Charlotte Goodwill has a new CEO and he’s well known among city’s charities

Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont announced Tuesday that it has chosen Chris Jackson as its new president and CEO, replacing Michael Elder who worked with the agency 40 years.

Jackson is well known in Charlotte for serving as vice president of Community Building at the city’s United Way. He joined Goodwill in 2010, as vice president of the Strategic Planning and Organizational Development.

He will assume control of the agency on June 1 and Elder will stay on as President Emeritus until October 2018, for special projects and counsel as needed.

“Chris brings more than 25 years of executive leadership responsibilities, and a demonstrated ability to successfully lead teams and manage complex operational processes,” said Elder in a statement. “His ability to build strategic relationships, implement successful process improvements, develop talent and create great work environments will serve him well in his new role

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont is largely known for its stores, but the agency is one of the leaders in the community in finding new careers for unemployed people. This includes skills training for in-demand industries such as customer service, administrative and business services, and construction.

Those programs are paid for by the sales generated at Goodwill’s 24 retail stores in the region.

Jackson, who was raised in Philadelphia, says the agency’s work boils down to “access to opportunity” for people who lack the training to get better jobs. Goodwill fills that gap, he said.

“Having experienced many of the same barriers faced by our clients, it is my privilege and honor to elevate our mission of changing lives through the power of work,” said Jackson in a statement.

Jackson has served in a variety of capacity at Goodwill in the past seven years, including a promotion in 2013 to executive vice president of Workforce Services & Organizational Development. Under his leadership, a new strategic plan was developed to increase partnerships with other health and human services agencies.

In addition to the stores, the organization has started other businesses to pay its bills, while also creating jobs. These businesses include GoodWork Staffing, one of the largest temporary staffing agencies in the region.

Among the other businesses: Goodwill Construction Services, a full-service construction division; Community Table Bistro, a restaurant that also offers catering for the event spaces at the Goodwill Opportunity Campus; ShopGoodwill.com, an e-commerce business; Electronics Recycling and E-Books, Goodwill’s online book retailer.

The organization has an operating budget of $60 million annually and has a staff of 800.