was someone of authority. I could

into H&R Block and purchases tax preparation services,

hear the calmness in her voice.”

Goodwill receives $20 toward its mission.

He drove back to the store immediately to claim his phone, but

After getting a receipt for their donation to Goodwill,

Jeane didn’t give it to him immediately. First, she asked him

donors can go to H&R Block, claim that deduction and help

what color it was and what number he had called her from to

Goodwill all over again.

make sure the phone was his. When he passed the test, man and phone were reunited. Later at the pizza party, Davis again expressed his gratitude to Jeane, Jessica and Kelsey. “This is just the smallest token of appreciation for saving me from all the trouble I could have gone through over something like losing my phone,” he told them. “A lot of us do our jobs, but there is a way to go above and beyond, and you did that.” Bourlakas also thanked the employees, giving them each a gift card for a grocery store. “What you all did is what you would hope someone else would do for you,” he said. “You did the right thing, and that means more to me than I could possibly tell.” Jeane later said she was grateful for what Davis and Bourlakas did and proud of the way her young co-workers had handled the phone situation. But to her, it was all in a day’s work. In fact, another customer left her phone in the store a few days later. It was returned — following protocol, of course. “Honesty is my No. 1 policy,” Jeane said. “Whether it’s a lost wallet or a lost phone, I just like to think we are using common sense. We’re just doing our jobs.”

Ambassador Spring 2015



Goodwill Ranks High on List of Most Inspiring Companies


Building Some Fun and a Future


ome participants in Goodwill Career Solutions’ nationally certified construction training program recently wound up in the dog house ... and the play house.

About 13 students helped create the two small structures,

oodwill ranked No. 11 in an annual survey of America’s

picking up valuable residential building skills along the way,

most inspiring companies — surging past ubiquitous

such as framing, measuring and the use of circular saws, mitre

and revered brand names such as Disney, Apple and

saws and nail guns.

Starbucks, according to Forbes magazine. The play house, which weighs 2,000 pounds, has a laminate The survey was conducted by Atlanta consulting firm

floor, vinyl siding and a cathedral ceiling, took about 30 hours to

Performance Inspired using 3,300 online questionnaires


gathered from July to November. Goodwill was the only nonprofit to appear on a top 20 list of companies generated by the study, called America’s Most Inspiring Companies. Results were released in December.

“They had a blast doing it,” class instructor Tim Kahn said. The items were built especially to be sold at onlinegoodwill.com — a first for the program. Similar projects are under way. More

Goodwill ranked 19th on the survey the previous year. In 2014,

than 90 people completed the construction program last year,

Goodwill ranked behind only Tesla, Trader Joes, Target, Toms

and 85 percent were placed into jobs.

Shoes, Costco, Ford, Chik-Fil-A, Google, Microsoft and Amazon. Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc. is one of 165 independent community-based Goodwill organizations in the United States and Canada. Its President and CEO, Matthew Bourlakas, welcomed the Dec. 8 online announcement of the survey’s results by Forbes. “We have so much to be proud of, and this recognition honors the hard work and dedication of all of our employees and the support from the community,” he said.


Ambassador Spring 2015

About 13 students helped create the two small structures, picking up valuable residential building skills along the way, such as framing, measuring and the use of circular saws, mitre saws and nail guns. Our mission is changing lives.

hook a winner, change a life



ike Davis almost won the Goodwill Industries Bass Challenge without trying. Of course, he is a professional fishing guide and the founder of the three-year-old annual event. But the

first year, he got a late start and then took a while to shelter from a storm that blew through. He spent most of the rest of the day shooting the breeze with a Goodwill photographer. “I figured I might as well try to catch a few fish,” he recalled. “But by weigh-in, I was just .2 pounds from winning the whole thing. We had a good time.” Davis tells the story to illustrate how, with a little luck, anyone could win a top prize at the tournament. The entry fee is $100 per boat plus a donation for Goodwill of gently used clothing or household goods. Payment is due at registration, which will begin at 4:30 a.m. the day of the event at Flippers Bait & Tackle, 200 Odoms Bend Road, Gallatin. Cash prizes will be given at weigh-in for the top five angler's. Exact payouts will be adjusted based on attendance, but 100 boats participating would result in $1,000 for first place; $600 for second place; $300 for third place; $400 for biggest fish and $100 for second biggest fish. All other proceeds will benefit Goodwill Cares, Goodwill’s community assistance program. In 2014, Goodwill Cares provided families and individuals in need with 922 gift cards worth more than $20,000 in merchandise. Davis expects attendance to be strong, with May being a prime sportfishing month for largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky

“Old Hickory is a good location, with plenty of fish to be caught,” Davis said. “This is a great way to have some fun with family and friends, make some memories and help a great cause.”

