The Board of Directors of Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) has announced the appointment of Susan Stegeman as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective April 1, 2019. She will lead the grassroots movement for the empowerment of people with intellectual disabilities in Missouri.
Every day, Special Olympics uses the transformative power and joy of sports to build positive attitudes and create an inclusive world for all.
In her role, Stegeman will be responsible for leading a team of 40 professionals in Missouri who are addressing inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation of people with intellectual disabilities by delivering the Special Olympics Missouri mission across all 115 counties. Our program empowers more than 16,000 athletes to be productive citizens in their communities, leading to a more welcoming and inclusive society for all. Special Olympics Missouri holds three state-level competitions and more than 300 local and regional competitions annually and is powered by more than 30,000 coaches and volunteers who help make the grassroots operations possible.
“Our SOMO board unanimously approved Susan as our next CEO because of her commitment to the athletes and the Special Olympics movement,” says Gary Wilbers, Board Chair. “We are excited about our future with her leadership.”
Stegeman has been on staff at Special Olympics Missouri since 1990. She works in partnership with Missouri’s law enforcement community on the Law Enforcement Torch Run®. Under her leadership, Missouri’s program has grown from $56,000 to $2 million annually, presently ranking ninth in the world. She served for six years on the International Torch Run Executive Council that is responsible for managing, promoting, planning, expanding and coordinating Torch Run activities worldwide. She also established SOMO’s three signature events to raise awareness and funds: Polar Plunge®, Over the Edge, and Drive it Home Raffle. Stegeman oversaw development efforts to support the program’s needs during a ten-year capital campaign keeping staff, volunteers and partners motivated and engaged. That campaign culminated in 2018 with the opening of the Training for Life Campus in Jefferson City.
“I’m looking forward to this new challenge; working along-side our great team to serve even more amazing athletes,” says Stegeman.
Designed to be a world-class training facility, the Training for Life Campus is the largest and first of its kind in the United States and offers year-round training, health and leadership opportunities for athletes, coaches, volunteers, and staff. Located on 16.5 acres in Jefferson City at 305 Special Olympics Drive, the campus includes a sports arena that features indoor basketball and volleyball courts, space for free health screenings, multimedia conference rooms, a health and fitness center, and administrative office space. Additionally, several outdoor recreational fields and courts for various types of athletics will surround the campus.
Special Olympics Missouri is a year-round program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. More than 16,400 athletes participate in 16 Olympic-type sports throughout the state. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their fellow athletes, their family and friends, and communities across Missouri.
Special Olympics Missouri is proud of our financial health returning 86 percent of every dollar back to program services. We are privileged to be recognized with these honors: Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity, Charity Navigator 3-star rating and an inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame – Class of 2013.