Kimberly Lewis envisions growing Goodwill Industries of East Texas. Ms. Lewis, named the next executive director of the nonprofit organization, said she plans to expand Goodwill outside of its walls by taking services to the community.
“I think Tyler has wonderful opportunities,” she said of the nonprofit organization here. “It's a very strong organization and is well-rooted in the community.”
Ms. Lewis will begin her new job July 1, replacing David Walton, who is retiring in June after serving as executive director since 2000.
Ms. Lewis, 48, grew up in Charleston, S.C. She earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the College of Charleston and a master's degree in adult technical education from Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.
She started her career as a journalist, writing for a newspaper in Charleston for 11 years before taking a leave of absence to work on a book about her family. She also did freelance writing and volunteered for Family Assistance, a nonprofit organization. After six months there, they asked her to serve as assistant director, which she did for eight months.
She went on to work as development coordinator at the Carolina Youth Development Center for 10 months; as data administrator for Ashley Hall School, a private school for girls, for 13 months; and as executive director for Trident Literacy Association in North Charleston for 18 months.
Ms. Lewis moved to West Virginia and for the past 10 years has been executive director of Goodwill Industries of KYOWVA Inc. in Huntington, W.Va.
She said she applied for the position in Tyler because she wanted to work for a larger Goodwill. She said Goodwill Industries of East Texas has twice the territory size and operating budget as the one she works for in Huntington.
Ms. Lewis said Tyler is not that different from some parts of South Carolina. She is used to flat farmland and hot and humid weather, she added. Her last day of work in Huntington is June 14, so she will have a two-week window before she starts her new job here.
Goodwill Board Secretary Mark Reis said they evaluated more than 120 resumes and narrowed it down to three finalists, who all were interviewed in person.
“Kim brought a unique and vivacious approach to leading the Goodwill of Huntington, W.Va., and we feel confident that she has the vision and energy to do the same here in Tyler,” Paul Josephson, who served as the selection committee's chairman, said in a statement.
At Goodwill, Ms. Lewis implemented an array of services, including a bankruptcy and housing counseling program through its Consumer Credit Counseling division; an e-recycling and school-based paper recycling program; a business-to-business training program; Medicaid-waiver approved family counseling services, including substance abuse counseling; and was the first in Goodwill to establish a sustainable revenue-sharing community college partnership model.
Ms. Lewis is a member of the national Dell/Goodwill Reconnect E-Recycling Strategic Initiatives Committee, the Goodwill Industries International Diversity Task Force and Goodwill Industries International Conference of Executives Nominating Committee. She is a former member of the Goodwill Industries International Board of Directors and former chairwoman of the Conference of Executives.
She has received several awards through the years, including the 2012 Advocacy Leader Award from Goodwill Industries International and the 2012 Women of Color Award from Marshall University.
If you know of a professional woman or business service in Tyler you think should be highlighted in this column, contact Business Editor Casey Murphy at email@example.com or 903-596-6289.