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Ambassador SUMMER 2014


A FAMILY TRADITION Gift Ideas for Dad Goodwill Week Partnering with the Red Cross

Kim and Kaylee Davidson Shopping for Bargains

Ambassador SUMMER 2014

President and CEO Matthew Bourlakas


Karl Houston

Senior Director of Marketing & Community Relations

Editor and Writer Jamie Berry

PR & Communications Manager

Art Director EJ Kerr

Manager of Creative Services 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.

contents 2 3 4 5 7 9 11 13 13 14

Did You Know? 2013 By The Numbers I Got it at Goodwill Last Minute Ideas for Dad on Father’s Day Goodwill Success Stories Goodwill Week Mt. Juliet Grand Opening Goodwill’s 5th Annual Wedding Gala Teaming Up To Help In Times of Disaster College Students in the Giving Spirit I Change Lives

Board of Directors OFFICERS

Chairperson: Donna B. Yurdin

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

Vice Chairman: Fred McLaughlin

Goodwill President and CEO: Matthew S. Bourlakas

Secretary: Julie F. Wilson

Goodwill VP and Chief Operating Officer: Tammy B. Glass

Treasurer: Dave M. Fentress

Goodwill VP and Chief People Officer: Betty J. Johnson


Kathryn S. Gibson

Todd A. Spaanstra

Chad M. Grout

John W. Stone, III*

J. B. Baker

Jeffrey A. Hoffman*

Kathryn I. Thompson

Philip G. Hull

John C. Tishler*

Decosta E. Jenkins

John Van Mol

Robert B. Kennedy

Jeff Young

R. Craig Laine

*Ex Officio

Ryan R. Loyd


Woodretta Allen Bryan L. Bean

The Goodwill Mission

Steele Clayton

provide employment and training

Gary W. Cordell

We sell donated goods to

opportunities for people who have disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs.


Ambassador Summer 2014

David L. Condra Andrew Davidson Robert W. Duthie Dave M. Fentress James B. Foley

Robert McNeilly Ty H. Osman Christine E. Skold

Fred T. McLaughlin Robert B. Kennedy Robert W. Duthie

Our business is changing lives.

Ambassador Summer 2014




Thrifting Nashville wrote: I found this at the Brentwood store for $1.99. It still has the $42 Nordstrom tag on it!

got it at Goodwill Do you have some fabulous finds in your home or closet that you purchased at Goodwill? Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter, and we might feature them in our next edition! Austin wrote: $115 for everything! I’m still in shock! #deals #bargainhunters

Amanda wrote: Forget #MeltingPot. I just scored this amazing fondue set at Goodwill for $9.99! Now where is the gruyere?


Dana wrote: I got all of this from Goodwill for $10. The bug zapper alone retailed for $14.99.

Felicia wrote: Goodwill find! Brand new Coldwater Creek tweed blazer with the $99.95 tag still attached. I paid only $4.

Bethany wrote: Today we knocked out some summer reading purchases for Miss Lauren at Goodwill. We got all five for $5.

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Ambassador Summer 2014

Our business is changing lives.



Father’s Day is just days away. If you’re still searching for the perfect gift, here are some ideas that won’t break the bank.

• • • Are you looking for a cute and creative idea for dad? How about a custom Father’s Day photo print! How great would it be to recreate this idea each year to show how much the kids have grown and changed. Frames at Goodwill start at 99¢.

• • • Why pay department store prices when you can purchase Dad a designer tie at Goodwill for $1.99. You can find a wide variety of ties at the Goodwill store nearest you.

• • • Does Dad like to tee it up? You can score some great clubs at Goodwill. You can get a great driver, putter or sand wedge for as little as .99¢. A whole set of clubs at Goodwill starts at $12.99.

• Not sure what to get? You can always purchase a Goodwill gift card and let your dad pick out his own gift.

Ambassador Summer 2014




Joel spent 52 years in the household moving and storage business,

Give purpose

relocating people worldwide. He was in his seventies when he finally retired, but he soon realized retirement life wasn’t for him. “It lasted about two years, and then I just decided I wanted to go back to

work,” he said. “I kind of had a plan on what I wanted to do, and I thought Goodwill would just be perfect.”

So Joel’s job search started with a visit to Goodwill Career Solutions in Franklin. “I had written out my resumé, and the administrative assistant at Career Solutions graciously typed it up for me.”


