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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Sep. 28, 201012:00 PM EST

Nonprofit CEO Showcase: Robert H. Thayer


Robert H. Thayer
President and CEO
Goodwill Industries of North Florida

Goodwill’s mission is to help people find jobs and become productive, self-sufficient members of our community.

Serving Jacksonville
Since 1940.

Those served
We operate 19 Thrift Stores, one Pound Store and 21 Donation Centers throughout Northeast Florida. Goodwill is self-funded and the stores are the economic engine that supports our mission. We do no fundraising. We simply ask the community to “think Goodwill” when cleaning out their closets. Donations continue to flow and store sales continue to rise, allowing us to offer more services to more people in need. A new customer base has found its way to our Goodwill Stores, as many families strive to stretch their hard-earned dollars and do more with less.

We operate six Job Junctions, which are walk-in career centers open to anyone who wants to conduct an independent job search. Last year we served more than 35,000 people.

In 2007, we launched a commercial laundry partnership with Sodexo serving area hospitals. Contracts include St. Luke’s Hospital, Brooks Rehabilitation, Mayo Dialysis, NAS Jacksonville and Bert Fish Medical Center in Volusia County. We are processing more than 2.8 million pounds of laundry annually and employ 28 people. When operating at full capacity, we will process more than 20 million pounds of laundry annually and employ 150 people.

We operate a custodial training program and offer services to area businesses seeking flexible staffing options. Current contracts include the University of North Florida and Operation New Hope.

We also operate a Call Center (Call Junction). Agents manage inbound and outbound calls for the Goodwill Home Pickup Department and placement calls for our Workforce Development Department. These services are now available to area business and last year we were awarded our first commercial contract with the ADS Media Group.

Biggest challenge
To constantly remind our stakeholders that our mission is helping individuals find jobs, not just run stores.

Biggest satisfaction
We have been able to increase our services and place more than 10,500 people into employment in 2009, a year which saw unemployment rise to more than 10 percent.

Bloomington, Ill.

First experience with community service
In the early 1980s, I volunteered with Junior Achievement.

Your job before Goodwill Industries of North Florida
President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids, Mich.

Upcoming events
Oct. 7: Annual Striving To Succeed Luncheon & Celebrity Fashion Show, noon-1:30 p.m., Morocco Shrine Center.

Contact information

Karen Phillips, vice president of marketing and public relations, 384-1361, ext. 4250

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