CEO Lecture Series: Bringing the Best of Business to GCU

The CEO Lecture Series is presented by the Ken Blanchard College of Business at Grand Canyon University in partnership with AZ Business Magazine. Visit the CEO Lecture Series page for information about future lectures.

The first speaker for 2012 in the CEO Lecture Series, Jim Teter, is constantly working to impact some pretty sobering statistics — 2.5 million unemployed in Arizona (approx. 8.7 percent, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor). Teter is the president and CEO of Goodwill of Central Arizona, a nonprofit organization that uses donation-driven retail stores to create Career Centers to assist the 7.9 percent that are unemployed in the Phoenix-Metro area and act on their mission, “Put People to Work.”

“Goodwill of Central Arizona has a $300 million impact on Maricopa County, Yuma and Prescott, which is more than even the Fiesta Bowl brings,” Teter said. “We’re using that to help the unemployed by placing them in jobs within our organization and in their communities. Our commitment is to ‘Put People to Work’ and 92 cents out of every dollar goes toward that mission.”

Goodwill of Central Arizona operates 47 retail stores and 13 Career Centers in the Phoenix-Metro area. Each store and Career Center is different, focusing on serving their surrounding community best. Goodwill Career Centers offer resume building and interview training, all free of charge.

“In 2011, we put 35,000 people to work,” Teter said. “Over 12,000 of those weren’t within our organization, they were jobs out in the community.”

With organizations like Goodwill of Central Arizona actively assisting the jobless population at such significant numbers, the 8.7 percent unemployment rate in Arizona is lower than the national average of 9.3 percent.

“We want to give people a hand up, not a hand out,” Teter said. “We want to teach people the power of work.” Teter’s vision for Goodwill of Central Arizona embodies the servant leadership emphasis that the Ken Blanchard College of Business teaches, along with entrepreneurial spirit and innovation.

Grand Canyon University’s Ken Blanchard College of Business offers a variety of programs of study that give students the knowledge and leadership skills to make a difference in their communities through business, such as the B.S. in Businesses Management or the Executive MBA.


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