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Employee Spotlight: Michael

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Giving back to the community has become second nature for Michael, a supervisor in Evergreen Goodwill of Northwest Washington’s Transportation Department, at this point in his life. “I want to make a better world than the one I grew up in,” he says. “I want to see things change.”

In the early 2000s, Michael, who’s originally from Illinois, says he “stumbled” into nonprofit work after taking a job managing donations for an organization that assisted women and children experiencing homelessness.

Since that moment, he’s continually looked for opportunities to be a good steward while also making a career out of it, which is how he eventually made his way to Evergreen Goodwill back in 2017.

“Working with donors and serving my community is very important to me,” Michael explains.

When he and his wife decided to head west to Seattle, Michael began looking for a job – and given his years of experience in nonprofit work, that’s the industry where he began his search.

“I started the job search at 9 a.m. and had a job at Goodwill by 9:30,” said Michael. “It was basically the first place I looked for a job.”

After a couple of years with the organization, Michael and his wife made yet another major life decision which sent them to Albania.

Michael’s experience in Europe taught him many life skills, and upon returning to the United States he rejoined the Evergreen Goodwill team with a brand new perspective that he explains has helped him to be an even more effective leader in his current role.

“Because I work in a multicultural workplace, I was able to return and be even more aware and sensitive to those employees who use English as their second language.”

As a supervisor, Michael feels it is his duty to ensure his team is valued and appreciated. He makes a point to be empathic and someone the team can rely on, fostering a team atmosphere that supports growth opportunities.

Michael is s always looking for opportunities to educate staff about our mission and our Job Training and Education (JTE) Programs, and it’s inspiring to see employees decide to drastically improve their career paths through our Certified Driver’s License (CDL) Program.

“It’s really fun to watch these young drivers come in– not necessarily young in age but young in experience– come in, change their lives for the better and become great drivers, and then inspire the next wave,” he explains.

As for the future, Michael says he would love to see members of his team continue to grow by sticking together for years to come.

“Because the longer you do this job, the better you get.”

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