Ambassador Winter 2015

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Ambassador WINTER 2015


MAKING FABRIC COLLAGE FUN, INEXPENSIVE AND EASY TO LEARN Goodwill Honors Outstanding Clients, Partners MTSU Study: Local Goodwill Has Major Economic Impact Goodwill Employee Receives Free Car

contents I Got it at Goodwill



President and CEO

Matthew S. Bourlakas


Karl Houston


Goodwill Success Stories 2015


Goodwill Honors Outstanding Clients, Partners in Middle TN

Chris Fletcher


Goodwill Honors Outstanding Clients, Partners in West TN

EJ Kerr


Goodwill Man Shares 'Art of Goodwill'


Competition A Learning Experience for Students, Goodwill


MTSU Study: Local Goodwill Has Major Economic Impact


Goodwill Surpasses 2015 Mission Goals


Nashville Woman No Longer Has to Rely on Family for Transportation to Work


Jackson Store Opening Draws Big Crowds


Union City Goodwill Career Solutions Receives Honors


Local Goodwill Holds First 'Blue Friday'


Goodwill Cares: Helping Homeless Vets Make a New Start




I Change Lives: Shelia Holt

Ambassador WINTER 2015

Senior Director of Marketing & Community Relations

Editor and Writer PR & Communications Manager

Art Director 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 We sell donated goods to provide employment and training opportunities for people who have disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs.

Our mission is changing lives.



gotit at

Kiya wrote:

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!

Lachelle wrote: "Goodwill dollar

days! Top and skirt only $2."

"My vanity is almost done! I love it so far! A lot of work went into this vanity. The vanity desk is from the Goodwill. I got it for only $35 dollars! Originally it was a rich brown color."

Post your great finds:


Betsy wrote:

"This vintage Bonnie Boerer sweater from the 80s is my favorite find from the @giveit2goodwill outlet, and I paid less than $1!"

Jamie wrote: "Totally in love with this red CABI coat at @giveit2goodwill."

Ambassador WINTER 2015





­­­­– Kevin


­­­­– Ernest



For most of his life, Kevin wore his unique ability to adapt like a superhero’s cloak. Until it began to unravel.

Vision problems that began early in childhood brought thick glasses and teasing from other kids. So, Kevin disappeared into books and got contact lenses. As a teenager, he worked at fast food restaurants and, for a while, succeeded despite struggling to read food orders. Later, Kevin worked as a meat-cutter. He avoided cutting himself with the razor-sharp knives and learned all about the packing business, but he had to hide his inability to read numbers used to identify cuts of meat. At age 27, he tested a career as a professional wrestler, but that dream, too, was crushed by his disability. “Each year as I got older, my vision got progressively worse,” he recalled, noting that he is now legally blind. “I was going through depression for a long time. I thought I was worthless.” Kevin turned to the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center, where he learned he didn’t have to hide his disability. Then, he went to Goodwill Career Solutions for help finding the right job. Today, he is a greeter at the Memorial Boulevard store in Murfreesboro and has earned a reputation for stellar customer service. “I meet some pretty interesting people from all walks of life,” he said. “Amazing people, actually.” Customers enjoy Kevin’s quick wit, his handwritten notes on donation cards and learning about his many skills (he is bilingual and a certified CPR instructor). This superhero is no longer grounded by his disability. “I love this job,” he said.

­­­­– Bernice 4

Ambassador WINTER 2015

Our mission is changing lives.


Ernest served in the U.S. Army for more than 18 years, and though he left it in 1990, traces of military bearing linger behind his ever-present smile. Consider how he checks off the duties of his job as a Donations Express Center lead attendant for Goodwill, as if inspecting troops. “My job is to go around making sure my DEC attendants are treating customers properly, doing the job properly, sorting everything like it should be, wearing the proper uniform, wearing gloves and keeping up with safety,” he explained. “Safety is my biggest thing — safety and people.” But Ernest’s life has not always been so tidy. His military career ended unexpectedly because of a reduction in forces. He received some disability benefits due to on-duty injuries, but it wasn’t enough to get by. After the military, Ernest worked for himself as a mechanic in Alabama and Connecticut. In 2003, he sold his tools and moved to Clarksville, Tenn., hoping to make a new start. The local Veterans Administration offered Ernest the chance to enter Goodwill’s Transitional Employment Services Program. There, he received job readiness training and was introduced to the retail business at Clarksville’s Goodwill store. He was eventually offered a part-time job as a processor. After eight years at Goodwill, he applied for his current, full-time position. Ernest thrived in the job, which takes him across north central Tennessee and allows him to exercise the leadership skills he honed in the military.


Bernice, a production associate at one of Goodwill’s downtown Nashville warehouses, exhibits many traits that make her a valuable employee. She learns quickly. Her attendance and attitude are outstanding. Her supervisor says she is a pleasure to work with. But for 25 years, those traits lay dormant. During that quarter century, Bernice never held a conventional job. She was addicted to drugs, and attempts to sell drugs got her in trouble with the law. Bernice eventually went through rehabilitation for her addiction, but her outlook on life remained grim. “I really didn’t think I could get a job, by me getting two felonies,” she said. But in 2010, after two years of sobriety, Bernice entered into job placement services with the Goodwill Career Solutions center at Rivergate. “Goodwill gave me the chance to be a responsible citizen and a purpose to do things that I thought I could not do,” she recalled. “It changed my life.” Bernice began making up for lost time. She mastered several different roles in different departments. Her primary duty now is grading clothing, but she frequently works in other departments as well. She enjoys the variety. Her personal life has stabilized as well. She has remained sober for six years. “I can see where I’m going, and (I’m) doing personal things for me and my grandbabies,” she said. “(Goodwill) gave me integrity. … I’m normal, like normal people that work and do things. It has helped me so much.”

