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Rusyniak promoted to CEO of Goodwill of Chesapeake

Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake Inc. will elevate Lisa Rusyniak to the posts of president and chief executive officer at the end of the year, the Baltimore nonprofit announced Wednesday.

Rusyniak, the charity’s chief operating officer, will replace long-time top executive Marge Thomas in December. Thomas announced her retirement in May.

The incoming CEO said Wednesday much of her focus will be on opening as many as three new retail stores a year over the next five years.

“Growing retail is important so that we can have a consistent stream of revenue to continue do what we do, which is to help people find jobs and end poverty in the region we serve,” she said.

Rusyniak was hired by Goodwill in 1997 as director of marketing and disability services. She was made COO in 2006, and put in charge of Goodwill’s workforce development, human resources and marketing divisions.

A graduate of Salisbury University, Rusyniak also holds a master’s degree in business management from Wilmington University. She has participated in The LEADERship program run by the Greater Baltimore Committee as well as Goodwill Industries International’s Executive Development Program.

Rusyniak will take over an organization with more than 600 employees and annual revenue of more than $40 million. Donations took a hit in 2008, the first year of the recession, but have inched up since, according the nonprofit’s financial disclosure forms. That loss was offset by growing revenue from Goodwill’s charitable programs, including its retail stores.

The 26 stores in the Baltimore area and on the Eastern Shore bring in nearly $30 million. Goodwill of the Chesapeake also operates nine training centers and its programs serve some 17,000 people, according to the charity.

Thomas, who led the Chesapeake chapter for 18 years, oversaw strong growth in the organization’s balance sheet and its outreach.

When she started, Goodwill of the Chesapeake operated 17 stores with annual revenue less than $4 million, and charitable programs that served 453 people.