Uncategorized Stories

The Value of Family Is the Best Gift to Give This Holiday Season


 

In November 1998, Stephen and Carol Anne Steiner of Crystal Lake, Illinois, received a phone call that changed their lives forever. Without any hesitation, their answer was “yes, absolutely.” On Jan. 27, 1999, Stephen and Carol Anne flew to St. Louis, Missouri. By that evening, they had a beautiful one-year-old boy in their arms that they were ready to take home. Although the adoption wasn’t finalized until July 1999, Carol Anne and Stephen knew that “he was ours from day one.”

That boy was Jonathan Steiner. Now 23 years old, Jonathan is a sociable, kind, and respectful college student; and talented eight-sport Special Olympics athlete.

Jonathan began competing with Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association (NISRA) in Crystal Lake as a Young Athlete, when he was seven years old. At eight years old, Jonathan’s first traditional Special Olympics sport was tennis. As he grew older, he began to join more team sports and soon enough, his schedule was jam-packed. Along with tennis, Jonathan now competes in basketball, bocce, flag football, golf, soccer, softball, and volleyball. Jonathan has earned numerous medals and more than five State Championship titles.

Jonathan is currently working on the curriculum to become a Special Olympics Athlete Leader. Athlete leader training focuses on awareness and listening skills for not only athletes, but also for volunteers, staff, and family members with whom they interact.

Additionally, Jonathan takes courses at McHenry Community College (MCC) and serves as a Sports Manager for all of their athletic teams. He recently received the Athletic Special Recognition Award from MCC for his spirit, camaraderie, and dedication to the MCC athletes and the entire athletic department.

Through Jonathan’s involvement in Special Olympics Illinois, he has developed social skills that make him a very popular and respected athlete, on and off the court, not only by other athletes, but also by coaches. Jonathan has created new friendships with his teammates, and even some of his competitors as well. His outgoing and kind-hearted spirit is hard to forget, and anyone can bet that they will receive a warm smile and great conversation when seeing Jonathan. Just like with the athletes at MCC, Jonathan is the biggest cheerleader for all of his fellow Special Olympics athletes.

Shockingly, life has not always been happiness and high fives for Jonathan or his family. According to his parents, Jonathan is now a “totally different person” than he was before joining Special Olympics Illinois. When he was younger, Jonathan exhibited behavioral issues and poor social skills. It was suggested from his therapists that getting him into sports might help.

When Jonathan first started participating with NISRA in Special Olympics sports, he didn’t enjoy being with his teammates and he didn’t know how to accept losing. He would easily get angry and at times become physically aggressive, especially after a loss. After time, through continuing with competition, and with help from his parents and coaches, Jonathan’s behaviors started to dissipate. He now loves being a part of a team and understands that “it’s about if I give my best efforts, don’t give up, and most importantly, have fun doing it. After a while I realized that’s what truly matters more than getting a gold medal, or an A in a class, or being the best in a competition.”

Not only did being involved with NISRA and Special Olympics help Jonathan with his social skills and behavioral issues, but it also helped him understand the importance of structure, relationship building, and family. It was only after seeing his teammates with their parents and siblings that Jonathan started to understand the concept of having a family. Before then, Jonathan thought that he was with Carol Anne and Stephen all the time because they lived in the same house.

Meeting other Special Olympics families was also a huge help for Carol Anne and Stephen. For them, it was comforting to talk with other parents who could relate and were experiencing similar situations and struggles in their lives.

Now, after 15 years of competing with Special Olympics Illinois, Jonathan can’t imagine his life without his support systems. “Family means everything to me. Not only my parents, but NISRA, Special Olympics and MCC have been like a second family to me.”

Jonathan is not hesitant to acknowledge that he would not be the person he is today without the help of his parents, coaches, teachers, friends and supporters throughout the years. It’s clear that Jonathan is a great role model and will have many more successes to come in his life. He is currently studying Therapeutic Recreation, as his goal is to become a Recreational Therapist so he can give back to others because he feels that so many others have given so much to him.

Jonathan has so much spirit, and his spirit of giving is contagious. During the holidays, please join Six Flags Great America in celebrating athletes like Jonathan Steiner and the value of the many different “families” that he has in his life. None more important than that of his parents, Stephen and Carol Anne.

Between November 27 and December 30, Six Flags Great America will support Special Olympics Illinois through a “Round Up at the Register” campaign during their annual Holiday in the Park lights experience.

