Goodwill Industries of Arkansas Honors Arkansans and Makes Big Announcements

LITTLE ROCK, AR — Goodwill Industries of Arkansas celebrated the accomplishments of the people it serves as well as volunteers, employers and community partners during its Annual Awards Luncheon and Fashion Show on Thursday, May 11, at the Robinson Center in Little Rock.

This year, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas celebrates 90 years of changing lives through education, training and employment in Arkansas. The individuals honored at this year’s awards luncheon have overcome diversity in order to improve their lives. These successes would not be possible without the support of Goodwill’s community partners and volunteers, without the dedication of the Goodwill staff and certainly without the diligent desire of the people we serve to better their lives through the power of work.

This year’s award winners:
• Volunteer of the Year: Kenneth Smith, Little Rock
• Community Partner of the Year: Hope Credit Union, Little Rock
• Employer of the Year: Ozark Mountain Poultry, Rogers/Batesville
• Frank Lyon, Jr. Achiever of the Year: Teresa Cox, Bella Vista
• Graduate of the Year: Nikki Killion, Little Rock

Brian Itzkowitz, President & CEO of Goodwill Industries of Arkansas, said, “Nikki Killion and Teresa Cox demonstrate that labels do not define them and their past does not define their futures; it is their positive attitudes and determination to live a fuller life that define them. We applaud them for their efforts and successes.” Itzkowitz added, “We are thankful to Kenneth Smith, Hope Credit Union and Ozark Mountain Poultry for supporting our mission and helping Arkansans improve their lives.”

During the luncheon, local celebrities modeled outfits showcasing fashion designs from the past 90 years. Thank you to the following models for their participation: Denise Middleton, THV11, Bob Steel, KARN 102.9, Linda Womack, Goodwill Person Served, Officer Tommy Norman of North Little Rock Police Department, Dawn Scott, THV11, Amber Glaze, 106.7 The Ride, Bailey Moses, Miss Northeast Arkansas 2017, Erin Hawley, KATV 7, Marci Manley, KARK 4/KLRT FOX 16, Ed Buckner, THV11, Rob Evans, THV11, Alyson Courtney, KATV 7, Kevin Kelly, KLRT FOX 16, Mandy Richardson, Soiree Magazine and Jim Burris, Goodwill Person Served. The outfits were created from donated items to Goodwill Industries of Arkansas. Outfits will be auctioned on Goodwill’s online site, shopgoodwill.com.

At the event, Itzkowitz made two big announcements about Goodwill’s future plans. Goodwill Industries of Arkansas will open an adult high school, The Excel Center® at Goodwill, in Arkansas this summer. It will be the first 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 offers a two generation model that includes a free childcare onsite for parents while they attend classes. Itzkowitz said, “We understand that there are many challenges for individuals needing to balance school and life’s circumstances, and we want to support them in achieving their goals.” Applications are now open, and classes will commence August 2017.

In addition, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas acquired the five easternmost counties of Crittenden, Lee, Mississippi, Phillips and St. Francis from Memphis Goodwill, Inc. In July 2017, Goodwill will open a store with a career center in Blytheville. Itkowitz said, “We are excited to expand to east Arkansas so that we can positively impact more Arkansans with our career services and programs.”

Sponsors for the luncheon were Bank of the Ozarks, Diamond Sponsor; Comfort Systems USA Arkansas and Windstream, Platinum Sponsors; Catlett Law Firm, PLC, The Hatcher Agency, Sage Partners and Steve Landers Auto Group, Gold Sponsors; and BancorpSouth Insurance Services, Inc., Baptist Health, BKD, LLP, Brian & Dawn Itzkowitz, Mainstream Technologies, Middleton Heat & Air, Raymond James, Simmons Bank and UALR, Silver Sponsors.

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 GoodwillAR.org.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Maricel Johns
Public Relations Manager
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas
(501) 372-5100
mjohns@goodwillar.org

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