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Julie Gilkay

Volunteers sought for VITA tax-preparation program

MENASHA — The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program needs volunteers to assist in the free preparation of tax returns for people in need in the community for the 2017 tax year.

Volunteers are asked to serve at least 20 hours between Jan. 24 and April 17 and will receive training in small-group sessions in November and December. VITA is seeking greeters, basic and advanced tax preparers, screeners and quality reviewers.

All volunteers must complete a background check before volunteering.

In preparation for returns filed for the 2016 tax year, Goodwill NCW’s VITA program trained more than 60 volunteers (students, professionals and community members) who prepared more than 2,000 tax returns for low-to-moderate income, disabled or non-English-speaking residents of the Fox Valley.

VITA volunteers helped tax filers save thousands of dollars in commercial tax preparation fees and claim valuable refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit and the Wisconsin Homestead Credit.

VITA (www.filetaxes4free.org) is one of 29 programs supported by Goodwill NCW with revenue generated from community donations and store purchases.

Three information sessions are scheduled for prospective volunteers, all at the Goodwill Community Campus, 1800 Appleton Road, Menasha:

  • Saturday, Nov. 11, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 15, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 18, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Register online for the information sessions at http://tinyurl.com/VITAInformation.

To apply as a volunteer, and for more information:

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2016 helped improve the lives of 63,368 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin, through 29 programs and services. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, and as far north as Rice Lake and Rhinelander, as well as provides a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store and at reStitch.com. It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 donation bins located throughout the Fox Cities and surrounding communities. Goodwill NCW uses the revenue from stores to fund a variety of innovative programs and services that serve north central Wisconsin communities.

Voices of Men offers breakfast event, weeklong presentations

The Eighth Annual Voices of Men Call to Action breakfast event, on Tuesday, Nov. 7, highlights a week of activity focused on promoting healthy masculinity and creating a society free of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

The program for the annual Call to Action event runs from 8-9:30 a.m., with a question-and-answer session with keynote speakers from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

Cost for the event is $15 for adults, with free admission for students and their chaperones. To register, go online to: bit.ly/VoicesOfMen

The event will be livestreamed on the Voices of Men website (www.voicesofmen.com), and it also will be available in recorded form.

Voices of Men, a program of Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, provides training and messaging for males of all ages to create a more respectful, safer world.

The call-to-action event, at Appleton’s Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, features two nationally known guest speakers: Brenda Tracy and Guante.

Since 2014, Brenda Tracy has traveled the nation, sharing the story of her 1998 gang-rape by four men, two of whom were Oregon State football players.

Tracy’s story is one of recovery, redemption, struggle, depression, forgiveness, purpose and service in the name of preventing others from having to endure similar struggles.

With her backstory as a chilling and often graphic testament, Tracy makes dozens of appearances each year before high school and college sports programs, with the intent of changing male behaviors toward women.

During the week of Nov. 6-10, Tracy will appear at Fox Valley college campuses and high schools.

Tracy’s influence on college campuses is growing. At a recent Stanford vs. Arizona State college football game, she was introduced to the crowd, and all football players on each team wore stickers on their helmets to represent sexual assault and domestic violence awareness. All students at the game were given T-shirts that included the “Set the Expectation” pledge.

Tracy’s website is www.brendatracy.com.

Guante is a Twin Cities-based slam poet who creates challenging and often uncomfortable work, defying societal norms on treatment of, and attitudes toward, women.

According to Guante’s website (www.guante.info), “Whether deconstructing traditional notions of masculinity, (or) challenging dominant narratives related to race and racism, … Guante strives to cultivate a deeper, more critical engagement with social justice issues, one based in both empathy and agency. An educator as well as a performing artist, Guante completed his Masters studies in 2016 at the University of Minnesota with a focus on spoken word, critical pedagogy, and social justice education; in that spirit, his performances use poems as jumping-off points for authentic dialogue, critical thinking and community-building.”

