The Board of Directors of Special Olympics New York has named Stacey B. Hengsterman as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer.
She officially begins her role on July 1, at the organization’s headquarters in Schenectady.
Special Olympics New York, the largest Special Olympics program in North America, provides year-round sports training and competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Hengsterman is an accomplished leader with nearly 20 years of experience at the State University of New York, the country’s largest comprehensive system of public higher education.
As chief of staff at SUNY’s central administration, she served as the strategic advisor to the chancellor and the board of trustees and was the primary liaison to presidents, student and faculty leaders and executive staff at the 64 campuses that comprise SUNY.
Hengsterman and her staff managed a wide-ranging portfolio of activity encompassing community and government relations, advocacy, communications, development, operations and policy.
In 2017, Hengsterman created and managed the first philanthropic foundation in the university system’s history. Most recently, she has been working with SUNY Chancellor Emeritus Nancy L. Zimpher to launch the nation’s first Center for Education Pipeline Systems Change at SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute of Government, forging public-private partnerships and attracting investments to advance the work of the center.
“I am committed to Special Olympics New York’s core values and am honored to have the opportunity to work alongside a team of people who share a passion for social inclusion and equality,” said Hengsterman. “I welcome the opportunity to attract attention to and support for the Special Olympics mission, our wonderful programs, and our amazing and positive impact on New York’s families and communities.”
“Stacey has a proven record of success in organizational management, fundraising, and leadership, as well as a heart for serving our state’s special-needs community,” said Patricia Martinelli, chair of the board of directors of Special Olympics New York. “As the board’s unanimous selection as President and CEO, we are confident that she will enthusiastically refine and advance our strategic plan, always leading with compassion and acumen. Special Olympics New York is in very good hands.”
Hengsterman, whose son, Alex, has Down syndrome, says her passion for the Special Olympics mission stems from the many community members, businesses, teachers and students who have always made Alex feel welcomed and included.
She lives in Clifton Park with her husband, Rick, a high school history teacher, and their three children, Jackson (17), Alex (14), and Lauren (11).
About Special Olympics New York
Special Olympics New York provides year-round sports training and competition in 23 Olympic-style sports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities at no cost to the athletes, their families or caregivers. There are more than 66,000 athletes and unified partners that train and compete with Special Olympics New York, the largest Special Olympics program in North America.