“It’s all about people, and I enjoy myself some people,” he said. “When you help a person out and give them that smile, they want to smile, too."

Ambassador WINTER 2015





GOODWILL HONORS OUTSTANDING CLIENTS, PARTNERS IN MIDDLE TN Success Stories Celebrated at the Nashville Impact Luncheon

Goodwill honored five Career Solutions clients and six employer and non-profit partners at its annual Impact Luncheon on Nov. 20 in Nashville. Keynote speaker: Mike Veeck

News Channel 5 anchor Rhori Johnston emceed the event, held at the Millenium Maxwell House Hotel, and motivational speaker Mike Veeck, author and part owner of several minor league baseball teams and a consulting firm, gave an inspiring message.


The recipients of these awards have developed great partnerships with Goodwill and greatly supported its mission in 2015.

Nashville partners: From left, are Alicia McClung of Administrative Resource Options, Gene Reeder with Amazon, Heather Orne with Parks Realty, Roosevelt Blake with Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, JoAnn Miller with the National Council on Aging of Williamson County and Bob Reed and Alicia Pittman of Workforce Essentials of Robertson County.



Parks Realty was the first company to partner with Goodwill's Real Estate Donations Pickup program, which picks up used items from homes where people are moving or settling an estate. By telling their clients about the service, Parks Realtors boosted Goodwill’s donation receipts by an average of five pickups per month, filling about 16 box trucks to date.

The National Council on Aging of Williamson County is a non-profit agency that provides low-income seniors age 55 and up with paid temporary work to help them gain experience and permanent employment. The organization encourages clients to participate in digital literacy classes and job fairs at the Franklin Goodwill Career Solutions center. Goodwill responds by directing its clients to NCOA whenever they may qualify for its services.


Workforce Essentials – Robertson County and Goodwill’s partnership took off in January when the two non-profits discovered how well their missions dovetailed. Both help people who are struggling to find employment, although their services differ. They now partner for hundreds of job fairs per year, promote each other’s events and conduct joint workshops. Workforce Essentials of Robertson County referred at least 2,000 people to Goodwill in 2015, and 400 of those were placed in jobs.

Several businesses were recognized at the luncheon for their enthusiastic support of Goodwill’s mission. Administrative Resource Options, Amazon and Popeyes were honored for contributing to the success of Goodwill Career Solutions through their employment practices and hiring of clients.


Ambassador WINTER 2015

Our mission is changing lives.


The recipients of this award have achieved great success since enrolling in Goodwill Career Solutions.

Sharon Forbes

Taryn Covington Akeem Baker

had been unemployed a long time. She lost her car, her residence and much of her self-esteem. In February, she visited the Goodwill Career Solutions Center on Foster Street in Nashville and entered Goodwill’s Health Care Initiatives program. Right away, her confidence began to improve. It was clear she had a passion for helping people. After graduating, Forbes fielded calls from several health care providers interested in interviewing her. She accepted a job as a technician at Saint Thomas West Hospital, and her life has been looking up ever since. She even recently bought herself a car.

walked into the Mt. Juliet Goodwill Career Solutions center in January, she already had two part-time jobs and a bachelor’s degree in business administration. What she wanted was a career and the ability to move out of her parents' home. At Goodwill, she upgraded her computer skills and resume. She sharpened her job search and interview skills as well and soon landed an interview with Manheim Auctions. She was hired on part-time but within 90 days was promoted to a full-time position with more responsibility. Today, she has her own apartment and a bright future in a profession she loves.


was working as a dishwasher at a Nashville restaurant, but he wanted to improve his income. He needed help, however, so in August of 2014 he visited the Goodwill Career Solutions center in Nashville’s Berry Hill community. There, he completed courses in digital literacy, resume writing, job readiness and online job search. Within two months, he began working in Goodwill’s salvage department. In June of this year, Baker had leveraged his new skills and experience into a higher-paying job with Standard Functional Foods Group in Nashville. Along the way, Baker got married and welcomed a new baby.

Virginia Cook worked in retail for many years but grew frustrated with never having weekends or holidays off. She left her job to take some planned time off but later found returning to the workforce difficult. After three months seeking a job, she went to Springfield’s Goodwill Career Solutions center. Her career counselor suggested she try Goodwill’s call center training. Cook initially refused but reconsidered and completed the course. Her new skills landed her a job as a customer service representative for All American Pest Control in Nashville. She loves the work, her new co-workers and having weekends free with her family.

This award is named in honor of two women who were loyal supporters of Goodwill, Madaleine LaVoi and Elsine Katz. The award is given to a Career Solutions client who has made outstanding progress in their program at Goodwill. Because of her autism and seizures, 20-year-old Torie Summers had never had a job, but she wanted to make her own money and be more independent. Her family brought her to Goodwill Career Solutions where she took job readiness, computer and online job search classes.

Torie Summers Ambassador WINTER 2015

Goodwill learned that Joe Perricone, owner of Our Place Cafe in Hendersonville, hires people with disabilities and works hard to help them flourish in a work environment. He had a part-time support staff position available, and in April he hired Torie. She was thrilled. Goodwill job coach Randy Buchanan helped her settle into the job, and she now refills drinks for customers, cleans the dining room and performs other tasks like a pro. She is also a favorite of regulars. She loves the job and the tips she receives for providing great service.


