The Power of Believing in People

Many people know Goodwill as a place for thrifting, but for Arnold Sanchez it is so much more. 

After a long career in the for-profit sector of thrift-retail industry, Sanchez finally decided that he wanted to impact people and community. So, in March 2020, he took a leap of faith and joined the Goodwill team as a Territory Manager. 

“I oversaw 8-9 locations, so just working closely with the stores out in the field to maximize how to become better stewards of the donations we received in our community,” Sanchez says. 

In his role he immediately recognized that the organization was a perfect fit. At Goodwill, his passion for people and developing others directly aligned with his talent for improving processes. 

“For me as a leader I always believe in the 3ps: people, products, and process,” Sanchez says. “I spend 99 percent of my time on the people part.”

That strong belief in people is why Sanchez’s motivation is always finding ways to continue to push the mission forward.  

“Everything that we do here on the nonprofit side, really contributes to our community,” Sanchez says. “Our mission is to build lives that work.”

He has done just that by empowering his employees through the mission. 

Kim Praniewicz, VP of Marketing & Mission Advancement for Goodwill shared how in her time of working with him to advance Goodwill’s mission she’s found that he truly is an expert in the retail field. 

“Arnold’s a great leader,” Praniewicz says. “He has created a following because of his management style as well as he provides great solutions to streamlining processes that makes it a really great place to work for the employees and an awesome place for people to donate because their items go directly to helping the community.”

A few of those streamlining processes included placing new equipment and creating a safer and more efficient work environment in the back rooms. 

In January 2021, Sanchez was promoted to VP of Retail and Donated Goods. According to Sanchez, the role allows more influence to teach, coach, develop and motivate others. 

“I’ve never been one to care about my title,” Sanchez says. “I’ve always believed that leaders lead without the title so anywhere that I can influence behavior and share my over 20 years of thrift experience with others I openly accept that opportunity and privilege to do so.”

Sanchez will continue that mindset in the new year with his goal to see others grow and celebrate their hard work. 

“It’s exciting to come to work every day with this group of team members and leaders that we have,” Sanchez says. “So, without a doubt the goal is to continue to come up with innovation on processes and systems that will make us that much more efficient in a safe work environment in our industry.”

To find out more about Goodwill’s vision and the community it services, visit 

Written by Alexis George

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