Ambassador Summer 2016

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Ambassador SUMMER 2016

President and CEO Matthew S. Bourlakas








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Writer & Editor



Art Director



Karl Houston Senior Director of Marketing & Community Relations Chris Fletcher PR & Communications Manager










Ambassador SUMMER 2016

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 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.

THE GOODWILL MISSION: Changing lives through education, training and employment.



gotit at

From Shop Murfreesboro:

Goodwill 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!

From Payton: "CMA Fest Wednesday outfit of the day! Skirt from Goodwill."

"My last trip included the blue and white teapot, the $3 yellow & white striped vase (it's from an edible arrangement­â€” so cute for summer!), a $3 blue & white plant holder and a $3 white milk glass look-a-like that makes the best vase!"

Post your great finds:


From Natalie: "Latest Goodwill Nashville haul! Leather bag! Three flips (2 of which are leather). New slip-on's. Wide-mouth mason jars (always) and that giant tray who's getting a coat of white spray paint! $28."

Kika styled four different outfits with one shirt from Goodwill.

Ambassador SUMMER 2016







ancy Zion knows the environmental and economic cost of what Tennesseans throw away.

Zion, who is Williamson County’s solid waste director, oversees an aggressive recycling program for tin, aluminum, cardboard and other discarded materials. Nonetheless, her department carries about 30,000 tons of garbage per year — at a cost of $30 per ton — to the West Camden Sanitary Landfill in Benton County. Fortunately, Williamson County has another landfill­and money­ saving tool in its toolkit: Goodwill. At six of the county’s solid waste convenience centers, Goodwill Donations Express Centers collect gently used clothing, household goods, furniture and more. These donations amount to about 4.1 million pounds per year. “It’s astounding,” Zion said. “Most of that would be going to a landfill if not for organizations like Goodwill."


Ambassador SUMMER 2016

Similar results are achieved at more than 70 other Donation Express Centers across the 48 counties served by the local Goodwill. A thriving home pickup program and donation drives helped raise total donations to Goodwill in 2015 to more than 75 million pounds — enough to fill the Tennessee Titans’ stadium. “It (partnership with Goodwill) benefits citizens greatly,” said Cindy Lynch, director of solid waste in Wilson County, where Goodwill has four donation sites at convenience centers. “It keeps things out of the landfill, and it saves the taxpayers money.” Most donated items are sold in Goodwill’s 36 stores, allowing them to find new life with new owners, rather than being discarded. But Goodwill works hard to squeeze the maximum value out of all donated items — even those that can’t be sold in stores. Salvage materials are sold or recycled so they, too, can contribute to Goodwill’s mission of providing job training and employment

opportunities for people struggling to find work. These efforts raise millions of dollars annually. “Our most important take­away is that we’ve been good stewards of the environment and created jobs,” said Mary Stockett, Goodwill’s director of continuous improvement and post market development. Goodwill’s impact on the environment stretches far beyond its territory in Tennessee. Each day, thousands of partnerless shoes are given to Goodwill. These shoes are sold to Makku Ilyas, president of Duluth, Ga.­based Infinite Rags. His company buys partnerless shoes from Goodwill in shipments weighing 20,000 to 25,000 pounds every month. Infinite Rags sorts the shoes and works to match them closely with other shoes. Those that can’t be paired are recycled. Ilyas then sells paired shoes in bulk to buyers in third world countries — generally Pakistan and occasionally the United Arab Emirates. Ultimately, vendors sell them from carts and shops to villagers who might otherwise go without. “The need is great,” Ilyas said. “There is a humongous market for second­hand clothing and shoes in third­world countries, because a lot of people can’t afford to buy new stuff.” Last year Goodwill sold 14.5 million pounds of salvage clothing that was shipped to developing nations, mostly in tropical areas. The biggest market is East Africa — nations such as Burundi, Kenya and Uganda. Low­cost, salvage products from the U.S. help people who might otherwise go without or have to buy inferior quality items, said Skip Wilson, co­owner of Atlanta, Ga.­-based Wilson Marketing Group, which represents Goodwill and other nonprofits in salvage sales. The clothing also provides jobs for people in many countries, allowing them to support their families.


of recyclable material diverted from landfills in 2015.


trees saved from Goodwill recycling millions of pounds of cardboard and paper pulp every year.