NOVEMBER 5TH 7TH 2014 2015



GOODWILL HONORS OUTSTANDING CLIENTS, PARTNERS IN WEST TN Success Stories Celebrated at Jackson Impact Luncheon Goodwill honored four Career Solutions clients, including one who became a Goodwill employee, two employer partners, a community partner and a regional partner at its annual Impact Luncheon on Nov. 5 in Jackson. WBBJ-TV anchor Bart Barker emceed the well-attended event at the DoubleTree Hotel.


The recipients of these awards developed great partnerships with Goodwill and greatly supported its mission in 2015.

Jackson Partners: From left are Ronnie Phillips of Staff Management / SMX, Joyce Nowlin of Krystal, Brad Thompson of the City of Martin and Ronnie Cook of Hamilton-Ryker


City of Martin


The City of Martin provided space for nine Goodwill Career Solutions-hosted job fairs at City Hall in 2015, drawing 248 jobseekers. Of those, 131 were placed into jobs. The city also helped promote the events, posting fliers online and reporting on the number of hires.

Hamilton-Ryker placed 172 Goodwill clients into jobs in 2015 in West Tennessee, in part as the result of several Goodwill-hosted job fairs. The staffing agency works closely with Goodwill career counselors and has demonstrated a willingness to hire those whose backgrounds are less than perfect.

Ambassador WINTER 2015

Staff Management / SMX and Krystal Two employers were honored during the awards luncheon. Staff Management / SMX and Krystal significantly contributed to the success of Goodwill Career Solutions by hiring many of its clients.

Our mission is changing lives.


The recipients of this award have achieved great success since enrolling in Goodwill Career Solutions.

Jackson Graduates: From left are Teresa Horn, Connie Wiggins and Gary Cooper.

Teresa & Jonathon Horn To Teresa Horn, it seemed like the straw that broke the camel’s back. Though she had been providing day care for friends’ children at her residence, she rarely got paid. Her husband was unemployed, and the young couple was at risk of losing their car and the home they shared with their daughter. Teresa had applied for numerous retail jobs, but each time she was told she didn’t have the right experience and was turned away. After her last rejection, she sat in her car and cried and prayed. On a whim, she decided to take a new route home. Along the way, she stopped in at the Goodwill Career Solutions Center on South Highland Avenue in Jackson. She took a job readiness class, then returned to the center every day to search for jobs online. When a spot came open in a Goodwill retail training class, Teresa jumped at the chance. She never missed a class, even during a snowstorm, and after graduating she was hired on at the South Jackson Goodwill

Ambassador WINTER 2015

store. Her supervisor says she is doing a great job, and she feels confident she will be promoted. After seeing Teresa’s success, her husband Jonathan Horn decided to give Goodwill Career Solutions a try. He got help with his resume and his interviewing skills, and he got connected with potential employers at Goodwill-hosted job fairs. During one of those events, he applied for a job with Corrections Corporation of America. After going through CCA’s training program, the company offered him a job as a corrections officer at the Whiteville Correctional Facility. Jonathan said a burden fell off his shoulders at that moment. He knew he could once again care for his family. Teresa and Jonathan love their new jobs, and through their employment the family has been able to move into a nicer, roomier home.

Connie Wiggins

Gary Cooper

When Connie Wiggins’ husband died three years ago, the part-time Realtor’s only other means of support was a trucking company they had run together. But soon the trucking company’s sole client went out of business, and Wiggins was forced to close her company.

Despite his movie star name, Gary Cooper was not exactly living a Hollywood lifestyle.

With real estate moving slowly in Union City, Connie knew she needed help. She went to Goodwill Career Solutions and got help with her resume and computer skills. She also completed a food safety training course. With refreshed skills and renewed confidence, she started looking for work. From Hamilton-Ryker staffing agency, she learned about an opening at O’Neal’s Country Store, a gift shop in Union City. Wiggins applied and was quickly hired. She recently celebrated her one-year anniversary, and the store’s owner calls her an “absolute godsend.” She greets customers, decorates gift baskets, works the cash register, restocks shelves and more. Wiggins enjoys her job and says Goodwill prepared her to succeed.

The Jackson retiree wanted some spending money and longed to have funds for a vacation. He had seen TV commercials for Goodwill about how the not-for-profit helps people with training and employment opportunities, and one day he popped into the North Jackson Goodwill Career Solutions center. There, he completed job readiness training, got help updating his resume, received his forklift certification and got plenty of encouragement. Then, at a local job fair, Cooper met a representative of Home Instead Senior Care. Now, he’s an inhome caregiver. Home Instead Senior Care’s general manager calls Cooper an exceptional employee who has a passion for what he does, giving his all for the clients he serves. Today, Cooper is more financially independent and able to do things he couldn’t before. He says Goodwill Career Solutions helped him reach that point.



