Houston Goodwill CEO Receives 2014 Kenneth K. King Award

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Houston Goodwill CEO Receives 2014 Kenneth K. King Award

In the late 1990s, Steve Lufburrow, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Houston (TX), led a revitalization and restructuring of the agency’s donated goods retail program, a move that that saved the nonprofit from near bankruptcy and set the stage for it to become one of the top-performing Goodwill® agencies in the country. For his vision and leadership over a 28-year career, Lufburrow was presented with the 2014 Kenneth K. King Outstanding Management Award for Executive Excellence, the most prestigious executive award bestowed by Goodwill Industries International.

In the face of unprecedented declines in government and workforce funding, and damage to its 22-acre corporate campus by Tropical Storm Allison, Lufburrow and his board of directors set aggressive goals in 2007. These included increasing the number of retail stores from 13 to 49, increasing store sales from $10 million to $36 million and becoming operationally self-sufficient. In just four years, these goals were reached and surpassed.

Today, the agency is ranked 17th among 165 North American Goodwill agencies in total revenue and in the top 10 overall in net profits. Impressive financial gains translated into serving more people in its Job Connection Service Centers. In 2013, Goodwill Industries of Houston served more than 8,800 individuals and helped place more than 1,400 in competitive employment.

“Steve is a leader among leaders in the Goodwill enterprise,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “He galvanized his board and staff to overcome some of the most significant challenges a nonprofit can face, and the Houston Goodwill emerged stronger than ever.”

When he took the helm at age 27, Lufburrow was the youngest CEO in the Goodwill movement’s history. The lessons learned through the agency’s financial turnaround will assists other Goodwill agencies facing similar challenges.