Carpooling with Goodwill’s Matthew Bourlakas

President & CEO - Goodwill

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee’s President and CEO Matthew Bourlakas will not soon forget Hytchin’ with Carissa Biele, the woman who proclaimed the inside of her car to be a game show, then confessed her history of eating dog food flavored jelly beans.

Adding spice to the foul jellybean eating experience, Biele and Bourlakas (a really catchy game show host name pairing) covered a lot of interesting ground in this video of their shared ride. Bourlakas highlights Goodwill’s vision to help find jobs for people with disabilities and help them overcome barriers to employment. That’s no easy mission, considering affordable housing and mobility are the twin peaks in a mountain range of challenges facing fast growing Nashville.

“When we think about the mobility challenges, transportation challenges with individuals with disabilities, it becomes pretty obvious,” he says. Everyone needs to contribute to the solution.

Bourlakas knows that many of the people Goodwill is organized to help, both ready and able to work, still have to make one, two and up to three different buses connections to reach their jobs. This seat switching reality is another burden for those who already face numerous roadblocks in maintaining employment. He comments off camera; there’s no shortage of cars in Nashville and each of those empty seats represents a lost opportunity to connect people. “Hytch fits into our vision of helping,” he says.

When Carissa quizzed Bourlakas on the number of jobs Goodwill is responsible for in Middle Tennessee, he got it down to the exact breakdown of 15,412 placed and 2,000 employed by Goodwill Industries. Even when the trivia contest branched off into transportation, Bourlakas correctly answered that vehicle traffic is projected to increase by 20% by 2030.

Both contestants had to down a potentially icky jellybean after failing to estimate the percentage of Tennessee’s urban interstates that experience congestion during peak travel hours. That’s a whopping 44% (in case you wondered) which means a lot of wasted time, energy and money.

Goodwill’s fearless leader must have garnered some BeanBoozled goodwill, because he didn’t end up with any gross jelly beans. Maybe that’s not just goodwill, but good karma?

“Matthew’s team is fighting to solve employment challenges every day,” says Hytch Co-Founder and CEO, Mark Cleveland, “but the cost of transportation - it’s like a schoolyard bully that comes back at you, again and again. Hytch joined forces with Goodwill to help build a network of people connecting for a ride to work.” With over 2,400 employees, Goodwill is the first major employer to introduce Hytch Rewards in Nashville. The system stacks employer incentives on top of community sponsor dollars from Nissan and Franklin Synergy Bank, which means both the driver and passenger get paid when they share a ride using Hytch. Friends, neighbors and co-workers invite each other to a “hytch” and the participants are rewarded with points (that convert to cash!).

“Give the links in the description a visit,” says Bourlakas. “Download Hytch today and join in the fight against traffic.”