MAKING FABRIC COLLAGE FUN, INEXPENSIVE AND EASY TO LEARN “It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, but you can put it together any way you want. That’s the joy of doing this kind of thing,”


n a pretty autumn afternoon, the downtown Nashville skyline looks like a scale model when viewed from the 18th floor observation deck of the Leah Rose Residence for Senior Citizens. Inside, retired cardiac nurse Marie Falquet cuts thin strips of cloth from a woman’s blouse and carefully arranges them side-by-side on the back of a small picture frame. Each different-sized piece bears the printed image of a building, and soon, a black-and-white


Ambassador WINTER 2015

cityscape emerges with a street-level perspective. She adds red flowers, beads and other splashes of color. “I do other kinds of art, but this is fun because I’ve never done it before,” the 73-year-old chirps as she works. “It makes you want to go to your closet and get some of your clothes and cut them up.” That won’t be necessary. Falquet’s art instructor, Jim Hornsby, has brought plenty of supplies for the handful of students in his class. Should they run out, he knows where there is an inexhaustible source of inexpensive materials for the fabric collages he is teaching them to make — Goodwill.

Our mission is changing lives.

It was at Goodwill where Hornsby, a retired attorney and administrative judge, first struck upon the idea for the unique brand of artwork that has become his passion. In the spring of 2015, the Nashville resident injured his knee, and after a few days on the couch, he grew weary of watching TV. He started cutting images from the magazines on his coffee table to make collages. Hornsby had always dabbled in art and photography, but he had never been fully satisfied with his efforts.

JIM HORNSBY’S ‘ART OF GOODWILL’ SUPPLIES 1. Fabric and frames from Goodwill 2. Small “detail” scissors 3. All-purpose glue (not much is needed) 4. Toothpicks to handle the glue

He enjoyed this new pastime, however, and once his knee improved, he began traveling to Goodwill to buy frames for his artwork. He found plenty of frames, often for as little as 99 cents, and they inspired him to create collages to match their wide variety of shapes and sizes. Then, during one particular visit to Goodwill, he noticed the store’s clothing and how it was arranged by color. “It’s like an artist’s palette, with all the reds and blues,” he explains. Upon closer inspection he saw that many of the garments — especially women’s blouses — came in an amazing variety of textures with beautiful patterns, ranging from abstract designs to detailed figures or faces. He bought some of the blouses, took them home and began creating collages from the fabric. Hornsby was hooked. Before he knew it he was churning out one or more fabric collages per day. Hornsby’s wife, Lilly, and others loved his creations, and he was amazed by how simple they were to make. In essence, he cuts out pieces of fabric, moves them around until he is satisfied with the composition — often giving them an unexpected context, then frames the art. (See next page)

Ambassador WINTER 2015

FABRIC COLLAGE METHOD 1. Select your fabrics from Goodwill. Look for repetitive patterns and striking images. Don’t forget to buy a frame! 2. Cut out the central object or image you wish to build your collage around. 3. Cut out a background fabric to fit the frame you will use. Drape the background across the backing of the frame. Ensure there is enough to fill the frame. 4. Place your central image on the background. 5. Cut out other shapes and colors to balance the composition. Add other media like paper or beads if you like. 6. Arrange all the cut-outs into different contexts until you are satisfied. 7. Glue down any items as needed. 8. Carefully place the glass over your collage and insert into the frame. Or, leave the glass out so the texture of the fabric can be touched and enjoyed. 9. Hang up your artwork and enjoy!


“It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, but you can put it together any way you want. That’s the joy of doing this kind of thing,” he says. “You really can’t make a mistake. If you can operate a pair of scissors, you can create this artwork.” Because most fabrics cling in place, a sharp pair of scissors and a tiny bit of glue are the only tools required. All the rest can be readily found at Goodwill. Hornsby raves about his new art supply store. “Goodwill works on so many levels … . It’s a very inspirational place for me,” he says. “They have women’s wear that is very classic clothing that could probably be found in an art museum somewhere. I get all my frames and fabrics there. It’s very seldom that I walk out without anything, because it’s just so plentiful.” The price is certainly right, Hornsby adds. Most of his framed art pieces are produced for under $10 — less than the cost of a single tube of watercolor paint. As an enthusiastic recycler, he appreciates that Goodwill prevents the clothing he uses for art and other valuable items from going to landfills. And as a former attorney and judge, he likes that Goodwill sells its merchandise to improve people’s lives through free job training and employment opportunities.

But best of all is the creative release he gets from doing his artwork. Famed artist Pablo Picasso, a pioneer of collage, once said embarking on a painting gave him the sensation of “leaping into space.” Hornsby knows that feeling well, and he wants to share it with others — especially the elderly. Being 72, he says he empathizes with seniors who need to fill space in their lives once occupied by jobs, parenting and other practical obligations. So he decided to offer to teach free classes in the "Art of Goodwill" at a few local retirement and assisted living centers. “I wanted a hobby that keeps me busy intellectually and physically,” Hornsby says, explaining that his treasure-hunting expeditions at Goodwill get him out of the house. “I think anybody can use this method of collage, but it’s especially attractive to seniors because (unlike other types of art) it doesn’t take so much time and effort to get into.” He’s found some eager students at Leah Rose who share his perspective. “I can hardly wait until class on Fridays,” Falquet says. “I wish even more people would come. You’re never too old to learn something new.”

“The opportunity to participate in art classes gives our seniors an outlet to engage their minds. It challenges them to think outside-the-box and delve into self-expression. And when you foster someone's mind, you can also see his or her spirits rise. Keeping spirits up is an important factor in helping seniors stay active and healthy, so the Leah Rose is grateful to Mr. Hornsby for donating his time to this cause.” — Christy Moore, Activities Coordinator | Leah Rose Residence for Seniors


Ambassador WINTER 2015

Our mission is changing lives.

