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SOAZ seeks new Chief Executive Officer

Special Olympics Arizona (SOAZ), an undisputed leading statewide organization in Special Olympics International seeks its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO). With volunteer ranks of over 25,000, a staff of 30, and a budget of $10 million, this innovative organization is poised to continue its success in serving individuals with intellectual disabilities and more than 25,000 athletes annually.

Scope of Position

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission, revenue generation, financial objectives, and programs. Through effective relationship-building and volunteer development, the CEO will ensure Special Olympics Arizona maintains strong, positive relationships with private industry, community leaders, healthcare leaders and sports organizations to further Special Olympics.

Qualifications and Experiences

To be successful, the next CEO of SOAZ will need to have a combination of leadership experience in either a nonprofit organization, professional association, corporate or healthcare setting that focuses on fundraising, program development, and volunteer engagement. While the next CEO may be from any location, an understanding of the various geographic and cultural areas of Arizona will be helpful. Fundraising experience in an organization with annual revenue of $3 million or higher is a requirement for the position. Also, the ability to provide strategic thinking, strategic direction and a strategic plan with metrics will be critical to the new CEO’s success. The final candidate will have experience with governance, volunteer development, and volunteer leadership. A familiarity or connection to individuals with intellectual disabilities or athletic programs is a plus.

Key Skills and Abilities

The successful candidate must be an effective communicator and public spokesperson. The CEO should also be an effective and transparent communicator with the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. The successful candidate should have a customer service orientation, exhibiting both internal hospitality and external customer satisfaction.

In talent management, the CEO will set the vision, provide strategic direction and mentor professionals helping them to develop in their designated career trajectory. Flexibility and nimbleness will be necessary due to the seasonal event workload. The SOAZ team view themselves as a family and thus, a leader who can navigate as a servant-leader will be desirable.

About the Organization

Founded in 1975 and with administrative offices in Phoenix, AZ, Special Olympics Arizona believes that individuals with intellectual disabilities are far more capable in sports and physical activities than many medical experts think. Furthermore, SOAZ developed the first Healthy Athletes program which looks holistically at Special Olympics athletes and provides initiatives to ensure healthy minds, hearing, eyesight, and fitness. SOAZ was among the first organizations to adopt the Unified Sports® program which gives opportunities for athletes from many sports to compete side by side with Special Olympic athletes. SOAZ’s Unified Sports® Program won an award from Special Olympics International.

Committed to the future, SOAZ has expanded the Unified Program beyond sports and into areas including the arts and other programs. This diversification is a key initiative for the future of the organization.

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