At the 2010 Goodwill Conference of Executives, Dennis Pastrana, President and CEO of Goodwill® South Florida was awarded the Gerald L. Clore International Award for demonstrating passion for developing the capabilities of Goodwill agencies outside the United States. His dedication to the international efforts of Goodwill has served to further Goodwill’s international mission and operation.
Pastrana has showed continued interests in supporting Goodwill’s mission internationally. Most recently, he hosted the Goodwill Industries International Latin American and Caribbean Summit in October 2009, in which seven organizations from six countries in the region participated. He was present for the entire event, gave several presentations, led group discussions, and indicated an interest in working with GII to develop a training center for Latin American and Caribbean affiliates.
When the Venezuelan National Assembly passed a new law in 2006 requiring that people with disabilities hold at least five percent of jobs in Venezuelan companies, businesses had three years to become compliant. During this time, many companies looked to Goodwill Venezuela in search of qualified and trained employees, including Panasonic Venezuela. Zeleuxis Chauran, Director of Human Resources for Panasonic Venezuela turned to Goodwill to fill two job openings for persons with disabilities. “I was worried about how we would treat them” she said “but from the conversations we had with Goodwill we knew better how to treat them, like normal people, treat them in a normal way as a normal employee, with some specific adjustments and guidance from Goodwill.” She further commented “It has gone really well, if we would’ve treated them too carefully, they would’ve felt bad, but we have treated them as part of our group.”
Goodwill Panama recently received a $20,000 philanthropic investment from the Caterpillar Foundation, which was designated for further growth and enhancements of the Alliance with Commerce and Industry (ACI) program. The ACI program trains and provides job opportunities for at risk youth, focusing on persons with disabilities and those with basic socioeconomic needs.