We are thrilled to announce Kelly Pond as the new President & Chief Executive Officer of Special Olympics Southern California!
It’s extraordinary to have someone like Kelly joining SOSC as our leader given her historical in-depth knowledge of Special Olympics, as well as her passion for our movement and athletes. Kelly’s 20 years with Special Olympics in a variety of key positions with escalating levels of responsibility make her the best choice for CEO. Her expertise in development, leadership of Marketing and Communications, success with attracting and building relationships with corporate sponsorships, and managing profitable special events will be invaluable to our organization. In her prior role as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of SOSC, Kelly managed over 80% of the organization, including Development, Communications, Sports and Programing, Field Operations, Unified Sports, Volunteer Engagement, and Health and Wellness.
In addition, Kelly built strong relationships with Special Olympics North America and Special Olympics International, and is well respected for her leadership, and willingness to share best practices. On multiple occasions she was asked to collaborate on projects and participate in peer-to-peer mentorships with other U.S. Programs. Leadership roles she served on included:
- Served on the Resource Development Committee and co-led the Corporate Advisory Committee for Special Olympics North America
- Led the Development Committee for US Business Meeting
- Represented Special Olympics International at World Games in Greece to support Mattel partnership
- Kelly’s recent work with City of Hope, a nationwide organization, broadened her perspective on how non-profits operate and fundraise. Her experience as Executive Director of Donor Experience and Enterprise Leadership Deployment will provide valuable insight to help SOSC build a strategic development model to fund our movement’s planned growth to enable SOSC to serve more athletes.
Some highlights of her leadership style:
- Highly empathetic and true servant leader
- Proven relationship builder who will help move SOSC forward
- Passionate about our movement and never forgets who we work WITH – the athletes
- Focuses on our key stakeholders – they are all part of the fabric of SOSC and critically important to our ongoing success
- Encourages two-way communication with our staff and stakeholders
- Collaborative and an active listener who seeks input from multiple perspectives
Kelly shares, “I’m so excited to return to the Special Olympics family. I believe everyone should be seen and celebrated for their unique gifts, abilities, and for what they can do; and that is exactly what Special Olympics does. Over the 20 years that I had the honor to serve SOSC, I’ve seen firsthand how we transform lives through the power of sports. It will be a great privilege to lead and support this team and I can’t wait to partner with our athletes, staff, volunteer leaders, sponsors, and donors to build the SOSC of the future together.”