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Illinois Economy

Land Of Lincoln Goodwill CEO Resigns Following Controversial Layoffs

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The President and CEO of Land of Lincoln Goodwill has resigned, just a day after reversing a controversial decision to lay off disabled workers.  

Sharon Durbin was at the center of the controversy.  As head of the Springfield-based organization, she blamed the decision on the upcoming minimum wage increase, even though state law allows Goodwill to pay those workers a lower wage. 

The story went national, with many angered that low wage workers were being axed while Durbin's job paid her nearly $165,000 a year. 

Goodwill also receives money from the state and federal government for job training.  Lawmakers began calling for a review of the contracts.  On Wednesday, Sharon Durbin announced the layoff decision was reversed and those workers would be allowed to keep their jobs. 

But on Thursday, she submitted her resignation to the board of Land of Lincoln Goodwill, which accepted it.  The board appointed Ron Culves, the current vice president of finance as the interim CEO.

A statement from the organization was sent in a news release:

Today, Sharon Durbin, President & CEO of Land of Lincoln Goodwill submitted her resignation to the Board of Directors. The Board accepted her resignation, which is effective immediately. The Board also appointed Ron Culves, current Vice President of Finance, as the nonprofit’s interim CEO.

Land of Lincoln Goodwill’s Board is strongly committed to our mission, to our 400 employees and to those individuals with disabilities, veterans, at-risk youth, ex-offenders and those seeking job training assistance that we serve. The Board fully intends to seek out a strong, compassionate leader for our Goodwill organization who can energize our employees, expand our mission and who can provide the mission-driven leadership necessary to positively impact thousands of lives each year in central Illinois.

Goodwill’s Board of Directors thanked Sharon for her 13 years of service to the organization, noting her many accomplishments and the overall growth of the nonprofit and the number of people served during her tenure.

The political website CapitolFax also reported two state lawmakers had told the organization Thursday they planned to use committee subpoena authority to access the organization's records.  

Land of Lincoln Goodwill, according to its website, encompasses 37 counties in central Illinois and western Indiana.

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