CEO Rich Cantz stepping down after 20 years with Goodwill NNE

Goodwill Northern New England’s President and CEO, Rich Cantz notified the Board of Directors of his decision to leave his role later this year after a 20-year career with the nonprofit.

“Working for such an impactful organization has been a dream, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done. After two decades with Goodwill, it’s time for a change. It’s time to write my life’s next chapter,” Cantz said. “This has been such a hard decision, but now is the right time as the organization is on very solid footing, strong and full of momentum. Because of my fantastic Goodwill teammates, I know that will continue.”

Cantz joined Goodwill in 2003 as the Director of The Goodwill Fund. Over the years, he has held various positions of increasing scope in the areas of advancement, program development and public policy including Senior Vice President, Strategic Development and Public Policy. Cantz was promoted to President and CEO in July 2018.

In his time with Goodwill, Cantz helped develop the Job Connection Model of workforce services. He saw the traditional model of offering career advising, resume support, and job training weren’t enough for the people in the most need of services. Cantz helped bring in “life navigators” who support the workforce participants with the life challenges that often get in the way of a stable career; things like mental health, transportation, childcare, a history of substance abuse, and more. Under Cantz’s leadership, this new model of holistically supporting clients received national funding from the US Department of Labor.

And, like other companies, Goodwill was under immense pressure during COVID 19. With Cantz’s leadership, Goodwill Northern New England was able to keep over 1,600 employees working and hundreds of clients receiving services.

“Rich is a strong and effective leader, and we are sad to see him leave,” said Pete Groth, Goodwill Northern New England Board Chair. “As CEO, he has led this organization with great care, and is leaving Goodwill in great shape to move forward in our goal of moving 10,000 people into stability by 2027. We will be looking for a leader just as strong as Rich to continue our work.”

Goodwill’s Board of Directors will begin a search for its next President before Cantz leaves to ensure a smooth transition. The organization runs 29 stores, 18 group homes that serve adults with disabilities, two brain injury clinics, workforce programs that serve more than 15,000 people a year, LifeWorks community supports for adults with disabilities, a commercial cleaning business and more. Goodwill also has more than 1,500 employees and has been working toward becoming an employee-first organization.

“We need a leader who cares deeply about Goodwill’s mission to invest in people who need support achieving their life and work goals. It’s a broad mission that includes disability, workforce, and sustainability work all under one nonprofit,” Groth said. “We have some big shoes to fill.”  

Rich Cantz, CEO of Goodwill NNE smiles at a camera in front of blurry trees
Rich Cantz

Goodwill Northern New England is a nonprofit social enterprise in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Our revenues fund our mission to invest in people who need support to achieve their work and life goals. Goodwill NNE’s programs include workforce training programs, 18 group homes that support adults with disabilities, active community supports for adults with disabilities, AmeriCorps programs, business-cleaning services, and Goodwill NNE operates two brain injury clinics to help people get back to their lives after a brain injury. Of course, our stores also embody our mission to support the Earth through re-use, while offering good jobs and free supports to all sorts of people. For more information visit

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