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HUNTINGTON - Goodwill Industries of the KYOWVA Area CEO Alissa Stewart stepped down Friday - but only for a day. Taking her place was Ava Johnson, a smart, stylish Goodwill-loving 7-year-old.

Johnson, a first grader at Kenova Elementary, was invited to take the lead at Goodwill after writing a paper about herself when she was named student of the week at school. Under "When I grow up I want to be" she wrote CEO of Goodwill.

Stewart saw the paper on Facebook, and decided to let that dream become a reality. Johnson had a full day, meeting staff members and touring the office buildings, the Recycling Center on 19th Street and the J.W. Scott Community Center on 8th Avenue.

When asked why she wanted to be the CEO of Goodwill, Johnson pointed to Stewart.

"Because she is awesome," she said. "She gets to run all of the Goodwills. I love Goodwill."

Johnson said she is obsessed with Goodwill. In fact, her entire outfit sans boots was from Goodwill.

"They don't put (clothes) in size, they put them in color," Johnson said.

"My dad says they should put them in size, but I don't agree with him."

Her first big idea as CEO was to host a Goodwill fashion show.

"We could have a sign-up sheet and have people sign up for it, and everyone who got in would wear clothes from Goodwill," she said.

She said she has done two fashion shows (the proof is in her walk) and she wants to give everyone a chance to feel as special and happy as she does.

While women make up more than half the U.S. population and make up more than half of the college-educated entry-level work force, women are only 14.6 percent of executive officers, 8.1 percent of top earners and 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs, according to the Center for American Progress.

"I want to empower her and let her know she can do anything she wants to in life," Stewart said.

Stewart said she also wants to make sure Johnson knows to treat everyone with respect, no matter what their background is, and to always be herself.

"Not many CEOs wear boots with big heels like me," she told her.

For more information about Goodwill of KYOWVA, visit

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter @TaylorStuckHD.


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