By BOB LEWIS
Kim Goddard, executive director of Broken Arrow Neighbors, has done everything from stocking shelves for the agency’s fund-raiser book sales to comforting distraught people who never imagined they would ever need the assistance of a non-profit organization.
She has helped BAN grow at an exceptionally rapid rate, overseen its relocation from a ramshackle old house to a sleek, modern headquarters building, and has been a central figure in the creation of some of the community’s most creative community awareness and fund-raising events. In the process, she is recognized as the heart and soul of the organization.
Now, after starting out as a volunteer in the 1990s and joining the staff in 2000 before being named executive director in 2007, Goddard is retiring. Her last day on the job will be Dec. 31.
Jeff VanDolah, president of the BAN board of directors, says Goddard has spearheaded the growth of Broken Arrow Neighbors by adding numerous services. But he quickly adds “I believe her best quality has been the passion she exudes. She has built lasting relationships throughout the community. She can be a professional executive in one moment and roll up her sleeves and unload a truck in the next. She will leave a legacy that will never be forgotten.”
Immediate Past President Lisa Ford says she has seen Goddard constantly go above and beyond the responsibilities spelled out in her job description.
Reflecting of her dedication and expertise, Ford said, “The United Way looks to Kim to mentor other basic needs agencies. She speaks on behalf of the United Way on many occasions about the importance of United Way in communities.”
Summarizing the feelings of friends, board members and associates, Ford said, “Kim is a real go-getter. The agency is successful because of her.”
Broken Arrow Neighbors was born in 1983 in a closet with five shelves packed with food. Today, more than 12,000 people receive nutritional assistance from the agency every year. Its “Food for Kids” program distributes more than 14,000 snack packs to Broken Arrow students annually. It is also there to provide help for people who need medical, dental, legal or financial assistance.
BAN supporter Greg Graham, chairman of the First National Bank of Broken Arrow and himself a former non-profit organization executive, offers a unique perspective on Goddard based on the 16 years he spent in that industry.
“Very few people fully appreciate the level of dedication required of someone in her position, “he said. “It is a non-stop, 24-hours a day, seven days a week flood of problem-solving, fund-raising, image-building and community service. There is very little if any downtime. It can wear you down, but that’s what makes Kim so remarkable. Her enthusiasm and energy level are as high now as the day she was hired.
“She truly will be missed.”