Members of the winning team in MTSU's Strategic Management Case Competition are, from left, Lindsey Ryner, Lucas Tidwell and Emily Benavides. They wore business attire purchased from Goodwill to make their presentation before judges from the not-for-profit during the competition's final round Dec. 2 at MTSU's Jones School of Business.



he three sharpdressed consultants clearly knew their stuff — the organization’s background, its financials and trajectory. Their multimedia presentation focused on the critical need to win millennials over to the brand, and their research on that up-and-coming consumer demographic was persuasive. Then, they unveiled three readyto-implement proposals: the retailer should restructure its shopper rewards program to increase engagement; it should launch a cutting-edge mobile phone app to ensure its messages are reaching young adults; and it should launch new boutique stores with trendy brands to woo key influencers.

To conclude, they revealed that the outfits they were wearing came from one of the retailer’s stores, and they explained how their shopping experiences informed their proposals. In the end, they won the day and the “contract.” It was a scene that could have played out in a Wall Street or Silicon Valley boardroom. But these consultants were college seniors, and the setting was a classroom at the Middle Tennessee State University’s Jones College of Business. Their audience was a group of representatives from Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee. As the winners of MTSU’s second Strategic Management Case Competition, Lindsey Ryner, Lucas Tidwell and Emily Benavides took home $1,800 in prize money and an

eye-catching entry for their resumes. A total of 205 students participated in the eight-week competition, but only 35 students comprising nine class champion teams made it to the Dec. 2 final round. There, Goodwill judged them on the quality of their research, recommendations and presentations. Other teams’ proposals ranged from revamping Goodwill’s online auction site to expanding its social media presence to creating college campus “closets” where free business attire is available to students who need it. “The business strategy case competition provides students an opportunity to do real world work with business professionals,” said M. Jill Austin, who chairs the Department of Management in the Jones College of Business. “The experience helps students Continued on page 23

“It was really exciting to hear presentations from these sharp young minds and future business leaders. Many of their recommendations deserve and will receive Goodwill’s serious consideration.” — Karl Houston, Senior Director of Marketing and Community Relations | Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee

Ambassador WINTER 2015





very dollar spent by

Goodwill Career Solutions centers and

The 58-year-old organization serves half

Goodwill Industries

thousands of employer partners.

of Tennessee’s counties in a territory stretching from Cookeville to Union City.

of Middle Tennessee creates an additional

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee

It is one of five independently operated

$3.30 in benefits

President and CEO Matthew Bourlakas

Goodwills in the state.

to the 48 counties it serves, and total

joined the author of the economic impact

economic impact of the not-for-profit is

assessment, Dr. Murat Arik, director of

The local Goodwill provides free training

approaching a half-billion dollars.

MTSU’s Business and Economic Research

and employment opportunities for

Center, in releasing the results on Oct. 28

people struggling to find and keep jobs

at Goodwill’s Nashville headquarters.

for a wide variety of reasons, such as

These are among the findings of a new

disabilities, criminal records or lack of

study by the Business and Economic Research Center at Middle Tennessee

“This study validates what we have long

computer skills, and to others simply

State University, which also predicts

suspected — that Goodwill is much more

wanting to advance their careers. This

a 66 percent growth in the local

than a non-profit and social enterprise.

mission is funded through the sale of

Goodwill’s employment impact. Within

It’s an economic engine that propels

donated goods in Goodwill’s retail stores.

a decade, the organization is forecast

businesses and communities forward

to be responsible for the presence in

while giving a hand up, rather than a

In 2014, the agency helped 9,558 people

the workforce of 21,000 people per

handout, to those individuals who need

find jobs. The vast majority went to work

year, largely through the efforts of its

it most,” Bourlakas said.

with other employers in Middle and


Ambassador WINTER 2015

Our mission is changing lives.

West Tennessee. The effect of those job placements — including salaries earned by formerly unemployed people, the

Economic Impact Study Highlights

impact of their spending and resulting sales taxes collected by the state — were included in MTSU’s calculations, along with Goodwill’s direct hires and salaries. “Our research efforts clearly show that Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee is an important player in the regional economy. A half-billion dollar economic impact through its operations and Goodwill Career Solutions was a real eye-opener for us,” Arik said. The assessment did not attempt to measure Goodwill’s many welfare benefits to taxpayers, such as reductions in unemployment compensation payments, decreases in the prison population through prevention of recidivism or curbed landfill use through resale of used goods, salvage and recycling. The BERC may attempt to gauge those benefits in a future study, Arik said. In 2013, the BERC and the Center for Nonprofit Management conducted

$476 million

$100 million

Amount Goodwill accounts for in

Amount of wages and salaries

business revenue across Middle and

generated by Goodwill in Davidson

West Tennessee.

County alone. Goodwill also creates


business revenues of about $162 million and is involved in the

Number of jobs Goodwill is

employment of 4,200 people in

responsible for across its territory,

the county.

including external job placements and its own employees, which number

11 percent

more than 2,100.

Goodwill’s share of employment

$277 million

impact in the non-profit sector of the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical

Amount of wages and salaries

Area. Goodwill accounts for 5 percent

associated with Goodwill’s jobs and

of business revenue impact in that

external job placements each year.


