A battle with cancer has claimed Jane Prince Seckinger, the president and CEO of Goodwill Industries Inc., the organization announced on its website. She was in her mid 50s.
Seckinger, the former Jane P. Nichols, had served Goodwill as president since 1999. During her tenure, she increased revenue from $3.8 million and placing 19 people in jobs to $30 million in revenue and serving about 37,420 and finding employment for 5,025 people.
“Jane was an amazing leader and friend, and a true asset to the Chattahoochee Valley and in all of the counties we serve,” said Jacki Lowe, chairman of the Goodwill Southern Rivers Board of Directors said in a statement. “She changed the whole composition of Goodwill. Her work shone in this community through the various boards and organizations she dedicated her time to, and she was respected not only locally, but internationally.”
Under Seckinger, the number of centers in place to assist people with job placement also increased from one to 12.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete for Seckinger but will be announced later.
Seckinger grew up in Albany and she once joked in an interview more than three years ago that she attended Westover High School in Albany, Ga., the school with the longest losing streak in the state, but she graduated.
After high school, she went to Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga., where she received a bachelor of science degree in communication arts in 1983. She continued her education and earned a master’s degree in business and human resources in 1996 from Troy State University.
Seckinger moved to Columbus from the Newnan area to work at SouthTrust Bank in 1991. She was responsible for mergers and acquisitions, human resources, retail banking, marketing and communications and operations.
In 1999, Seckinger was named president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers and two other affiliates, Power Works Industries Inc. and Columbus Community Campus LLC. She was responsible for 50 counties that include parts of East Alabama and West Georgia.
At Goodwill, Seckinger was responsible for guiding the efforts of retail outlets and reinvesting the profit into career services. The career centers help people find jobs and provide a basic level of skills to keep a job.
During an interview with this newspaper in April 2014, Seckinger was asked about poverty. “The individuals living in poverty think better on their feet than anybody in middle or upper class ever thought about,” she said. “Faster Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, for survival. Where it becomes an opportunity is that America is a middle-to-upper-class-based environment. So the benefit structures that are in employment don’t support somebody in poverty. They support somebody in a middle- and upper-class environments.
Outside work, Seckinger was involved in the community, supporting organizations and institutions in Columbus. She was a volunteer with Columbus Technical College Foundation Board of Trustees, served on the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was past chair of the chamber’s Work Force Development and Leadership Committees. She served on the Georgia State Chamber of Commerce Board and others. Her awards included the Dr. Jack Hughston Humanitarian Award for leadership and the Chamber of Commerce Visionary Award for industry innovation and corporate responsibility.
Terry Reis, vice president of finance and information technology, will serve as interim president and CEO until Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers begin the process of searching for a permanent replacement.
To read an interview with the former Jane Nichols, go to http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/business/article29326378.html