Voices of Men was launched in 2007 as an initiative of four Fox Valley domestic abuse and sexual assault programs: the Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services (Oshkosh), Harbor House Domestic Abuse Program (Appleton), Reach Counseling (Neenah-Oshkosh), and the Sexual Assault Crisis Center (Appleton).

While those programs generally serve a female population, the issue of sexual assault and domestic abuse is generally a male-population issue. Multiple studies show that approximately 90 percent of sexual assault and domestic violence perpetrators are men.

 

The annual Voices of Men breakfast has hosted more than 1,000 people in each of the past two years, offering ways to elevate women and girls and create a culture of safety and dignity.

BRENDA TRACY’S FOX VALLEY PUBLIC SCHEDULE, Nov. 7-10:

  • VOICES OF MEN CALL TO ACTION BREAKFAST: Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, Appleton, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 8-10 a.m.
  • UW-FOX VALLEY, Perry Hall, Menasha: Wednesday, Nov. 8, noon-1 p.m.
  • FOX VALLEY TECHNICAL COLLEGE, Grand Chute: Thursday, Nov. 9, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Room A170 (enter through door 16).
  • APPLETON AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT: Thursday, Nov. 9, 6:30-8 p.m., Appleton West Auditorium.
  • Other presentations at Lawrence University, UW-Oshkosh and Neenah High School

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2016 helped improve the lives of 63,368 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin, through 29 programs and services. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, and as far north as Rice Lake and Rhinelander, a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store, and online shopping at www.shopgoodwill.com and www.restitch.com, a new women’s apparel site. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

Tomah’s Sack It to Goodwill donation drive hits streets Oct. 7

The Tomah Goodwill Retail Store and Training Center will host the community’s annual Sack It to Goodwill donation drive on Saturday, Oct. 7.

More than 3,000 donation sacks have been distributed to homes in Tomah, with dates and times (9 a.m.-noon) and a donation receipt attached. Special Olympians and volunteer drivers — all from Tomah — will be scouring the streets, doing curbside pickup of donated clothing, housewares, sporting goods and other used merchandise.

Items must be placed on the curb, and can be placed in additional boxes or bags if they don’t fit in the plastic “Sack It” bags.

“We’re excited to bring this opportunity to our community,” said Tomah store team leader Deb Cota-Farmer. “This ‘Sack It’ donation drive gets bigger and better every year, and helps us serve Tomah in a special way. We have a great relationship with this area.”

This longtime annual Tomah event — now in its 13th year — is the largest single-day donation effort of the year in the market. Donations can also be delivered to the Tomah Goodwill NCW retail store and training center, which is open for donations Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The sale of donated goods supports 29 programs and services that Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin offers across the state.

The Tomah Retail Store and Training Center, 1516 N. Superior Ave., employed 53 team members in 2015, with 67 people getting a total of 6,153 hours of vocational training. The store leadership, led by Cota-Farmer, worked with eight local service agencies to promote job training and development that year.

Almost 899,000 pounds of donations — closing in on 450 tons! — were received at the Tomah Goodwill NCW location in 2016, an important part of the more than 49 million pounds of donations received across Wisconsin by the full organization.

Here’s how Goodwill NCW serves Tomah and the greater Coulee Region; five programs serve the full La Crosse/Coulee Region:

  • Community Development Program: Hands-on training and work experience for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment.
  • School-to-Work: Opportunities for high school students with special needs to develop work skills and behaviors through paid employment and classroom learning.
  • Work Adjustment Training/Work Services: Short- and long-term training programs at Goodwill worksites for people with disabilities to develop work skills and behaviors.
  • GoodNeighbor: Provides free emergency clothing and/or household items at Goodwill NCW stores through certificates distributed by community human service agencies.
  • Circles of Care: Provides support and counseling for Goodwill NCW team members in the areas of finances, health and wellness, spiritual and emotional well-being, and career-pathing.

Our Tomah store also oversees the L.I.F.E. (Learning Independent Future Environments) apartment, where high school juniors and seniors with special needs learn real-life skills — cleaning, cooking, etc. Some of those students also gain job experience (and minimum-wage pay) in the Tomah store. The goal of L.I.F.E. is to facilitate the eventual transition from high school to life-after-high school.

