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Special Olympics Virginia selects new president

From Special Olympics Virginia

The Special Olympics Virginia Board of Directors is pleased to announce David Thomason as the statewide nonprofit organization’s incoming President. Thomason, currently the Vice President of Advancement, will take office July 1, 2022, as Special Olympics Virginia’s current President, Rick Jeffrey, readies for retirement at the end of June.

“David possesses the qualifications and expertise to ensure Special Olympics Virginia continues its mission of building more inclusive communities through sports,” said Special Olympics Virginia Board Chair Chester Sharps. “We look forward to building on the program’s successes under his leadership.”

Thomason has been at Special Olympics Virginia since 1987. He began his work as Region Director of the Central region, which now encompasses the James River, Piedmont, and Capital areas. In 2005, he became the Director of Events and Athlete Leadership, and then shortly after in 2007, assumed his current role on the development team, leading the organization’s individual and leadership giving efforts.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity to lead the exceptional team at Special Olympics Virginia,” said Thomason. “Guided by the voice, wisdom, and experience of our athletes and their communities, we will continue to work together toward our shared vision of a more respectful, inclusive, and unified world for people of all abilities and gifts. I greatly respect and appreciate the talents and commitment that so many already contribute, and am excited about how we can build on that. ”

During his 36-year tenure, Thomason developed the organization’s Global Messenger initiative, which promotes leadership and advocacy opportunities for those with intellectual disabilities around the world. An alumnus of The College of William and Mary, he has committed his career to non-profit organizations — as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, and at the American Heart Association prior to his work with Special Olympics.

David Thomason
David Thomason advocating for increased funding during Special Olympics Annual Hill Day in Washington, DC.

Thomason is a Past President of Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives (VAFRE), and its 2020 recipient of their highest honor, the Nina Abady Award. His other board service includes The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the Advisory Board for the University of Richmond’s Institute on Philanthropy, the Advisory Board of Blue Trunk Foundation, and Orthopaedic Research of Virginia. When not working, David enjoys music, biking, hiking, and traveling whenever possible.

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