Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina honored the community partners, volunteer leaders, team members, and program participants who make its mission services possible at the Annual Recognition Banquet, held Thursday, Nov. 2, at WinMock at Kinderton in Bermuda Run, N.C.
The banquet included presentations to Graduate of the Year Neil Willoughby and Achiever of the Year Andie Jackson, as well as employee recognition awards and the first-ever Community Impact Award, given to the Winston-Salem Foundation.
The Graduate of the Year Award honors an outstanding person with a disability or disadvantaging condition who has completed a Goodwill career services program and gone on to demonstrate outstanding achievement by attaining and maintaining successful employment in the community. The 2023 Graduate of the Year is Neil Willoughby, of Salisbury, N.C., who began working with the Project Re-entry program while incarcerated. Following his release, Neil continued to work with the Goodwill Career Connections Center in Salisbury and, through a partnership with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, attained his commercial truck driving license. He is now employed with Chandler Concrete. Watch a video about Neil’s story here: https://tinyurl.com/2m9vf439.
The Achiever of the Year award is presented to an individual who has overcome obstacles, demonstrated significant personal and vocational development, and achieved success working at Goodwill. The 2023 Achiever of the Year is Andie Jackson, an associate at the Goodwill Retail Store on Tunnel Road in Asheville. Andie was first hired at the store in 2012 after receiving services from Goodwill Career Connections in Asheville. In addition to her work at the store, Andie is a lifelong participant in the Special Olympics and was a featured model in the 2022 Color Me Goodwill fashion show. Watch a video about Andie’s story here: https://tinyurl.com/28hsd37h.
The banquet also recognized Goodwill team members who were nominated by their peers as outstanding examples of the organization’s culture and values, and who help create an environment that fosters the success of Goodwill’s mission. They were:
- Lisa Barlow – Mission Advancement, Wilkesboro
- Irma Berry-Scott – NCWorks, Winston-Salem
- Michael Callis – Retail Associate, Conover Outlet
- Sarah Fugate – Goodwill Store Manager, Fletcher
- Samantha Cole, Quinten Shortridge and Richard Van Tuyl – Transportation Team, Winston-Salem
In addition, the Winston-Salem Foundation received the inaugural Community Impact Award, which will be presented annually to a corporation, company, or foundation that has provided significant support to advance Goodwill’s mission. The Winston-Salem Foundation partners with Goodwill on initiatives to advance economic mobility for low-income individuals and families living in Forsyth County. Additionally, the foundation has provided generous funding for childcare assistance to individuals in Goodwill’s Forsyth County employment and training programs. Goodwill, the Winston-Salem Foundation, and other area organizations continue to partner to address community issues including affordable housing, childcare, and transportation, and reshaping the benefits cliff.