Here’s a link to a 2015 story from The Tomah Journal about the program: http://lacrossetribune.com/tomahjournal/news/goodwill-program-teaches-work-life-skills/article_ed5d5567-f5d0-5d2d-a2e8-14f3b3161826.html

At our La Crosse, Onalaska and Tomah stores, Goodwill has contractual work relationships with Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs). These contracts involve the local CRP providing a crew, including of up to three people with disabilities and possibly a job coach, to perform work at their Goodwill Retail Store & Training Center.

In Tomah, Goodwill offers a 12-week work program to veterans who are served by local agencies.

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2016 helped improve the lives of more than 63,368 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. The organization offers 29 human services programs and partnership, supported by the sale of donated merchandise in 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, and as far north as Rice Lake and Rhinelander, a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store, and online shopping at www.shopgoodwill.com and www.reStitch.com, which offers women’s apparel at bargain prices. It offers four Donation Express sites in the Fox Valley, and 30 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities and surrounding communities. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

Goodwill hosting fall-themed DIY class

Sign up now for our Goodwill It Yourself class and make a fall-themed chalkboard wreath frame.

The class will be held 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, at the Goodwill Community Campus, 1800 Appleton Road, Menasha. Use entrance 2.

The two-hour class costs $25, payable the night of the class, and includes all the supplies needed to create the project. All levels of expertise are welcome!

Choose your frame from our assortment, the color you want to paint the frame and the flowers you want for the wreath or spray. Get creative with the message you want to write on your personalized sign or use one of ours.

The class will be led by two do-it-yourselfers who work with Goodwill’s Vocational Support Services program.

To sign up, email Julie Gilkay at jgilkay@goodwillncw.org with your name, phone number, email address and number of attendees.

Happy fall y’all!

 

Goodwill Sale at Bon-Ton Stores begins Sept. 13

From Sept. 13-30, shoppers at The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.’s 260 retail locations in 24 states will be able to shop locally, donate locally and change lives in their communities through the fall 2017 Goodwill Sale.

Now in its 23rd year, the semi-annual Goodwill Sale runs from Wednesday, Sept. 13 through Saturday, Sept. 30 at Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers stores.

Across Wisconsin, The Goodwill Sale is a wonderful opportunity to donate used items and earn savings on new fall fashions. During the sale event, customers drop off items for donation to Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin (NCW) at their local Bon-Ton department store in exchange for coupons good for up to 30 percent off the purchase of apparel, shoes, accessories and other items as well as up to 15 percent off cosmetics and fragrances. Coupons can be used in-store and online.

Donations made at Goodwill NCW stores and Donation Express facilities also earn Bon-Ton coupons.

Fox Valley media outlets: We’ll celebrate the Goodwill Sale with a “Stuff the Truck” event at the Bay Park Square Younkers store in Ashwaubenon, facing S. Oneida Street, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Steve Zich, Goodwill NCW leader of marketing, is available for interviews from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

La Crosse-area media outlets: We’ll celebrate the Goodwill Sale with a “Stuff the Truck” event as part of a Grand Opening/Ribbon-Cutting event at the Herberger’s store in the Valley View Mall (3900 State Road 16) on Wednesday morning, Sept. 13. The ribbon-cutting and Grand Opening will run from 7-8 a.m., with the actual ribbon-cutting at 7:45 a.m., including a drum roll from the Onalaska Marching Hilltoppers. The “Stuff the Truck” event from 8-11 a.m. Dan Flannery, Goodwill NCW senior VP-engagement, is available for interviews all morning. This is the first “Stuff the Truck” event we’ve had in La Crosse!

Statewide media outlets: Within Goodwill NCW’s 35-county service area, Bon-Ton operates Herberger’s in La Crosse (Valley View Mall) and Rice Lake (Cedar Mall), and Younkers in Grand Chute (Fox River Mall), Ashwaubenon (Bay Park Square), Eau Claire (Oakwood Mall), Manitowoc (Edgewater Plaza), Marshfield (Marshfield Mall), Plover (1780 Plover Road), Sturgeon Bay (58 N. 3rd Avenue), and Wausau (Wausau Mall).

