About Goodwill Amity

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Our vision is to build vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable communities where everyone has an opportunity for meaningful employment.

Our Work Changes Lives

Goodwill Amity harnesses the power of work to address the most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges today: we’re a path to income security for individuals and their families; we’re a catalyst for strong and healthy neighbourhoods; we’re a benchmark for sustainability in the retail marketplace. In all these ways, Goodwill Amity is influencing positive, long-lasting transformational change.

Our Values

We put people first.
We are client-centered and live Goodwill’s empowering mottos of “not a charity but a chance” and “a hand up not a handout.”

We are entrepreneurial.
Goodwill was a social enterprise a century before it was called social enterprise and we are proud of that heritage. We continue and build on it by being enterprising, energetic, and innovative. We seek mission-integrated opportunities to further our social impact.

We hold ourselves to the highest standards of ethics and integrity.
We act honourably and truthfully. We bring sincerity to all we do.

We strive for excellence.
We seek to continuously improve what we do and how we do it. We encourage innovation and healthy risk-taking to achieve our mission.

We are committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
We champion and draw strength from our differences. We strongly believe we are better, together.

We are responsible stewards.
We respect our accountability to our donors, our customers, our clients, our employer partners, our funders, our supporters, and our community.

We embrace sustainability.
By enabling reuse, recycling, and reducing waste, we do all we can to be good to our environment and future generations.

We are collaborative.
We aim to build and contribute to the systems and networks that enhance our ability to achieve our mission. Our work is community-centred and characterized by collaboration and outreach.

We support each other.
We are committed to building an encouraging, caring, and supportive work environment. We take seriously a shared responsibility to support our employees and enrich their lives.

Our mission is to change lives and strengthen communities through the power of work.

Through our mission, we believe that the power of work can address the intractable social issues of our time: tackling poverty, contributing to a greener planet and building stronger communities.


Goodwill, The Amity Group was started in Hamilton in 1935 to help able bodied men thrown out of work by the great depression. The first part of this effort started as a men’s social club to provide activities that would keep them out of the bars. The focus soon turned to helping them earn a living and this was accomplished by using their skills to refurbish and sell used goods, in particular furniture.

After World War II

When WW II arrived, the need to employ these men disappeared as they reported for duty, however Amity as it was then known, turned its attention to recycling metal for the war effort.

After the war, Amity turned attention to supporting individuals with disabilities by providing services that would lead to employment. The sale and repair of donated used goods once again was at the centre of this effort for many as it built skills that could lead to meaningful work.

Becoming a Member of Goodwill Industries International

In 1973, Amity saw that by becoming a member of Goodwill Industries International, it would benefit from the expertise and brand recognition that Goodwill has throughout the world and so Amity became Amity Goodwill Industries, eventually changing its name yet again to Goodwill, The Amity Group. As a Goodwill member, Goodwill Amity is assigned a territory to service, which now includes Hamilton, Halton (including Burlington, Oakville, and Milton), Brantford and Haldimand-Norfolk.

Goodwill Industries International ]had been founded in Boston in 1902 by Dr. Edgar Helms. His purpose was to help immigrants with barriers to employment find work, some of which was achieved, just as in Amity’s case, by recycling used goods through thrift stores.

Goodwill Today

Today, Goodwill is the world’s largest retailer of used goods and one of the world’s largest workforce development organizations, providing services to over 1.5 million job seekers a year and supporting thousands of employers in finding their workforce.

Goodwill, throughout the world provides a wide variety of services and reflects the needs of the individual communities that they serve. Each Goodwill is an autonomous member organization of Goodwill Industries International, with its own local Board of Directors and staff.

This ensures that each Goodwill has the benefit of shared resources and expertise, while being able to identify and respond to the ever changing needs of its own community. But at the heart of each Goodwill is the primary mandate to help individuals find work.

Goodwill Amity Today

Today, Goodwill Amity continues to serve its communities by helping people enter and re-enter the workforce; supporting marginalized and vulnerable job seekers in overcoming barriers to employment; offering hands-on skill development; and serving employers in meeting their hiring objectives.

Its retail business also continues to provide a training ground for individuals who want to gain work experience before seeking competitive community employment. Our offerings, environments, and systems also continue to evolve to stay competitive so we can provide that training ground and generate proceeds to reinvest in our local nonprofit community services even as for-profit stores like Value Village now compete for consumers’ dollars.

With our unique integration of social enterprise and social service, Goodwill Amity is positioned to deliver on its mission of “changing lives and strengthening communities” for decades to come.

President’s Message

Goodwill is about the power of work in people’s lives and that power cannot be overstated. A job means a paycheque and the ability to provide for your family. It gives a sense of purpose and the pride that goes with that. For employers, finding the right candidate means they can meet their operational objectives. And for the economy as a whole, employment is the key measure of our collective performance.

Helping Break Down the Barriers

Through our Employment Services, Goodwill The Amity Group provides job preparation, skills development, coaching, and training around resume writing, interview skills, and networking to help individuals who are seeking work. For those facing barriers to employment, we help break down the barriers. And we provide job maintenance, to ensure once a job is secured that it is retained.

In our social enterprises, including our thrift stores and our Stairways café and catering division, we offer hands-on training and experience so that clients gain the skills they will need to enter their industry of interest.

Contributing to a Greener Environment

In addition to providing training opportunities to job seekers, our thrift stores offer an array of options to customers who are budget-savvy and environmentally aware. Clothing, shoes, accessories, housewares – and the occasional treasure! – can be found at a fraction of the cost of new retail, and without the environmental impact.

