Ohio Valley Goodwill President and CEO Receives Distinguished Career Award!

Cincinnati, OH — After more than 40 years of leading and growing Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries, President and CEO Joseph Byrum was presented the 2019 J.D. Robins Jr. Distinguished Career Award by Goodwill Industries International. The award recognizes a Goodwill CEO for outstanding career contributions and dedication to the advancement of the Goodwill Industries® enterprise over a span of at least 25 years, with at least 15 years as a CEO.

Under Byrum’s leadership, the Cincinnati Goodwill organization has seen expansion of its community programs and services, consistent economic growth, and placement among the top three percent of rehabilitation facilities in the United States. The organization has served more than 100,000 men and women, including military veterans, individuals with disabilities and others who face challenges to finding employment, and it has expanded programs and services as warranted by community need.

In the early 1990s, the organization launched the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) to help the growing number of veterans who were unemployed and experiencing homelessness to find employment in their communities. In 2018, HVRP served nearly 600 veterans and helped place nearly 400 into jobs.

In addition, faculties and services for individuals with developmental disabilities have grown exponentially over the past 30 years. In collaboration with Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services and Mental Health and Recovery Board, the Goodwill provides vocational rehabilitation case management and case service funding for individuals with developmental disabilities and/or persistent mental health diagnoses. Entering its eleventh year in 2019, this project brings $1.2 million into the community to provide vocational rehabilitation and employment services.

Goodwill has built additional cooperative relationships with a total of four County Boards of Development Disabilities in Southwest Ohio, including Hamilton, Butler Clermont and Warren County Boards of Developmental Disabilities.  Through these additional long-term partnerships, almost 600 individuals annually are provided individualized services which reflect their personal goals.  Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries has also opened six satellite work training centers during Byrum’s tenure; initiated the launch of a recreation/leisure program in Butler County; supported the development of the Placement Assistance Center (PAC) program, which provides job placement assistance to individuals who have no funding source for services; and, most recently, initiated a new summer youth program in collaboration with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities.

Since Byrum’s tenure began in 1980, the organization has increased revenue by $37.7 million, which is more than 1000 percent. This has given the organization capacity to provide services to community residents when funding streams are reduced. Goodwill’s economic impact in the local community is more than $64 million annually, making it one of the largest employment and training centers — as well as business enterprises — in the Southwest Ohio region. In 2015, Cincinnati Business Courier recognized Byrum as Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year as a result of Ohio Valley Goodwill’s overall economic impact to the Greater Cincinnati community.

“Joe’s role as president and CEO for Ohio Valley Goodwill over the past almost 40 years has served to help thousands of individuals with disabilities and our nation’s veterans to move towards economic self-sufficiency and achieve personal success,” said Charlie Wright, chairman of the Goodwill Ohio Valley Board of Directors. “It is this lifetime of service and the individuals who have benefited that provide testimony to Joe’s appropriateness for the 2019 J.D. Robins Distinguished Career Award.” 

Byrum has served on the legislative committee for the Ohio Association of Goodwill Industries and Greater Cincinnati Rotary for a number of years. He is also a previous board member of the leadership development committee for Goodwill Industries International, and a previous member of the National Rehabilitation Association, the Ohio Rehabilitation Association and Southwest Ohio Rehabilitation Association. 

Byrum received his award at the February 2019 Goodwill Annual Meeting of the Conference of Executives.

The J.D. Robins Jr. Distinguished Career Award recognizes one CEO for outstanding career contributions and dedication to the advancement of the Goodwill Industries enterprise over a span of at least 25 years, with at least 15 years as a CEO. The award was renamed in 1999 to honor the late J.D. Robins Jr. for his career-long impact and influence on Goodwill management and process improvement.


Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment to obtain jobs, skill training and personal development opportunities.

Celebrating more than 100 years of service to the Greater Cincinnati community, Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries helps people to achieve personal success. For more information, visit www.cincinnatigoodwill.org. Follow us at https://www.facebook.com/cincigoodwill; https://twitter.com/GoodwillCinci; https://www.instagram.com/cincigoodwill/