Success Stories Kenneth

After serving three years in prison, Kenneth went to work for a local

Give potential

company. Thirteen months later, his past came back to haunt him. “The company knew I had a felony, but when new management came in, they ran a background check and let me go,” he said.

“Actually, I got promoted to a dispatcher on Thursday, and they dismissed me on Saturday.”

For the next two years Kenneth applied for dozens of jobs, but he

couldn’t find work. That’s when Kenneth turned to Career Solutions for help. Three months later, Goodwill offered him a job.

Kenneth worked as a material handler in one of Goodwill’s

Cindy In 2007, Cindy lost her husband. A year later, she lost her job. “It was

Give confidence

a very difficult time,” she said.

Cindy had been out of work for a year and a half when she stopped by the Goodwill Career Solutions center in Jackson for help. Just a

few months after enrolling in the program, Goodwill offered Cindy a

job as a donation attendant at the Goodwill store in Humboldt where she worked for about a year until the store closed.

Before the store closed, Cindy’s district manager lined up an

interview for her with Goodwill’s donations supervisor in West


Ambassador Summer 2014

Our business is changing lives.

During his visit, Joel expressed his interest in

working for Goodwill. “They called a manager over from the store, and the manager

interviewed me that day. I was really thrilled to get the job.”

That was three years ago. Today, Joel is still working as a sales associate at the Franklin

store on Murfreesboro Road. He spends his days running a register and interacting with

others. “Goodwill has given me a purpose for

getting up every morning,” he said. “I love my co-workers and my customers.”

Joel celebrated his 83rd birthday on April 4,

and he says he will continue to work as long

as he is able. “Goodwill has changed my life considerably, and I think working here has

actually extended my life,” he said. “I now feel

like I have a few good years left in me, and I’m happy that someone can utilize them.”

“I don’t have to depend on others to take care of me,” she said. “I can actually make a living for myself, which I couldn’t do before.” downtown Nashville warehouses. After

Kenneth says it’s nice to be able to help

supervisor. “Someone saw my potential,” he

“When I lost that job five years ago, it

two years, he was promoted to assistant said with a grin.

Kenneth’s supervisor, Dollie Lillard, said she saw his potential right away. “He is honest and dependable, and he goes above and

others the way Goodwill has helped him. dampened my spirits, but Goodwill has

uplifted me and given me another chance at life,” he said. “I can now provide for my family.”

beyond to get the job done,” she said. “One

Five years ago, Kenneth was unsure of his

difficulty getting to work because of bus

ahead. “Because of Goodwill, I have a

Saturday, several co-workers were having

issues. He piled as many people as he could in his car and drove them to work.”

future. Today, he is excited about what lies better life.”

Tennessee. At the time, Brian Martin

Cindy said having a steady job at Goodwill

in Jackson.

become independent. “I don’t have to

needed to fill a donation attendant position On the day of the interview, Cindy’s car

broke down, but she was determined to

get there on time. “When the Medina police

for the last five years has allowed her to depend on others to take care of me,”

she said. “I can actually make a living for myself, which I couldn’t do before.”

chief stopped to help Cindy, she talked him

The job has provided Cindy with more than

Jackson,” said Martin. “This is what sold

raised my self-esteem,” she said. “I am

into driving her 15 miles to her interview in me on her ability to get things done and overcome obstacles.”

Ambassador Summer 2014

a paycheck. “Working for Goodwill has

now a confident person. I can walk around with my head held high.”

Our business is changing lives.


MAY 5th-9th

78 1,860 EVENTS IN 5 DAYS


“It’s been hard. I have a lot of physical limitations due to my size and lack of transportation. I’ve been out of work for over two years, and I was even homeless for a while.” - MARQUISI WESTON

Hired by Greyhound


ow can you assist nearly 1,900 people in their search

Goodwill Career Solutions kicked off the week by hosting 12

hosting job fairs, workshops and classes all geared

downtown Nashville Career Solutions center on Herman Street.

for work in one week? Celebrate Goodwill Week by

toward helping people find work.