The community is encouraged to get involved by donating items such as ladies, kids and men’s clothing, accessories, shoes, luggage and household textiles, which will be sold in Goodwill NCW stores across the organization’s 35-county service area to create jobs, training programs, financial counseling, and other human-services programming.

In 2016, Goodwill NCW’s 29 human-services programs served 63,368 people across the state, from Manitowoc to La Crosse, Rice Lake to Oshkosh, Rhinelander to Plover, and the Fox River Valley.

“We pride ourselves on being a hometown shopping destination and supporting Goodwill NCW through this sale is both a natural extension of that commitment as well as a critically important component of it,” said William Tracy, president and CEO of The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. “Along with our customers, we’re able to see the direct positive impact this partnership brings to the communities we serve.”

Nationwide in 2016, Bon-Ton customers donated 4.1 million pounds of clothing, textiles and household items, enough to fill 51 semi-trucks. These contributions generated roughly 588,714 hours of job placement, job training, skills enrichment and other community-based services, such as financial education and mentoring, for people in local communities. This translates to Goodwill helping a person find a job every 23 seconds of every business day – in a single work week more than 7,000 people were placed in good jobs.

“The Goodwill Sale is a testament to our shared vision as brands who believe in bigger savings and greater good,” said Bob Pedersen, president/CEO of Goodwill NCW. “It is truly inspiring to witness the support we get each spring and fall from our partners at Bon-Ton and their customers.”

Job training and human-services programming from Goodwill NCW supports people with disadvantages and disabilities, older workers, youth and young adults, and others facing difficulty in finding a job.

 

About The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.: The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with corporate headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisc., operates 260 stores, which includes nine furniture galleries and four clearance centers, in 24 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates. The stores offer a broad assortment of national and private brand fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings. The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. is an active and positive participant in the communities it serves. For further information, please visit thebontonstoresinc.com or bonton.com. Join the conversation and be inspired by following Bon-Ton on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2016 helped improve the lives of more than 63,368 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin, through 29 programs and services. Headquartered in Menasha, the organization employs more than 1,200 team members, and operates 27 retail stores and training centers from Manitowoc to La Crosse, and as far north as Rice Lake and Rhinelander, its Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping on www.shopgoodwill.com and www.reStitch.com, a women’s apparel website. It offers five Donation Express sites across the state, and 45 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Valley. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

Rib Mountain’s Talent Shop to close Dec. 31

The Talent Shop, a program of Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin in the Wausau area since 2008, will close Dec. 31, 2017.

The program, set in Goodwill NCW’s Rib Mountain Retail Store and Training Center since 2011, gives work and volunteer opportunities to Marathon County residents of at least 50 years of age. The Talent Shop gives local artisans a place to display and sell their wares in a professional retail setting.

Goodwill NCW took ownership of The Talent Shop program in 2008 after Lutheran Social Services declined to continue the program in downtown Wausau. With the help of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, the program operated in that location until it moved to the Rib Mountain store in 2011.

Artisans, volunteers and team members of The Talent Shop were notified of the decision to end the program last week and early this week. Artisans have the choice to keep their merchandise — woodworking, quilts, clothing, painting and more — in the store at 1100 Morning Glory Lane until year’s end, or remove the merchandise.

Robert A. Pedersen, president and CEO of Goodwill NCW, said the decision to end the program was based on business considerations.

“Many retailers are in a challenging environment today, and Goodwill has seen some of that, too,” Pedersen said. “We gave The Talent Shop the opportunity to reach budgetary goals, and invested in floor-space, overhead and salary, but ultimately, we came up short.

“We are so thankful for the work of our staff, our volunteers and our artisans in giving this program a chance to succeed. We showed our faith in their work by placing the program at the forefront of a beautiful new store in an attractive retail neighborhood.