“The landfill would be the last stop, but instead, we are able to send it on ... to Africa where somebody has a store or a business selling this clothing at prices folks can handle,” he said. Goodwill also recycles millions of pounds of cardboard and paper pulp every year — enough to save about 44,000 trees. And it employs sustainable practices at its many operating locations, such as solar and geothermal power, recycling light bulbs, recovering air conditioning refrigerants and using donated tools, plumbing and electrical supplies. Where Goodwill’s environmental footprint cannot be found is also important. China, for instance, is known as a dumping ground for e­waste, where primitive recycling contaminates the countryside and threatens residents’ health. But unsold home and office appliances and electronics from Goodwill do not end up in such places, said Jeremy Olson, director of business development for Dynamic Recycling in Nashville. The La Crosse, Wis.­-based firm annually recycles plastics, metals and leaded glass from more than 1.2 million pounds worth of non­functioning Goodwill items, such as laptops, microwaves, handheld drill batteries and Christmas lights, returning revenue for Goodwill’s mission. Dynamic Recycling has a “no­electronic material landfill policy” and ensures that its recycling is conducted only in the U.S. or countries with similar environmental regulations. “Goodwill is making a significant impact on our environment by diverting those electronics from landfills and supporting environmental sustainability,” Olson said.

Watch a video on our environmental Impact at:

“The need is great. There is a humongous market for second­hand clothing and shoes in third­world countries, because a lot of people can’t afford to buy new stuff.”

­– Makku Ilyas, president of Infinite Rags

Ambassador SUMMER 2016






Very reliable.” “Picks up new skills easily.” “Likely to go far.”

Those are among the phrases Goodwill Production Supervisor Dollie Lillard uses to describe Joshua, a 31-yearold employee at one of the not-for-profit’s downtown processing facilities. Just a few years ago, Joshua wouldn’t have recognized himself in that description. In the decade after he graduated from high school in 2002, Joshua applied for jobs with dozens of companies and held several short-lived positions. But he grew used to rejection because of his learning disability. Not being able to provide for his wife and three children took a heavy toll on him. “I felt bad because all the pressure was on her,” he said. In 2008, Joshua participated in Good Life, a program in which Goodwill clients receive guidance in skills such as budgeting, meal planning and job readiness. Five years later, while he was struggling to find a stable job, his mother reminded him of that experience and suggested he visit Goodwill Career Solutions for help. Joshua did, and he was accepted into Goodwill’s Transitional Program. He trained with a job coach to be a grading production associate, got plenty of feedback and thrived. He proved himself quickly and has since mastered other skills involving salvage equipment and garment hanging. Now he trains new employees in those areas. “Goodwill helped me learn to do stuff I thought I wasn’t able to do. I proved myself wrong with a lot of things I can do. Goodwill basically saved my life,” he said.


Ambassador SUMMER 2016

When Theresa got sober in January of 2013, she set an initial goal of staying that way for at least 90 days.

Her success emboldened her to take another step — trying to find a job. She went to the Goodwill Career Solutions in downtown Nashville. She was determined to make a change. “This was my opportunity to come off the streets, have my own income and not to have to ask anybody for anything,” Theresa explained. “I’ve never been a responsible type person. That’s basically what I wanted.” After working with a job coach, Theresa was offered a position in Goodwill’s garment grading department. She was living with a relative where there were temptations to return to her old ways, so Theresa gave herself 90 days to survive the job. Theresa slowly started to become the responsible person she hoped to be, always giving herself another 90-day deadline. She paid off her debts, got her own place to live and began helping her grown children. In January, Theresa was promoted to assistant production supervisor over grading. Three months later, she was confronted with perhaps the greatest test of her character: a diagnosis of cancer. But Theresa knows how to beat the odds. She set 90-day goals for herself of missing as little work as possible during chemotherapy, then of working throughout her radiation treatments. “I have so much support here at work; that has helped me a lot. Being at Goodwill gives me strength,” she said.



There are two seasons in my life, football season and wedding season. Engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners and weddings fill my spring and summer weekends!

Though I enjoy reuniting with old friends, sharing memories and celebrating the unity of marriage, my bank account takes a hit from my wedding season wardrobe. This inspired me to create looks for popular wedding dress codes, with the help of Goodwill of course. The “Black Tie” invite arrives at your door and thoughts flood your mind, “What does that even mean, anymore?” If you’re like me, I turn to my trust friend, Google. Wedding etiquette has changed significantly over the last 25 years, and people throw around dress code terms like confetti. So, what exactly does “Black Tie” mean?

For ladies, you can’t go wrong with a long evening gown in a dark color with funky accessories. “Great,” you ask, “where do I get one of those?” Unless you’re a gala regular, you probably don’t have evening gowns hanging in your closet. No, this is not the time to revive your prom dress from 10 years ago. During the Spring, Goodwill has a large selection of formal gowns. This black vintage AJ Bari was only $10 at Goodwill! Yep, ten bucks! Though this dress is over 20 years old, the look is still modern because the shape and cut are timeless. Adding funky, metallic accessories updates the dress while still making the look “Black Tie” appropriate. Feel free to invite me to your “Black Tie” wedding. I have the perfect dress!

Betsy Appleton started her blog, Goldwill Digger, to show others all of the treasures that can be found at your local Goodwill and how to incorporate these pieces into your everyday wardrobe. She is an attorney by day and blogger by night. Ambassador SUMMER 2016



eita has a secret. It’s not the fact that the cashier at the Berry Hill Goodwill store in Nashville has had to overcome both joblessness and homelessness in recent years. She is comfortable talking about those experiences.

