Goodwill Industries of Arkansas CEO Receives Goodwill Advocacy Leader Award

WASHINGTON, DC — Goodwill Industries International (GII) is pleased to honor Brian Itzkowitz, the president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Arkansas (Little Rock), with the 2017 GII Advocacy Leader Award. The award recognizes a Goodwill leader’s commitment to supporting Goodwill’s mission of helping people reach their potential through the power of work.

As president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Arkansas, Itzkowitz successfully advocated for the passage of a bill to establish adult education charter schools in Arkansas. An estimated 18 percent of Arkansas adults are without a high school diploma. The state ranks last in the nation among states for the percentage of adults who continue their education into post-secondary training. As a result of Itzkowitz’s efforts, the Excel Center® at Goodwill Industries of Arkansas will become the first charter school of its kind in the state, enabling adults ages 19 and older to return to school, earn their high school diplomas, and move toward greater economic self-sufficiency. The Excel Center was founded to provide opportunities for adults whose education and training opportunities have been limited by educational disadvantages, homelessness, or similar circumstances. The Excel Center is built upon a foundation of elements proven to drive success for adult students, including an accelerated and flexible student schedule to meet the needs of working adults, available transportation and child care provided to students with children, and a mature learning environment for a mix of younger and older students.

“Under Brian’s leadership, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas has been able to deliver on its pledge to change lives through education, training and employment,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO for Goodwill Industries International. “We salute him for his tremendous efforts to advocate on behalf of those served by Goodwill.”

The awards were announced on Wednesday, April 5 during a reception at the U.S. Capitol, as part of GII’s annual advocacy event.

“It is both an honor and privilege to be an advocate for persons served by Goodwill. At Goodwill Industries of Arkansas, our goal is to define ways we can improve the lives of Arkansans and create solutions for them,” said Itzkowitz. “Through collaboration with the Arkansas Department of Education and our state elected officials, we have a solution that can help the 300,000 Arkansans who need high school diplomas gain one. Studies show that a high school diploma in Arkansas can mean nearly $9,000 additional dollars in annual income. The Excel Center® at Goodwill will help lift Arkansans and their families into a better life while also impacting the communities in which these families live.”

About Goodwill Industries International
Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a network of 162 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 13 other countries. GII is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is recognized by GuideStar with its Platinum Seal of Approval, the organization’s highest rating for charities. GII was also ranked by Enso as the #1 brand doing the most good in the world, and was the only nonprofit brand rated in Forbes’ 20 most inspiring companies for three consecutive years. Local Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that create job training programs, employment placement and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,200 stores collectively and online at®. Local Goodwill organizations also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food services preparation, and document imaging and shredding. Last year, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed 313,000 people in employment in the United States and Canada. In addition, more than 34 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills. To learn more, visit

For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl or Instagram: GoodwillIntl.

About Goodwill Industries of Arkansas
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization celebrating 90 years of changing lives through education, training and employment in 2017. Revenue generated through the sale of reusable donated goods at Goodwill retail stores is used to create jobs and fund critical training programs for Arkansans. Last year, Goodwill helped 4,500 Arkansans attain jobs with businesses statewide. Information may also be found at or (877) 372-5151. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillAR, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillAR or Instagram: GoodwillAR.

Joye Taylor
Public Relations Manager
Goodwill Industries International
(240) 333-5523

Maricel Johns
Public Relations Manager
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas
(501) 372-5100

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