“At the end of the day, however, we need to create more revenue in that space to support the more than two dozen human-services programs we offer across the state.”

Goodwill NCW operates stores in Rib Mountain and Weston in the Wausau area, plus other central Wisconsin stores in Marshfield, Plover, Shawano, Stevens Point, Waupaca and Wisconsin Rapids.

Goodwill offers job training to more than 200 people each year in its Rib Mountain and Weston stores, providing more than 7,000 hours of vocational training. The organization also serves the Wausau area through its Community Development Program, School-to-Work, Marathon County Restorative Justice Program, GoodNeighbor and Circles of Care programs.

In 2016, the GoodNeighbor program provided $25 Goodwill gift certificates to 3,152 people at Rib Mountain and Wausau stores. Those certificates, provided to people on a referral basis only, are redeemable for merchandise on an emergency basis.

Across the state in 2016, the GoodNeighbor program served 38,352 people, totaling $870,384 of free merchandise.

Among the options to replace The Talent Shop at the Rib Mountain store is a Goodwill boutique-themed store.

Goodwill NCW supports any community organization willing to help The Talent Shop find a new site. Anyone interested can contact Dan Flannery, senior vice president-engagement, at 920-968-6854 or dflannery@goodwillncw.org.

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2016 helped improve the lives of more than 63,368 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin, through 29 programs and services. The organization employs more than 1,200 team members, and operates 27 retail stores and training centers from Manitowoc to La Crosse, and as far north as Rice Lake and Rhinelander, its Appleton outlet store, plus e-commerce shopping on www.shopgoodwill.com and www.reStitch.com, a women’s apparel website. It offers five Donation Express sites across the state, and 45 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Valley. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

We’re going on a scavenger hunt and you’re invited!

 

Goodwill is all about the thrill of the hunt so we are taking that concept up a notch.

Our Back-to-School Scavenger Hunt will be held in all 27 of our retail stores and training centers Aug. 28-Sept. 2 and will take Goodwill enthusiasts on a quest through the aisles of our stores for a specific find of the day.

Here’s how it will work:

Every day for six days, Facebook fans will be given a find of the day to hunt for. Once the item is found, participants will need to take a selfie of themselves holding the item in the store and post it as a comment on the post on Goodwill’s Facebook page.

Each find and tag will serve as an entry into one of three prizes — two tickets to a Green Bay Packers 2017 home game, first-place prize; $50 Packers Pro Shop gift card, second-place prize; and $25 Goodwill gift card, third-place prize. Participants can enter only once each day.

Contest rules:

  1. You must take a picture of yourself holding the item in a Goodwill store.
  2. Upload your picture to the Facebook post by 11:59 p.m. each day.
  3. Only one entry per person per day.
  4. One winner will be selected each day.
  5. At the end of the contest, all daily winners will be entered into the prize drawing.

On your mark, get set, go!

Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2016 helped improve the lives of 63,368 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin, through 29 programs and services. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, and as far north as Rice Lake and Rhinelander, as well as provides a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store. It offers five Donation Express sites and 37 donation bins located throughout the Fox Cities and surrounding communities. Goodwill NCW uses the revenue from stores to fund a variety of innovative programs and services that serve north central Wisconsin communities.

 

Pedersen to retire from Goodwill NCW at year’s end

Menasha — Robert A. “Bob” Pedersen has announced his retirement as the CEO and president of Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, effective Dec. 31, 2017.

Pedersen informed the Goodwill NCW board of directors of his retirement decision at Wednesday’s board meeting. The board accepted the decision, and is charged with executing a succession plan.

Pedersen, 73, has served as the organization’s leader since 1991. That year, Goodwill NCW operated 11 retail stores and training centers in 33 counties and served 718 people through its human-services programming, on approximately $6 million of revenue.

Today, Goodwill NCW has 29 human services programs, has touched the lives of more than 63,000 Wisconsinites in each of the past four years, and operates 27 retail stores and training centers, an Outlet Store (and logistics hub) in Appleton, and operates a women’s apparel website, reStitch.com. In 2016, Goodwill NCW reported revenues of $60,663,649.