But at a Middle Tennessee Reconnect event held at Goodwill’s downtown Career Solutions center on April 14, the 60-year-old talked about something else from her past that she’s always wanted to change: she never finished her bachelor’s degree in Professional Counseling.

“I have kept that hidden in my heart for me to still feel hopeful and still empower myself,” Veita said. “I wanted to finish what I started, but being a single mother over the years, I had to put my children first.” She is in good company. Research by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission shows that about 94,000 Tennessee adults enrolled in a post-secondary institution in the state and achieved some credit but left before obtaining a degree or credential. Tennessee Reconnect is a state initiative focused on encouraging adults with some college credit to complete their degree or

"I wanted to finish what I started, but being a single mother over the years, I had to put my children first.” – Veita, Berry Hill Cashier 8

Ambassador SUMMER 2016

credential, gain new skills, advance in the workplace and fulfill lifelong dreams. Part of Goodwill’s mission is to change the lives of its employees, such as Veita, and its Career Solutions clients through education. At Goodwill’s April event, Veita and dozens of other participants had the opportunity to meet with representatives from nine area higher education institutions, including Martin Methodist University, Belmont University and Nashville State Community College. Experts such as Jocelyn McCoy, a recruiter for Trevecca Nazarene University’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies and vice president of membership for the Middle Tennessee Higher Education Alliance, were on hand to talk to participants about paths that make returning to college or vocational school possible at any age. McCoy knows how daunting the idea of returning to college can be. She attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville right out of high school, but dropped out after two and a half years. “I just didn’t want to do it anymore,” McCoy recalled. “Then life happened.” Three decades later, McCoy was tired of her career and economic goals being stymied by a lack of a degree. Despite reservations, she enrolled at Trevecca and, thanks to her UT credits and testing out of some classes, she completed her degree in Human Relations in 13 months. She went on to obtain a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership in another 18 months. “It’s not as hard as you think,” she said. “One of my testimonials was the fact that even if all of your credits don’t transfer, there’s a way

for it to happen. If you are willing to do the work, you can realize that dream. And the feeling of walking across the stage with that degree is totally awesome.” Veita said she was encouraged by what she learned at the Tennessee Reconnect event and was determined to “get my butt back in school.” “This is just part of my rebirth,” she added. “My ultimate goal is to encourage some single mother, like I was, that she can do whatever she is determined to do.”

Goodwill is committed to partnering with Tennessee Reconnect and other initiatives and institutions that provide education leading to employment opportunities. Goodwill Career Solutions provides free job readiness and digital literacy training as well as job placement assistance and case management assistance for enrolled students. Goodwill also provides space for college and career fairs, informational sessions and other educational events at its 28 Goodwill Career Solutions centers. More information on Career Solutions services can be found at

“It’s not as hard as you think,” she said. “One of my testimonials was the fact that even if all of your credits don’t transfer, there’s a way for it to happen. If you are willing to do the work, you can realize that dream. And the feeling of walking across the stage with that degree is totally awesome.” – Jocelyn McCoy, Trevecca Nazarene University

More information on Tennessee Reconnect can be found online at

Ambassador SUMMER 2016




he father of the bride, at least according to Hollywood movies, can sometimes be reluctant to reach for his wallet. Joe Snider of Mt. Juliet, however, was positively chipper about paying for his wife’s latest purchase in preparation for their daughter’s wedding.

Snider was standing in the merchandise pick-up area of, the e-commerce division of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee. An employee, emerging from the warehouse in downtown Nashville, handed Snider a cardboard box full of vintage, flower-print china — plates and saucers — that Snider’s wife, Jodi, bought in an online auction. Snider explained that his wife and daughter had initially planned to use plastic tableware for the wedding, but then


Ambassador SUMMER 2016

a family member talked them into using mismatched china from yard sales — a trendy and inexpensive way to create an impressive table setting. "Then Jodi got an idea from a friend who said, ‘You ought to try Goodwill online.’ Jodi got on there, signed up for an account, and she’s been on there every night since looking at stuff. We get some good deals,” Snider explained. The plastic plates the Sniders had originally planned to buy were 60-70 cents apiece. But the china plates from they chose instead were only 30 cents each. Joe Snider said that after the wedding, instead of throwing plastic in the trash, they would give the china to a niece who is getting married or just donate it back to Goodwill.




$4.94 winning bid, pink high-heels, Vanessa Smith, Nashville $6 winning bid, Raggedy Ann &


Andy dolls, Teresa Woodall, Pegram

The Sniders are among many people who only recently discovered that Goodwill sells merchandise online, even though the local Goodwill’s online store has been in operation more than a decade. The e-commerce platform, shared by other Goodwill affiliates, has been around even longer. is an auction site similar to e-Bay, except that all of the merchandise was donated to Goodwill and is sold by Goodwill to the highest bidder. Revenue from those sales, like sales in Goodwill’s brick and mortar stores, funds Goodwill’s mission of changing lives through education, training and employment. “We’ve told lots of people about it, and none of them realized Goodwill sold things online,” Joe Snider said. (Continued on page 12)

$41 ONLINE GOODWILL FACTS: • 329,119 items sold at during 2015.

