Arkansas Man A “Leader By Example”

Brian Miller is the Goodwill Industries International 2017 Achiever of the Year
ROCKVILLE, MD — Brian Miller didn’t start out life as an obvious leader. He had a difficult youth, but after serving a prison term, he was determined to turn his life around and sought help from Goodwill®. Because of his determination and leadership abilities, Goodwill Industries International is pleased to honor Miller as its 2017 Achiever of the Year.
When he was just three years old, Miller’s father left. His grandmother became his guardian when he was seven years old. In his late teens, he began using and selling drugs, and he had several run-ins with the law in his 20s. After he was caught in a raid at a drug house in his 30s, he was convicted of drug trafficking charges, and was sentenced to 36 months of federal prison.
After serving his time, Miller was given 30 days to find a job or return to prison. While at a halfway house, he saw a Goodwill van pick up other residents. Because of his felony and inability to provide for his family, Miller became determined to turn his life around. He visited Goodwill Industries of Arkansas and applied to participate in the Transitional Employment Opportunity (TEO) program. He soon began the 16-week, paid job-training program, earning a career readiness certificate and enhancing his leadership skills.
His hard work didn’t go unnoticed. After completing the program, Miller was offered a position at Goodwill, which he gladly accepted. After obtaining a certification as a forklift driver, he worked relentlessly and was quickly promoted. His strong work ethic in the production area led to increased efficiency, accountability and profitability, and he received two additional promotions. Today, as a production supervisor, Miller is coaching new TEO participants who are working in the production area as part of their job readiness program. He also acts as a mentor for others going through the program and has mentored hundreds of participants during his tenure.
“Brian’s commitment to others, his passion to help others with similar circumstances to overcome their past and do something positive, and his leadership skills make him a strong role model for individuals facing challenges to finding employment,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “His desire to change his circumstances is what fuels his strong work ethic, and this is what makes him a true leader by example.”
“I come from a past that I am ashamed of,” Miller said. “Not only did Goodwill help me change my life, they changed my children’s lives because they got their father back; and I’m working and doing something positive.”
Miller will receive his award at Goodwill Industries International’s annual Delegate Assembly conference in Louisville, KY on June 27, 2017. Goodwill Industries International’s Achiever of the Year is a person who has shown great progress and accomplishment in overcoming challenges to finding employment, and who still benefits from the Goodwill work environment or receives services to support employment at a community site.
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, 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®. 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
For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl or Instagram: GoodwillIntl.
Lauren Lawson-Zilai
Senior Director, Public Relations
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5266
[email protected]