Goodwill-Easter Seals

Mission

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota is a nonprofit organization providing education, job training and placement services that eliminate barriers to work and independence. Revenue from 50+ retail stores ― along with grants and other financial contributions ― supports programs throughout Minnesota. Our “donate-shop-reuse-educate-employ” model diverts over 65 million pounds from landfills annually and helps us connect people to jobs every day.

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.

Our history

Founded in 1919, our rich history of service has connected people to jobs for a century.

Community Need

  • The unemployment rate is 60% higher for people with disabilities. 
  • The poverty rate for families of color is three times that of white families.
  • Women face pay inequality, earning 15% less than men in similar roles.
  • Minnesota projects a labor shortage of over 230,000 people by 2022. 

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,
Dr. PA

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, DrPA (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.