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Shaping Careers

October 5, 2020 Jim Warner

When it comes to building skills and helping others grow their careers, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky understands the value of having the right people in your corner. Building opportunities for others is at the heart of Goodwill’s mission and is reflected in the work of their Chief Financial Officer, Mark Hohmann.

Mark earned his Master of Business Administration degree with a focus in entrepreneurship (IMBA16) at the University of Louisville. Before joining Goodwill, the Boston native served as Chief Financial Officer of Spalding University as well as the Director of Finance and Operations at St. Francis High School. He was named the 2014 CFO of the Year by Louisville Business First.

Tell us about your work at Goodwill. What does it mean to you to be CFO for a nonprofit that helps provide people with inroads to employment and independence?

I am responsible for driving agency-wide initiatives related to the strategic plan goals by leading the finance, facilities, information technology, and risk management teams. My teams ensure financial audits are clean and financial reports to our board and other stakeholders are clear. 

We are also responsible for utilizing software to solve business problems and training to ensure the safety of 1,500+ employees. Our facilities team acquires the land, builds new stores, and maintains all 80 facilities across a 300-mile territory. I get my “why” answered every time I attend a Goodwill graduation for a person who has hit upon hard times or is re-entering society from the criminal justice system. I believe that everyone deserves a second chance, particularly those among us who have made a mistake, served their time, and want to become an active member of our society.

Earlier this year, you were recognized by Business First as one of the top financial leaders in the Louisville region. What does this award mean to you?

I am extremely grateful for this distinction, but I could not have done it without the patience, love, and support of my wife, Julie Hohmann. She is also a UofL alum and 14-year employee of UofL REACH. It also means I lead a great team and, in many cases, recognize or recruit talented individuals and promote them into the right positions at Goodwill. I am grateful that Goodwill gets its profile raised, especially for key projects such as an opportunity campus in West Louisville. 

What was the single biggest takeaway from your time in UofL’s MBA program?

I was part of the IMBA16 cohort at the College of Business, which had many talented individuals who have gone on to found and run successful businesses and advance their careers. In addition to learning how to quickly pull together a “pitch” and deliver it succinctly, and not go over time (Thank you, Professor Van Clouse). I truly loved being a part of every team. I still keep in touch with my team, The Five Forces. I have benefitted from those close relationships and am more than happy to support anyone who I went to school with; there is a special bond just going through the same cohort and traveling abroad together to Dubai and Istanbul!

You have been a guest speaker for our CAMP 100 class. Why do you give back to The College of Business?

I am a true believer that “the more you give the more you receive.” I know I benefited from the different perspectives of the speakers in my leadership class. I have the benefit of being part of a large, professionally run nonprofit, and perhaps those experiences can help shape the career of new first-year students in the COB. I also spend a great deal of my time listening and asking the students what they want to do and where they want to go.  

What advice would you have for our graduates as they set out on their path from the College of Business?

You have already done some pretty amazing stuff, just persisting to graduation in the middle of a pandemic, the likes of which almost all of us have never seen. I would like to share something a colleague of mine recently shared – The 3 Ps. They are Position, Persistence, and Professionalism.

  • Put yourself in the position to be successful. You have already taken a big step by attending UofL.  
  • Sticking with it to graduation is a demanding lesson in persistence
  • And stay professional as you go through your experiences in the workplace.  

Also, stay in touch, even if it’s once a year with your classmates! That experience is special, and there are likely a few friendships that will last you a lifetime.

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