Ryan Burgess Named New President and CEO of Goodwill Columbus

COLUMBUS, OHIO -- Ryan Burgess has been named President and CEO of Goodwill Columbus. Burgess currently serves as Cabinet Secretary for Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

The announcement was made by Goodwill Columbus Board Chair Johnni Beckel, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer with Ohio Health.

“Our Board is enthusiastic about its selection of Ryan Burgess to assume the position as Goodwill’s next President and CEO. He brings enormous passion and significant experience in advancing workforce transformation. With his leadership, we can achieve our agency’s strategic path forward to equip 100,000 people in central Ohio, including individuals with disabilities and other barriers, with the tools to advance economic mobility through access to employment and the power of work by 2030,” Beckel said.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected to lead Goodwill Columbus. I wholeheartedly believe in the mission and vision of the organization and the strategic plan set forth by the board. Simply put, the power of work can transform individuals, families, and communities. I look forward to building upon the great work of Margie and all Goodwill employees to provide employment and advancement opportunities to those we serve,” said Burgess.

Burgess succeeds current Goodwill President and CEO Margie Pizzuti, who will be retiring in March after 15 years as the agency’s leader. A Board Selection Committee conducted a seven-month, nationwide search for Pizzuti’s successor.

Burgess was appointed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine as Cabinet Secretary in January 2019. In that role, he serves as the main liaison between 28 state agencies and the Governor’s Office to ensure the agencies execute the administration’s key initiatives.

Prior to serving as Cabinet Secretary, Burgess served for two years as Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, appointed by former Governor John Kasich. The Office of Workforce Transformation is committed to identifying the needs of business, connecting businesses and workers, and aligning training to meet the needs of businesses. In that role, he was tasked with addressing one of Ohio’s top challenges, developing a skilled and productive workforce for the jobs of the future.

Burgess also served as Assistant Director, Ohio Development Services Agency, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the agency’s $2 billion budget and 300 employees to deliver transparency and accountability when taxpayer resources are used for economic and community development.

His government service was preceded by a 20-year career at Fifth Third Bank. During his tenure, he held numerous executive leadership positions within the Corporate Banking and Investment Advisors Divisions. During that time, he was also appointed to the Ohio Banking Commission by Governor Kasich.

Burgess is a graduate of The College of Wooster, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. He served on the college’s Alumni Board and is a past recipient of its Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.

He is active in the community. He was named Citizen of the Year by the Ohio Library Council in 2018. He has served on the German Village Society Board of Trustees, the Columbus Literacy Council Board of Directors, the United Way Leadership Group, as a Vestry Member of St. Albans Episcopal Church, and on the Stewardship Committee of Trinity Episcopal Church. He also co-chaired the Center for Child and Family Advocacy’s Evening of Hope and was a mentor for City Year.

A native of Findlay, Ohio, Burgess and his wife live in Bexley with their daughter.

“I am honored to have led this extraordinary organization, as we’ve taken this journey to provide a ‘hand up’ to those we serve,” Pizzuti said. “I’ve had the joy of working collaboratively with many valued colleagues and community, statewide and national partners, to ensure that every individual in our community has the opportunity to thrive. I’ve been inspired by Goodwill’s mission of transforming lives through pathways to independence and the power of work and embracing the ‘dignity of risk’ for individuals with developmental disabilities. Goodwill Columbus, with Ryan as its leader, is well-positioned to move forward with optimism for our future.”