(spotted) bass. “Old Hickory is a good location, with plenty of fish to be caught,” Davis said. “This is a great way to have some fun with family and friends, make some memories and help a great cause.”

This year’s event will be held from

saturday, may 9th • 6 a.m.-3 p.m. at Flippers Bait & Tackle, Old Hickory Lake Registration starts at 4:30 a.m . 200 Odoms Bend Road, Gallatin, Tennessee Anglers can pre-register and review tournament rules at:

www.giveit2goodwill.org/bigfish or call: 615.513.2667

Ambassador Spring 2015



LOG ON WITH A MISSION: Goodwill’s Social Media


shoppers. Since its launch in June, more than 460 people have

Online Media Manager

followed @giveit2goodwill on Instagram to like and comment on


photos and share their latest thrift finds, outfits-of-the-day and

oodwill’s social channels are a big part of how we connect with donors,

vintage fashions. Facebook is by far Goodwill’s most popular social channel. In

shoppers and job-seekers across

addition to weekly posts featuring the ever-changing stock in

middle and west Tennessee.

stores, our Facebook page is a community where more than 21,000 fans find detailed information on job fairs, donation drives,

In the past year, we have enjoyed

news and events. A big part of what we love about our Facebook

record levels of engagement from

fans is their willingness to share how Goodwill has helped change

the community, and our fan base

their lives for the better. Join the conversation at facebook.com/

has grown swiftly on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

giveit2goodwill. We would love to hear from you!

and LinkedIn. If you prefer quick snippets of information throughout the day, The Goodwill Instagram page is our newest channel. We use

follow @giveit2goodwill on Twitter. The brief updates provide

it primarily for sharing great retail items from our stores and

just enough information to apply for a position at a Goodwill

spotlighting the amazing #IgotitatGoodwill finds from loyal

Career Solutions job fair, shop for an outfit at your local Goodwill


Ambassador Spring 2015

Our mission is changing lives.

store or gather your gently-used items for a upcoming donation drive. If online shopping works best for you, be sure to follow the @onlinegoodwill Twitter page. You can bid on items and pay for


them online to be delivered to your home or pick them up at our downtown Nashville headquarters.


The low-cost items you find at Goodwill are perfect for do-ityourself projects. Learn how to repurpose a $3 T-shirt into a skirt, make a throw pillow out of recycled jeans or redecorate your home on a budget by following us on Pinterest (pinterest.com/ giveit2goodwill). Goodwill donors and shoppers fuel our mission of providing employment and training opportunities to people with disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs. Our LinkedIn page is dedicated solely to information on career advancement. Following Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee on LinkedIn gives jobs-seekers first notice regarding jobs at

Gearing Up for Goodwill Week May 4-8, 2015


ive days to change lives. One week to help thousands of people across Middle and West Tennessee find jobs. That’s the challenge Goodwill Industries of Middle

Tennessee has set for itself during Goodwill Industries Week, to be observed across the U.S. and Canada this year from May 4-8.

Goodwill and available opportunities with our 1,700 employer

Last year, nearly 1,900 people received assistance during


Goodwill Industries Week across middle and west Tennessee.

No matter which social channel you choose, every like, comment and share counts. When you become a Goodwill fan on social media, you help us change lives.

Goodwill Career Solutions Centers held 78 events, including job fairs, workshops and training classes. A typical month’s worth of job fairs was packed into that five-day span. Goodwill’s generous donors and shoppers make achievements

Following Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee on LinkedIn gives jobs-seekers first notice regarding jobs at Goodwill and available opportunities with our 1,700 employer partners.

like these possible. If you’re currently looking for work, call or stop by a Goodwill Career Solutions center. You can find one near you at goodwillcareersolutions.org.

