Reorganization Updates


Reorganization Update - June 2019

I am pleased to announce that we will be piloting our Reorganization Plan in Region 5 which includes our current Programs in Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, Bethlehem, Berks, Monroe and Schuylkill. A small group of Reorg Team members recently met individually with all seven local Programs in Region 5 to share info about the reorg and listen to input and feedback. Based on the outcome of these meetings, we are now moving into the Transition and Implementation phases.

Region 5 was selected as the pilot because:

  1. All local Programs in Region 5 are currently healthy, and we are fortunate to have a lot of experienced volunteer leaders and coaches in this Region. We will definitely count on them to help lead the development of our regionalization model for the rest of the state.
  2. There are strong community and school-based programs in the region that will facilitate sharing of best practices across the region.
  3. There is capacity for growth in athletes, volunteers, and donors which includes Unified Champion School programming.
  4. Region 5 is representative of PA as a whole with a mix of rural and urban areas.

As we bring all Region 5 programs together, our goal is to work as a seamless volunteer/staff team to do more and better for our athletes. Regionalization should help us operate more efficiently and effectively, but for the most part the process should be transparent to our athletes.

Change is never easy, but our reorganization prepares us to better meet the needs of our athletes for the next 50 years. I want to thank and acknowledge our Region 5 Program Leaders for stepping up and being a part of our exciting future.

If you would like more information about the overall reorganization plan which was approved by the SOPA Board of Directors at their February meeting, please visit the reorg page on the SOPA website at:

If you have additional questions after reviewing these materials, you may email Clare Walsh Miller at or call 610-630-9450 ext. 235.

Thank you,

Matt Aaron

President & CEO

Special Olympics Pennsylvania

Want to learn more about the proposed future of Special Olympics Pennsylvania?

Over the past six weeks we've been meeting in various committees regarding the reorganization, and recently presented our work to you: athletes, families, volunteers and supporters!

We just completed a state-wide “road show” and held Town Hall-style meetings in January in each of the proposed regions in Pennsylvania. These meetings were open to any key stakeholder of Special Olympics Pennsylvania.

Couldn't make it to an in-person meeting?

Take a look at a video recording of the presentation.

Download PowerPoint Slides of the presentation.


Do you have questions or concerns after attending a Town Hall Meeting or viewing the presentation online? Please feel free to share that feedback with us via our Google Doc form.

Thank you for your continued support!

Reorganization Update and Materials:

Reorganization Presentation

Thank you to those who were able to attend our 2018 Leadership Conference. For those of you who were unable to attend our Reorganization presentation, please find conference materials and a video below:

  1. To see the full reorganization presentation from the conference, view the following:
  2. View a copy of the slide deck that was presented.
  3. If you would like to give feedback, please use the following link to complete our Google doc:

Please share these materials with other members of your management teams, athletes, coaches and other volunteers. As we move forward, we will be sending you a monthly update.

Reorganization Background Information

Two years ago, through various town hall meetings, surveys, focus groups and conversations, it was made clear that in many instances the Special Olympics PA volunteer experience had become more difficult with every expanding requirement -- taking away from the positive experience that we want for every volunteer involved. In addition, the experience for our athletes wasn’t equitable across the state and, on the whole, we were seeing a decrease in athletes served year over year due to several factors. As a result, we put together a “Solutions Team” to review, analyze, and provide recommendations to address these challenges. One of their long-term recommendations was “an organization redesign needs to be carefully studied and various possibilities considered.”

We conducted some preliminary work early last year and shared that with the SOPA Board of Directors at their meeting in August of 2017. Based on that work, there was unanimous agreement that simply making changes and adjustments within our existing structure would not be sufficient to address our challenges and enable us to maximize new opportunities.

The Board tasked our President with putting together a team to review options and provide recommendations. A “Reorganization Working Group” was then chartered and asked to report back with recommendations at the August 2018 Board meeting. They put together a “Way Forward” document that summarizes their work to date and offers a glimpse of where they see things headed.

A general session was conducted during the Leadership Conference in August where the Reorg Working Group introduced their proposed reorganization model, and multiple opportunities were be provided throughout the weekend for volunteers to ask questions and provide feedback.

“What We Heard From You” – Leadership Conference 2018

Thank you to all of you who gave of your valuable time to participate in the Leadership Conference this year. We wanted to share below a summary of key takeaways from the weekend and what we are doing to address the issue or opportunity noted.

Those of you who were at Leadership are aware that several sub-committees have been formed to address specific topics during the next phase of reorganization work. This is an exciting and important time in the history of Special Olympics PA. The changes we implement will shape our future for years, and likely decades, to come. I invite and encourage you to be part of helping us determine what those changes will look like by volunteering to be part of this process.

“What We Heard From You”