• Less than 1 percent of donations processed by Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee are sold online.

• 60 donated bobble-head dolls sold on eBay marked the local Goodwill’s entry into online commerce in 2001.

• $1,800 was the winning bid for the most expensive item sold at in 2015: a 1963 Fender amplifier.

• 17,455 pieces of jewelry were sold online last year.

“We’ve told lots of people about it, and none of them realized Goodwill sold things online." – Joe Snider, Mt. Juliet

• Books, media and other miscellaneous items are also sold on Ebay and Amazon to raise funds Goodwill’s mission.

Ambassador SUMMER 2016




$130 HITCHED FOR A SONG Some customers, like Connie Justice of Bardstown, Ky., have been bidding in online Goodwill auctions for years. She buys jewelry, shoes, camera lenses and “basically whatever catches my eye.” She visited Goodwill in Nashville recently on her way home from a business trip in Atlanta. She picked up a drill press and flooring nailer her husband, Joseph Justice, purchased from “He wouldn’t want to shop at a Goodwill store, but one day he saw me looking at Goodwill online and he’s like, ‘What’s that?’ Now he shops Goodwill online all the time,” Connie Justice said. Goodwill brought the Justices together in another, more significant way. When the couple was ready to marry, Joseph Justice was prepared to spend

“tons of money” on a ring, but his wife immediately began searching Goodwill’s website. “He said, ‘You’re not getting a diamond from Goodwill,’ and I said, ‘Watch me,’” she recalled. Connie Justice ended up bidding on, and winning, a band and separate solitaire diamond for a total of $700. The ring was later appraised at $6,400. She said after that she and her husband were “hooked” on shopping Goodwill online.

HOOKED ON ONLINEGOODWILL.COM Goodwill Senior Director of Retail Chris Burr said there are several reasons repeat customers are passionate about Just like in Goodwill’s brick-and-mortar stores, they get a great value on high quality

“It makes me feel good to know that I am not only getting a great deal, I am helping others in my community to learn career skills and find and maintain jobs to support themselves and their families.” — Cindy Walker, Culleoka 12

Ambassador SUMMER 2016




merchandise. But unlike Goodwill’s stores, online customers can shop from home on their phone or computer, 24 hours a day, and search for specific items with just a few keystrokes. And there’s often more to the story. “A lot of the items we have online had an emotional attachment to the original owner. They were well-loved before they were donated. People purchase these items online for a reason — whether it reminds them of their childhood or they are a collector or whatever. It’s often striking some kind of emotional chord,” Burr explained. Almost all jewelry donated to Goodwill is sold online. Rare, odd and particularly valuable items can be found at as well. Recent examples include a boxing glove signed by Muhammad Ali (which sold for $362), a vintage cast-iron emergency phone call box (sold for $227) and a purse made from an armadillo (sold for $41). But Eboni,’s lead of customer service, said the fun of competing in and winning an auction also keeps customers coming back. “It’s that go-for-the-gusto rush that they get,” she said.

Goodwill brought the Justices together in another, more significant way. When the couple was ready to marry, Joseph Justice was prepared to spend “tons of money” on a ring, but his wife immediately began searching Goodwill’s website. “He said, ‘You’re not getting a diamond G.I. JOE VINTAGE ACTION SAILOR




Cindy Walker of Culleoka finds terrific bargains at on English Laundry shirts for her husband, Mephisto sandals for her son, Fiestaware dishes for herself and recently, a portable hot tub. She is a sophisticated user of the website who enjoys the competition of auctions and avails herself of all of the website’s tools to land the winning bid. But after the thrill of winning has faded, Walker said there’s another, more lasting reward from shopping “It makes me feel good to know that I am not only getting a great deal, I am helping others in my community to learn career skills and find and maintain jobs to support themselves and their families,” she said.

— Connie Justice, Bardstown, Kentucky


SHOPPING WITH A MISSION Customers also are glad their online purchases support Goodwill’s mission.

from Goodwill,’ and I said, ‘Watch me.”

• Sign up for weekly merchandise emails at to see cool, just-listed items • Create an account. Start browsing, click “sign in,” then click “Sign me up!” • Create a watch list: Under the “Personal Shopper” tab, describe the item you are seeking. You will be alerted when an item of that type is posted. • Check the seller: Items purchased from Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee benefit local communities via Goodwill’s mission. • Pay attention to shipping fees, which vary from item to

item. Reduce or avoid them by buying from Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee and picking up at Goodwill’s Nashville headquarters. • Set a maximum bid. If you are outbid, your offer will be raised in $1 increments over bids placed by other shoppers until your maximum is reached. If no one matches your bid at a lower amount, you win! • Read merchandise descriptions thoroughly: Pay close attention to the size of items as dimensions may not be obvious in photos. Check for mentions of damage or to see if powered items have been tested.