Goodwill spends about $77 million annually. This means each dollar


spent by Goodwill creates $3.30 in

The number of jobs Goodwill is

benefits to local communities.

expected to contribute to annually by

$21 million

2024, including direct employment and external placements. That

Amount of taxes and fees for state

number is a 62 percent increase over

and local governments generated by

current employment impact.


an assessment of the entire Nashville MSA nonprofit sector, and in August, the MTSU facility partnered with the Nashville Health Care Council to release a study of the impact of Nashville’s health care industry.

$717 million

Total annual business revenue forecast to be created or stimulated by Goodwill by 2024.

The complete, 65-page economic impact assessment of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee can be viewed at: on Economic Impact Report in the sidebar. Ambassador WINTER 2015




oodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee,

Partnerships with more than 1,800 employers were also key.

Inc., strives to find effective ways to help as

Through these partnerships, Goodwill hosts job fairs and on-

many people as possible achieve meaningful

site career center hiring events, connecting job candidates to


companies seeking employees.

By the end of November our Goodwill, which serves 48

An economic impact assessment by the Business and Economic

counties in Middle and West Tennessee, had placed 14,099

Research Center of Middle Tennessee State University found

people into new, meaningful jobs, breaking its own record

business revenues associated with Goodwill’s 2014 job

and far surpassing its 2015 placements goal. This goal was

placements totaled nearly $298 million. That means Goodwill

nearly 18 percent more than last year’s 9,558 job placements.

is having a major impact on the health of the local economy.

Furthermore, we had assisted 34,552 people, a nearly 23 percent

We are all affected by the economy, so when you donate to

rise over last year’s total — with a month still left to go.

Goodwill or shop at your local Goodwill store, you are not

At the local Goodwill, 90 cents of every dollar goes toward the mission of helping end unemployment and putting people

only helping your neighbors and community, you are helping yourself as well.

to work via 29 no-cost career centers. Surpassing these goals would not have been possible without Goodwill's partnerships with other community-based organizations and nonprofits.

Thanks for supporting Goodwill!

These partnerships allow for increased access to Goodwill

Betty J. Johnson,

Career Solutions centers and services, extending Goodwill’s

Vice President and Chief People Officer

reach into communities in need.

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.




Ambassador WINTER 2015

Our mission is changing lives.


Nashville Woman No Longer Has to Rely on Family for Transportation to Work


very morning for the past few years, Charisse Haddox’s family members have given her a ride to work at Goodwill in downtown Nashville. Then, after a full shift, one of them has picked her up and driven her to a second job. Finally, at the end of a 13- or 14hour workday, Haddox has waited for someone to come get her and drive her home. “It's a struggle when you have to depend on someone else,” the 42-yearold Nashville resident explained. “Especially when you were used to being independent for so long.” Haddox held down a job as a certified teacher’s assistant for two decades. But when she lost that job about four years ago, she had to start from scratch. She searched for another job without success for six months. A friend told her Goodwill helps people who are struggling to find employment. Haddox visited the Goodwill Career Solutions Center in downtown Nashville. After attending two Job Jams — meetings at which Goodwill career counselors share resources and job leads

Ambassador WINTER 2015

with clients, Haddox was hired as an associate in Goodwill’s garment hanging department. Things were looking up, but then, after eight months on the job, the transmission failed on her old Pontiac Grand Prix. After that, she had to rely on others for transportation to work or to go grocery shopping for herself and her two nephews, whom she is raising. Though she would have loved to buy a car, she has struggled to keep everyone fed and housed — even after getting a promotion to assistant supervisor of Goodwill’s garment hanging department. The lack of a car seemed like a roadblock to progress, Haddox said. On Nov. 24, Goodwill removed those limitations by giving her a free car. At a special ceremony held at Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee headquarters in downtown Nashville, the not-for-profit’s President and CEO Matthew Bourlakas presented Haddox with a pre-owned 2002 GMC Envoy in good running condition through Goodwill’s Wheels-to-Work program. The car was donated to Goodwill by a Brentwood couple.

The Wheels-to-Work program helps Goodwill employees and clients who need reliable transportation to get to work. To qualify, participants must meet certain qualifications such as being employed at least 30 hours, having a valid driver’s license and good driving record. After being notified of acceptance into the program, participants must complete training classes on budgeting, defensive driving and car maintenance. “So many people take for granted that when you walk out of your house there’s a car there that’s going to take you where you need to go. But for many individuals who come to Goodwill seeking an opportunity for a better life (that’s not the case), ” Bourlakas said. He added that the Wheels-to-Work program gives Goodwill an opportunity to help hard-working employees like Haddox overcome that barrier. Haddox thanked numerous supervisors, co-workers and family members during the ceremony. “This car is truly a blessing,” she said. “I feel like I’ve got my freedom back.”




When 70-year-old Shirley Clark of Jackson

Matthew Bourlakas, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries

tells friends about taking a Goodwill tour

of Middle Tennessee, also addressed the hundreds of shoppers

around the state, she means it.

waiting for the store to open. He called the event a “great

Clark, her 74-year-old sister, 50-year-old

daughter and 25-year-old granddaughter have taken several

celebration” of Goodwill’s mission of providing job training and employment opportunities to people struggling to find work.

vacations in which the primary activity is driving from one

“This mission started over 100 years ago by a Methodist

Goodwill store to the next.

minister who believed that … by giving someone a hand up and

“We stay gone three or four days. My daughter plans the trip out according to where the stores are,” she said. “We have more

not a handout, he could change their life through the power of work,” Bourlakas said.

fun. After shopping, we get back in the car and compare what

There are two Goodwill Career Solutions centers in Jackson,

we all bought.”

which as of Nov. 30 had assisted 1,846 people and helped 963

On Oct. 20, Clark and her sister took what might be best described as a “staycation,” attending the Grand Opening of

land jobs in 2015. These mostly free services are funded by sales of donated items in Goodwill’s retail stores.