During that time, guests will be able to round up their change during their purchase at any retail location to support athletes like Jonathan. Now in its third season, Holiday in the Park has been re-imagined as a socially-distanced, walk-through experience for the family featuring over 2.5 million dazzling lights plus entertainment. For more information, please visit sixflags.com/greatamerica/events/holiday-in-the-park-lights.


Director – Salesforce Administrator


 

The Director – Salesforce Administrator will lead the ongoing development of our salesforce.org
deployment. The successful candidate will have a record of success in improving processes and
adoption using the Salesforce platform. The administrator will work closely with functional
leaders, organizational units, and subject matter experts to identify develop and deploy new
business processes including: Fundraising, Marketing, Outreach and our core program business
processes. This role is part technical project manager, part administrator and part Salesforce
analyst. The Director – Salesforce Administrator will be responsible for the executing on the
day-to-day configuration, support, maintenance and improvement of Special Olympics Illinois’s CRM
platform.

Director Core Roles:
● Scope of Responsibility: Fully competent professional in particular field of specialization (5
– 8 years); Bachelor’s degree is required. Team Member possesses and applies a broad knowledge of
principles, practices and procedures of particular field of specialization to the completion of
difficult assignments. This category includes experts in a particular field who deliver a job that
is key to the organization. Team Members in these positions would typically contribute through
their people leadership and have full responsibility over all elements of a subgroup, function or
project within a department of the organization. They have appreciable latitude for un-reviewed
action or decision. Team Members may act in a liaison capacity with other departments and
organizations and they provide management oversight that is critical to the organization’s ability
to function.
● Conduct: Director-level Team Members must demonstrate the mission, vision and values of
Special Olympics Illinois through consistent adherence to Special Olympics Illinois’ Values &
Behaviors; by exercising a high level of cooperative, friendly and effective teamwork skills; by
resolving conflict directly, effectively and professionally; and by committing to support and be
helpful to other Team Members and departments within the organization.
● Performance: Satisfactory work performance requires consistently strong work product output,
including the successful execution and completion of all job duties and goals; autonomy, ownership,
competence and excellence of work product; innovation and process improvement; effective resource
management; professional development; and compliance with accepted organizational and legal rules,
regulations and policies.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

• Serve as primary system administrator for the Salesforce.org environment with 85+ users
• Handle all basic administrative functions including user account maintenance, reports and
dashboards, workflows and other routine tasks
• Complete regular internal system audits and prepare for upgrades
• Manage Salesforce.org data feeds and other integrations
• Coordinate the evaluation, scope and completion of new development requests.
• Work with team to establish suitable processes to support administrative, development, and
change management activities
• Assist in training of new users, and grow the Salesforce.org skill set across the
organization
• Effectively act as the liaison between our users, vendors and the application development
teams
• Work independently with members of the user community to define and document development
requirements.
• Keeps current with the latest technologies and develop requests for proposals on new
initiatives.
• Develops business case justifications and cost/benefit analyses for new process
implementation.
• Develops and implement all policies and procedures for our Salesforce environment, including
those for architecture, security, standards, and service provision
• Negotiates and administer vendor, outsourcer and consultant contracts and service agreements.
• Establishes and maintain regular written and in-person communications with the organization’s
executives, department heads and end users regarding pertinent Salesforce activities and usage.
• Diagnoses and resolves technical problems, prevents problem escalation and provides solution
tracking
• Ability to critically evaluate information gathered from multiple sources, reconcile
conflicts, decompose high-level information into details, abstract up from low-level information to
a general understanding, and distinguish user requests from the underlying true needs
• Ability to assess the impact of new requirements on Salesforce.org and all upstream and
downstream applications, systems and processes

Preferred Qualifications:

• Minimum two years of experience as a Salesforce.com administrator
• Salesforce.com Admin (ADM201 and ADM211) certified
• Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Developer certifications preferred
• Proven ability to design and implement new processes and facilitate user adoption.
• Strong understanding of the platform, with the ability to build custom apps and objects,
formula fields, workflows, custom views, and other content of intermediate complexity
• Strong understanding of Salesforce.com best practices and functionality
• Strong data management abilities
• A documented history of successfully driving projects to completion
• A demonstrated ability to understand and articulate complex requirements
• Experience with nonprofit processes preferred
• Previous experience working in a SCRUM or agile environment preferred
• Comprehensive understanding of network architecture and client/server technology
• Ability to work effectively in areas of ambiguity and capable of creating solutions to complex
problems.
• Excellent communication skills.


