Thursday, Jan 23, 2014

Goodwill CEO Ken Colling Announces Retirement

Seattle Goodwill’s President and CEO, Ken Colling, has announced his retirement at the end of June 2014 after more than 10 years with the organization.

“Goodwill has experienced tremendous growth under Ken’s leadership,” said Board Chair Cathy Gibson. “Twelve new retail thrift stores were opened, bringing the total to twenty three, along with the addition of 3 Job Training and Education Centers and expansion of 7 existing Centers throughout North Puget Sound, since he joined Goodwill in December 2003.”

Goodwill’s mission is to help individuals with barriers to employment get jobs and become self-supporting; the nonprofit organization has seen student enrollment figures increase more than 500% to 8,534 during Colling’s tenure. Another significant achievement was the recent opening of a new 3-story building in Seattle that houses a Job Training and Education Center and Administrative Support Services which will enable Seattle Goodwill to grow and serve more people in need in its 5 county region. 

Colling can also be credited with a number of changes designed to implement greater organizational efficiencies and improved business operations:

  • Executed a number of processes (Lean) to ensure the organization used sustainable practices and demonstrated good stewardship of donated items.
  • Increased board diversity and promoted partnering with other community organizations
  • Implemented a long-term strategic planning process
  • Reinvested in aging facilities, equipment and information technology systems
  • Raised the organization’s profile in the community through his extensive involvement in organizations such as Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Tabor 100, United Way of King County, Seattle Rotary, Workforce Development Council and Green Seattle Partnership

“My vision for the organization – that Goodwill, in partnership with our community, make large strides in reversing the cycle of poverty by helping people gain the skills needed to be successful in work and in life – is still very real and relevant today,” said Colling. “I am proud of our accomplishments and will miss Goodwill – the interaction with an amazingly diverse, hardworking, and dedicated group of employees and students.  It has all been a great team effort!”

Prior to joining Goodwill, Colling worked for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego for 28 years, primarily as the Area Manager for the San Diego service area.

For more information, please contact Katherine Boury, Communications Manager at katherine.boury@seattlegoodwill.org or (206) 860-5733.

Seattle Goodwill Industries is a private, nonprofit organization that has served the central and northern Puget Sound since 1923. It provides free job training and education programs and services that help low-income and underserved people obtain the skills they need to secure employment so they may achieve economic self-sufficiency. For more information about Goodwill programs, please visit our Job Training & Education page or call toll-free 1 (877) GIVE4GOOD.

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