Special Olympics Southern California Welcomes New Board Chair

LONG BEACH, CA (Friday, March 25, 2022) – Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) announces the appointment of Richard Villa as the Chair for the esteemed Board of Directors. Richard’s term as Board Chair goes through 2024, and he will bring decades of experience in finance and over 10 years of experience with the Special Olympics movement to the role. 

“We are pleased to welcome Richard Villa as the Chair of SOSC’s Board of Directors at this essential stage in our development,” stated Calvin Lyons, SOSC’s President and CEO. “His many years of volunteerism coupled with his leadership in finance makes him the ideal person for this role. I look forward to working closely with Richard to ensure SOSC continues to enrich the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities through sports, health, and leadership programs.” 

Richard was involved with SOSC for over ten years prior to joining the Board of Directors in 2016. He has volunteered in a wide capacity over the years, including at SOSC’s Summer Games, the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in LA, and as a member of the Games Management Team for the Glendale Spring Games. In 2016, he began to take more of a leadership role by coaching Special Olympics Glendale basketball, working on the Glendale Local Program Team, and being a Basketball Clinician. His favorite volunteer role is coaching basketball.  

“There is nothing better than helping the athletes realize their ability on the court,” said Richard. “My favorite moments are seeing players score their first basket in a game or watching them work together to connect passes. Mostly, I just love their personalities, their humor, their loyalty to their friends and the way they approach everything in life.” 

Given his long history of volunteerism and passion for it, he knows how important volunteers’ support is to SOSC. Growing the number of volunteers who participate with SOSC will be one of his focuses as chairman. 

“The talents, time, and joy volunteers bring to Special Olympics Southern California is why we are able to change the lives of so many people with intellectual disabilities,” said Richard. “When people meet on the sports fields, stereotypes, discrimination, and barriers breakdown. People accept each other for who they are, friendships are created, and we unite as a community.” 

Richard is the Chief Financial Officer of The TCW Group, Inc. and responsible for managing the financial operations of the company. Prior to joining TCW as Controller in 2002, he was a Senior Vice President and Director of Finance for Fidelity Federal Bank. In that position, he was responsible for the treasury and accounting functions of the bank. Previously, he was an Audit Manager with Deloitte & Touche where he specialized in serving financial services companies, including banks and investment companies. He received his Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University. In his spare time, he loves to travel, and his favorite role is “Papa” to grandsons Beauden and Barrett. 

For more information and photos or to schedule an interview, please contact Brian Szczerbinski at 562.686.5997 or brian@sosc.org. 

About Special Olympics Southern California 

Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of athletes and their communities through sports, leadership programs, and athlete wellness. Our free, year-round programs lead to improved health, self-confidence, and independence among athletes with intellectual disabilities and acceptance and inclusion in the community. Special Olympics Southern California has earned a four-star ranking from Charity Navigator for exceeding industry standards. This ranking is the highest Charity Navigator offers to an organization and is given because Special Olympics has demonstrated strong financial health and a commitment to accountability and transparency. 

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