By KD REEP | Photography by MEREDITH MELODY
Even a brief encounter with Cathy Tuggle reveals her can-do attitude and love for all things Arkansas. At Apartment Hunters, she stays busy helping people find the perfect home. Around the Capital City, Cathy is recognized as a civic leader who is fiercely committed to the mission of every organization, and there are many, she serves. It is this sincere support of community that makes her the ideal chairman for the inaugural Goodwill Industries of Arkansas Gala for Good.
Cathy was introduced to Goodwill Industries of Arkansas through CEO Brian Marsh. “I’ve known Brian for many years, and believe he knows I am passionate about bettering our city.” She quickly realized the scope of programs that Goodwill provides is remarkable. “It’s not only bettering Little Rock, but also doing great things in the entire state. I am grateful to Goodwill for providing my son a great career path by obtaining the knowledge through The Academy.”
Cathy and Paul, who were high school sweethearts, have been married for nearly three decades; their son experienced the organization’s trade school. “I’d mentioned to Brian that Weston needed to broaden his education or find a trade,” she reflects. “Brian invited us to tour The Academy and Weston became extremely interested in many of the courses and started with a welding class, which is also something his dad does. Paul is a residential contractor, master electrician, and a jack of all trades. Now, Weston and his dad can work together in our business.”
This singular example reflects one of the many lives transformed by Goodwill Industries of Arkansas. The Academy at Goodwill, licensed by the Arkansas State Board of Private Career Education, provides the training needed for career advancement. Each program offers opportunities for nontraditional students to earn credentials and certifications that lead to meaningful employment. Other resources include The Excel Center, Career Services and Reentry Services. Proceeds from Gala for Good support this mission to educate, train and employ Arkansans. As a business leader, Cathy believes that hope and confidence are also invaluable resources. “Goodwill empowers individuals and has an impact on the state’s workforce. Arkansas has a lot of great industries that need a great workforce, in particular more tradesmen and tradeswomen. Goodwill is here to fill those positions.”
Gala for Good will celebrate the spirit of Goodwill Industries of Arkansas and the achievements of students, graduates and community partners. Baptist Health CEO Troy Wells will be recognized with the Spirit of Goodwill Award. Goodwill Industries of Arkansas Senior Vice President of Development Shannon Boshears adds, “The evening serves as a catalyst for creating positive change and what can be achieved when we come together for a common good. Cathy and Troy are two champions for Arkansas.”