Goodwill Honors Program Participants, Board Members, Staff

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Thank you to our Premier Sponsor, Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture, and to everyone who attended our Annual Celebration at Beech Activity Center on October 8, 2015! The reception and photo booth, sponsored by Koch Industries, were a hit! Check out pictures from the photo booth.

Nearly 400 people joined us for a heartwarming evening as we recognized incoming and outgoing board members, honored staff and program participants for their special achievements, and listened to Rob Snow’s inspiring story of how to Minimize the Mountain. Congratulations to these award recipients, and thank you to our incoming and outgoing board members for their dedicated service to our organization.

Salina, Store of the Year: The first store selected for the Store of the Year honor experienced a 10% increase in total sales over last year, while reducing labor by 1% which  increased their gross margin to 46%, up 5% since last year. In addition, this Goodwill team has participated in community events to raise awareness of the Goodwill mission and to collect donations.

Emporia, Store of the Year: The co-honoree for outstanding store of the year has seen growth in total sales to the tune of nearly 14% over last year and increased their gross margin to 33%. The team was named the first ever 2015 March Gladness Register Round Up Champions for their efforts to raise funds for the people we serve through seeking change donations – and was named Store of the Year in 2014.

Julie Woodruff (Emporia), Manager of the Year: Julie came to Goodwill in October 2009, and during the past 6 years as manager, sales in her store have almost doubled! That is particularly amazing considering that this year only one other store experienced double digit increases in total sales!

Jared Hammans, Marie Mareda Outstanding Employee of the Year: Jared came to Goodwill in October of 2006 to oversee loss prevention and safety in the stores and quickly gained the respect of his colleagues at every level. He has been described as a “gentle giant” – for his ability to be sensitive, yet firm. Over the course of his tenure, he’s grown in his role, participating in ongoing professional development which has earned him distinctions including Certified Forensic Interviewer and Certified Fraud Examiner – although, knowing his sense of humor, I bet he’d say he’s also grown from his annual pizza tours, in which he visits all of the stores in the state with pizza in tow to make his safety presentation! And, it works! He is credited with reducing expenses related to insurance ratings and workmen’s comp due to his extensive efforts in safety training.

Carman Caldwell, Marie Mareda Outstanding Employee of the Year: Our second Marie Mareda Award winner joined the Goodwill team in 2007 as a Team Leader in a store and rapidly progressed into management, working at various locations and establishing new stores. She moved into her current role as area manager and retail trainer in November of 2013 and has since completed the Goodwill Industries International “Train the Trainer Program.” She currently oversees the training program for all new retail team members and management, as well as forklift operation. In addition, she works closely with the Goodwill float team, coordinates BlueTique pop-up stores and the online store, which has experienced huge growth during the past year.

Janice Hardin, Best Team Player: Janice is one of the most supportive people you will ever meet. She has great compassion for both her peers and staff. Whether training her peers, assisting another employee in completing their tasks, or just grabbing copy paper for the staff when their hands are full…she is always willing to do what is needed to help the team succeed.

Jonathan Toews, Most Improved: Our most improved employee has come a long way since coming to Goodwill.  Although he has always been motivated to work, he struggled with several other inappropriate work behaviors that were holding him back from being employable in the community. Over the last year, our honoree spent a lot of his time working to improve on these issues.  We are all very proud of how well he is doing and applaud his efforts as he continues his walk towards further independence and successful community employment.

Betty Brown, Rookie of the Year: When this employee joined the team, she blew everyone away with her work ethic.  Not only is she always ready to work, but she volunteers to assist her peers with their work. She also has a very friendly personality and gets along great with all of her coworkers and staff members. But beware…if she is disappointed in YOUR work, she WILL let you know!

Katie Wagner, Achiever of the Year: When Katie first came to Goodwill four years ago, she was very emotional and unwilling to try new jobs. Working with Goodwill’s program specialists, Katie has made significant progress in both her productivity and attitude.
Now she enjoys doing a variety of jobs like repackaging, kit assembly, labeling and more in Goodwill’s contracts division. Katie has also taken on a new challenge of working in Goodwill’s retail stores to help with merchandise rotation.  She hopes to continue developing her skills and eventually work a full schedule in our retail stores. Watch Video.

Ethan Kemp, Graduate of the Year: Before working with an Employment Training Specialist at Goodwill, Ethan went everywhere with his service dog, Dylan, who helped control Ethan’s anxiety.

Now, Dylan is retired and enjoys his time as a family pet. Ethan has become more confident and independent while working at Walgreens over the last year. His manager values his dedication and strong work ethic. His future goals are to live independently, have a successful career and start a family. Watch Video.

William Warren, Scholar of the Year: A husband and father of five, William worked for years in a steady job operating a forklift, but his heart was always in the arts. While his wife had earned a Master’s Degree, he had put off completing his GED. Together, they encouraged their children to do well in school, and he wanted to set a better example for them by continuing his education to open up new opportunities for a better career.

At NexStep Alliance, a partnership between Goodwill and Wichita Area Technical College, William discovered a way to combine his love of art with a large local industry – aerospace. While taking GED prep courses, he completed college-level Aviation classes all at the NexStep campus.
William earned his GED and, this spring, he’ll graduate WATC with an Associate’s Degree in Aerospace Coatings & Paint. He recently accepted a full-time position in the industry and hopes to one day get his dream job – to manage a crew that paints themed aircraft. Watch Video.

Joe Johnson (Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture)
Jimmy Martinez (Westar Energy)
Patricia Voth (Foulston Siefkin)
Cindy Carnahan (The Carnahan Group)

Chris Hurst (Foulston Siefkin)
William Pickert (BKD)
Rob Harmon (INTRUST Bank)

Joe Johnson (Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture)