Special Olympics Vermont

President and Chief Executive Officer | Full Time

Category: Non-profit

Location: 16 Gregory Drive, South Burlington, VT, USA

Client: Special Olympics Vermont

Website: https://www.specialolympicsvermont.org/

Position Title: President and Chief Executive Officer

Location: South Burlington, VT


About Special Olympics Vermont 

Special Olympics Vermont (SOVT) is an Accredited Program of Special Olympics International, an organization that has more than 6 million athletes in more than 174 countries. SOVT is a 501(c)(3) not for-profit organization, founded in 1971. SOVT serves athletes of all ages through year-round programming in more than 20 community programs throughout the state.


The mission of SOVT is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.


Position Overview

The President and CEO has primary responsibility for the leadership, key relationships, public image, growth and overall health and stability of SOVT. This includes oversight of all areas relating to operational, financial (particularly development/fundraising), program management, and administrative functions, via direct management of the Directors and the senior leadership team. In partnership with the Board of Directors, the President and CEO will utilize and evolve the strategic plan to steward the organization’s future and ensure attainment of strategic goals. The President and CEO will lead the senior staff through the collaborative creation of, and adherence to, a dynamic operations plan, executed and managed by staff and volunteers. Additionally, this role has the primary responsibility to (design and) implement a comprehensive development plan, complete with targeted strategies to identify, cultivate, engage, and solicit companies, individuals, and government agencies to financially and programmatically support SOVT. The President and CEO should demonstrate bold thinking, the ability to effectively use resources to achieve the goals of SOVT and possess the skills to strengthen and diversify funding to efficiently deliver impactful programs. The President and CEO must have a passion for and a strong commitment to Special Olympics and its mission.


Essential Functions and Responsibilities

The President and CEO is ultimately responsible for all aspects of the organization. This position ultimately oversees a multitude of activities including all administrative, financial and human resource functions, resource development, communications and public affairs, and all programmatic offerings. The role serves as a primary contact and relationship holder for several key constituent groups, including but not limited to the Board of Directors and all Board committees and working groups, leadership staff, athletes and athlete leadership, government agencies, community leaders, corporate sponsors and investors, individual donors, foundations, and Special Olympics US, North America, and Incorporated at the leadership level.

  • Champion, guide and execute the mission, vision, and brand of SOVT, in concert with the Board Chair and Directors.
  • Collaborate with the SOVT Board to execute an updated strategic vision for growth and oversee development of an annual operating plan to accomplish goals set out in the strategic plan.
  • Offer direction and support to the senior leadership team, responsible for day-to-day office activities and personnel management, as well as all events, competitions and programs offered by SOVT. Additionally work with this team to recruit, retain, motivate, mentor and lead SOVT office staff and volunteers.
  • Provide leadership to and define strategic direction for the SOVT staff, volunteers, and other related constituencies.
  • Serve as chief spokesperson for SOVT with media and other external groups.
  • Together with the Director of Communications, Marketing & Public Affairs, oversee the Communications, Marketing, and Public Relations functions.
  • Together with the Director of Programs, and staff team, oversee the growth of key SOVT initiatives, such as: Healthy Athletes®; Unified Champion Schools; Unified Sports®; Young Athletes™; collegiate and professional sports partnerships.
  • Be the primary liaison, build strong relationships, and maintain alignment with Special Olympics North America and Special Olympics International’s mission, strategic plan and priorities.
  • Advocate on behalf of SOVT with government and legislative officials and bodies; ensure compliance with regulatory agencies.
  • In concert with a Director of Development (to be hired), maintain and build financial and organizational stability through revenue generation.
  • Lead the development and diversification of revenues from a broad base of new and existing funding sources (corporate partners, foundations, annual giving, major donors, etc.).
  • Collaborate with Board and staff to articulate an effective and comprehensive development plan that includes segmented and targeted fundraising strategies to deliver revenue; at a high level, oversee all aspects of implementation of the development plan.
    • Recruit, retain, motivate, and steward donors, investors, corporate partners, and philanthropic foundations.
    • Include individual and corporate giving, event and Games sponsorships, fundraising events, end of year giving, additional annual appeals, foundation and government grants, major gifts, and other revenue-generating opportunities, including programs with SOI such as Integrated Direct Marketing Partnership (IDMP) and Planned Giving Collaborative (PGC).
    • Draft sponsorship proposals with a long-term relationship-management approach that focuses on the ROI of corporate investment.
    • Sell and close investment and sponsorship opportunities.
    • Steward donor and sponsor investor relationships.
    • Direct development-related record keeping in the SOVT donor database, Little Green Light, as a resource to utilize impactful data analysis for revenue growth and donor stewardship.


Education and Experience Requirements

The President and CEO must be an energetic and passionate leader with extensive experience in business and/or in a non-profit organization as a CEO or in Senior Management, with a record of demonstrable achievement. To be successful in this role, the candidate should possess the following qualifications and competencies:

  • Creative, entrepreneurial, and strategic perspective with consistently demonstrated ability to develop and successfully implement a vision for a complex organization, one that aligns with the global SOI mission.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication to convey the importance of Special Olympics’ mission to a variety of audiences and stakeholders in a clear and compelling way. The President and CEO must rally people to support that mission externally, while conveying to internal audiences an appreciation for their efforts toward making Special Olympics’ goals a reality.
  • High emotional intelligence and ability to cultivate relationships and collaborate with stakeholders and staff. Can make a compelling and effective case to secure the funds necessary to fulfill SOVT’s mission with stakeholders from high-net-worth individuals, senior corporate executives, heads of leading foundations, and high-level government officials.
  • Knowledge of sports, health and/or education is desirable. The President and CEO must have a passion for sports and its power to change individuals, communities, and social structures.
  • A community bridge-builder and an effective networker. The President and CEO must seek and develop strategic networking opportunities and collaborative partnerships at the local and national levels.
  • Strong ability to evaluate organizational effectiveness and the capacity to align financial resources with strategies and operations in order to manage operations profitably.
  • Personal qualities of resilience, optimism, determination, competitive desire to set and achieve goals, deep belief that all humans are worthy of respect, deserve to be included, and have the opportunity, and expectation, that they can and will make their unique contributions.
  • Proven ability to get along with all types of people.
  • Ten years of experience in senior management of an organization.
  • Robust interpersonal, leadership, personnel management, professional coaching skills.
  • Exceptional communication skills in relationship building and public speaking.
  • Demonstrated background and success in fundraising/development.
  • Strong business acumen with a track record demonstrating strong financial management and organizational leadership.
  • Bachelor’s degree: Advanced degree preferred.
  • Experience with intellectual disabilities, inclusion, and sports knowledge preferred.
  • Experience in serving on or working with non-profit organizations preferred.
  • Extensive experience with events is highly preferred.


Gallagher, Flynn, & Company, LLP has been retained to conduct this search. Interested candidates may apply by sending a resume and cover letter to Dan Lyons, Managing Director, HR Consulting, at talentsolutions@gfc.com. While we appreciate all interest in this opportunity, only candidates most closely aligned with our search will be contacted.


Disclaimer: What is listed above is representative of the position’s responsibilities but is not meant to be an exhaustive list. Responsibilities may change during employment at the company’s discretion. Gallagher, Flynn & Company, LLP and our client do not discriminate in employment based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors.


To Apply:

Gallagher, Flynn, & Company, LLP has been retained to conduct this search. Interested candidates may apply by sending a resume and cover letter to Dan Lyons, Managing Director, HR Consulting, at talentsolutions@gfc.com. While we appreciate all interest in this opportunity, only candidates most closely aligned with our search will be contacted.