Leader Transformed Donated Goods Retail Program to Fund Vital Mission
ROCKVILLE, MD — In the late 1990s, Steve Lufburrow, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Houston (TX), led a revitalization and restructuring of the agency’s donated goods retail program, a move that that saved the nonprofit from near bankruptcy and set the stage for it to become one of the top-performing Goodwill® agencies in the country. For his vision and leadership over a 28-year career, Lufburrow was presented the 2014 Kenneth K. King Outstanding Management Award for Executive Excellence, the most prestigious executive award bestowed by Goodwill Industries International.
In the face of unprecedented declines in government and workforce funding, and damage to its 22-acre corporate campus by Tropical Storm Allison, Lufburrow and his board of directors set aggressive goals in 2007. These included increasing the number of retail stores from 13 to 49, increasing store sales from $10 million to $36 million, and becoming operationally self-sufficient. In just four years, these goals were reached and surpassed.
Today, the agency is ranked 17th among 165 North American Goodwills in total revenue and in the top 10 overall in net profits. Impressive financial gains translated into serving more people in Goodwill’s Job Connection Service Centers. In 2013, Goodwill Industries of Houston served more than 8,800 individuals and helped place more than 1,400 in competitive employment.
“Steve is a leader among leaders in the Goodwill enterprise,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “He galvanized his board and staff to overcome some of the most significant challenges a nonprofit can face, and the Houston Goodwill emerged stronger than ever.”
At age 27, Lufburrow was the youngest CEO in the Goodwill movement’s history. The lessons learned through the agency’s financial turn-around will assists other Goodwill agencies facing similar challenges.
The Kenneth K. King Award for Management Excellence is presented to a Goodwill Industries® executive in recognition of outstanding management abilities and accomplishments. The award recognizes a CEO whose performance consistently demonstrates strong organizational impact related to mission, excellence and sustainability. It is named for the late Kenneth K. King, who endowed the Kenneth K. King Management Award for Executive Excellence Trust. The award is the highest honor a Goodwill president and CEO can receive.