Women in Leadership Profiles

Empowering Communities: Elena Goodhall’s Transition from Engineering to Charitable Giving at Republic Services

In the world of business leadership, some stories stand out as guiding lights, illuminating the path for others to follow. Elena Goodhall’s inspiring journey reflects a career shaped by pivotal moments, transformative shifts, and an unwavering commitment to authentic leadership.

Current Role: Director of Charitable Giving at Republic Services

Have you experienced a pivotal moment you’d like to share that took your career in a new direction?

“Before my current role, I was Republic’s Director of Engineering, Field Operations. I always approached this role with the understanding that the company had made promises to our communities to run our facilities in accordance with our permits and in an environmentally responsible way or more simply, that we needed to be a good neighbor.”

What is your favorite part of your job? What is most challenging?

I love having a positive impact on our communities and our employees through Republic Services’ Charitable Giving platform.”

“The Republic Services Charitable Foundation provides neighborhood revitalization grants nationwide, investing in our communities where we work and live. We are also able to support our fellow employees and their loved ones through our Employee Relief Fund that I oversee.”

Success Traits and Authenticity

Elena emphasizes the importance of authenticity in the workplace, having learned that her career truly blossomed when she stopped conforming to expectations and started being herself.

In your opinion, what characteristics does someone need to be successful in a role like yours?

“Most of my career has been spent in male-dominated industries (construction, engineering, and environmental services). For the longest time, I just tried to fit in as one of the guys.

It wasn’t until I stopped caring about what everyone else thought and started just being me that my career really took off.”

Pursuing an MBA: financial principles, leadership, and an epiphany

Admittedly, Elena was surprised by her MBA experience at Arizona State University (ASU). It wasn’t the classes focused on deepening her understanding of financial concepts and principles that left an indelible mark. 

Can you share a college experience that influenced your career?

“Although I decided to pursue my MBA at Arizona State University (ASU) to expand my financial knowledge, my leadership and organizational behavior classes were the most impactful. For those classes,

…I had to spend a lot of introspective time exploring my management style, personal vision, and goals; resulting in a decision to pursue a different career that better aligned with my values and motivators.”

Self-Care and Growth

How do you incorporate self-care into your routine?

“All those years of construction work mean that I routinely get up at 5 a.m. With the shift to my current role, I realized I could use that time in the morning to meditate, exercise, and read a chapter in a book every day.”

In a world that often demands conformity, Elena’s leadership journey stands as a testament to the power of authenticity, resilience, and a commitment to positive change. Her story challenges us to redefine success, embrace shifts in our career paths, and stay true to our evolving selves.

Stay tuned for more insights, inspiration, and stories of empowerment in the world of women in leadership. The journey continues, and we’re excited to be a part of it with you.

Related posts

Get newsletters and events relevant
to your career by joining Forté.

our partners