Sam Schmitz has announced his retirement as President of Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois and Wisconsin Stateline Area, Inc. after serving as President since Jan. 7, 2008. Schmitz will stay on as President until a replacement is found which is anticipated to be the spring of 2018. “Sam has been an extraordinary leader for our organization over the past 10 years. While we’ll miss him as he transitions to retirement, we’re grateful for the team he’s built to carry on Goodwill’s mission in our community,” stated Brian Reck, Goodwill’s Board Chairman.
Under Schmitz’s leadership the agency has grown from a $4.4 million in revenues, employing approximately 250 people in 2008 to a $17 million agency with over 540 employees today. The agency will serve an estimated 20,000 individuals in 2018. Schmitz stated, “I feel good about playing a role in our success. Goodwill has a strong, committed and supportive Board of Directors and a tremendous leadership team. Our employees work hard every day to build revenues in order to help people get to a better place in life through our mission activities. I will certainly miss going to a job day-in and-day-out, where you know that your work helps people enhance their own lives. However, it is time for new leadership to take the agency to a new level of service to the communities in which we operate.”
Mr. Schmitz also played a key role in the Governor's signing of House Bill 2527 which allows for the creation of an Excel Center in Illinois by removing the age cap for students to obtain a High School diploma. The Excel Center is a proven educational model where students can earn a High School diploma, earn industry-recognized credentials and college credits in a supportive environment. "Sam's leadership and dedication in getting this bill passed was the first step in affecting positive change in so many people's lives,” continued Reck.
Mr. Schmitz serves on the board of directors for Goodwill Industries International and serves as Vice-Chairman of Goodwill Industries International Council of Executives. Locally, Schmitz is on the board of directors for the Workforce Connection and Access Services of Northern Illinois. Throughout his career Mr. Schmitz served on a number of community boards including Rockford Local Development Corporation; Chairperson for Human and Public Services Council, Rockford District #205 and Co-chair of the Process and Analysis Team for Transform Rockford. In 2011, Mr. Schmitz was named as “Twenty-one People You Should Know” by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to the Goodwill position Mr. Schmitz was the Executive Director of the Employers’ Coalition on Health, Rockford, Illinois for nearly ten years. Prior employment also included nearly twenty (20) years with the City of Rockford, being named Personnel Director in 1985 and served as City Administrator from 1989-1998.
Mr. Schmitz has a BS in Secondary Education from Northwest Missouri State University and a Masters Degree in Geography from Western Illinois University. He has lived in Rockford since 1979 and is married to Susan. He has a son, Anthony, daughter-in-law Kathleen and three grandsons who reside in Milwaukee, WI
ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF NORTHERN ILLINOIS
Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois is a community-based not-for-profit organization whose mission is to create opportunities for individuals with barriers to enhance their lives. Goodwill funds job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in its 11 retail stores located in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. In 2016, Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois served 8,153 people in the communities in which we reside. Goodwill stores in northern Illinois (Rockford, Machesney Park, Freeport, Sterling, DeKalb, Ottawa, McHenry, Huntley, Crystal Lake and Algonquin) and Beloit, Wisconsin employ over 550 people. Visit their website at www.goodwillni.org.