Goodwill’s newest store in one of Jackson’s premiere shopping

Goodwill has two stores in Jackson. The new store, which also


includes a covered, drive-through Donations Express Center,

They weren’t alone. By the 8 a.m. ribbon-cutting, a line

replaced one at 53 Carriage House Drive.

of customers stretched from the front doors of the new

After checking out, shopper Cori Ceja paused to admire the new

23,000-square-foot building at 1495 Vann Drive, around to the

facility, with its skylights, well-organized shelves and “super


clean” bathrooms. Within an hour of the store’s opening, the

There were so many cars arriving during the ceremony, Ryan Porter, chief operating officer for the Jackson Chamber, noted, “I love that we’ve got a parking lot full and a traffic jam here in the presence of so many Goodwill fans.”


Ambassador WINTER 2015

frequent Goodwill shopper had filled a cart to overflowing with merchandise — a metal model car, a vintage lamp, copper pots, a Rock City birdhouse and more. “I came to look for treasure for myself,” Ceja said “You never

Our mission is changing lives.

I came to look for treasure for myself. You never know what you’re gonna find. That’s what’s so exciting and keeps me coming back.” Cori Ceja Grand Opening Shopper

This mission started over 100 years ago by a Methodist minister who believed that … by giving someone a hand up and not a handout, he could change their life through the power of work.”— Matthew Bourlakas, Goodwill CEO

know what you’re gonna find. That’s what’s so exciting and

year before a friend told her about Goodwill Career Solutions.

keeps me coming back.”

She visited one of the Jackson centers and got job readiness and

That wasn’t the Jackson resident’s only motivation, however. “Not only can you find things that were made in the U.S., but you are helping the community and people who work here at Goodwill,” she said. One of those people is Stephie, who was entering her third month of employment with Goodwill. During the grand opening, the donations processor was in the heavily crowded furniture area, helping customers. Despite being wedged in place by customers’ carts, she was grinning from ear-to-ear. “When you’ve been out of work as long as I have, it’s just a blessing to have a job,” she explained.

computer training before being hired on part-time at the new store. “It has changed my whole life,” she said. “Goodwill gave me another chance when nobody else would.” Outside and to the rear of the building, Carla Richardson of Henderson was taking advantage of another convenient Goodwill service. After buying a Halloween costume, dress pants and jeans at the store, she was dropping off a bag of items she no longer needed at the Donations Express Center. “I always try to get rid of something I don’t need when I come to shop,” she said. “Out with the old, in with the new.”

Stephie said she looked for a job without success for about a

Ambassador WINTER 2015




he Goodwill Career Solutions center in Union City was honored by the Obion County Chamber of Commerce as its 2015 Business Partner of the Year.

The criteria for the award offers a glimpse as to why the center is worthy of the recognition. The qualifications for the award include a commitment to good and ethical business practices, demonstration of innovation in products or services and community leadership and involvement. As of Nov. 30, the center had assisted 1,623 people, and 884 of those found work through services received. Career Solutions District Manager Sandra Hickey has seen firsthand how much work the center has put into training and educating the community for employment opportunities.

“This award is an achievement our team worked very hard to accomplish,” she said. “The partnerships in the community and outstanding services that we provide to Obion and surrounding counties have been recognized by our peers.”



oodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee recently observed the first-ever Blue Friday, a day to shop thrift stores for environmentally and socially conscious gifts while taking advantage

of incredible discounts. The Nov. 20 event gave shoppers a way to avoid Black Friday crowds while kicking off the holiday shopping season early with a treasure hunt for gently used, brand-name goods. On Blue Friday, Goodwill offered shoppers half off Christmasthemed merchandise and infant clothes; numerous giveaways, including two iPad minis; and other perks such as double MyGoodwillRewards points and a Black Friday coupon. The promotions pointed out that by purchasing gifts at Goodwill, shoppers contribute to Goodwill’s mission of providing job training and employment opportunities while helping save the environment by extending the life of valuable used items. By Nov. 30 of 2015, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee had far surpassed its annual goal, assisting more than 34,000 people with training and employment opportunities and placing more than 14,000 into jobs. Goodwill annually diverts more 28 million pounds of salvage

On Nov. 17, State Rep. Andy Holt presented Goodwill Career Counselor Mikki Leary with a proclamation approved by the Tennessee House of Representatives honoring her work in the community. He also toured the Union City Goodwill Career Solutions center, retail store and Donation Express Center.


Ambassador WINTER 2015

and recyclable material from landfills — making it one of Tennessee’s greenest organizations.

Our mission is changing lives.



ddressing the physical needs of homeless veterans

Operation Stand Down screens the veteran to identify their

is one of the goals of Operation Stand Down

challenges and ensure they are eligible for assistance. Then, they

Tennessee, but it’s not the only priority.

contact Goodwill to request a gift card through its community

The nonprofit’s Nashville center provides a wide variety of

assistance program — Goodwill Cares.

services to honorably discharged veterans, such as help finding

In 2014, Goodwill Cares provided families and individuals

housing, employment and addiction treatment if needed and

in need with 922 gift cards worth more than $20,000 in

assistance navigating the Veterans Administration system. It

merchandise, often through partner agencies like Operation

also runs a thrift store that can provide veterans with clothing.

