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Palmetto Goodwill finds new CEO after months-long national search

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There’s good news at Palmetto Goodwill.

After a six-month national search, the organization has hired Brian Itzkowitz to be the next CEO. Itzkowitz will step into the role on Oct. 25 and replace interim CEO Lorna Utley, who has led the company through this transition since April.

Itzkowitz currently serves as the chief member advancement officer of Goodwill Industries International, a role he has held since 2018. In this position, he oversaw a network of 156 local nonprofit Goodwill organizations across the U.S. and Canada.

“Brian will be a wonderful next leader for Palmetto Goodwill,” Utley said in a statement. “He has extensive experience in the Goodwill movement, specifically with donated goods and mission services. He will build on the foundation the team has created, and our clients, employees, stakeholders and the community will benefit.”

Like Palmetto Goodwill’s former CEO, Bob Smith, Itzkowitz has been with the organization for decades. In 1998, he began his time with the company as director of operations for Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake Inc. in Baltimore. From 2008 to 2017, Itzkowitz then served as president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Arkansas, before heading to Gulfstream Goodwill Industries in Florida for a short time in 2017 and 2018.

While in Florida, Itzkowitz turned a struggling Goodwill with an annual net loss in 2016 to positive $1.2 million net revenue in the first four months of 2018, according to Goodwill.

Similarly, Smith turned Palmetto Goodwill around into the organization it is today. Since he took on the president and CEO role in 1998, he grew the organization from a few stores serving 100 people to 31 retail locations and more than 16,000 people, said Chris Harvey, chair of the Palmetto Goodwill Board of Directors.

Moving into a new era, Palmetto Goodwill is looking to shift its focus under Itzkowitz’s leadership, the organization said in a news release. In the near future, Goodwill will look more toward expanding community partnerships, growing resources and mission services and continuing financial stability, the company said.

“Itzkowitz is exactly what Palmetto Goodwill needs right now,” Harvey said. “He is an accomplished Goodwill leader, innovative nonprofit executive, and his vision is perfectly aligned with Palmetto Goodwill’s efforts to grow its mission. The board is excited to see his impact, as well as grateful for the stellar guidance of Lorna Utley during this executive transition.” 

Reach Teri Errico Griffis at 843-849-3144.

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