Every year during the first full week of May, Goodwill agencies

events on Monday, May 5. Two of those events were held at the The first was a job fair success workshop followed by a job fair featuring more than 20 employers.

across the United States and Canada celebrate the power of

Marquisi Weston attended both of the events in hopes of finding

year in a row, Governor Bill Haslam supported that endeavor by

have a lot of physical limitations due to my size and lack of

work through local events and promotions. For the second

issuing a state proclamation declaring the first full week of May as Goodwill Week in Tennessee.

a job, but that has been a struggle for him. “It’s been hard. I

transportation,” said Weston. “I’ve been out of work for over two years, and I was even homeless for a while.”

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee participated by hosting

West is currently staying at the Nashville Rescue Mission. On

Career Solutions centers across Middle and West Tennessee.

After graduating from program, he decided it was time to take

78 events, including more than 50 job fairs, at the 26 Goodwill “Goodwill Week is an intensified opportunity to connect job

seekers with employers,” said Matt Gloster, senior director of

Career Solutions. “The number of job fairs we would typically

April 25, he graduated from the Mission’s life-recovery program. that next step. Weston said, “I needed a job, and I figured that job fair success workshop would be a great place to start.”

host in a month, we do in one week.”


Ambassador Summer 2014

Our business is changing lives.



For the second year in a row, Governor Bill Haslam issued a state proclamation declaring the first full week of May as Goodwill Week in Tennessee.

The purpose of the workshop is to teach job seekers how to

Weston wasn’t the only one who found fast success. Fifty-nine

enlightening,” said Weston. “I learned how to sell myself in an

200 employers who participated in Goodwill Week. Many more

stand out at a job fair. For Weston, it was that and more. “It was interview, and it made me more confident.”

Weston put those new skills to the test just 30 minutes later at the job fair, and it paid off. Greyhound offered him a position

later that week. “My first day was May 16,” said Weston. “It feels

job seekers were hired on the spot by one of the more than

received a job offer later that month. “This is how we define

success,” said Gloster. “When someone gets a job, they are not only changing their life but the lives of their family members and all those around them.”

good to work again. It’s a blessing.”

Weston put those new skills to the test just 30 minutes later at the job fair, and it paid off. Greyhound offered him a position later that week. “My first day was May 16,” he said. “It feels good to work again. It’s a blessing.”

Ambassador Summer 2014







t was a grand opening that drew quite

Kaylee Davidson was showing off her Levi’s

arriving at the brand new Goodwill store

shopping trip to Goodwill. “I love finding

a crowd. Bargain shoppers started

in Mt. Juliet an hour before the celebration got underway on May 22. While shoppers

waited outside, Goodwill employees were inside making sure everything was ready for the grand opening.

sandals she purchased during a previous

cute stuff, especially shoes. I love shoes,”

said Kaylee Davidson. “You can find some

great clothes too. My sister and I both have found Miss Me jeans for $7.99 at Goodwill. They retail for as much as $100.”

The new facility is one of only a handful of

Shelby Davidson’s reason for shopping at

up. With more than 28,000 square feet, the

“I’m a unique person, and Goodwill is full of

stores Goodwill has built from the ground

new store is twice the size of the previous Mt. Juliet store. It also features a covered drive-thru for donations and Wilson

County’s first Career Solutions center. At 8:45 a.m., the Mt. Juliet / West Wilson

County Chamber of Commerce, Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty, approximately 80

Goodwill employees and more than 200 shoppers gathered outside for the grand opening.

Goodwill is a bit different than her sister’s.

unique items,” said Shelby Davidson. “You also save a lot of money when you shop at Goodwill.”

Once inside, the Davidson’s were

impressed with the new store and the

selection. “We really love this store. It’s

big, well organized and very clean,” said Kim Davidson. “We’ve been to several

Goodwills in many states, and the Middle Tennessee stores are some of the best.”

The grand opening celebration continued

By 9:30 a.m., the Davidson’s had already

500 shoppers receiving a Goodwill tote

clothes in here, and a few other items,” said

when doors opened at 9 a.m. with the first bag. Those bags were gone by 10:15 a.m.

Guests could also register for a chance to win several Goodwill gift cards and an iPad mini.

Kim Davidson and her two daughters,

19-year-old Shelby and 16-year-old Kaylee, came all the way from Jamestown to shop at the new store. After a two-hour drive, they arrived minutes before the grand

opening celebration got underway. “I’ve

always loved Goodwill,” said Kim Davidson.

filled two shopping carts. “We have a lot of Kim Davidson. “Most of our clothes are from Goodwill.”