Bob Pedersen — known on his business card as “Chief Visionary and Story-Teller” — has made a considerable impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites who have been served by Goodwill NCW.

“We are blessed to serve our 35 counties of Wisconsin,” Pedersen said. “Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to develop great relationships, partnering with dozens of agencies and businesses — nonprofit and for-profit — and make a positive difference in the lives of so many people who face challenges in their everyday lives.

“We’re incredibly thankful for those relationships. But the relationship between Goodwill, our shoppers and donors makes everything happen for us and those we serve. Without that basic support — built on the Goodwill legacy of Rev. Edgar Helms more than 115 years ago — we couldn’t do what we do, as well as we do it.”

“Bob has been an amazing, innovative and stabilizing presence for Goodwill for more than a quarter-century,” said Gregg Curry, Goodwill NCW’s board president. “The organization he joined in 1991 had a world of potential to prosper and serve, but needed a vision and a strong core of leadership principles.

“Speaking for the board, it has been an extreme pleasure to see this company’s growth and know that if there’s a way to create something special for the communities we serve, there’s a very good chance it will be explored by Bob and the leadership team he’s assembled.”

In June, Pedersen was presented with Goodwill Industries International’s Kenneth King Outstanding Management Award for Executive Excellence, the organization’s most prestigious management honor. He also has served on Goodwill Industries International’s Counsel of Executives and its Board of Directors.

Pedersen has more than 45 years of nonprofit leadership experience. Before joining Goodwill, he was Associate Executive Director of Programs and Services for the Brown County Association for Retarded Citizens, in Green Bay, for 17 years. Before returning to Wisconsin in 1974, he was Director of Adult Services for the Pinellas Association for Retarded Children in St. Petersburg, Fla., after starting his professional career as a science teacher in a Green Bay elementary school.

A Chicago native, Pedersen has a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Psychology from North Park College in Chicago. He did post-graduate study in Program Evaluation at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Pedersen was a member of the 1999-2000 class of Frances Hesselbein Community Innovation Fellows of The Peter F. Drucker Foundation, where he was mentored by both Hesselbein and Drucker. Bob was appointed as a member of the 2001 class of Stanford University Community Innovation Fellows. He is a past president and board member of Rehabilitation Facilities of Wisconsin, and has been a surveyor and consultant for CARF, The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission.

In 1991, Pedersen replaced Goodwill NCW first CEO, Ralph Shiner, who led the organization since 1971, when it was separated from the Milwaukee-based Goodwill organization.

Goodwill NCW’s retail and human-services growth has been strong throughout Pedersen’s tenure, especially since 2000. In the past 16 years, Goodwill NCW has established 11 new stores, creating enough financial support to increase the annual number of lives touched from approximately 12,600 in 2000 to a high of 68,698 in 2014.

“We serve 88 times as many people today as we did in 1991, and it’s hard for me to describe my pride in looking back at where we’ve come,” Pedersen said.

“This Goodwill organization has served dozens of facets of our communities — not just providing jobs, job training and job placement for people with a variety of challenges and obstacles, but providing support for the LGBT community, hope for people who struggle with personal financial debt, guidance for Winnebago County families with disabled infants and toddlers, payment services and tax-preparation services for low-income residents, and so much more.

“But I must repeat this: We could not serve our communities at this level without the ongoing support of those who donate their used clothing, housewares, furniture, sporting goods and more, and our loyal customers who have come to know our retail stores as a wonderful place to find value and make a difference in their community.

“A few years ago, we worked to create a Goodwill NCW mission statement that speaks simply and elegantly to that shared vision of what we do. It speaks volumes about who we are, what we do, where we do it, and who we serve, and it’s just four simple words: Elevating People, Transforming Communities.

“When I look back on my career here, those four words comfort me. I hope they bring comfort to our partners, our team members, our shoppers and donors, and the people we serve.”

