A longtime staff member has been named to the top position at Virginia Special Olympics.
David Thomason was selected to succeed current president Rick Jeffrey, who will be retiring in late June, the organization said.
“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 regions. In 2005, he became the director of events and athlete leadership and, 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 in a statement. “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.”
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.
Thomason is a past president of Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives, and its 2020 recipient of their highest honor, the Nina Abady Award.