Stand Down Tennessee.

Much of the agency’s funding comes from government grants, though it also receives private donations.

Using the cards, veterans are able to purchase home goods such as pots and pans, couches and dressers. Bailey said Operation

“Many of these veterans served in combat. There are often a lot

Stand Down employees coach veterans on using the gift cards

of underlying issues affecting them, like PTSD (post-traumatic

wisely, such as shopping on the first Saturday when all Goodwill

stress disorder) and drug and alcohol abuse,” said Bruce Bailey,

merchandise is half-off.

support services coordinator for Operation Stand Down Tennessee. “Anything we can do to rebuild their confidence back to where it was when they served — that’s our main goal.” Helping these once proud men and women regain control of their lives starts with small steps. One step occurs after a homeless veteran has found housing.

“We try to establish the hand-up-not-handout thing,” he said. “We want them to do the legwork. … It teaches them to be smart with their resources and learn how to budget.” The veterans are always appreciative, he said. “A lot of them are working off fixed income and any little bit helps. Making a place their own is a huge deal.”

“Many of these veterans served in combat. There are often a lot of underlying issues affecting them, like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and drug and alcohol abuse. Anything we can do to rebuild their confidence back to where it was when they served — that’s our main goal.” — Bruce Bailey, support services coordinator for Operation Stand Down TN. Ambassador WINTER 2015




Shelia Holt

Human Resources Manager

Shelia Holt’s primary duty is to assist employees with concerns while providing a work atmosphere in which they feel safe to report them. She ensures that everyone, employees and supervisors, adheres to and administers Goodwill policies and procedures consistently. She leads a team of six Human Resources consultants and one assistant. Shelia was a teen mom long before there was a reality show on the topic on MTV. She delivered her oldest son when she was a senior in high school. Four years later, Shelia’s mother died and she assumed responsibility for her brother William, who was then 13. So, at 22,

What brought you to Goodwill?

What do you enjoy most about your job?

An opportunity to expand my skills,

I enjoy the people I work with at

knowledge and experience in HR.

Goodwill. The HR Department is

Goodwill gave me an opportunity to

comprised of a lot of great people

grow and learn as a Human Resources

who have wonderful personalities,


great work ethic, and compassion. I

Shelia was a single mother raising two boys and working part-time to put herself through college. But she graduated from Tennessee State University and was hired as a Human Resources assistant at SunTrust Bank where she stayed for three years. In 2000, she joined Goodwill as a

also enjoy assisting our employees

What has surprised you most in your time with Goodwill?

and supporting our talented staff of managers and supervisors.

What surprises me the most is how quickly the years have flown by and our growth as an organization. When I started working here in 2000 we had approximately 600 employees, and we have more than tripled in size.

Human Resources recruiter and has

Why is your job important to Goodwill’s mission? I believe my job is important to Goodwill’s mission because I am responsible for ensuring that all of our employees are treated with respect in

since been promoted several times.

How do you change lives?

She also has obtained her master’s

I change lives through providing

degree in public administration

service and support to our employees.

accordance with our core values.

and Professional Human Resources certification. The Lebanon resident is now married to William Holt and has three sons: Anthony, 23; William, 13; and Sherman, 9.


Ambassador WINTER 2015

CORRECTION Melvin Copeland, an employee in Goodwill’s garment hanging department, was misidentified in a Fall 2015 Ambassador story about an acapella singing contest held at Goodwill’s headquarters.

Our mission is changing lives.

Continued from: Page 13 develop critical thinking and teamwork skills, and they gain confidence in their abilities to be successful in their careers.” Ryner, a 23-year-old accounting major from Spring Hill, said her team’s research into Goodwill gave her insight into the challenges facing nonprofits and a holistic perspective on business. “I’m so used to doing accounting and the numbers side of it — being able to see all aspects combined to create an organization was most helpful to me,” she said. Karl Houston, Goodwill’s senior director of marketing and community relations was one of the judges for the competition. He said he was extremely impressed with the students’ efforts and insights. “It was really exciting to hear presentations from these sharp young minds and future business leaders,” he said. “Many of their recommendations deserve and will receive Goodwill’s serious consideration.”

Board of Directors OFFICERS Chairperson: Fred McLaughlin

Goodwill President and CEO: Matthew S. Bourlakas

Vice Chairperson: Julie F. Wilson

Goodwill VP & Chief People Officer: Betty J. Johnson

Secretary: Chad M. Grout Treasurer: Dave M. Fentress Legal Counsel: Christopher S. Dunn, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP

Goodwill VP of Finance Mary La Haie Goodwill VP of Retail David Jenkins

DIRECTORS Woodretta Allen

Ty H. Osman

J. B. Baker

Christine E. Skold

Bryan L. Bean

Todd A. Spaanstra

Steele Clayton

Grant Starrett**

Andrew Davidson

John W. Stone, III

Chris Dunn

Kathryn I. Thompson

Robert W. Duthie

John C. Tishler

Dave M. Fentress

John Van Mol

James B. Foley

Jeff Young

Kathryn S. Gibson

Donna Yurdin

Chad M. Grout

** Intern

Philip G. Hull Robert B. Kennedy R. Craig Laine Ryan R. Loyd

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

Ambassador WINTER 2015


OUR MISSION We sell donated goods to provide employment and training opportunities for people who have disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs.

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