President and CEO of Goodwill of Michiana retires

Goodwill Industries of Michiana grew under J. Larry Neff's leadership for 40 years.

Posted on May 2, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on May 2, 2013 at 4:18 p.m.

A local leader for Goodwill will retire later this year after 40 years on the job.

J. Larry Neff, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Michiana, announced that he plans to leave the company December 31.

Neff started with Goodwill in Flint, Mich., and later moved to the Goodwill in Indianapolis before joining Goodwill Industries of St. Joseph County in 1973 as president and CEO. The company name later changed to Goodwill Industries of Michiana Inc. and has more than 600 employees, 22 retail stores and 14 workforce development locations.

Under Neff’s direction, an Industrial Services Department was developed to provide light manufacturing assistance to area businesses. Later, Vocational Services expanded to include the Welfare to Work program. Most recently, a Community Career Center opened adjacent to the Goodwill store on Grape Road in Mishawaka.

Neff has received recognition for his service to the organization from Goodwill Industries International. Over the years, he has been asked to mentor other Goodwill operations and serve on many local boards. He was inducted in the South Bend Community Hall of Fame in 2005.

Neff and his wife, Norma Jean, have been married for 48 years and have three children and seven grandchildren. A celebration open house is planned for Aug. 10 at Windsor Park Conference Center.

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