“A lot of the items we have online had an emotional attachment to the original owner. They were well-loved before they were donated. People purchase these items online for a reason — whether it reminds them of their childhood or they are a collector or whatever. It’s often striking some kind of emotional chord." — Chris Burr, Goodwill Senior Director of Retail Ambassador SUMMER 2016




or Liz, it brought tears of joy. For Brandon, it

Goodwill’s 28 Career Solutions centers hosted large regional

brought an “aha” moment. And for Diamond,

job fairs and smaller hiring events which attracted about 1,800

Amber and more than 2,000 others, it brought

job-seekers as well as education fairs, community resource fairs,

opportunities and the hope of changing their lives

body language and email workshops and other events that

for the better.

attracted hundreds more.

“It” was Goodwill Week, an annual observance the first full

Liz Fugate, one of scores of attendees at a huge job fair in

week of May by independent Goodwill agencies across the

Cookeville, could not contain her emotions when one of the

U.S. and Canada. Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee

51 participating employers asked her to come to work. Though

celebrated with more than 100 events supporting its mission

already employed, the Sparta resident was looking for a new

of changing lives through education, training and employment

job because she lacked benefits and needed more hours to pay

across its territory.

her bills.

“I started crying, because I got the job. It feels like forever that I have been struggling, living paycheck to paycheck.” — Liz Fugate, Cookeville Job Fair Attendee 14

Ambassador SUMMER 2016

“I was thinking about the elevator speech. Just the other day, I was having lunch in Nashville, and I saw a bunch of construction guys and went over to talk to them. I was a little nervous and unsure of what to say. If I had practiced an elevator speech, I would have been a lot better prepared." — Brandon Cogle, Madison Workshop Attendee

She was so eager to land a new position, she wore safety glasses

and I saw a bunch of construction guys and went over to talk

and steel-toed boots to show she could start right away. It

to them. I was a little nervous and unsure of what to say. If I

worked. She was one of 77 people to receive on-the-spot job

had practiced an elevator speech, I would have been a lot better

offers at Goodwill-hosted job fairs during Goodwill Week.


“I started crying, because I got the job,” Fugate explained. “It

Cogle said next time he has the opportunity to network or

feels like forever that I have been struggling, living paycheck

interview, he will be ready thanks to what he learned at

to paycheck.”

the workshop.

Fugate ultimately accepted a position with Ficosa, another one of

Diamond Muhammad had never attended a job fair before. Her

the employers she met that day, and started work on May 10.

first was was one with 32 employers at the Nashville library branch in Antioch.

Brandon Cogle was sitting in an Interview and Body Language Workshop at the Rivergate Career Solutions center in

The Nashville resident went seeking a clerical position.

Madison when something the presenter said particularly

Muhammad, who sings professionally with a 10-piece band

caught his attention.

named Sugar & Spice, says she wants to buy a home but needs a more stable income.

The Goodwill trainer was talking about the benefits of practicing an “elevator speech” — a short statement a job-seeker

More than 600 interviews were given by employers at

can deliver to potential employers that describes his or her

Goodwill Week events. Muhammad got two of them. She said

experience, skills and goals.

she felt great about the experience and might attend future Goodwill-hosted events.

Cogle, who recently completed Goodwill’s construction training course, attended the workshop in hopes of polishing his

“There was a great variety of employers here today,” she said. “I

interview skills and landing a construction position.

had the option to go around and apply for what I’m qualified for,

“I was thinking about the elevator speech,” Cogle mused

as opposed to just applying for any job.”

afterward. “Just the other day, I was having lunch in Nashville, Ambassador SUMMER 2016







Amber Johnson attended an

employers in attendance at the job

Education Fair at one of the two

fair, had come out from behind his

Goodwill Career Solutions centers in

booth so job-seekers could hear him

Murfreesboro. She recently lost her

over the hum of conversation.

job and was getting help at the center in trying to find a new position in the

Prince was telling them about

health care field.

opportunities with his company — Ficosa, an automotive part

But the single mom also has an

production company. Ficosa

interest in possibly returning

currently employs about 550 people

to school to become a paralegal.

but expects to have more than 1,000

She spent a good bit of time at

employees by 2017 when its new,

the Education Fair speaking to

270,000-foot plant in Cookeville is

a representative from Middle


Tennessee State University.

BODY LANGUAGE INTERVIEW TIPS 1. Eye Contact Don’t lock eyes for an extended period of time, but hold your interviewer’s gaze for one second before breaking away (especially while shaking hands). Looking someone directly in the eye conveys confidence and certainty.

2. Sit Upright Sit all the way back in your chair with your head erect. This is a signal of assurance and confidence.

3. Plant Your Feet Keep your feet firmly on the ground about hip width apart. Holding your feet too close together or too far apart may communicate insecurity or reflect badly.

