John Hantla retires after 40 years of service at Goodwill of the Great Plains

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – It’s a tradition that has continued for 79 years in Sioux City and it takes place again this Saturday, December 4th. That’s when Goodwill of the Great Plains will distribute new shoes, socks, hats and mittens to children in need at its shoe and mittens night.

The event serves over 1,000 children, ages 5 to 11, in Siouxland alone. It is also aimed at children in other parts of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota. This year, the organization plans to serve 2,700 children across the territory.

The Hantla family has run the local Goodwill organization for almost 100 years. From Mason City to Sioux City to Rapid City, it makes a difference in the lives of thousands of people every year. However, in January John Philip Hantla passed the leadership torch to someone who has worked with him for a long time. Hantla, current CEO of Goodwill of the Great Plains, is leaving after 40 years of service.

“Oh, there is my father. There’s my grandfather and there’s my dad when he was little, ”Hantla said. The Goodwill of the Great Plains Story Wall shows highlights from a century of service and leadership that was celebrated by Hantla’s family and friends in 2019.

Grandfather John Perry Hantla, a Methodist minister, started the local model of goodwill, then Papa John Paul Hantla, also a minister, took the reins. For decades it was Son John Philip Hantla.

“I came here in 1982 as a social worker. I was working in the mission services area doing placement, case management, and moved to the operational side of Goodwill, with our retail, and have been here ever since, ”Hantla said.

Originally started in 1890 as the Wall Street Mission, in 1923 it became Goodwill Industries Wall Street Mission. Hantla’s home became Goodwill of the Great Plains in 2013, to represent the regions of Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and South Dakota that the organization serves.

“What I have seen over the years are people who come here, whether they are victims of domestic violence, immigrants, for various reasons, they have obstacles in their lives and they come and ask us for help. aid. It’s probably the most rewarding thing I think I’ve seen here, ”Hantla said.

The Hantla family, along with their Goodwill team, have played a major role in helping thousands of people each year. Hantla says much-needed help comes in a number of ways: through the factory center and through the retail store.

“Here, at the back of our store, we have a job center. We have four of these employment centers. There’s one in Sioux City, one in Sioux Falls, one in Storm Lake and one in Rapid City, ”Hantla said.

But that’s not all. An annual event holds a special place in the heart of Hantla.

“My favorite event is the Christmas Shoe Party. It dates back to the 1940s, so I would have been a part of it during my career here at Goodwill, ”said Hantla.

This is the one in which he says shows the depth of poverty, when people come for simple necessities like shoes and mittens.

“Seeing them come here and be treated like they matter, and seeing these volunteers coming out, they’ve been doing it for so many years, is almost like a family of volunteers,” Hantla said.

Hantla says his decision to move on is bittersweet, but he leaves with very fond memories.

“Well there comes a time for everything, even though I love my job, it’s time to pass the leadership mantle to someone else and for me to step into a new phase in my life. But it has been a great career. I absolutely loved it, ”Hantla said.

And just like his father and grandfather, John Philip Hantla will take his place on the goodwill wall of history.

Hantla says he’s had one of the best jobs in the world. Traveling is on his bucket list for the near future. He knows he’s leaving Goodwill of the Great Plains in good hands. Her last day of work is January 14.

Briget Solomon, who has been with the local organization for 17 years, will assume the role of President and CEO of Goodwill of the Great Plains. Solomon has worked in the areas of payroll, human resources, strategic planning and marketing with Goodwill.

“I’m very excited. It’s a lot of pride. The organization has been run so well for many years that to be able to develop what has been done historically is very exciting. I can’t wait to see what the future holds, ”said Solomon.

Solomon says the organization is focused on its 30 by 30 goal of serving 30,000 people per year. Today, Goodwill of the Great Plains serves 12,000 to 15,000 people each year. Solomon says it will take a lot of hard work and innovative programs, as well as expanding Goodwill’s mission into rural communities.

Copyright 2021 KTIV. All rights reserved.

About Yvonne Lozier

Check Also

UKG Honored by Google Cloud for Fostering Diversity and Inclusion, Alleviating Employee Burnout | Business

LOWELL, Mass. & WESTON, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 4, 2022– UKG, a leading provider of human resource, …