AUGUST 3, 2021Pat Airy, CEO of Goodwill of the Heartland, will serve a three-year term on the Goodwill Industries International Board of Directors. Airy was elected last week during Goodwill Industries International’s Delegate Assembly attended in-person and remotely by about 450 executives.

“It was an honor to be chosen to serve,” Airy said. “I believe it is a nod to the hard work and success of our local organization, and I look forward to sharing our experiences with the broader Goodwill community as well as hearing more about innovations underway by other organizations.

“Beyond that, it’s always good to have a seat at the table and be in a position to help shape the future of an organization as well known and longstanding as Goodwill.”

The wealth of experience Airy brings to the international leadership team includes 35 years and multiple positions within the organization. In 1985, Airy served as a Goodwill Job Placement Specialist, providing skills training, job placement and follow-up services to people with barriers to independence. Later she was the local organization’s first Human Resources Director, subsequently promoted to Vice President of Human Resources and Cedar Rapids Operations. Airy, a graduate of Goodwill Industries International’s Executive Development Program, was selected from a field of 80 candidates and named CEO in 2012.

During her first five years as chief executive, Airy and the leadership team increased revenues by 21 percent and expanded services to people facing barriers by more than 100 percent. In that same period, community job placements grew by 65 percent. The organization is proud to report that 88 cents of every dollar it receives is spent on mission services.

“We’ve worked hard, identified opportunities, took some chances and traveled some new roads in order to meet the needs of the people and communities we serve,” Airy said. “Yet there is no denying the landscape around us has changed. The pandemic has brought new challenges and uncertainties to employers and potential employees – as well as to the nonprofit sector.”

Flexibility and diversity, she said, are important touchstones as we adapt.

“While we’ve not faced these specific challenges, we have been challenged and we have succeeded,” she said. “We need to remember that as we continue a relentless march toward our mission of advancing the social and economic wellbeing of people experiencing barriers to independence.”

Members of the Goodwill Industries International Board of Directors, as well as members of the Goodwill of the Heartland Board of Directors, hold voluntary, non-paid service positions. At the end of her term, Airy has the option of seeking re-election for a second three-year period.


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