(Jefferson City, Mo.) Special Olympics Missouri President and CEO Mark Musso has announced his retirement effective March 31, 2019.
Mark Musso began his Special Olympics involvement in Kansas as a Key Club member. He then joined the Special Olympics Kansas Summer Games Management Team while pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management at Wichita State University. He received his Master of Business Administration in Organizational Behavior from Wichita State University. Upon moving to Minnesota, Musso began his paid career with Special Olympics as the Games Operations Director for the 1991 International Summer Games. After a brief stop as Minnesota’s executive director, he accepted the position of President and CEO of Special Olympics Missouri in March 1991.
“Special Olympics has given me a life with purpose and passion, and I will forever be indebted to the thousands of athletes I have had the honor to meet,” Musso says. “I’m privileged to have been a part of the Special Olympics movement for the past 46 years and am excited to see what’s in store for the decades to come.”
Under Mark Musso’s leadership, Special Olympics Missouri has:
• Built financial stability as an organization recognized with these honors: Better Business Bureau A+ Charity Accreditation, Charity Navigator 3-star rating and Guidestar Gold Level.
• Restructured state programs and created full-time Area Directors to run local and area programs.
• Added Unified Sports, where athletes with and without intellectual disabilities train and compete together.
• Added a Young Athletes™ program that introduces basic sport skills, such as running, kicking and throwing, to children ages 3 to 7 years old.
• Provided free health screenings and information to athletes through its Healthy Athletes® initiatives.
• Built Athlete Leadership Programs, which empower our athletes to be advocates and public speakers spreading the message of the power of Special Olympics to change lives.
• Opened the Training for Life Campus in Jefferson City — the first facility in the world specifically designed to improve the health, wellness and fitness of Special Olympics athletes.
“SOMO is one of the top Special Olympics programs in the world because of Mark Musso and his team,” says SOMO’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Don Spears. “Mark’s leadership has created a culture of inclusion for our athletes that extends beyond the playing field.”
Beyond Missouri, Mark has shared his leadership with the entire Special Olympics movement in his role as a Director for the Special Olympics USA management team, as Vice Chairman of the Law Enforcement Torch Run Executive Council, as a former Chair of the U.S. Leadership Council, as a former chair of the U.S. Finance and Development Committee and as a U.S. representative on the North American Leadership Council.
The Special Olympics Missouri Board of Directors has begun a nationwide search for Mark Musso’s successor. The next President and CEO will be responsible for leading the organization into the next 50 years and expanding engagement throughout the state to further the inclusion of and provide opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. The application process will be announced soon.