Associate Spotlight: Elana Simms, Marketing Administrative Coordinator

Join us in celebrating the incredible people who make up our Goodwill teams. 

At Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia, we pride ourselves on creating an environment that promotes upward mobility and career development from within. Elana Simms is an outstanding example of an associate who has “Grown with Goodwill” over the past few years.

Elana joined Goodwill in December 2019, starting out as a retail lead associate in the Alverser store. In 2020, Elana built on her previous newsroom career to move into Goodwill’s marketing and communications team becoming the marketing administrative coordinator.

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Elana spent almost 20 years as a journalist in Florida. After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2000, she accepted an internship at a major metropolitan newspaper in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. What began as a 12-week internship turned into an 18-year career as a copy editor, community religion reporter and editor, associate news editor and deputy opinion editor.

Upon deciding to return to Virginia to care for family, Elana was faced with a new career transition and turned to a Goodwill community employment center for support.

“In life, transition is not easy, but my career adviser helped boost my confidence and gave my resume the edge it needed as I waded into a sea of job seekers – two decades removed from the maze of cover letters, interview processes and online applications.” said Elana Simms.

Over her Goodwill career, Elana has kept in touch with the career advisor, Joshua Charity, who first helped her in the search for a new role in Virginia.

Reflecting on her journey, Joshua commented “Elana has remained professional, driven, consistent, hardworking and was prepared to seize opportunities that came her way. Because of this she was able to accomplish her goal of transitioning from a job opportunity to her preferred career field. It has been a pleasure working with Elana.”

Beyond the personal support and growth she has experienced with Goodwill, Elana is a proud supporter of Goodwill’s mission.

“I am overjoyed to have joined an organization whose mission is to help residents of Richmond – my home – and beyond rebuild their lives through the power of work. Job seekers, help is available! Our teams are invested in and rooting for your success. There is no greater feeling than taking a leap of faith, spreading your wings and finding that you can fly.”