VP of CNN Worldwide/TBS inspires others to ignite the hero within

January 21, 2014

MLK BreakfastLisle, Illinois ~ While there were many leaders of the civil rights movement, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. recognized that his greatest asset was the strength and resilience of ordinary people to stand up for a cause larger than themselves.

This is the definition of a hero, and one of many words of inspiration and encouragement King left as part of a lasting legacy – a blueprint for social justice and change still relevant today, said Tim Goodly, senior vice president of human resources for CNN Worldwide, Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) Inc.

“King not only walked the hero’s journey, he served as a catalyst that encouraged so many others to stand up, cast their fears aside and make bold and daring contributions to a cultural revolution that transformed America,” Goodly told a crowd of about 600 people gathered Monday for the 19th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast at Benedictine University (the fastest-growing University in the country).

Goodly, who is responsible for the development of human resources policies and procedures for domestic entertainment, animation and young adult, news networks and businesses including TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, CNN/U.S., HLN, CNN International and CNN.com, was selected to speak at the annual event as an alumnus of the University’s nationally-recognized Ph.D. in Organization Development program, a discipline steeped in many of the core values of the civil rights movement.

While many things King echoed 50 years ago in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech have now been realized, a clear gap still remains among the day-to-day experiences of blacks and whites when it comes to education, economic status, unemployment and crime and punishment, he said.

How well the country addresses these issues and others associated with a demographic shift as minorities are expected to become the majority in the next decade, will depend on a new generation of “everyday heroes,” Goodly said.

“We will need everyday heroes to help our country transition through this change and realize not only Martin Luther King’s dream, but those of the founders of this country where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are available to all citizens.

“As we look back on Martin Luther King’s dream, the challenge before us remains today to look within ourselves and ignite the hero within,” Goodly added. “We must overcome our petty desires, our fears, social pressure and live the lives that we were supposed to live. Each of us has a unique journey to make. And each of us is challenged to make our own special contribution for our families, our communities and to the larger society.”

At TBS, Goodly has led strategic personnel efforts, planning and implementing organizational restructuring and redesign efforts, and has served as chief human resources advisor to the company’s top executives. His 20-year-plus career in human resources and general management includes service at Mobil Corporation, the Pepsi-Cola Company and as an officer in the U.S. Army. In addition to his work with TBS, Goodly is a senior executive scholar for the Ph.D. in Organizational Development program at Benedictine University at Springfield.

The King Breakfast is one of the largest events of its kind in DuPage County and is sponsored jointly by Benedictine University and College of DuPage. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Fund at both schools. Two Benedictine University students were honored as recipients of King scholarships, which are awarded based on a number of criteria including community service.

Benedictine students awarded a King scholarship were Deborah Afiriyie, a sophomore who is pursuing a double-major in Marketing and Management and Organizational Behavior from Romeoville; and E’Laina Craven, a junior Social Science major from Oak Park.

To commemorate the spirit of service that was engendered by King, the University organized several community service projects for the day. Volunteers could donate blood to the American Red Cross, write letters to U.S. servicemen and women, read to visually impaired veterans, make build-a-bears for the Ronald McDonald House and sort birthday bags for children served by local food pantries.

In an ongoing effort to reinforce a life of service within the Benedictine community, on April 5, faculty, staff, alumni and on-campus and online students will participate in a wide range of service activities to mark the University’s first National Day of Service.


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2000-2010 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the third consecutive year in 2013. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fifth largest in the Chicago area in 2013.

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Gary Kohn
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