Later, during a quick lunch break, “Today was very helpful,” she said. “I

he summed up his experience at

have been out of school since 2010,

the event.

so a lot of this is brand new again. I’m not sure I could have figured it out

“This is amazing,” he said, looking

without being able to talk to people

around at the hundreds of people

about what steps I’d need to take.”

speaking with employers. “Anytime

4. Use Hand Gestures When speaking you want to appear approachable and open, so don’t try to control gestures or fidgeting by keeping your hands still. When you are not speaking, keep your hands open and on your lap.

Goodwill Career Solutions is Back in Cookeville, Damon Prince,

attached to a job fair, it’s always a

who represents another of the

great event.”

I had the option to go around and apply for what I’m qualified for, as opposed to just applying for any job.” — Diamond Muhammad, Job Fair Attendee 16

Ambassador SUMMER 2016

5. Walk Confidently Being upright and confident with a quick stride into the interview room projects confidence and enthusiasm about the interview.

6. Carry a Positive Attitude Think about what you can do for the employer (not just what’s in it for you) during the interview. If you are having a bad day, let it go and leave that attitude at home.

TAKE GOODWILL’S SHOPPER SURVEY Goodwill always seeks and welcomes feedback from its shoppers. The Goodwill shopper survey available at is an easy way to share recent shopping experiences and offer suggestions for the retail experience, including recommendations on products and services. Survey responses help Goodwill gain a better understanding of shoppers’ needs. This helps Goodwill provide the best service and most convenient shopping experience for its loyal shoppers. Shoppers are invited to complete the survey as often as once per month and be entered into a drawing to win a $25 Goodwill gift card.


Join MyGoodwillRewards today!


Goodwill’s MyGoodwillRewards program honors loyal and frequent shoppers with discounts so they can save even more. Joining the program is free and easy. First, ask a Goodwill retail associate for a MyGoodwillRewards card and application. Next, complete the application and return it to the associate or activate the card online. Present your card with every purchase of $25 or more and earn points toward future discounts. Members can visit: to login to their MyGoodwillRewards account to check available points and upcoming rewards.

Rewards include: • 1 point for each $25 spent on a purchase of $25 (before tax) or more • $25 off a purchase of $25 (before tax) or more after earning 10 points • $5 off a $25 purchase (before tax) during the month of your birthday Additionally, MyGoodwillRewards members are among the first to learn about the latest happenings at Goodwill, including special sales and store grand openings.

Ambassador SUMMER 2016




Betty Johnson, Vice President and Chief People Officer of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, retired on May 27. In the Q&A below, she shared some of the experiences and insights gleaned from her 23 years with Goodwill.

Describe your current duties:

service representative, then an audit

to Vice President of Employment

I am involved in overseeing the

clerk, and then the personnel assistant.

Services. In 2012, my title changed to

operations in our Human Resources

I also worked as a GED instructor at

Vice President and Chief People Officer.

Department and in our Career Solutions

the local community college and as the

Our CEO, Matthew Bourlakas, since

division. I guide the teams to reach

personnel supervisor for Walgreens at

his arrival in 2013, has included me

their goals, and I assist in providing the

an administrative facility.

in the strategic planning of our great

necessary resources to do their jobs.

I have an MBA in Human Resource

How and when did you first come to Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee?

Management from DePaul University

In 1992, my husband, Paul, earned his

and a bachelor’s degree in Secondary

master’s degree and accepted a job in

Talk about this Goodwill's growth since you arrived?

Education, Biology and Environmental

Nashville. It took me six months to sell

What stands out most? When I started

Studies from Millikin University.

the house, find a job in Nashville and

in January 1993, we had 12 stores and

move the kids here. I started on Jan. 18,

just over 400 employees. We provided

1993, as the Human Resources Director

our mission services at one location — at

for Goodwill. In 1999, I was asked to

the main headquarters on 9th Avenue

also oversee our mission services (today

North in Nashville. I recall we placed 183

Career Solutions), and I was promoted

people into jobs in 1993. In my 23 years,

Educational attainments:

Describe your career before Goodwill: My first full-time job was in a bank just outside Chicago. I was a customer


Ambassador SUMMER 2016

organization, and he has encouraged me to offer insight into other areas of the organization. For that, I thank him.

we’ve added 24 stores, 1,700 employees

her!!” That happens often. On a different

stores and career centers. Serve more

and 27 career centers at Goodwill. We’ve

note, my greatest disappointment was not

people and place more people into jobs.

also developed 14 occupational training

starting the Adult Charter High School.

programs, built a new headquarters,

In 2012, many staff and I put together a

started and begun

huge charter school application that was

new ways of collecting donations. In 2015

reviewed by a group at Metropolitan

alone, we served over 36,000 clients and

Nashville Schools. This evaluation team

helped over 15,400 start new jobs. I think

decided they did not want to spend Metro

Plans after retirement:

what stands out most for me is watching

schools’ money on a school for adults to

We are moving to Sedona, Ariz., to enjoy

the development of knowledge and skills

earn their high school diploma. I think

the beautiful natural resources.

of our staff. I celebrate when employees

there is a future for this model, but with

receive a promotion or graduate with a

some other funding source.

new degree or learn a skill like supervision and leadership.

