Special Olympics Mississippi has named accomplished leader and fundraiser Monica Daniels as its new executive director. Daniels officially begins her role today at the organization’s headquarters in Madison.
Daniels brings more than two decades of experience in fundraising and management of non-profit and for-profit organizations to Special Olympics Mississippi, which provides year-round competition and wellness opportunities for more than 4,000 individuals across the state who have intellectual disabilities.
“I am committed to Special Olympics Mississippi’s core values and mission, and am honored to have the opportunity to work alongside a team of diverse, committed people who share a passion for social inclusion and equality,” said Daniels. “I look forward to utilizing my expertise in the field of non-profit management as well as my interpersonal relationships with community leaders across Mississippi to help fulfill the mission of Special Olympics Mississippi.”
Daniels will advance Special Olympics Mississippi’s strategic plan and guide the organization’s programs and mission. Under her leadership, Special Olympics Mississippi will continue to provide children and adults with intellectual disabilities opportunities for developing physical fitness, demonstrating courage, experiencing joy, and participating in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and their communities.
“Ms. Daniels has an unparalleled combination of management and fundraising experience, as well as with a heart for serving our state’s special-needs community,” said Kenny Williamson, chairman of the Special Olympics Mississippi board of directors. “As the board’s unanimous selection for the executive director position, we are confident that Ms. Daniels will lead with compassion and acumen.”
Previously, Daniels served as the Director of Annual Giving at Millsaps College; Vice President of Resource Development at United Way of the Capital Area, Inc.; and Director of Development at Magnolia Speech School, all located in Jackson, Miss.
Daniels earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Delta State University and a Master of Science in behavior analysis and therapy from Southern Illinois University. She has been recognized as one of Mississippi’s Top Ten Leading Business Women by the Mississippi Business Journal and by United Way Worldwide for her completion of the 2011 Worldwide Resident Fellows Program.
Special Olympics Mississippi became one of the first pilot programs after Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver visited Ellisville State School in Jones County in 1968, and was officially incorporated and recognized by the state in August 1975.
Today, Special Olympics Mississippi serves more than 4,000 athletes through a network of 17 multi-county areas and thousands of volunteers. Athletes compete locally at more than 50 events across the state, then statewide at the annual Summer Games and Fall Games. Athletes can then advance to the national and international levels of competition.
About Special Olympics Mississippi
Chartered in 1975, the mission of the Mississippi Chapter of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics Athletes and their communities.