Kathy Crosby spreads goodwill


Kathy Crosby.

Editor’s note: Each issue of the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a profile of one of the Business Journal’s reigning 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan. The profile first appeared in the event program.

Kathy Crosby only worked for six months at the Navy Exchange in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but it was long enough to give her keen insight into the importance of honoring and respecting other cultures and a diversity of opinions.

Now, as president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Great Grand Rapids, Crosby continues that strong sense of diversity as a strategic thinker who shares trend observations and future thinking with the myriad of people she serves.

GIGGR is a $25.1 million organization serving eight counties in western and central Michigan.

At Goodwill Industries, where she’s worked since 1980, Crosby counts her greatest professional success as the management of a $20 million federally funded project with a 36-month timeline for completion.

This is when Crosby’s multi-tasking skills kicked into gear. Meeting that deadline required her to hire and train staff, work with nonprofits, state government employees and private for-profit vendors, make decisions on contract awards and monitor performance.

Crosby led Goodwill through approval and sale of $7.75 million bonds for retail business development, hired a new executive team, acquired property for three new stores, developed and opened three leased/build-to-suit stores, achieved three-year accreditation (twice), completed review and revision of corporate bylaws, led a strategic plan for development and established a 10-year business model.

Crosby provides leadership opportunities for women through various boards and councils, including Inforum, Huntington Women’s advisory board, Michigan Women’s Foundation, Varnum Diversity and Inclusion and Goodwill International’s senior leadership program.

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