Goodwill NCW operates the following retail store and training centers:

  • Fox Cities/Oshkosh: Darboy, Grand Chute, Menasha (also organizational headquarters), Neenah, Oshkosh, Oshkosh West.
  • Green Bay area: Ashwaubenon, Green Bay East, Green Bay West, Manitowoc.
  • Northern and Central Wisconsin: Antigo, Marshfield, Plover, Rhinelander, Rib Mountain, Shawano, Stevens Point, Waupaca, Weston, Wisconsin Rapids.
  • Chippewa Valley: Eau Claire, Lake Hallie, Menomonie, Rice Lake.
  • Coulee Region: La Crosse, Onalaska, Tomah.

Details on Goodwill NCW’s human-services programming is at www.goodwillncw.org/programs/.

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2016 helped improve the lives of 63,368 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin, through 29 programs and services. The organization — one of 164 independent, locally governed Goodwill organizations in North America — includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, and as far north as Rice Lake and Rhinelander, a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store and a women’s apparel website, www.reStitch.com. Goodwill NCW also sells merchandise online at www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers five Donation Express sites across the state, and 43 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities and surrounding communities. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

Pedersen receives Goodwill Industries International’s top award

MENASHA — As the president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin for the past 26 years, Robert Pedersen has led the organization in serving its community for nearly a generation. During his tenure, he has implemented a strong organizational code of ethics, a clearly delineated set of objectives and several programs to assist the organization’s own team members.

For his vision, leadership and dedication, Pedersen, 73, is the 2017 recipient of Goodwill Industries International’s Kenneth King Outstanding Management Award for Executive Excellence. It is the most prestigious executive honor bestowed by Goodwill Industries International.

Under Pedersen’s leadership, Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin has created several avenues to support staff in building stronger careers for themselves. He reminds team members they have the ability to “give themselves a raise” by finding a job they like — whether within or outside of Goodwill — and receiving help from the organization in plotting a path to that new position.

“Each of our career programs has a specific purpose, all aligned with the common goal of creating an energized, forward-thinking workforce,” said Gregg Curry, Goodwill NCW’s board chair. “We want our team members to grow. We’re honored to serve them.”

Because of Pedersen’s strong support for staff, the organization is better equipped to serve the people of north central Wisconsin.

“This award is really about the people we serve across Wisconsin and the people who do the work of serving — our team and our shoppers and donors,” Pedersen said.

“It has been my life’s greatest joy to see this organization grow to create more opportunity and support for people who are challenged. For four consecutive years, we have touched the lives of more than 63,300 people, and we couldn’t make that difference without such wonderful support from people who entrust us with their donated goods and people who keep our retail stores vibrant and vital.”

The Kenneth King Outstanding Management Award for Executive Excellence is presented to a Goodwill executive who displays outstanding leadership and accomplishments. It is named for the late Kenneth King, who endowed the Kenneth King Management Award for Executive Excellence Trust.

The award was presented June 26 at Goodwill Industries International’s annual Delegate Assembly in Louisville, Ky.

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2016 helped improve the lives of 63,368 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin, through 29 programs and services. The organization has touched the lives of at least 63,000 for four consecutive years. Goodwill NCW operates 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, and as far north as Rice Lake and Rhinelander, a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store and a women’s apparel website, www.restitch.com. It offers five Donation Express sites across the state, and 45 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities and surrounding communities. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

Enter to win GIY contest for chance to win concert tickets

Is ’90s music your thing? Want to break out in song every time you hear “Ice Ice Baby”?

Then enter our Goodwill It Yourself for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the I Love the 90s Tour at 7 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis. The concert features favorites like Vanilla Ice, Kid ’n Play, All-4-One, Tone Loc and Young MC.

All you have to do is submit a photo of your Goodwill It Yourself (GIY) summer style outfit via our online form or a public post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #GIYsummerstyle between June 19 and July 16 for a chance to win a pair of tickets. The photo with the most votes will win.

The winner will be contacted via email and will be announced on the Goodwill NCW Facebook page on July 17.

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