The Goodwill Industries International (GII) board of directors has elected Karla Grazier, president and CEO of Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado, as the chair of its board. Grazier took office during the annual Goodwill meeting of executives and board leaders held recently in Louisville, KY, and will serve a one-year term.
Grazier has served as president and CEO of her local Goodwill organization, headquartered in Colorado Springs, since 2010. In that role, she has led the nationally recognized social enterprise's 1,500 employees in their mission to provide independence-building programs throughout 38 Colorado counties. Grazier was elected to the GII board of directors in 2013, and has served as treasurer of the board and chair of the finance committee and, most recently, as vice chair. Last year, she was chair of the GII Strategic Issues Planning Committee (SIPC). This year, she will continue to serve as a member of SIPC and will chair the executive and compensation committees.
In 2016, Grazier received Goodwill's Matthews Entrepreneurial Award, which is given to a Goodwill CEO for outstanding demonstration of the entrepreneurial spirit in the development of new market revenues, outside of donated goods retail, and jobs for people with disabilities or other challenges to finding employment. That same year, she also received the Robert E. and Charlotte Watkins Award for Excellence in Mission Advancement for developing the first-of-its-kind Possibilities program, which teaches individuals with developmental disabilities essential life skills in a real-world town square setting. The award is presented to a Goodwill leader — CEO, staff or volunteer — who has made an innovative contribution to the advancement of the Goodwill mission.
"Karla Grazier is a true visionary in the field. I'm excited to work more closely with her. She has a strong vision and ongoing devotion to achieving Goodwill Industries International's mission of improving communities and supporting people with challenges to finding employment," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "Karla's passion and her demonstrated commitment to Goodwill and the people we serve are extraordinary."
Prior to joining Goodwill, Grazier was a well-regarded entrepreneur who ushered several companies to successful public offering and acquisition. She began her professional career in banking and accounting, and also spent time in academia as an adjunct lecturer at New York University and Yale University.
A resident of Colorado Springs since 1996, Grazier has been an avid participant in numerous boards and committees, both at the local and national level—including the Chamber and Economic Development Council of Colorado Springs, Colorado Thirty Group, Women's CEO Nonprofit Roundtable, lead independent director and audit committee chair for 5Star Bank's board of directors, and service on Pikes Peak Workforce's Investment Board of El Paso and Teller Counties. In 2012, she was appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper to the State Rehabilitation Council and Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC), a highly-visible, community-based organization serving people with disabilities. Grazier is a member of the Colorado Springs Artemis Women's network and 100+ Women Who Care, and she is a Colorado Springs Leadership Institute alumna. She received the Girl Scouts 2015 Women of Distinction Award and the Colorado Springs Business Journal's 2014 Women of Influence Award.
Grazier holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Indiana University.
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 for two consecutive years, 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 shopgoodwill.com®. 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 more than 312,000 people in employment in the United States and Canada. In addition, more than 35 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills, and more than 2 million people received in person services. To learn more, visit goodwill.org.
For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at Goodwill.org or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl or Instagram: GoodwillIntl.
About Discover Goodwill of Southern & Western Colorado
Discover Goodwill provides jobs-generating, life-changing programs and services to tens of thousands of people each year—including military veterans, seniors, youth, and individuals with developmental and economic disadvantages. Discover Goodwill dedicates nearly 90 percent of its annual budget to community-based programs across 38 Colorado counties. Discover Goodwill has received GuideStar's Platinum rating—their highest nonprofit ranking—reflecting the organization's strong commitment to accountability and transparency. Follow us on Twitter: @discovergw, and find us on Facebook: discovermygoodwill