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Goodwill Mission Stories

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Mary Dowell

“What drives me to lead is my personal pursuit to be my best self – whatever that may be,” says Mary Dowell, Principal Consultant, MJ Dowell & Associates, LLC and member of Goodwill’s Board of Directors.

Mary recently participated in what she describes as a memorable volunteer experience at Summerfield Methodist Church where Goodwill was founded in 1919. Along with Goodwill board members and senior leadership, Mary served meals to individuals experiencing homelessness. “That was very gratifying for me,” as Mary reflected on touching the lives of people in need of support.  

Q: What drives you to lead yourself, others, and in the community? thumbnail_Mary Dowell

A: What drives me to lead myself and others is my own personal pursuit to be my best self. I’m continually evolving and continually pushing myself to be my best so that I can be an advocate and support to help others do the same.  

Q: What is your favorite quote from an African American leader?   

A: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  – “If you can’t fly, then run; if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl; but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”  That quote is the essence of what I try to do when engaging with other. From my perspective I see leadership in each one of us, and so I try to help people to realize that so they can become their very best selves. 

Mary points to Black History Month as a time to honor and celebrate African Americans – particularly those who came before us and certainly those who exist now. She encourages all people to consider Black History Month as an opportunity to learn more about the significance, sacrifices, struggles and contributions that were made by African Americans throughout our country’s history.  

Mary Dowell is a retired corporate executive, long-standing community leader, and author of Playing Through the Fence, a book based on perseverance and always moving forward.  

February marks Black History Month, honoring the triumphs and struggles of prominent African thumbnail_820x360-Black-History-MonthAmericans 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. 

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