Goodwill Recognizes Great Achievements and Partnerships

Together – we’re changing lives through education, training and employment 

LITTLE ROCK, AR (May 10, 2018) – Goodwill Industries of Arkansas today recognized its 2018 award recipients before a filled ballroom at the Robinson Center in Little Rock. Congratulations to:


Kendal Covington – Frank Lyon Jr., Achiever of the Year

After being released from incarceration, Covington joined Goodwill’s Transitional Employment Opportunity program. She graduated in August 2016 and was hired by Goodwill Industries of Arkansas to work in the Community Engagement office. She has been a valuable asset, crafting social media marketing plans, creating graphic designs and much more.  This past year, Covington enrolled in college, has continued to grow as a talented marketing professional, purchased a car and regained custody of her son.

“Goodwill gave me an opportunity that has impacted my life and my son’s life forever.”



Julia Cody – Graduate of the Year

After being released from prison and completing Goodwill Industry of Arkansas’s Transitional Employment Opportunity program, Jimmy’s Serious Sandwiches in Little Rock saw great value in Cody. Every day since being hired, she has worked hard, grown personally and professionally and has demonstrated her ability to be a good leader. Because of her hard work, in less than a year, she was promoted to Assistant Manager. Her life has changed dramatically, now owning her own car and reuniting with her four children.

“Thank you for believing in me until I could believe in myself.”


Ken Smith – Volunteer of the Year

From July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, Ken Smith gave 104 hours of his personal time to help further Goodwill Industry of Arkansas’s mission of changing lives through education, training and employment. Ken volunteered each Monday to teach TEO clients computer skills. He also teaches the public at the career center on West Markham in Little Rock – all while working on his master’s degree at the University of Arkansas – Little Rock.

“I love Goodwill Industries of Arkansas’s mission to help those who are most in need.  I am proud and honored to be able to assist in some small way with people finding training, education, and employment in the Career Centers of Central Arkansas.




Hope Rises – Community Partner of the Year

Hope Rises is a holistic re-entry program for women in Little Rock. In the last year, the organization has served more than 200 women in jail, prison and in their residential program. Hope Rises strives to improve the health and well-being of women coming out of incarceration and provide them opportunities for growth and empowerment. They offer case management, risk/needs assessments, trauma support, relapse prevention, parenting classes and more. Hope Rises has worked closely with Goodwill’s Transitional Employment Opportunity staff, ensuring clients receive the support they need in both their personal and professional lives.



Peco Foods – Employer of the Year

Last fiscal year, Peco Foods in Northeast Arkansas helped change the lives of 157 Goodwill clients, providing them with gainful employment.  The company has not only demonstrated they believe in second chances, they have gone above and beyond to support and grow their employees. The company continued to pay employee salaries during a temporary shutdown caused by flooding in 2017 and provides transportation to employees without a way to get to work.

“At Peco Foods, we know that talent is our greatest asset and having great people on our team gives us a competitive advantage no one can replicate,” said Chief Executive Officer Mark Hickman. “We’re humbled to be selected as Goodwill Industries Employer of the Year in Arkansas and hope to continue providing the support, training, tools and opportunities needed for each team member to reach their full potential.”



About Goodwill Industries of Arkansas
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to changing lives through education, training and employment. Revenue generated through the sale of reusable donated goods at Goodwill retail stores is used to create jobs and fund critical training programs for Arkansans. Last fiscal year, Goodwill served 14,533 individuals and helped 6,173 Arkansans attain jobs with businesses statewide. To learn more, visit Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillAR and find us on Facebook: GoodwillAR or Instagram: GoodwillAR.