Becoming better

Rea & Associates Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year Award

The saying goes that numbers don’t lie, and Goodwill Columbus would have to agree. Since the nonprofit organization brought on Marjory M. Pizzuti as president and CEO in 2005, its annual budget has grown from $25 million to $34 million, and it is now the seventh-largest nonprofit organization in Franklin County, with more than 850 employees.

When Pizzuti became CEO, she created and implemented a five-year strategic plan and established vision and core values statements. She has built numerous collaborations, partnerships and alliances with other agencies in the community to leverage resources and work alongside like-minded agencies. She has also focused on deepening the agency’s brand, partnering with like-minded organizations in the community and serving in leadership roles at the local, state and national level, where she advocates for individuals with disabilities and provides leadership for other nonprofits. In addition to her position locally, she serves on the board of directors of Goodwill Industries International, and she chairs the Ohio Association of Goodwill Industries as well as the Alliance of Ohio Work Centers.

Pizzuti also takes on a servant leadership approach to her position and strives to make Goodwill Columbus a great place to work. In fact, a survey conducted about a year ago indicated that 93.2 percent of employees believed the organization was a great place to work. She also welcomes employees to submit questions, and she then prints those with her responses in the employee newsletter so every person has access to her. She also established the “One Goodwill” campaign to break down silo mentalities across the agency, and last year, she offered a new opportunity for employees to shadow workers in other departments. Part of her effective leadership approach has been creating a culture of accountability and high performance standards. She uses “The Oz Principle,” which encourages leaders to get results through individual and organizational accountability to increase organizational effectiveness.

As a result of her efforts, she has positioned Goodwill to become a recognized leader in providing programs and services to empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers. Under her guidance, Goodwill will continue to be a model for other nonprofits and will grow to serve even more people.

How to reach: Goodwill Columbus, (614) 583-0376 or