Did you know that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world and is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined? By donating to or shopping at Goodwill you are supporting the reuse and recycling on goods.

Generating Revenue for Employment Services

Our stores are thrift with a mission because they make an environmental contribution and generate proceeds that support our non-profit Employment Services activities in our communities.

In Hamilton, Halton and Brant, Goodwill The Amity Group has been operating since 1935. Internationally, Goodwill has operated since 1902 and is one of the world’s largest workforce development providers, assisting over 1.5 million individuals worldwide annually.

It is a privilege for us, our funders, supporters, volunteers, and donors, to play an active role in increasing employment and enhancing our community. Our mission is to “change lives and strengthen communities through the power of work,” which is what we aim to do every single day.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of Goodwill, The Amity Group is responsible for the overall governance of the organization; ensuring alignment with our core mission, vision and values; the setting of long-term strategic directions; oversight of the President and CEO; and advancing the organization’s visibility in our communities through their leadership and ambassadorial roles.

Glen Norton, CPA, MBA – Chair and Director

Glen was first appointed to the Board in June 2020 then elected to his first three-year term in September of that year. He was elected Vice Chair in September 2020 and re-elected at the 2022 AGM. Glen spent over 22 years in Canadian mid-market commercial banking in Southwestern Ontario. Between 2009 and 2020 he worked at the City of Hamilton. His last position before retirement was as Director, Economic Development. Glen has volunteered with community organizations including the United Way. He is the incoming Board Chair for the Muskoka Community Foundation.

At the 2023 AGM, Glen was elected Chair

Cortney Oliver, MA – Vice Chair and Director

Cortney was elected to the Board in September 2020. She is Senior Manager,  Environment, Social & Governance for Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation. She brings expertise in  sustainability, governance, policy, and government relations to the Board.

At the 2023 AGM, Cortney was elected Vice-Chair

Akosua Alagaratnam – Director

Akosua is the Executive Director of First Work, Ontario’s Employment Network. A network  representing employment service providers serving jobseekers, especially youth, with help in bridging the  gap to employment. Prior to her work in the employment sector, Akosua worked as a senior public affairs  professional in a variety of political roles provincially in the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of  Children and Youth Services. Specifically, she served as an advisor to Ministers on policy and legislative  files spanning a diverse portfolio inclusive of labour, children and youth services, and community and  social services, to name a few. As part of her role in the Network, Akosua represents Ontario’s service  providers on the board of the Canadian Coalition of Community-Based Employability and Training. Akosua  was first appointed to the Board in January 2022.

Akosua was appointed Chair of the Board Development Committee at the 2023 AGM.

Kelly Duffin – Director and Secretary/Treasurer

Goodwill Amity President and CEO.

Scott James, MBA, PMP – Director

Scott James currently leads the engineering modifications and sparing programs  for L3Harris Wescam in Canada. Scott has over 25 years of direct experience with complex engineering  programs in highly regulated, international markets. Scott has extensive experience in domestic and  international mergers and acquisitions. Spending much of his career in project management, continuous  improvement and strategic planning, Scott has extensive knowledge and experience leading large  international programs. Scott has an MBA from the Smith School of Business at Queens University, a BA in  Labour and Industrial Relations from the University of Toronto and a Project Management Professional  designation (PMP).

Gaetano Sferrazza – Director

For the last eight years, Gaetano has owned and operated T4Tax in Burlington. As an entrepreneur and employer, he has used Goodwill’s Employment Services to hire many of his staff  members. Indeed, for his support of Goodwill job seekers, many of whom face barriers to employment,  T4Tax won Goodwill Amity’s Employer of the Year Award in 2022. But his connection to our organization  began years before that when he was looking for work and Goodwill helped him find an opportunity. His  experience as both a job seeker and employer will be a benefit at the Board table.

Andrea Donlan – Director

Andrea joined the Board in 2019, when she was the President and CEO of Manifest Communications, a social change firm. In January 2020 she joined MacMillan Vantage Policy and  serves as a Vice President, engaged in public affairs and strategic communications with a particular  focus on corporate purpose and social impact. She has been Chair since September 2020.

Andrea has served as Goodwill Amity Chair since 2020, with Glen Norton assuming that role at the 2023 AGM. 

Khadija Hamidu – Director

Khadija is the Executive Director of Workforce Planning Hamilton and Founder of  Melanin Market. Over the last 10 years, she has fostered leadership around strategic planning and  governance development through non-profits organizations in the hopes of creating innovative pathways  to a better local economy from a sociological framework. With experience in Diversity, Equity, and  Inclusion, Khadija founded Melanin Market, where she leads and supports BIPOC Business on a national  level with a goal to bring the necessary spotlight to businesses and creators who need extra support with  funding and marketing. Khadija is the recipient of Top 40 Leaders Under 40. Khadija has served on the  Goodwill Board since March 2022.

Carmela Trombetta – Director

Carmela Trombetta is the Vice President of Private Banking for Southwestern  Ontario. She leads a team of private bankers who provide customized advice and holistic wealth  management solutions for high-net-worth clients, their families, and their businesses. With over 30 years  of experience, Carmela has held a number of unique blend of front-line and leadership roles across RBC  within Personal and Commercial Banking and Financial Planning, including as Vice President, Commercial  Banking for Greater Hamilton. Carmela has been a volunteer leader in the region, having served as a  campaign cabinet member with United Way Halton & Hamilton, and on the Boards of organizations  including the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Mohawk College Foundation, and St. Joseph’s Healthcare  Foundation. Carmela joined the Board in June 2022.