Leading through Crisis with Vision and Care

Steve Preston April 5, 2022

How do you lead well through seemingly sequential crises—when the stakes are high, the demands urgent, and the issues and solutions complex and multilayered?      

Bringing 35 years of crisis-honed experience to Upper House, Steve Preston, currently president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International, is intimately familiar with such pressures. He served as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) during the 2008 U.S. housing crisis, and Chief Financial Officer of a Fortune 500 company during the Arthur Andersen accounting debacle. Through these and other crises, Steve has had to negotiate strategies to achieve goals within an operational landscape experiencing intense pressure.  

Both Steve’s strategic acumen and long-held Christian faith inform his leadership. At this breakfast presentation, he will reflect on how he has worked to help organizations navigate stress to advance their mission. Having served thousands of people and businesses in need of critical services, his experience is invaluable for those considering what it means to be a leader during “such a time as this.”    

About Our Speaker  

Steven C. Preston is the president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International, a federation of local organizations which together represent the largest provider of workforce training and development, with over 1 million served and 125,000 employees.  

Steve has headed two federal agencies during times of national crisis—U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Small Business Administration; served as the CEO of two private corporations, and as the CFO of two Fortune 500 companies

Steve graduated with highest distinction from Northwestern University and holds an MBA from The University of Chicago. He serves on the Partnership for Public Service Board of Directors and on the Wheaton College Board of Trustees.  


Upper House · Leading through Crisis with Vision and Care