For Chris Talton, an opportunity to serve others is what drives his passion to lead. Chris has been employed at Goodwill Industries for more than 10 years in various leadership roles; he currently serves as the Director of Operations – Naval Station Great Lakes.
As a leader, Chris remains grounded by the people who helped shape him.
“Over the course of my life, I’ve been fortunate to have had family members, church leaders, coaches, teachers and community leaders who influenced and helped guide my path. Just as I’ve been supported, I believe we all have an obligation to continue moving the community forward by looking for opportunities to help others succeed,” he said.
Having lived in poverty in his past, Chris is passionate about leading with a social equity lens. “Helping a person, particularly a person of color, achieve career success is the most rewarding experience I have found. I have an acute awareness of the stress associated with poverty; there is no greater reward than helping people develop professionally and move toward careers that will exponentially change their earnings, improve their lives and – ultimately – help transform the community.”
Chris’ leadership goes beyond his current role. He is the first Goodwill employee to serve as the Milwaukee County Community Relations Council (CRC) Lead. CRCs are employee teams charged with driving local community engagement activities that influence positive social outcomes. As a CRC Lead, he is a champion for our Acts of Goodwill employee volunteer program focused on reducing barriers to work. He actively volunteers at various events, such as Project Homeless Connect – an event hosted by United Way of Greater Milwaukee &Waukesha County helping people experiencing homelessness.
To celebrate Black History Month, Chris shared one of his favorite quotes by James Baldwin, “No one can possibly know what is about to happen: it is happening, each time, for the first time, for the only time.”
February marks Black History Month, honoring the triumphs and struggles of prominent African Americans who have made significant contributions to America and the rest of the world. To celebrate Black History Month, Goodwill is celebrating local African American leaders who are essential to our success.