Goodwill Industries President and CEO retiring and successor announced

Business News |Feb 17, 2017|4 min read

MUSKEGON, MI — Goodwill Industries of West Michigan (GIWM) President and CEO Richard “Dick” J. Carlson will retire after 40 years of dedicated service to the nonprofit organization effective March 31, 2017. Jeanette Hoyer has been named as his successor, effective April 1.


Carlson has served as president and CEO since 1992, and during his 25 years of leadership, the organization has grown from a $2.9M to a $23.6M social enterprise. Expanding its mission-based employment and training programs and services for people with disabilities and other disadvantaging conditions, Goodwill served 1,747 people and placed eight individuals into competitive employment when Carlson took the helm in 1992, contrasted with 5,431 receiving services and placing 1,162 individuals in 2015. Staff has grown from 137 employees to 400 during this time.


During Carlson’s CEO tenure, the organization’s network of retail stores expanded from four stores to 16; additionally launching its e-commerce business in 2001. Carlson also oversaw an extensive capital campaign and the complete renovation of Goodwill’s headquarter facility in 2002, and directed the development and building of two community Career Centers, as well as the Holland-based Employment & Training Center which opened last year. Other significant milestones include establishing the subsidiary corporation GoodTemps Temporary Staffing in 2004, and obtaining Goodwill’s first ISO 9001 certification for its Industrial Services Center in 2008 thereby expanding its customer base and work opportunities for people with significant disabilities.


Under Carlson’s direction, GIWM restructured and increased its endowment fund with the Community Foundation for Muskegon County in 2003, to support the organization in perpetuity. The fund has prospered over the years and now self-funds some of Goodwill’s critical mission-based services.


Goodwill Industries is nationally recognized and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In 2015, under Carlson’s guidance, GIWM received its 14th consecutive three-year accreditation, the highest level of accreditation.



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Carlson began his career at Goodwill in 1976 as a rehabilitation counselor after graduating from Graceland University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Social Work and Psychology. He left the organization after one year to work as a probation officer with the 60th District Court (Muskegon), and returned in 1979 in the role of vice president. In 1983 he obtained his Master of Social Work degree from Western Michigan University.


“Dick has done an exemplary job leading Goodwill through a period of tremendous growth and expansion,” said Goodwill Board of Directors Chair Tom Dake. “Many lives have been forever changed by the job training programs he helped develop and grow and for that, our communities owe him a debt of gratitude.”


“Not long after I started working for Goodwill Industries I knew I had found a very special place that held people up until they could support themselves,” Carlson said. “And after 40 years of building upon the dream of our Goodwill Industries founder Dr. Edgar Helms, I know that we will continue to grow our strategic vision of positively impacting and changing lives through the power of work … Helms’ philosophy of ‘a hand up, not a hand out.’ ”


Last spring, the Goodwill Board of Directors formed a search committee that worked closely with a professional executive search firm to secure a replacement. After a national search and reviewing numerous candidates, the board selected internal candidate Goodwill Mission Services Director Jeanette Hoyer to take the reins of the organization.


Hoyer began working at Goodwill in 2015 after serving 11 years as the executive director of Pathways MI, a Holland-based nonprofit organization providing a variety of critical child welfare services. She oversaw the merger of two well-respected organizations – Child and Family Services of Western Michigan and Children’s Resource Network – doubling the organization’s budget and service area.


Jeanette previously worked as a therapist, program director, and clinical supervisor for the Center for Women in Transition. She holds a Bachelor’s of Psychology degree and a Master’s in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology degree from Western Michigan University.


“Jeanette has thoroughly embraced the Goodwill mission. Her deep caring for people, her strong executive experience in West Michigan, and her track record to date with Goodwill, uniquely qualifies her for the position,” Carlson said.


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