Goodwill Industries International Selects Local CEO Recipients for Prestigious Lifetime Award

The award recognizes CEOs of local Goodwill organizations for career contributions  
ROCKVILLE, MD — Goodwill Industries International (GII) has selected Michael S. Rowan, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of San Diego County, and Dan Nisley, president and CEO of the Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries, for its 2018 J.D. Robins Jr. Distinguished Career Award. The recipients were recognized recently at the 2018 Recognition Banquet in Orlando, FL, which honored CEOs for their service to the Goodwill network.
Each year, the award recognizes a Goodwill® CEO for his/her outstanding career contributions and exemplary service to the advancement of Goodwill over a span of at least 25 years. The lifetime award recognizes the dedication of Goodwill leaders that increase efficiency in donation and retail centers to create employment placement, job training and career progression opportunities for people with disabilities and disadvantages.
Under Rowan’s leadership, in 2014 GISD was named a top workplace by Workplace Dynamics (now Energage) and received the Fit Friendly Workplace Platinum award from the American Heart Association. Rowan was also named San Diego Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO for Large Nonprofits in the same year.
“Goodwill of San Diego takes such pride in providing career opportunities to community members, no matter where they come from,” said Rowan. “I’m excited to receive this award, but even more excited to continue to work with my team and continue to make job placement a high priority. This award gives me more motivation to continue providing those opportunities.”
Daniel Nisley has served as a president and CEO for 44 of his 46 years within the Goodwill network. When Nisley started as CEO of Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries in 1986, the organization was serving approximately 100 people a year. Today, the Waco Goodwill provides more than 4,500 individuals a year with education, employment training, job placement, job training, and counseling services, and has more than quadrupled its annual revenue.
Nisley was instrumental in creating state-wide board training sessions, where Texas Goodwills came together to expand their knowledge of a board member’s roles and responsibilities, as well as strategies for effectiveness. In four major cities in his territory, Nisley developed learning centers that are free to members of the public and completely self-funded through Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries. In 2016, staff at these centers helped more than 900 individuals find work in competitive employment.
Nisley also served as Chair of the Texas Association of Goodwills, during which time that group provided input on legislation regarding Medicaid buy-in, computer recycling, television recycling, pay day lending and donation box advertising.
“I humbly accept this amazing honor on behalf of Goodwill. My staff will tell you that I don’t get too involved with local awards because I like to keep the focus on our amazing network. I’m proud of all the work we’ve done and will continue to do,” said Nisley.
This year was the first time in the 26-year history of the J.D. Robins Distinguished Career Award that the recognition committee voted to recognize two individuals in one year. The two winners have served Goodwill for a collective 85 years.
The award was renamed in 1999 for the late J.D. Robins Jr. in recognition of his extraordinary influence in the areas of Goodwill management and process improvement.
“With career advancement and job placement being one of our core missions at Goodwill, the J.D. Robins Distinguished Career Award is always something we’re pleased to give”, said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “And this year is even more special because it’s the first time that we’re awarding two very deserving CEOs. Michael and Daniel have demonstrated such commitment to Goodwill and their roles as leaders at our local organizations. Their dedication shows in the tremendous growth, results and positive feedback that we receive from both donors and staff at Goodwill of San Diego County and Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries. I can’t thank these two enough for all that they do.”
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 3,300 stores collectively and online at®. Local Goodwill organizations build revenues and create jobs by contracting with commercial, state, government and non-government organizations to provide a wide range of business services, including manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, packaging, assembly, food preparation, document management, groundskeeping and  administrative. Last year, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed more than 313,000 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
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Savanna Mickens
Public Relations Specialist
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5293
[email protected]