MADISON, Wis. – Chad Figueroa, Jon Reetz, and Heather Schimmers have been appointed to the Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) Board of Directors. The trio completes a 26-person Board of Directors representing an array of professionals in sports, finance, law, healthcare, and media—as well as Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes.
“Chad, Jon, and Heather offer a diverse set of experiences and specialties that will make an immediate impact on Special Olympics Wisconsin going forward,” SOWI President & CEO Chad Hershner said. “We look forward to the new ideas they bring to the table as we move SOWI into the next 50 years.”
Figueroa joins the SOWI Board Finance committee as Partner at Grant Thornton, LLP. Previously providing accounting and financial guidance on other non-profit boards of directors, he was especially drawn to Special Olympics Wisconsin to contribute to what he already considers a very important cause.
“My wife is a special education teacher for the School District of New Berlin and during her years as a teacher, I’ve had the opportunity to interact and assist the families she serves who often have children with various special needs,” Figueroa said. “This has provided me with a front row seat to understand the profound impact that teachers, volunteers, and others have on the lives of families and individuals with special needs.”
Reetz, also the parent of a SOWI athlete, will join the SOWI Sports & Health committee and currently serves as Senior Vice President at Great Midwest Bank in Brookfield. Having previously held similar roles on various non-profit boards in the past, the Special Olympics Wisconsin movement hits specifically close to home for the Reetz family.
“My personal involvement with SOWI has made me a true believer in the mission,” Reetz said. “I’ve lived first-hand watching our son Evan demonstrate courage and experience the joy of competitive athletics. This social opportunity has allowed him to start and grow his friendships and build confidence, always improving.”
Schimmers is President of Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. She hopes to provide Special Olympics Wisconsin guidance in the medical sphere—specifically the tie between fundraising and healthcare promotion for athletes. She has especially connected to the Special Olympics Wisconsin mission.
“I connect so deeply with so many of the key words,” Schimmers said. “The goal is to truly address each person as a unique individual and ensure that the whole person is the focus. I am a constant joy seeker and believe firmly physical fitness, being brave, and friendships are key contributors to living a joy-filled life.”
Figueroa, Reetz, and Schimmers began their three-year terms in December. They reconvened at the April Board of Directors meeting which coincided with Special Olympics Wisconsin Spring Games in Oshkosh.
The April meeting also marked the end of Marc Cadieux’s three-year term as SOWI Board of Directors Chair. President-elect Michael Grubich, President of LAK Group based in Brookfield, will assume the Chair position beginning April 2023.
“We have seen incredible growth from Special Olympics Wisconsin during Marc’s tenure as Board Chair, and we could not be more proud of the progress,” Grubich said. “To keep SOWI on a forward trajectory, navigating this organization through a pandemic is a commendable effort that should be celebrated. We thank Marc for his dedication to our Board, the organization, and the incredible athletes, families, and volunteers it serves.”