Goodwill of Western New York’s Board of Directors has elected Tom Ulbrich as the organization’s new President & Chief Executive Officer following an extensive nationwide search. Ulbrich, an experienced entrepreneur, business executive and educator, succeeds Tom Lynch who will retire this spring.
Ulbrich has held business and higher education leadership roles for over 30 years, most recently serving as Assistant Dean for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation with the School of Management and the School of Social Work at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Ulbrich also has held the titles of Executive Director Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Executive Director Blackstone LaunchPad at UB. He will start with Goodwill of WNY on May 1, 2020.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Tom Ulbrich as our new President & CEO,” said John Wright, chairman of the Goodwill of WNY Board of Directors. “Based upon Tom’s extraordinary record of innovation, his considerable experience in positions of leadership and his passion for our mission, we consider Goodwill of WNY’s Board, staff and most importantly, our clients, very fortunate to have Tom as our new leader.”
A Buffalo native, Ulbrich began his career with Ulbrich’s Tree Farm, Inc. in Alden with business units that included a retail garden center, commercial landscape design build company, and commercial landscape maintenance company that he eventually led until 2008. In 1994 he founded Mow More Supplies, a catalog-turned-e-commerce commercial landscape supply company, which he sold in 2019.
Since 2008 Ulbrich has been an employee of University at Buffalo, leading the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) and a series of entrepreneurial initiatives at UB. Under his leadership, CEL has grown to graduate over 1,400 CEL alumni who employ more than 23,000 Western New Yorkers, and their businesses are worth more than $2.3 billion to the local economy. Since 2019 Ulbrich has held an additional position as Assistant Dean for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation, working with the Schools of Management and Social Work to coordinate entrepreneurship and social innovation activities across campus and the Western New York community.
Ulbrich earned his MBA. from State University of New York at Buffalo. He received an AAS, Ornamental Horticulture from Alfred State SUNY College of Technology.
An active member of the community, Ulbrich has served on numerous boards throughout his career. These include the Erie Community College Foundation, Cantalician Center, and Belmont Housing Resources.
The Goodwill of WNY Search Committee, led by Chuck Pezzino, Vice Chairman, engaged Buffalo-based search firm Performance Management Partners, Inc. and initiated a national search for a new President & Chief Executive Officer in December, following the announcement that Tom Lynch was stepping down after nearly 10 years as President & CEO of the organization. Sharon Randaccio, President & CEO of Performance Partners, said more than 150 candidates were reviewed for the position. Five finalists were considered for the position by a six-member search committee of the Board. Founded in 1920, Goodwill of Western New York has been serving individuals with the philosophy of "not charity, but a chance." A leading not-for-profit agency in Western New York with an operating budget of $11 million and 200+ employees, Goodwill of WNY believes everyone should have the opportunity to earn wages and achieve their dreams. Goodwill of Western New York works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by helping them overcome barriers and reach their full potential through the power of work. Goodwill’s programs and services help job seekers access the training and support they need through all types of vocational barriers and challenges.