Margie Pizzuti, CEO of Goodwill Columbus, announced her plans to retire in August after a 40-year career.

Margie Pizzuti feels good about her retirement, and she should. She’s leaving this community much the better for her efforts (which are far from done, by the way). The CEO of Goodwill announced her plans in August after a 40-year career including roles in marketing and community development with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the state of Ohio and the city of Columbus. 

Pizzuti has spent the past 15 years advancing the lives of people with developmental disabilities, a cause that means very much to many families, including mine. I recently shared with Margie that I grew up with Goodwill staff in my house who were there to help my mom— who was single and juggling three kids, an executive assistant job and college on the weekends—with my brother Joe, who has autism. 

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Goodwill was a life raft for my family, and Pizzuti’s work has made it even more so for the people who benefit from its services. She retooled its workforce development services to connect people with disabilities with employers; moved adult day services from segregated settings into the community; renovated Goodwill’s Edgehill Road headquarters near Grandview Heights following a successful capital campaign; and nearly doubled revenue to $51 million this year from $28 million in 2006.

The search for a new leader for Goodwill is underway.

“I do this with a total sense of peace because the organization is in a strong, stable position,” says Pizzuti, who is turning 70 in November. “Goodwill will continue to transform the lives of individuals through pathways to independence and the power of work. I feel deeply honored and privileged to have led this extraordinary organization. There is a lot of collaboration in our community and a lot of passion to make sure that every individual has the opportunity to thrive. That’s what it’s about.”

Pizzuti, a longtime Upper Arlington Board of Education member, plans to continue in her role as board chair of the Upper Arlington Community Foundation.

Fun fact: Among her considerable accomplishments is that she was the executive behind the “Ohio—The Heart of It All” tourism campaign, a slogan that made the state a destination for short trips and one that I continue to favor for its wholesome, vintage appeal.