Meet Our Team
Coming together to create new opportunities for good.
Our leadership team and board work together to connect Goodwill to the community. They’re responsible for setting the vision for our nonprofit’s future, and ensuring that our mission programs are making a measurable impact — both socially and environmentally. We are grateful for the time and talents they give freely through their service to Goodwill.
Board of Directors
Medford School District
City of Medford
Rogue Credit Union
Leadership Through the Years
2014 – Present
Shae Johns grew up in Medford, and at Goodwill, where her father Eric Olson worked from 1988 to 2004. She began her time at Goodwill as an intern, then as a job coach/job developer before heading to University of Denver to earn a master’s degree in social work in 2002. She returned to Southern Oregon Goodwill in 2011 as the Director of Mission Services and was elevated to President/CEO three years later.
Gayle Smith Byrne
1981 – 2014
Southern Oregon Goodwill’s longest-serving leader, Gayle Smith Byrne took the helm after Travis retired. She was a University of Oregon graduate with a master’s degree in counseling whose first role at Goodwill was director of rehabilitation in 1977. During her tenure as executive director, SOGI grew from four stores to 15 and from serving two counties to six. In 1977, Southern Oregon Goodwill served 48 clients, but by 2014 it served more than 3,000 people each year, having expanded its focus from adults with developmental disabilities to people with a variety of barriers to employment, as well as veterans and families.
1975 – 1980
Richard H. Travis, a longtime Medford resident who had served as board president, became executive director after Meier took a position with Goodwill Industries International. Travis headed up a massive fundraising effort to buy and remodel the former Medford city shops that still serve as Southern Oregon Goodwill’s central office. After serving five years as executive director, he stayed with the organization for two additional years to support Gayle Byrne in the leadership transition.
Reverend Kermit Meier
1969 – 1974
The Rev. Kermit I. Meier, a former Navy chaplain who had trained and worked at the Goodwill in Portland, became executive director in April 1969 and oversaw continued growth in Jackson County. In 1973, Southern Oregon Goodwill served 127 people with disabilities and its budget for 1974 was $356,000.
1967 – 1969
The first executive director of Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries was Verlon Southwick. He played a key role in the founding by conducting a feasibility study under a grant sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Oregon in Portland.