Facebook is by far Goodwill’s most popular social channel. Get social with us and become a friend and fan of Goodwill on all our social networks:

Ambassador Spring 2015

Last year, nearly 1,900 people received assistance during Goodwill Industries Week across middle and west Tennessee. giveit2goodwill.org




Byron Sheffield Donation Express Centers Region 2 Supervisor

For the last nine years Byron Sheffield has been a supervisor for Goodwill’s Donations Express Centers in the greater Nashville area, rounding out 15 years employment with the not-for-profit. He oversees staffing, scheduling and training at three drive-through donations sites and five trailers. Byron has been featured in Goodwill’s employee calendar and in its advertising. The shotgun blast that tore off one of Byron’s legs and badly injured the other ultimately saved his life. “No doubt about it,” he says, “I know that was God intervening for me.” Byron grew up in Nashville. For decades he lived the life of the streets, running with gangs and addicted to drugs. One day in 1997, he stumbled into the wrong neighborhood and got shot. Three years later, after surviving a coma and surgeries and getting treatment for addiction, Byron was referred to Goodwill. There he met Karl Houston, who is now Goodwill’s Senior Director of Marketing. Houston took a chance on the desperate man. “He didn’t know I had something to prove to myself,” Byron recalls. He has been with Goodwill ever since. Today Byron is married with four children, nine grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren. He is a deacon of his church and for 12 years has ministered weekly to the homeless at Nashville’s Room at the Inn.


Ambassador Spring 2015

What brought you to Goodwill? After I got shot, I did 30 days in treatment for

Why is your job important to the Goodwill Mission?

drug addiction. It wasn’t enough. I thought I

Donations are the lifeblood of the company.

had the knowledge of how to go out and use

Without donations, Goodwill can’t exist.

drugs and drink successfully. It didn’t happen,

Today, how I look at it is, I don’t work for

and I ended up going to a halfway house. You

Goodwill, I work for God. That helps me

had to have a job, and they told me to come

accept whatever challenges Goodwill

down to Goodwill.

throws at me. Goodwill is helping people, no doubt about it. I’m a prime example of what

What turned your life around?

Goodwill does.

not right off, it took me a couple more years

What do you enjoy most about your job?

of misery before I decided. Actually, I just

Helping people. That’s my ministry. I do it at

wanted to die. If it wasn’t for Karl Houston

work, I do it at home, I do it at church. It’s my

giving me a chance, I don’t know where I’d

calling, and I know that. Because everything

be. He’s always inspired me to elevate and

I’m involved with is about helping folks.

increase. I really do look up to him.

Because somebody helped me.

The shooting changed everything for me —

What are some of the challenges you face?

How do you change lives? By example. People don’t want to hear how much you care, they want to see it. I’m an

Keeping up with the demands and changes.

inspiration to a whole bunch of people,

But I like challenges; they are opportunities

because they’ve seen me down in the gutter

for me to come up with ideas. I’ve got to be

and on drugs. I’ve done some of the worst

ready to solve problems on the spur of the

things. I’m what lets them know that people

moment. When stuff happens, like someone

can change. They just need a little help —

calls out sick at the last minute or a water pipe

somebody to put some trust in them and

bursts, you’ve got to make arrangements to

instill in them that they don’t have to be who

continue getting donations.

people say they are.

Our mission is changing lives.

Board of Directors OFFICERS Chairperson: Fred McLaughlin

Secretary: Chad M. Grout

Vice Chairperson: Julie F. Wilson

Treasurer: Dave M. Fentress

Goodwill President and CEO: Matthew S. Bourlakas

Legal Counsel: Christopher S. Dunn & Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP

Goodwill VP & Chief People Officer: Betty J. Johnson

DIRECTORS Woodretta Allen

Ryan R. Loyd

J. B. Baker

Ty H. Osman

Bryan L. Bean

Christine E. Skold

Steele Clayton

Todd A. Spaanstra

Andrew Davidson

Grant Starrett**

Chris Dunn

John W. Stone, III*

Robert W. Duthie

Kathryn I. Thompson

Dave M. Fentress

John C. Tishler*

James B. Foley

John Van Mol

Kathryn S. Gibson

Jeff Young

Chad M. Grout

Donna Yurdin

Philip G. Hull

*Ex Officio ** Intern

Robert B. Kennedy R. Craig Laine

TRUSTEES Chairperson: Robert W. Duthie Robert McNeilly, III Robert B. Kennedy

Ambassador Spring 2015



Our mission is changing lives.

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc. 1015 Herman Street, Nashville, TN 37208 NASHVILLE, TN PERMIT NO. 2009



Profile for Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee

Ambassador Spring 2015  

Ambassador Spring 2015