Jackie Halleen

President, Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona

I strive to embody our company’s culture every day by leading by example and living our core values: innovation, trust, collaboration, ownership and engagement.

Why do you believe honoring achievement is important?

Achievement looks different to everyone. It could be one small action that contributes to the big picture of a project or, alternatively, a huge contribution that you never thought could be done (like creating a new company or starting a food pantry). Honoring achievement is important to me because the growth and successes of others is worth celebrating. By celebrating others, you take moments of success and share stories that will inspire and motivate others to reach for their dreams. It doesn’t matter how big or small an achievement is. 

When we don’t honor the achievements of others, we miss out on the opportunity to foster a community deserving of success. Many people in our communities achieve great things that are deserving of success — their stories need to be heard and celebrated. 

The achievements and stories of those around you are as important as your own. Take every opportunity to recognize successes, talents, and experiences. Honor the achievements of your peers and you will create a snowball effect that truly makes a difference in the community.

What insights have you gained in your career that would inspire others?

There are so many moments that define and shape you in your career. Pay attention to those moments and always learn from them. Take every opportunity to see the positive side of your experiences and don’t be afraid to share the good and the bad with your peers. 

What I really believe in is that fear isn’t real until you make it real and let it hold you back. Don’t let fear take hold of you and prevent you from pursuing excellence. 

For those whom I lead and mentor, this is the one message I want them to know: You can accomplish more than you think you can. I have learned that when I choose to believe in my own power, I can achieve my goals. Usually, when success is elusive, it’s because you have chosen to not believe in your own power. So, always believe in the power of yourself. 

Please be kind. Be kind to yourself and your peers. Kindness, support and constructive direction go so much farther than most people think. Not only will you surprise yourself, but you will also positively influence those around you. Keep learning and believe in your power.

What can we do — now — to make a difference for young people/women in Arizona?

The incessant rise of social media has changed how people interact today. Because of this, many people have forgotten the art of “live” communication. Let’s face it, it’s hard to be confrontational today. Many of today’s topics are tough to address and talk through. Our younger generations are struggling because they rely on Zoom, Instagram and other similar platforms. While these platforms are great communication tools, employers are looking for candidates with excellent soft skills. This means that young people entering the workforce may need to focus on their interpersonal skills over hard skills. 

Soft skills can mean the difference between getting “a job” and getting “the best job.” My advice for young women today: Pay attention to body language, tone, what’s appropriate to discuss and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to have hard discussions with honesty and integrity. 

Always lead with integrity, kindness, and empathy. Know what you’re good at and develop yourself to be the best. Be the subject expert at whatever you choose. Practice what you know and grow in what you don’t yet know. Only you can hold yourself back. Don’t limit yourself. GO FOR IT!!!

About Me:

Jackie Halleen, president of Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, serves as The Excel Center’s executive director, where she oversees The Excel Center’s operations and leadership team.

Since 2001, Halleen has served as an Enterprise-leader whose dedication to empowering people has fueled Goodwill’s incredible growth and impact. Halleen champions The Excel Center, believing it can change the lives of adults in Arizona to earn their diplomas and increase their earnings to provide for their families.

Halleen serves on the board at Foundation for the Blind and previously served five years on the board of the American Heart Association.

In Few Words

  • What was the last course, certification or training you took to improve yourself professionally? Culture Index
  • What would you say is a single characteristic OTHERS might attribute to you that defines your success? Tenacity
  • What is the one thing you feel you could work on professionally to be a greater success? Listen 
  • What is the one professional skill you have that has gotten you where you are today? Nimble
  • What is the single greatest issue facing Arizona today? Poverty, the single greatest issue facing Arizona, takes many forms — in education, unemployment, and homelessness — and cannot be ended without fighting them all.

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