Work Schedule:
● Based out of Headquarters Office in Normal, IL/Remote
● Reports to Senior Director – Technology
● Monday through Friday with evenings and weekends as position demands
● Schedule includes occasional travel to Field offices and other venues

Please send resume to euphoff@soill.org


Inspire Greatness Gala – May 9, 2020 @ 6:00 pm – 11:30 pm


 

CONTACT:
Shelley Chenoweth
630-519-6059


Assistant Director – Development Region H


 

Position Overview:

The Assistant Director – Region is primarily responsible for providing support to the Region
Director to help ensure that the Region has the proper operational controls and reporting
procedures in place to assist Special Olympics Illinois in achieving the Big Three Key Objectives.
This Assistant Director position will have a development focus.

Primary Responsibilities:

• Position serves as primary and direct back-up to the Region Director; incumbent is expected
to occasionally and as requested carry Director-level responsibility, which includes but is not
limited to: Division-wide, Director-level support and leadership; Division as well as Region-wide
training and/or mentorship; and continuous cross-training beyond assigned Development Focus

• In consultation with the Senior Director – Program Services and Region Director, the
Assistant Director – Region drives achievement of Region-specific, strategic goals to ensure
progress toward the Big Three Key Objectives and to protect the financial integrity of the
organization

• Assists with driving program initiatives such as Young Athletes, Unified Champion Schools,
Families, Athlete Leadership Programs, Healthy Athletes and Coaches Education

• Manages all fundraising and resource development efforts in the Region, including but not
limited to: special events and fundraisers, outreach efforts to underserved populations, volunteer
recruitment and management, financial recordkeeping, public relations and awareness, education,
committee development, sponsorships, in-kind resource development, state-level event and campaign
support as well as agency revenue share programs/initiatives

• Actively work with Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) Team to support local LETR events and
fundraising efforts; serves as a local contact for LETR legs in Region

• Collaborate with community partners to create third party fundraisers and special athlete
opportunities

• Focus on continued growth capitalizing on using knowledge of technology and social media to
identify and employ new avenues to market the organization and its offering

• Recruit and manage volunteers and committee members, as well as part-time, full-time and/or
temporary employees as needed

• Provides support in case of staffing vacancies in assigned Region

Qualifications/Skills and Knowledge Requirements:

● Bachelor’s degree preferred

● 3+ years’ experience within Special Olympics or closely related field

● Excellent, adaptive computer skills including proficiency with Microsoft Office products

● Ability to work independently without close oversight, but also a team player who productively
engages with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside Special Olympics Illinois

● High energy and passion for Special Olympics mission

● Meets all team deadlines and responsibilities, listens to others and values opinions, helps
team to meet goals, welcomes newcomers and promotes a team atmosphere

● Strong organizational and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail

● Customer focus

● Excellent communication skills, both written and oral as well as receptive (listening)

Essential Functions:

● Monday through Friday with frequent evenings and weekends as position demands

● Independent in-state travel required, including some overnight and weekend travel as an
essential function of position

● Physical mobility required: must be able to climb stairs, assist in set-up and breakdown at
events, stand or sit for long periods of time, and load and unload vehicles

● Medium work required, which involves lifting no more than 50 pounds at a time with frequent
lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to 25 pounds; includes sedentary and light work

● Close visual acuity required to perform activities such as: preparing and analyzing data and
figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; extensive reading; visual inspection involving
small defects, small parts, and/or operation of machines; operating motor vehicles

● First Aid/CPR Training and Certification required; must be able and willing to effectively
administer First Aid/CPR on- site during events

● Valid driver’s license and proof of insurance required

● Based out of Jacksonville/Springfield area

● To apply for this position, please send resume, 3 current references and cover letter to Linda
Wunder at

lwunder@soill.org . Position open until filled.


Assistant Director – Social & Digital Media Marketing


 

The Assistant Director – Social & Digital Media Marketing is primarily responsible for
co-developing and executing overall strategy for social media and digital (website) marketing
efforts in order to assist Special Olympics Illinois in achieving the Big Three Key Objectives.
Helping to lead in the development and implementation of Special Olympics Illinois digital and
social media marketing strategies in order to drive brand as well as individual event goals and
objectives. The Assistant Director – Social & Digital Media Marketing must be able to create
consistent, meaningful content on all digital and social media platforms tied to marketing and
communications strategies that they helped create as well as onsite at our events. The Assistant
Director – Social & Digital Media Marketing will be working closely with all Special Olympics
Illinois employees, board members, athletes, volunteers and sponsors.

