Dan Varner is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, whose mission is to put people with employment challenges to work. Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit operates Goodwill Automotive (a Tier 1 automotive supplier), Goodwill’s Green Works (an industrial recycling operation) and retail locations throughout the Detroit area to provide funding, training opportunities and educational resources for the organization’s major programs and service initiatives, including workforce training programs for people who are returning from incarceration, veterans, developmentally disabled, mentally ill, underemployed, and unemployed.
Prior to joining Goodwill, Dan served as the CEO at Excellent Schools Detroit, a coalition of Detroit’s leading organizations working to improve Detroit’s public education systems; worked as a program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on both the Michigan and Education & Learning teams, where he co-led the foundation’s redevelopment of a local giving strategy for Detroit; and he is also the cofounder and former CEO of a nationally-recognized, award-winning youth development organization called Think Detroit, which Dan led through a merger with Detroit PAL to create the largest provider of award-winning youth development sports programs in Detroit, now serving 13,000 participants annually.
Dan has received numerous awards, and his work has been recognized by two Presidential administrations is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and serves on numerous boards of directors, including the ACLU of Michigan, ConnectED, Capital Impact Partners, and
Detroit PAL, and served on Michigan’s State Board of Education for four years. He is an attorney by training, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School.