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    Statement from Chairman of the Board Brian Itzkowitz

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    Statement from Chairman of the Board Brian Itzkowitz

    On Friday, January 15, the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries of Toronto, Eastern, Central and Northern Ontario (Goodwill TECNO) resigned in its entirety and directed the CEO to shutter its operations effective Saturday, January 16. Goodwill Industries International’s (GII) leadership was made aware of these egregious acts and recommended that Goodwill TECNO’s GII membership status be reviewed by the GII Board, which is made up of 32 private sector representatives and CEOs of autonomous Goodwill organizations throughout North America. After a thorough review and due process, the GII board determined the organization was not in compliance with GII membership standards. As a result, the GII board voted to disaffiliate Goodwill TECNO effective Thursday, February 4.

    GII is, first and foremost, deeply concerned with the serious implications for the people in the various communities of Ontario served by the former Goodwill. We are also keenly aware that Goodwill has provided valued services within this territory for many years.

    All Goodwill members agree to and are held accountable to a set of membership standards and upholding those standards are paramount to association with GII. Effective immediately, Goodwill TECNO may no longer hold itself as a member of GII, and must cease all use of the Goodwill name, trademarks and logos.

    GII is saddened by this situation but believes that disaffiliation is the most appropriate action and provides the most positive path forward to restore a viable Goodwill presence in that part of Ontario in the future. Over many years, GII has worked to support Toronto by providing a variety of consultations and recommendations.

    GII is creating a technical support and transition team comprised of GII experts, from Canada and the United States, to understand the diverse services of the communities formerly served by the former Goodwill TECNO, and to determine a path forward for Goodwill’s service to those territories.

    There continue to be six other autonomous Goodwill organizations serving communities in Canada. Every day, they rely on donations to help fund the job placement, training and other critical social services they provide to people facing challenges to finding employment.

    GII’s membership is comprised of autonomous and independent organizations governed by their own community-based boards of directors. This principle of Goodwill’s membership is a core element of Goodwill’s effectiveness in developing and deploying services that meet the unique needs of each community in which it operates. GII’s membership structure is based on the autonomy of local Goodwill community-based organizations and is dependent on adherence to a set of standards. Without a strong board of directors from the community in which it operates, a Goodwill organization is unable to fulfill its mission to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their fullest potential through learning and the power of work.

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