Goodwill-Easter Seals
Serving People

Eliminating barriers to
work and independence
since 1919

Serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin 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 and western WI. 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

Mike Finger, MA ('22)
Founder, ExitOasis.com

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 Development

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

Wendy Mahling, JD, ('19) Vice Chair
Managing Attorney and Assistant Corporate Secretary, 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 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 ('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

Nick Adams
Retail Stores Senior Director

Ann Marie Courchene
Retail Operations and Logistics Senior Director

Chirstine Bronson
Services & Programs Senior Director

Deanna Smiley Gulliford
Public Affairs Director

Shannon Schaaf
Philanthropy Director

Have a question?
Contact us.


FACTS AND MYTHS

  • Nonprofit Serving Our Community
    • Goodwill-Easter Seals is one of Minnesota’s longest operating 501(c)(3) nonprofits, founded in 1919 to help people experience the power of work.
    • The average unemployment duration in the U.S. is over 25 weeks and the unemployment rate is 60% higher for people with disabilities. The poverty rate for families of color is up to triple the rate of white families. Our 1-1 employment services help narrow these gaps.
  • Donate. Shop. Support Our Mission.
    • Donating and shopping at our stores helps us connect four people with jobs every day.
    • “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.
    • Our average job training graduate earns over 30% above minimum wage.
  • A Greener Minnesota
    • Minnesotans generate over 2.9 million tons of waste for landfills every year.
    • Our “donate-shop-reuse-educate-employ” model diverts over 60 million pounds from landfills annually, which is equivalent to 75 Boeing 747 jumbo jets!
    • We lead the Twin Cities as a provider of electric car charging stations, and over 60% of our stores are Energy Star rated.
  • 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 28 years. He teaches and volunteers his time speaking to various groups (he doesn’t have a yacht or get paid millions of dollars).

CERTIFICATIONS and ACCREDITATIONS

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.


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