The Davidson’s finally made their way to the register around 10:30 a.m. “We got

everything for $97,” said Kim Davidson. “It was well worth the trip.”

Kim Davidson was one of 1,120 people who made a purchase on grand opening day. What a great day for Goodwill and for all those bargain shoppers.

“I grew up going to Goodwill with my

momma, and I’ve continued that tradition with my daughters.”


Ambassador Summer 2014

Our business is changing lives.


Kim, Shelby and Kaylee Davidson

“I’ve always loved Goodwill,” said Kim Davidson. “I grew up going to Goodwill with my momma, and I’ve continued that tradition with my daughters.”

Goodwill Career Solutions celebrated grand opening day by hosting a job fair for several employers looking to fill more than 1,000 positions. Eleven employers were present including Staff Management | SMX, Holiday Inn and Goodwill. Openings ranged from management positions to general warehouse and clerical positions. Nearly 50 job seekers attended the fourhour event. Goodwill Career Solutions provides free one-on-one job training and placement services to people who need help looking for, finding and keeping a job. Each of the 27 Career Solutions centers is staffed with a career counselor who provides assistance with job searches, job applications, resumés and interviewing skills. There are also six computer programs, plus several certification and training courses including Call Center Training, Document Imaging Training, Custodial Certification and Forklift Certification. In addition, Goodwill Career Solutions centers regularly host job fairs for its 1,300 employer partners. These job fairs connect job seekers with employers looking to hire.

Ambassador Summer 2014






hey came from Florida,

year. This included the delivery

When Waters finally made her

Kentucky and all across

designer dresses donated by area

wedding gown, her bridal slip,

Illinois, Alabama, Georgia,

Tennessee, and they came

early. The first bride arrived at

Goodwill’s Rivergate store nearly

13 hours before the doors opened on March 15, for the fifth annual Wedding Gala. By 10 p.m. the

night before, there were more than 40 people in line.

Trinity Waters was one of them. She, her mother and her two

sisters arrived around 9:30 p.m., after a three-hour drive from

Stantonville, Tennessee. “Our plan was to get a hotel room and arrive the next morning,” she said. “But when we saw people lined up

outside the store, we decided to skip the hotel room.”

While Waters and other anxious brides-to-be waited outside,

employees and event sponsors


worked inside to prepare for

Goodwill’s largest event of the

and set up of 1,500 brand new

bridal boutiques. More than 700 of those were wedding gowns worth as much as $6,000, all priced

under $400. All other dresses including prom, bridesmaid,

flower girl and mother’s dresses were priced under $30.

When the doors finally opened at

way to the register, she had her her rehearsal dinner dress, four

dresses for her bridesmaids and her mother’s dress. The price for everything came to $490. “The prices were just great,”

said Waters. “It was an amazing experience and well worth the drive and wait.”

6 a.m. on March 15, more than

Waters wasn’t the only bride-to-

the store. For Waters and the

two days, 699 dresses were sold.

500 people were lined up outside others who camped out overnight, the wait definitely paid off. “Being in the front of the line gave us an

advantage because we were able to grab as many dresses as we

be to find her dream dress. In just That’s a record number. A large

assortment of jewelry, veils, belts,

shoes and other accessories were also purchased.

could hold.”

The Wedding Gala items

Waters tried on more than a

brought in enough revenue to help

60 wedding gowns, and she

narrowed it down to three. Her

family helped her pick the one. “It’s just beautiful,” she said. “I feel like a princess.”

purchased during those two days nearly 90 people in their search for work. What a great event

for Goodwill and for all of those brides on a budget.

Waters purchased her wedding gown, bridal slip, rehearsal dinner dress, four dresses for her bridesmaids and her mother’s dress for $490.


Ambassador Summer 2014

Our business is changing lives.

The Wedding Gala items purchased during those two days brought in enough revenue to help nearly 90 people in their search for work.


Erica Meredith arrived at

Gala in 2013 when she was

before the doors opened.

to the Goodwill Wedding

looking for a prom dress.

She found the perfect one

for under $30. She said her grandmother told her the dress was made for her.

When it was time to shop

for a prom dress this year.

McKinnon knew she would once again find something unique and special at the

Gala. And that she did. The high school senior found

this pink princess dress for under $30.

