Goodwill-Easter Seals

Mission

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides job training and career navigation services to eliminate barriers to work and independence. Revenue from nearly 50 retail stores ― along with grants and financial contributions ― supports Minnesotans with digital literacy skills, resume development, understanding government benefits and more. Shopping and donating helps divert over 65 million pounds from landfills annually and have helped us connect people to jobs since 1919.

 

Our mission

To eliminate barriers to work and independence.

Our Vision

A world where everyone experiences the power of work.

Our services

We prepare people for work to address labor disparities in Minnesota.

EQUITY STATEMENT

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota believes that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are central to our mission to eliminate barriers to work and independence, and our vision of a world where everyone experiences the power of work. We strive to reflect the communities we serve and strengthen partnerships, while making a solid case for the importance of this work. We will bring diversity, equity and inclusion to the forefront internally and externally and speak out against overt and systemic racism, oppressions and inequities.
 

  • As an employer we will build on employee engagement and inclusion efforts.
  • As a community member we will reflect our service communities and actively learn together.
  • As a service provider we will create equitable opportunities.
  • As an advocate we will influence systems change.

Community Need

Over 200,000 Minnesotans are currently unemployed, and many will need specialized support to return to the workforce.   

Our response: 

  • We can help people improve digital literacy skills, develop resumes for career advancement and we offer free, job-specific training like construction or automotive, to help people train for new careers.
  • Our program outcomes are life-changing: participants experience an average of 5x wage growth, over 70% retain work for 365 days or more and nearly 80% of job training graduates earn industry credentials.
  • We advance workforce-related public policy by regularly engaging with the Minnesota state legislature.

 ​​The unemployment rate in Minnesota is 60% higher for people with disabilities, and the poverty rate for families of color is up to three times the poverty rate of white families.

Our response:

  • Our individualized services — like employment readiness, career navigation and advancement — help narrow this gap and support job applicants from marginalized cultural groups and people with disabilities.
  • With thousands of Minnesotans experiencing job loss, our dislocated worker program can help people get back on their feet.
  • Minnesota has a 10.5% racial disparity employment gap* and reducing this inequity by removing barriers to work can help reduce labor shortages.

 ​

Each of Minnesota’s nearly 6 million residents generate an average of 1,600 pounds of trash every year.

Our response: 

  • Shopping and donating helps divert over 65 million pounds from landfills annually. We are a leading provider of electric car charging stations; many our stores are Energy Star rated.

  • Reselling donated items promotes reuse and we partner with others for a greener Minnesota: picking up clothing from the Twin Cities Marathon, donating winter coats to sheriff’s offices for people leaving detention centers and more.

Advocacy

Every year we make progress in advancing workforce-related public policy, engaging with hundreds of elected officials on public policy objectives. Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota is a member of the MN Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and the MN Second Chance Coalition.

Contact Director of Public Affairs Deanna Smiley Gulliford or call 651-379-5940 with questions.

Certifications and Accreditations

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota (GESMN) holds many certifications and accreditations to ensure transparency with donors and the highest level of service to our program participants. Nationally, Goodwill is rated an "A" grade by Charity Watch, and GESMN has earned nine consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, a distinction obtained by only 2% of charities nationwide.

Americans told the World Value Index that Goodwill is the brand they trust more than any other. The World Value Index is based on a nationally representative, comprehensive survey of 3,000 Americans on perception, awareness and behaviors in response to the purpose and mission of organizations and brands.

Leadership

executive team

Photo of Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Brent Babcock

Brent Babcock
Chief Sales &
Marketing Officer

Photo of Chief Human Resources and Risk Officer Jinah Chernivec

Jinah Chernivec
Chief Human Resources
& Risk Officer

Photo of Mary Jones, Chief Philanthropy Officer

Mary Jones
Chief Philanthropy Officer

Photo of Chief Services and Programs & Philanthropy Officer, Shiela Olson

Sheila Olson
Chief Services &
Programs Officer

Photo of Chief Finance Officer Jeff Uecher

Jeff Uecker
Chief Financial Officer

Photo of President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Wirth-Davis, D.P.A.

Michael Wirth-Davis,
D.P.A.

President &
Chief Executive Officer


Board Members

Joseph M. Barsky III, MBA (ex-officio)

Chair, Goodwill-Easter Seals Foundation

Margaret Camp, MBA, JD ('23)

Vice President of Product Development,
Wolters Kluwer

Kortney Cartwright ('21)

District Branch Manager, BCForward

Nicole Cooper, MPH, DrPH ('21)

Senior Director of Mission Distinction & Corporate Social Responsibility, UnitedHealthcare

Sonjia Erickson ('23)

Design Director, Product Design & Development, Target Corporation

Mike Finger, MA ('22)

Founder, ExitOasis.com

Peggy L. Kadlec ('21)

Chief Human Resources Officer/Executive,
Cadré Incorporated

Rachel Lockett ('21) Vice Chair

Chief Information Officer,
Pohlad Companies /Marquette Companies

Wendy Mahling, JD, ('22) Chair

Vice President, Corporate Secretary and Managing Attorney, Xcel Energy

Sita Morantz ('23) Secretary

President and Chief Administrative Officer, Marsden Holding L.L.C.

Leslie Olson, MBA ('23) Treasurer

Director of Field Reporting & Analytics,
Thrivent Financial

Valerie Krzywkowski Snyder, JD ('22)

Supervising Attorney, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services

Ed Surko, MBA ('21)

Vice President, Deposit and Payment Solutions, U.S. Bank Minneapolis

Richard Tepe, MBA, CFA ('22)

Finance Director, Investor Relations,
Target Corporation

Michael Vinyon, JD ('22)

Regional Managing Director,
The Wells Fargo Private Bank

Michael Wirth-Davis, D.P.A. (ex-officio)

President & CEO, Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota


key contacts

Melissa Becker
Marketing & Communications Director

Nick Adams
Retail Stores Senior Director

Ann Marie Courchene
Retail Operations & Logistics Senior Director

Christine Bronson
Services & Programs Senior Director

Deanna Smiley Gulliford
Public Affairs Director

Shannon Schaaf
Philanthropy Director

FAQ

Photo of an adult and a child drawing the Goodwill logo in chalk on asphalt

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


FACTS AND MYTHS

Goodwill is widely known and respected as a nonprofit that funds job training and employment services through the sales of donated items. Because of that, we sometimes stand in the line of fire from individuals and organizations who are misinformed and/or misrepresent us to the public.

Next time you see a friend perpetuating this old hoax, share this page with them (or send them to Snopes).

Donate. Shop. Support Our Mission.

  • “Why do you sell things that you get for free?” Donations stock stores to support our mission, but there are many costs to get that lamp from your trunk onto a shelf.
  • We employ over 2,000 people and everyone earns more than the MN minimum wage.
  • In 2019, our stores handled over 2.5 million donations, using proceeds to fund our services.

Leading by Example

  • Your aunt’s Facebook feed is great, but her facts on Goodwill might only be so-so. We have nine 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator and meet all Charities Review Council standards.
  • CEO Michael Wirth-Davis, DPA has led the organization for 29 years. He teaches and volunteers his time speaking to various groups (he doesn’t have a yacht or get paid millions of dollars).

Download the pdf here.

Resources

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the Federal Tax ID: 41-0706171.