Assistant Director Core Roles:

• Scope of Responsibility: This position category has either shared or partial
responsibility over a specified function or project within a department of the organization,
including some or all elements having to do with that specified function or project. This position
category has a moderate to high level of responsibility for elements of this specified function or
project within a department of the organization. This position category has direct oversight from
the departmental Director or another second-level supervisor.

• Conduct: Asst. Directors must demonstrate the mission, vision and values of Special
Olympics Illinois through consistent adherence to Special Olympics Illinois Values & Behaviors and
Working Together Competencies; by exercising a high level of cooperative, friendly, and effective
teamwork skills; by resolving conflict directly, effectively, and professionally; and by committing
to support and be helpful to other team members and departments within the organization.

• Performance: Satisfactory work performance requires consistently strong work product
output, including the successful execution and completion of all job duties and goals; autonomy, ownership,
competence and excellence of work product; innovation and process improvement; effective resource
management; professional development; and compliance with accepted organizational and legal rules,
regulations, and policies.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

• Build, execute, and manage our social media strategy through research, benchmarking,
messaging, and audience identification.

• Develop, maintain, and own responsibility for all company social media pages and profiles.

• Develop and implement marketing plan and calendar to drive traffic to all digital/social
channels.

• Work closely with Assistant Director – Technology on website marketing, design, navigational
ease and growth.

• Align Marketing and Social to conceptualize, produce and distribute digital content for SOILL
website.

• Create and publish content daily. Includes copywriting, designing, and creation of all assets
for digital and social marketing programs, including email marketing and social media ads.

• Write and distribute monthly e-news to Special Olympics Illinois constituents.

• Write articles covering organization activities, programs and partnership announcements –
must feel comfortable interviewing by phone and in-person.

• Cover events. Writes web posts about the event and support social media posts about the
event.

• Develop digital marketing programs including email marketing (growing database as well),
each, SEM & Google for Nonprofits.

• Support Special Olympics, Inc. with digital and social media programs and events.

• Build meaningful connections and encourage community members through dialog and messaging
both online and offline.

• Contribute to thought leadership for social & digital communications strategy.

• Communicate with industry professionals and influencers via social media to create a strong
network.

• Define most important social media KPIs and deliver timely, insightful and actionable
analyses for all social media activity. Utilize this information to positively affect future
outcomes. This includes tracking and analyzing followers, traffic, demographics, and campaign
effectiveness.

• Actively monitor performance across social and digital channels on a daily basis,
ensuring campaigns are executed flawlessly and performance is in line with expectations

• Be a key component, involving the brainstorming and implementation of ideas based on the
needs, objectives & feedback of key organizational stakeholders, to overall SOILL branding as well
as major events

• Manage social media communities across platforms for our brand

• Manage marketing strategy for SOILL across all social and digital channels.

• Establish best practices on how to optimize content (video, imagery, GIF, etc.) across
all channels.

• Stay abreast of evolving landscape and industry trends and bring forth ideas to stay
competitive in the social & digital universe.

• Track and monitor the success of online digital marketing initiatives, including e-mail
marketing as well as how it affects website traffic and conversions

Qualifications/Skills and Knowledge Requirements

• Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Marketing, Public Relations or other related field.

• Strong written, oral and interpersonal communication skills. Experience with written
articles and blog post or similar types of ling formats.

• 3 – 5+ years’ professional experience in Social Media and Digital Marketing

• Understanding of web metrics, digital media testing methodology and optimization
strategies

• Excellent, adaptive computer skills including proficiency with Microsoft Office products

• Ability to work independently without close oversight, but also a team player who
productively engages with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside Special Olympics
Illinois

• High energy and passion for Special Olympics mission

• Meets all team deadlines and responsibilities, listens to others and values opinions,
helps team to meet goals, welcomes newcomers and promotes a team atmosphere

• Strong organizational and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail

• Customer focus

• Ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships

• Professional and resourceful style; the ability to take initiative and to manage
multiple tasks and projects

• Based in Lombard, Illinois office

Essential Functions

• Monday through Friday with frequent evenings and weekends as position demands

• Independent in-state travel required, including some overnight and weekend travel as an
essential function of position

• Medium work required, which involves lifting no more than 50 pounds at a time with
frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to 25 pounds; includes sedentary and light work

• Close visual acuity required to perform activities such as: preparing and analyzing data
and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; extensive reading; visual inspection
involving small defects, small parts, and/or operation of machines; operating motor vehicles

• First Aid/CPR Training and Certification required; must be able and willing to
effectively administer First Aid/CPR on-site during events

• Valid driver’s license and proof of insurance required

HOW TO APPLY:
Send cover letter, resume, and references to cwinston@soill.org