Career Path: President and Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill Industries
For James Stiff, walks through the quiet woods surrounding Grand Valley's campus in the late 1970s helped the philosophy student "wake his gifts and dreams" and inspired him to a lifetime of helping others.
Today, more than three decades and 900 miles removed from those woods, the 1979 grad continues his mission in Macon, Georgia where he has served as president and chief executive officer of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area since 1995.
Under his leadership, Goodwill's operating revenue has increased from $1 million to $17 million and has "enabled more than 10,000 unemployed people to experience the joy and dignity of a paycheck," Stiff said. Much of what he puts into practice as a business leader can be linked back to his days in Allendale, where, he notes, "My learning style flourished amidst the experience-based components of my educational environment."
In addition to his philosophy degree from Grand Valley, Stiff also holds an M.A. in education and religious studies from Notre Dame Institute.