Seattle Goodwill® District Retail Manager Inspires Co-workers, Employees

Goodwill Industries International Honors Israel Juarez with the 2016 Edgar J. Helms Award for Graduate Staff
Seattle, WA – At age 20, Israel Juarez moved from Mexico City to Indianapolis, IN, to live with his father. He wanted to work, but he didn’t speak English and maintaining employment was difficult. There were few Latinos in the area, and it was a challenge for Juarez to communicate.
A friend told Juarez about Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class. He put in long hours learning English after completing night shifts at his job. His motivation was strong and he persisted.
“I was engaged to learn because I didn’t want to be made fun of,” Juarez said. “I wanted to make a difference.”
After a few months of classes, his comprehension improved and he began to feel more confident in his ability to speak English. He started accompanying his father, who was ill, to medical appointments as a translator.
The English language skills Juarez gained were essential for him to improve his life and secure better employment. He was offered a training position by his employer and was later promoted to lead and then supervisor. Soon after, he was hired by Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana to be the assistant manager of its first outlet store.
Later, when Juarez moved to Seattle, WA, he knew he wanted to continue working with a local Goodwill. He accepted a position as a production supervisor with Seattle Goodwill Industries and quickly rose through the ranks, from assistant store manager to production trainer manager and then store manager. His leadership skills were integral to improving the performance of three stores, and he was promoted to district manager.
“Israel’s story reminds us that with hard work and some support, everyone has the capacity to grow their skills,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “We are proud of not only Israel’s drive to learn and build his career but also his commitment to mentoring his staff and encouraging them to develop their skills.”
Juarez shares his story of first coming to Goodwill freely with the hope of helping others who need assistance like he once did and support Goodwill’s mission of helping students and others looking for employment. He will receive his award at Goodwill’s annual Delegate Assembly meeting in Omaha, NE, on Sunday, June 12, 2016. Penske® proudly sponsors the 2016 Edgar J. Helms Award for Graduate Staff.
The Edgar J. Helms Award for Graduate Staff honors a current Goodwill employee who is a past recipient of Goodwill services and exemplifies the mission of Goodwill Industries and its founder Rev. Edgar J. Helms’ values of unselfish service to people with disabilities or other disadvantaging conditions.
To learn more about Seattle Goodwill Industries, visit
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 164 autonomous, community-based organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 13 other countries. Goodwill is one of America’s top 20 most inspiring companies (Forbes, 2014). Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,100 stores 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, Goodwill placed 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. To learn more, visit
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