Our Mission

Changing lives through the power of work

MERS Goodwill provides a variety of programs and services to help support this mission. Some of the many programs and services offered are career counseling, skills training, education and literacy programs, employment services, and more.

Our organization also provides job opportunities through the Custodial and Business Contracts Division. Those who are hired through the MERS Goodwill Custodial and Business Contracts Division become well-trained and reliable workers. MERS Goodwill is then able to better serve local businesses with services like office cleaning, snow removal, paper processing, and more. The revenue from these services then goes back into more training and education programs, so that we can continue to provide reliable, quality contracted business services.

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Made Possible by You

MERS Goodwill is a non-profit organization and funds a significant number of its programs through the generous donations of others. Whether it’s monetary, auto, or clothing donations to one of our retail locations, be assured that your generous contributions are being utilized to fuel and enhance the community. Also, if you shop at any of our MERS Goodwill retail locations, the proceeds from your purchases also go towards our mission.

MERS Goodwill is also the grateful beneficiary of generous gifts from both the United Way of Greater St. Louis and the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. Partnering with these organizations enables us to better serve our community.

Our History

MERS (Metropolitan Employment Rehabilitation Services) incorporated in October 1940 as a Jewish Employment & Vocational Service to help those in greatest need by providing desired employment and community services. Goodwill was founded in 1902 in Boston by a young Methodist minister. His chapel provided a place where goods were exchanged, repaired and refurbished. Missouri Goodwill was established in 1918.

Meet Our Team


Mark Arens

President/Chief Executive Officer

Mark Arens started with MERS (Metropolitan Employment and Rehabilitation Services) in 1997 as a Vocational Counselor. In 2001 MERS merged with Goodwill to form one of the largest non-profits in Missouri, providing vocational counseling and job placements to individuals with disabilities or barriers to employment.

Prior to MERS Goodwill, Mark worked for several companies that performed vocational rehabilitation and medical management for individuals who had been injured at work. He recalls that many of the individuals he worked with were unhappy in their jobs and saw their injury as a chance to do something different with their lives.  He also remembers, “More than half of the people I worked with, all of whom had substantial and life changing injuries, were so unhappy in their jobs that they saw their injury as an opportunity to start their career over and get into a job that they were excited about. It struck me how often people find themselves in a job through circumstance or luck rather than exploration and planning.”  Those cases were formative in Arens’ understanding of the importance of job match and vocational counseling.

Arens holds a BA in Psychology from the Miami University of Ohio, a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from Illinois Institute, and a Master of Business Administration from Webster University. Arens has served on the Missouri Association of Rehabilitation Facilities as President and Employment Division Chair.  Arens was part of the 2010-2011 Leadership St. Louis class and served as a Board Member for the Maryville University Vocational Rehabilitation Program. He has also served on the Webster Groves School Board Advisory Committee and served as Vice-Chair on the Webster Groves School District Bond Campaign.

Mark is married to Dr. Kerry Arens, and they live in Webster Groves with their three children and their two yellow labs. He is an avid hobbyist and enjoys woodworking, welding, brewing beer, SCUBA diving, and restoring the 1888 home where he and his family reside.


Dawayne Barnett
Chief Financial Officer


DeAnn Briggs
Vice President Employment & Training


Elizabeth Brown
Vice President


Jeffrey Cartnal
Vice President of Program Development


Chastity Doss
Vice President of Recruiting/Compliance


Christy Glauber
Assistant Vice President Employment & Training


Mark Kahrs
Executive Vice President


Kristy Lance
Senior Vice President of Retail


Donalle Martin
Vice President of HR Administration


Alisson Nichols
Vice President of Leadership & Development


Jason Rybak
Vice President of Facilities Management


Kimberly Scott
Senior Director of Communications


Tyler Shank


Kevin Shaw
Vice President of Transportation & Aftermarket


Kenneth Somogyi
Vice President of IT


Hilary Wagner
Vice President of Employment & Training


Marvin Washington
Vice President of Contract Management


Esther Williams-Henderson
Assistant Vice President Employment & Training