More than busy: Goodwill exec motivated by mission
The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area
April 28, 2006
Carpenter-Elliott first felt that connection 16 years ago while working with people with disabilities in Goodwill’s vocational evaluation program.
“I enjoyed working with people with barriers to employment and watching them become successful.”
Truth be known, as she has grown, so have the services and impact of her employer, Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina Inc.
In 2005 alone, Carpenter-Elliott directed programs that served more than 10,000 people through education and workplace training, securing employment for more than 1,200 people. It is estimated that as a direct result of these programs and placements, North Carolina will save more than $1.8 million in welfare payments and $11.5 million will be introduced into the economy.
Jaymie Moore, director of marketing at Goodwill of Northwest North Carolina, says Elliott is the busiest person at the organization. She’s also seen as a meticulous juggler, a positive influence and an inspiring leader.
“She makes sure that all employees know how their efforts benefit Goodwill as a whole and that their jobs are important to the organization,” wrote Special Projects Coordinator Nancy Doub.
“It’s a team approach,” Carpenter-Elliott says. “I certainly won’t take personal credit.”
Team building is an essential component of Carpenter-Elliott’s leadership style. In doing so, she encourages her employees to recognize one another’s accomplishments.
“Working on developing a team and helping our staff grow personally and professionally should always be key. It’s what we’re helping others do,” she says.
And she does that well. Carpenter-Elliott added or enhanced nearly a dozen Goodwill programs in 2005, including: expanding services and the capacity of the Deaf Services Program, providing new bilingual services at JobLink, Goodwill’s employment assistance program, and forging a new partnership with the Re-entry Strategies Institute Project, which helps inmates transition back into the community.
When asked how she is able to juggle the growth of Goodwill, her community commitments and her family, Carpenter-Elliott says she has no secret method, other than believing in what she does.
“If I could find the answer to that I’d be a millionaire!” she says. “First, you have to evaluate what you’ve done every day to make a difference professionally and personally. If you’ve (made a contribution), you can feel good about it and it helps to balance the stress.”