You have seen a lot of lives changed over the years as well. Which success stories are most memorable for you?

Is there a particular moment you recall where you knew you were truly "Living the Mission?

3) Develop and provide individualized training plans for employees who are interested in gaining a credential or earning a promotion.

Do you have a parting message for Goodwill employees? Do your best every day. Help your coworkers, and be a resource for our clients and our new employees. Be honest in your actions and true to our mission

"I felt I was truly living the mission

and core values. Keep your eyes open

my first day on the job. I met so many

for opportunities to grow your skills and

The folks who have my heart are those

dedicated, hard-working employees.

knowledge so you are ready for that next

that have utilized our mission services and

My first few weeks here were spent

promotion. Share your great ideas to

then have decided to work for Goodwill.

working in various departments, such

improve Goodwill with your manager/

I’ve always said, “We hire the Best.” That’s

as production, DEC and the stores. I

supervisor and/or a member of HR.

because we see the great qualities in some

met so many people who exemplified

of the clients we serve and we encourage

our mission, and I felt it immediately. I

them to come work for Goodwill. To

refer to it as “drinking the Kool-aid” and,

name one or two would leave out so

today, I can tell when an employee has

many others who have changed their

“drunk the grape Kool-aid.” They just get

lives at Goodwill. And, we try to highlight

it. They get that we are a mission-based

those memorable success stories in our

organization. They get that we are diverse,

newsletters, calendar and at the Impact

inclusive, and here to help those who

Luncheons. So many successes!

need assistance with job training or with finding a job. Working at Goodwill truly is a calling.

Which accomplishment are you most proud of from your time with Goodwill? My proudest moments have been hiring those who have had a huge impact at Goodwill. Today, I look at each of the staff

Where would you like to see Goodwill Industries of MIddle Tennessee go in the future?

Any words for Goodwill's donors and shoppers? Thank you for supporting Goodwill by shopping at a Goodwill store and donating your gently used items. Proceeds from every item you donate and/or buy go to provide job training and job placement services for our most vulnerable citizens. Help them by partnering with us. We appreciate you! Also, we want to know your thoughts and ideas about how we can improve the shopping and donation experiences at Goodwill. Contact us at

1) Find funding to establish and operate the Adult Charter High School.

I’ve had a hand in hiring, and I brag to

2) Increase sales to allow us to further

anyone who will listen, “I hired him or

grow our mission — add donation sites,

Ambassador SUMMER 2016




n East Nashville employee

Her impact on the community doesn’t

staff were waiting to give Rebecca a

of Goodwill fought back

stop at the doors of Goodwill, however.

custom makeover. First they tag-teamed

tears of happiness to

During winter months, she coordinates

Rebecca’s waist-length hair, then

avoid smearing her fresh

volunteer efforts by her church, Point

finished up with her nails and makeup.


of Mercy, to assist Room In The Inn, a

Rebecca, a cashier at the East Nashville Goodwill store, was surprised by her co-workers and a local salon with a

Nashville nonprofit that provides shelter for more than 1,400 homeless citizens each season.

When the five-hour makeover was complete, Rebecca returned to work where another surprise was waiting. Goodwill employees and some of the

complete makeover on Tuesday, May

Rebecca showed up at the Goodwill

many customers who love Rebecca were

31, as a way to recognize her for her

store Tuesday expecting a normal day

waiting near the front of the store to

perpetually cheerful attitude and

at work, but Assistant Manager Ashlei

“ooh” and “ah” over her new look. They

outstanding customer service.

Martinez lured her across the street

were wearing “Operation B is a Success”

with a story about needing to find a lost

stickers, and Carew presented Rebecca

buggy. Rebecca’s co-workers called their

with a framed certificate recognizing her

scheme “Operation B” (for ’Becca).

achievements. There were lots of hugs

Store manager Kay-Lynn Carew calls Rebecca the store’s “Ms. Sunshine,” and says the way she chats with customers —

and more than a few tears.

often congratulating them on their great

They went to Eklipse Salon & Spa to

finds at the store, makes each one feel

ask about the lost buggy, and inside

Richards said he donated his salon’s

special and appreciated.

stylist Dewayne Richards and his entire

services because he appreciates


Ambassador SUMMER 2016

Goodwill’s mission of changing lives

“People like Rebecca deserve acts of

afterward to find adequate words to

through education, training and

kindness and to be noticed,” he said.

describe the experience.

Rebecca, who had protested that she did

“They have gone above and beyond

not deserve all the pampering, struggled

anything I could dream,” she said.

employment, and because he wants his business to be an asset to the community.