Ambassador Summer 2014

the Goodwill store 11 hours Unlike most of the women who had arrived before

her, Meredith would not

be walking down the aisle in her big purchase, but

across a stage. The pageant beauty said competing is

expensive, and one dress can cost thousands of

dollars. Meredith purchased three dresses at the sale for under $450 dollars, including the two pictured here.




COLLEGE STUDENTS IN THE GIVING SPIRIT College students didn’t even have to leave their dorm to

make a donation to Goodwill. During the final two weeks of the spring semester, Goodwill placed donation containers in the lobbies of residence halls at 10 Middle and West

Tennessee colleges and universities. This gave students a convenient place to drop off the items they no longer needed before they headed home for the summer.

In just two weeks, students donated enough items to fill 89 On May 1, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee’s

Goodwill Cares program once again activated its disaster

partnership with the Nashville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. A tornado swept through the area on April 28, destroying dozens of homes in Lincoln County.

large bins. We’re talking thousands of donations including clothing, linens, shoes, books and accessories. Goodwill

also received two futons, two televisions, nine refrigerators, five large rugs, two bookcases, 10 plastic storage units and two ironing boards.

Goodwill set up a donation trailer in the parking lot of the


Piggly Wiggly on Huntsville Highway in Fayetteville, and the community responded. In just four days, more than 260

people dropped off donations at the site. In exchange for

the donations, Goodwill provided the Red Cross with more

than 80 Goodwill Cares gift cards which were given to their clients. “So many Lincoln County families lost everything









that day,” said Natisha Moultry, community relations

manager for Goodwill. “These Goodwill Cares gift cards will

allow them to purchase the items they really need right now.” Disasters create a wide range of emergency needs, more

than any one organization can meet. The partnership, which

was formed in April 2013, allows both organizations to better serve the community during a crisis. Moultry said, “When we work together, we can truly make a difference in the communities we serve.”


Ambassador Summer 2014



Our business is changing lives.



Ramona Johnson Front Desk Receptionist

As a front desk receptionist on Goodwill’s corporate campus, Ramona Johnson is often a guest’s first impression of Goodwill. Johnson politely greets each and every person as they walk through the door. She also answers approximately 60 calls a day. Johnson’s position also involves security, which is something she had done previously for many years. Ramona Johnson spent 14 years in security and more than 25

years in the nursing field. During her time in health care, Johnson dealt with a series of health

problems. In a ten-year span,

she was diagnosed with breast cancer, tore her meniscus and

suffered a vertebral compression fracture that left her paralyzed from the waist down for three

months. But it was a shoulder

injury that changed everything.

Johnson lost her job, her home

and her hope. For two years, she would remain unemployed.

What brought you to Goodwill? After working most of my life, a series of

What do you enjoy most about your job?

work for two years. I contacted Goodwill

interacting with the public. I love that I get

health problems prevented me from finding

This job is perfect for me because I enjoy

after seeing one of the commercials. That

to see some of the same faces every day,

was in 2012, and I’ve been working here ever since.

Did you go through Career Solutions?

when Johnson found Goodwill in 2012. She was offered a parttime position that same year. Then in 2013, Johnson was

promoted to full-time, and she

became a recipient of Goodwill’s Wheels-to-Work program.

Johnson will celebrate her two

year anniversary with Goodwill later this year.

I get to use some of my previous security experience in this position.

I did. I was enrolled in Goodwill’s transitional

Why is your job important to Goodwill’s mission?

Goodwill offered me a job as a part-time

calls or visits our corporate office receives

program in 2012. Just two months later,

My job is to make sure every person who

receptionist. After a few months on the job, I

the best customer service. I help provide that

was promoted to full-time receptionist. Things started to turn around

as well as new faces. I’m also grateful that

What does your current job consist of?

The majority of my job is interacting with

the public, whether that’s on the phone or in

person. My job also requires a bit of security. I make the employee name badges, and I

have to make sure that every person entering the employees only area is an employee,

and I do that by looking for their name badge before I buzz them back.

great experience by making sure they are

greeted with a friendly voice over the phone and a smile when they walk in the door.

How do you change lives? I give my very best every single to day to make sure every person that walks

through our doors feel welcome. When I’m on the phone with someone, I want

to make sure they feel like they have my undivided attention. Being friendly can

make someone’s day, and to me that’s how I change lives.

Ambassador Summer 2014



Our business is changing lives.




Profile for Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee

Ambassador Summer 2014  

Ambassador Summer 2014