The president of Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois is retiring.
Sam Schmitz had served in a variety of public and private posts before taking the helm of the agency serving Boone, Winnebago and parts of surrounding counties in 2008.
Schmitz said Goodwill's mission is to help people with life challenges raise themselves up. He said he and the board determined early on that it needed a new business model in order to better support that mission.
Adding more stores helped quadruple its budget from $4.5 million then to more than $17 million today. But, he said, for a nonprofit like Goodwill, it's not just about the revenue.
"Our shareholders, if you will, are our participants," he said, "so the less money we have in profit, the less we help our participants get to a better place in life."
Schmitz said the increase in revenues greatly increased the number of people Goodwill helps. He's very proud of that.
"To wake up every day," he said, "and know -- through your efforts with a great leadership team, a great board, great employees, we're going to serve 20,000 people -- now, not too many people can say that."
The number served include those in its GoodGrads GED program, which Schmitz said now is funded entirely through store revenue.
Schmitz said he plans to retire sometime in the spring, depending on when a new president is chosen. He expects his successor will continue to work to increase both the number served and to expand the programs to help them.
Schmitz believes that, whoever is picked, Goodwill is in a good place for continued growth.