Goodwill-Easter Seals
Serving People

Eliminating barriers to
work and independence
since 1919

Serving Minnesota for nearly 100 years as a leader in workforce development, Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota provides education, job training and placement services to eliminate barriers to work and independence. Revenue from 50 retail stores, along with other contributions, supports programs throughout MN. Our “donate-shop-reuse-educate-employ” model diverts over 60M pounds from landfills annually and brings us one step closer to a world where everyone experiences the power of work.

Our vision

A world where everyone experiences the power of work.

Our mission

To eliminate barriers to work and independence.

Our values

Our efforts are guided by a core set of values that steer our everyday decisions to fulfill our mission in the community:

  • Accountability
  • Celebration
  • Communication
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Contribution
  • Relationships

Public policy & Advocacy

We believe all people have the right to work and our organization regularly advocates on behalf of people with barriers to work and independence. Every year we make progress in advancing workforce-related public policy, engaging with 100+ elected officials on public policy objectives and participating in events at the state capitol. GESMN is a member of the MN Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and the MN Second Chance Coalition.

our leadership

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

Michael Wirth-Davis,
President &
Chief Executive Officer

Photo of Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Brent Babcock

Brent Babcock,
Chief Sales &
Marketing Officer

Jinah Chernivec,
Chief Human Resources
& Risk Officer

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

Sheila Olson,
Chief Services and
Programs Officer

Photo of Chief Finance Officer Jeff Uecher

Jeff Uecker,
Chief Financial Officer

Photo of Mary Jones, Chief Philanthropy Officer

Mary Jones,
Chief Philanthropy Officer

Our Board Members

Joseph M. Barsky III, MBA (ex-officio)
Chair, Goodwill-Easter Seals Foundation

Margaret Camp, MBA, JD ('20)
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

Debbie Galka, MBA ('20)
Chief Risk Officer, US Bank

Jerome Hamilton, MBA, CPIM, ('20) - Chair
Chief Executive Officer, Open Therapeutics

Peggy L. Kadlec ('21)
Chief Human Resources Officer/Executive,
Cadré Incorporated

Shawn Lewis ('20)
Consultant, Human Services & Workforce Dev.

Rachel Lockett, ('21) Secretary
Chief Information Officer, Pohlad Companies /Marquette Companies

Wendy Mahling, JD, ('19) Vice Chair
Lead Assistant General Counsel, Xcel Energy

Sita Morantz ('20)
President and Chief Administrative Officer,
Marsden Holding L.L.C.

Leslie Olson, MBA ('20)
Director, Field Reporting & Analytics,
Thrivent Financial

Valerie Snyder, JD ('22)
Supervising Attorney, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services

Ed Surko, MBA ('21)
Vice President, Deposit and Payment Solutions,
US Bank

Richard Tepe, MBA, CFA ('19) Treasurer
Finance Director, Investor Relations,
Target Corporation

Michael Vinyon, JD ('19)
Regional Managing Director, The Wells Fargo Private Bank

Michael Wirth-Davis, DPA (ex-officio)
President & CEO,
Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota

Other Key Contacts

Melissa Becker
Marketing & Communications Director

Ann Marie Courchene
Retail Sales Senior Director

Barb Smith
Services & Programs Senior Director

Have a question? Contact us.

Deanna Smiley Gulliford
Public Affairs Director

Shannon Schaaf
Philanthropy Director

Chris Simon
Salvage, Recycling & Aftermarket Director


  • Meet Michael Wirth-Davis, our CEO.

    Michael recently celebrated his 28th year of service as President and CEO of Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota. He has a doctorate in Public Administration (D.P.A.), teaches a class or two at local colleges and volunteers his time speaking to various groups year-round. Is he making a million dollars a year? No, but he is fairly compensated for having the responsibility of managing more than 2,500 employees and ensuring that one of Minnesota's largest nonprofits fulfills its mission. Check out our annual report and our Form 990 to get the facts.

  • All of our employees earn more than minimum wage.

    Every one of our 2,500+ employees earn more than the MN minimum wage. While some Goodwills nationally use the federal minimum wage exemption to provide employment support to people with very severe disabilities, we do not.

  • Goodwill stores exist to support our mission services.

    Our 50 store locations provide funding for services and programs that eliminate barriers to work and independence. Customers champion our mission and raise nearly $1M rounding up at the register each year! While items are donated to us, we employ staff to process items and recycle non-sellable items. Shopping and donating in our stores helps us place four people in the workplace every day!

  • We were green before green was even a thing.

    Our “donate-shop-reuse-educate-employ” model diverts over 60 million pounds from landfills annually and 70% of our stores are Energy Star rated. We also lead the Metro area as a provider of electric car charging stations in 60% of our store locations. To add perspective, 60 million pounds is equivalent to 132 Statues of Liberty and could fill CHS Field 16 times! Read more.

  • Yes, items are donated, but stores have costs.

    Donations stock our stores to support our mission, but there are costs to get that lamp from your trunk onto a shelf. An attendant unloads donations, processors sort/price items and cashiers help customers.

    It takes 2.75 hours of staffing to process just 50 items and we stock 1,000+ new items daily in every store! We also have expenses like rent, lighting and cooling to make your shopping experience clean and comfortable.

    Many items start at just $1.99 and we offer weekly promotions and sales. Sign up at so you don’t miss savings!


Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota 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 just earned its ninth consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, a distinction obtained by only 2% of charities they review nationwide.

In 2016 and 2017, 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. Download a copy of the 2017 report.

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