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Roland Blahnik, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky

Roland R. Blahnik has been president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Kentucky since 1984.

In 1984, revenues for Goodwill Industries of Kentucky were less than $600,000ódespite the fact that its territory covers most of the state of Kentucky. It had only two retail/donation centers, one in Louisville and one in Lebanon, and helped only 30 people with disabilities or disadvantages find jobs that year.

Blahnik was determined that Goodwill have much more impact in the state. Under his leadership, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky has reinvested nearly $33 million in communities around the state. It now operates 51 centers that employ and train people with disabilities in some of the poorest regions of Kentucky. In 2006, more than $102 million in wages was paid to persons with disabilities, and more than 860 trainees were placed with Kentucky employers. The Kentucky branch now ranks in the top 10% in revenue growth among North American Goodwill organizations.

Blahnik was born and raised in Wisconsin and earned a masterís degree in business administration and finance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Immediately after he graduated, his interest in sheltered-workshop programs led him to a position with Madison Goodwill, where he entered the Goodwill Industries Executive Training Program. After only 13 months, he became executive director of the Port Huron, MI organization.

Appointed to the Statewide Council for Vocational Rehabilitation by Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton, Blahnik is also a member of Goodwill Industries Internationalís board of directors. He has served on the executive council of the Council of Executives and is a past president of KACES, a statewide professional association representing community-based rehabilitation organizations.

Blahnik has received awards for excellence for training programs and retail operations at Goodwill Industries of Kentucky. Goodwill was also recognized by Business First as Not-for-Profit of the Year in 2006.

Blahnik is an active Rotarian, a bird watcher, and an observer of the out-of-doors. He lives in Louisville with his wife, Marie.

Program 211
Christmas collectors, local author and restaurateur Vince Staten, and a visit to petting zoo Henry's Ark. Roland R. Blahnik, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, is our guest. (#211)