The Board of Directors for Special Olympics Indiana has appointed Jeff Mohler the organization’s fourth President & CEO, effective January 15.  According to Board Chair Deb Easterday, “The board is thrilled to announce Jeff as the next leader of our organization after a comprehensive national search.  Jeff has the type of background and commitment to the cause that we knew as so important to Special Olympics Indiana constituents.”
Since 2007, Jeff has served as Vice President of Programs and Chief Operating Officer, providing tremendous leadership and valuable oversight for a wide range of business operations, including human resources, budgeting, and volunteer and risk management. He has served as director for the organization’s largest sports competition, the Indiana Summer Games – where more than 2,600 Special Olympics athletes compete each year in state championships for eight sports. And in 2011, Jeff oversaw the development of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Games, another large scale state competition held each fall and named in honor of the Special Olympics founder.
He has also played an integral role in establishing and building upon the Champions Together program – a partnership between Special Olympics Indiana and the Indiana High School Athletic Association supported by Unified Champion Schools funding and dedicated to promoting social inclusion and providing opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities to compete in sanctioned high school athletics. The partnership has thrived under his direction, with nearly 100 high schools fielding teams for state competitions in Unified Sports – including track & field, bocce, and soon, flag football — and taking part in programs focusing on leadership development, disability awareness, and anti-bullying. More than one half of all Indiana high schools are now participating in the program.
A competitive runner in both cross country and track, Jeff was a varsity letter winner at Carmel High School before running for Indiana Wesleyan University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business and economics in 1994. He later attended Indiana University, where he studied nonprofit management and interned for Special Olympics Indiana before earning an MPA in 1998.
Since 2000, Jeff has been licensed as a track & field official for both the IHSAA and USA Track & Field. In 2009, he served as cross country and track & field coach for Carmel Middle School before assuming coaching responsibilities for Carmel High School, where he coached until stepping down in 2017.
Jeff and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 18 years. They have two children, Lydia (16) and Owen (11).  Lydia is a sophomore at Westfield High School and is a member of Westfield’s Unified Track & Field team.  Owen is a fifth grader at Westfield Intermediate School and is an avid runner, just like his father.
Jeff replaces Mike Furnish as CEO, who has held this position since 2007.  After 44 years as a volunteer and staff member, Mike plans to spend more time with his family, travel, and remain involved in Special Olympics.   Mike, who will remain on staff during the transition, said, “Those of us who have worked with Jeff know his many gifts, work ethic, and dedication to the cause we serve.  I know he’ll appreciate all your best efforts and understanding as the transition takes place.”
CategoryGeneral News
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