Monday, February 8, 2016

Goodwill's woes not due to lack of revenue - Toronto Sun

Keiko Nakamura
Amid crocodile tears, Keiko Nakamura — CEO for Goodwill of Toronto, Eastern, Central and Northern Ontario (TECNO) — claimed last month that a “cash flow crisis” forced her operation to shut down and put 430 people out of work. She said Goodwill was strapped for donations and suffering under the weight of high GTA rents.

Now they don’t even have a name. Late Friday, Goodwill International issued a statement indicating they decided to disaffiliate Goodwill TECNO from membership — noting the shuttering of 16 stores and 10 donation centres and the board’s decision to resign amounted to “egregious acts.”

Keiko Nakamura

Keiko Nakamura
On January 22, Goodwill Toronto gave its employees their back wages after announcing it has secured financing to meet its payroll costs. Ms. Nakamura said she regretted “the concern, anxiety and frustration” that employees had endured “as a result of Goodwill’s cash-flow crisis.”

If Nakamura’s operation was indeed strapped for cash, according to a Toronto Sun investigation, it wasn’t due to a lack of revenue or a lack of donations, or even a lack of affordable space. Footage provided to the Sun from early January shows their 21,000-square-foot Midwest Rd. warehouse packed to the rafters with skids of donations.

The Toronto Sun goes into detail about the incestuous financial shenanigans by Goodwill insiders. This space COULD spend a great deal more time on Ms. Nakamura. Lets just say she never missed any meals. The same cannot be said for her employees.

It does beg one question. Given Ms. Nakamura's recent background as CEO of the totally disgraced Toronto Community Housing Corporation, how, the bloody flying fuk, does she land gleefully with Goodwill to do it all over again?

Keiko Nakamura
Former Goodwill employees worried sick about how they’ll pay their bills received a message from the CEO on Wednesday that was short on goodwill. Hours after dozens of them gathered outside the charitable organization’s warehouse in Scarborough, they finally got an answer to the question on all their minds: Will they get paid Friday for the work they put in prior to the charity shuttering 16 stores and 10 donation centres in Ontario?

“To update the more than 430 people affected by the closures, despite our best efforts, employees will not be paid on Friday as part of the regular pay cycle,” CEO Keiko Nakamura said in a brief statement. Moe Rutherford, a business representative with the Canadian Airport Workers Union (CAWU) and former Goodwill trucker, said most of the employees were earning “barely minimum wage.”

Due to a number of factors affecting the retail environment, Goodwill is facing a cash flow crisis. 430 Goodwill employees have lost their jobs.
For more than 80 years, Goodwill Industries of Toronto, Eastern, Central and Northern Ontario has had a mission to enable work opportunities and provide skills development for people facing barriers to employment, including persons with disabilities, youth and the chronically unemployed. Goodwill stores and programs have supported many individuals and communities in the region.

As a result, 16 stores, 10 donation centres and 2 offices in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia and Brockville are closed effective today.

Keiko Nakamura, CEO of Goodwill Industries made $221,774.29 in 2014 plus $ 8,764.20 in taxable benefits. $137,532.99 was paid to David Chu, Vice President Business Services.

This is not the first time Keiko Nakamura has drawn attention. In 2011 she was ousted as CEO of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation after a scathing audit flung the housing authority into turmoil.

Auditor-General Jeffrey Griffiths’ probe of the cash-strapped organization’s books revealed staff spent tax dollars on inappropriate expenses, such as a boat cruise for staff training and a planning meeting at the spa, and didn’t follow purchasing rules.

While tenants lived in squalid conditions and security concerns fell on deaf ears, the top brass at Toronto’s housing authority helped themselves to more than $2 million in cash kiss-offs and bonuses, the Toronto Sun reported.

Keiko Nakamura