SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – For father and son duo Robert and Rob Morris, volunteering on behalf of Goodwill Manasota is a family affair. Bob served on the board of directors for at least 20 years, serving as chairman several times; this month, Rob will step down as chairman after two years of leading the nonprofit.
Throughout his childhood, Rob saw, first-hand, his family’s commitment to “giving back” as a routine part of life. Goodwill was a beneficiary of that commitment.
“Growing up, we always donated to Goodwill,” Rob says. “I remember going through the closets and the garage many times, and I still remember the Goodwill truck coming to our house to pick up the bigger donations.”
Robert, who is the founder and chairman of the board of RAMAR Group Companies, found himself attracted to Goodwill Manasota because operated like a for-profit entity, with metrics that made it easy for leadership to track the organization’s progress.
“Management took those benchmarks very seriously, and there were multiple opportunities for members to contribute their expertise to significantly alter current and future practices of the company,” he says. “In addition, the scale of Goodwill made it an enterprise that enabled the organization to pursue its mission vigorously, and accomplish things on a scale that made a real difference in the community. Goodwill has always accomplished on the ground what many others simply put into the ether with lofty goals and popular rhetoric.”
It was through his father that Rob learned much about Goodwill. “Sons tend to have an interest in what their fathers do,” he laughs. “In my case, I was lucky enough to have a father who gave to Goodwill.” He attended the Mardi Gras Gala and other events, and became more engaged with the organization.
Rob, who is the president and CEO of RAMAR Group Companies and owner of Certified Fleet Services, came onto the board in 2008. Since then, he has served on the audit finance committee and the Goodwill housing board. In 2015 and 2016, he was chairman; now he will serve as chair emeritus.
Rob is continuing the Goodwill tradition with his own family. “My kids regularly go through their closets and toys to make donations to Goodwill. On many occasions, they go with me to make the donation. In fact, we just had a major weekend garage cleaning!” he says. “My children understand that helping others is a part of life. While doing these things with us may have started out as something that they HAVE to do, I know that soon they will learn that donating their time, money, and ‘slightly used’ goods are things that they will WANT to do for the rest of their lives.”
“A key factor in Goodwill Manasota’s success is the leadership that we have in place, with all working together to help us achieve our mission of changing lives through the power of work,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO. “Our board is committed to removing barriers to employment for people who want to heighten their employability skills and gain financial independence. We owe a debt of gratitude to Robert and Rob for their dedication to our organization and to bettering our community.”
With this family’s commitment to philanthropy and Goodwill, it is entirely likely that there will be a third-generation Morris ready to take the reins at Goodwill at some point in the future.
For more about Goodwill Manasota, go to experiencegoodwill.org or call (941) 355-2721.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 40 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.