REBECCA’S FAN CLUB: “People like Rebecca deserve acts of kindness and to be noticed.”

“She’s always really friendly and helpful,” Crawford says. “She definitely gets a 10 because she stands out. Ten out of 10.” — Adrianne Crawford, one of the stylists who works at Eklipse Salon

— Dewayne Richards, owner, Eklipse Salon & Spa

and a regular Goodwill shopper

Demonstrating Goodwill, Providing Room In The Inn Rebecca loves volunteering through her church for Room In The Inn, a Nashville shelter for homeless people. She frequently shops at Goodwill to find clothes and other items that will make the women she cares for more comfortable. “There’s such a need for it,” she explained, “and I feel that I’ve got a lot to give. It’s a win-win situation.” Melanie Barnett of Room In The Inn said the nonprofit has over 6,500 volunteers, but those who provide supplies out of their own pocket such as Rebecca stand out: “That’s going above and beyond to meet the needs. She definitely has a heart for service.”

For your next style, cut or color check-in to Eklipse Salon at: 604 Gallatin Ave # 105, Nashville or call: (615) 262-2525 for appointment

Ambassador SUMMER 2016




Rebecca Terango

Good Life Program Director

Rebecca Joy Tarango manages Goodwill’s Good Life Program, which helps connect employees and Career Solutions clients in need to community resources such as affordable housing, transportation and bill assistance. She also leads the Summer Youth Job Readiness program, which prepares teens for their first jobs through mock interviews, resume-building, community service projects and career exploration.

Rebecca grew up in El Paso, Texas, the youngest of six siblings. Rebecca frequently volunteered at nonprofits as a youth. As Rebecca

What brought you to Goodwill?

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Goodwill’s CEO Matthew Bourlakas

The people I get to see and serve every

came and spoke to my college class. I

day. We have so many wonderful

was amazed at the different services

employees working here, and I enjoy

got older, her mother began looking

offered by Goodwill. I knew Goodwill

the opportunity to work alongside

for work outside the home. But her

was changing lives for the better, and I

them while also providing them

wanted to be a part of it.

with tools to meet their needs. I also

mother lacked a college degree and struggled to find a good job. Those experiences, and a strong desire to help people, led Rebecca to come to Nashville where she studied

really enjoy connecting with other

What are some of the challenges you face?

community partners and resources

There are so many needs in our


community and not always enough resources. Some needs take longer

Social Entrepreneurship at Belmont

to meet than others, which is tough,

University. She learned how

especially when it means waiting on

social problems could be solved through business, and while still a student, she served as an intern for Goodwill’s Summer Youth Job Readiness Program. After

important things like housing.

What has surprised you most in your time with Goodwill? We have so many employees who truly care about the well-being and success of our employees and Goodwill

her graduation, she was hired by

Career Solutions clients. It’s great to see

Goodwill to manage that program

so many people who are willing to help

as well as the Good Life program. August will mark her one-year anniversary with Goodwill.


Ambassador SUMMER 2016

that may be able assist and meet more

and go beyond what is expected for the sake of others.

Why is your job important to Goodwill’s mission? Goodwill’s mission is to change lives through education, training and employment. My work consists of educating people on new information, including the different resources and opportunities available to them. By providing them the tools needed to connect to these resources, they can better pursue, focus on, and ultimately keep their jobs. (Continued on next page.)

Give us an example of someone the Good Life Program has helped? One new employee was living in a homeless shelter as she went through orientation. She had come from out of state, didn’t know

Board of Directors

anyone and had some medical issues. She didn’t even have any clothes suitable for work. We helped her find clothing first, then


we decided the best course to help her find housing. We met weekly until she reached her goal. It was so great to see how excited she was when she finally got a room in a boarding house — a place of her own that she could pay for with her own money.

Vice Chairperson: Julie F. Wilson

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

Secretary: Chad M. Grout

Goodwill President and CEO: Matthew S. Bourlakas

Chairperson: Fred McLaughlin

Treasurer: Dave M. Fentress

Goodwill VP of Finance Mary La Haie

DIRECTORS Woodretta Allen

Fred T. McLaughlin

J.B. Baker

Robert McNeilly, III

Bryan Bean

Ilex Pounders **

Steele Clayton

Christine E. Skold

Andrew Davidson

Todd A. Spaanstra

Christopher S. Dunn

John W. Stone, III

Robert Duthie

John C. Tishler

Dave M. Fentress

John Van Mol

James B Foley

Julie F. Wilson

Kathryn S. Gibson

Jeff Young

Chad M. Grout, CCIM

Donna B. Yurdin

Robert B. Kennedy

** Intern

Ryan R. Loyd

TRUSTEES Chairperson: Robert W. Duthie Kathryn Thompson Robert McNeilly, III

Ambassador SUMMER 2016


OUR MISSION Changing lives through education, training and employment

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