Special Olympics New Jersey has announced that Heather Bell Andersen has been appointed as its new president and CEO.
“Ms. Andersen is committed to the movement and the athletes we serve throughout the state,” said Fred Graziano, chairman of the Board of Directors of Special Olympics New Jersey. “The entire Board of Directors agrees that her impressive blend of experiences will not only continue to empower individuals with intellectual disabilities through sports training and competition, but will take the statewide program to an entirely new level of success.”
Andersen has worked for Special Olympics New Jersey since 1996, where she has served in various roles including VP of Corporate Development and most recently, chief marketing officer. However, Andersen brings more than 20 years of experience working within the Special Olympics Movement, having previously worked at Special Olympics Ontario and Special Olympics Florida.
Andersen’s varying roles have given her a strong command of all facets of Special Olympics New Jersey. In her 20 years working within the movement, she has been afforded the opportunity to work directly in the field, provide administrative and technical support to communities and local programs, oversee volunteers, raise funds, work with corporate sponsors, oversee the implementation of a new website design, lead the way for improved technology capabilities and take charge in the execution of an enhanced communications marketing strategy.
“It is an honor and privilege to assume the leadership role at Special Olympics New Jersey,” stated Andersen. “Special Olympics has been a major part and influence in my life. I continue to be amazed and inspired by our athletes and I look forward to working with our Board of Directors, New Jersey volunteers, families, supporters, and communities to further advance the Special Olympics mission and vision.”
Andersen holds an MBA in Sport Administration from the University of Ottawa and a BS in Kinesiology from McMaster University, in Canada. She resides on the Jersey Shore with her husband and two 13-year-old daughters, who proudly support her and her dedication to such an important cause.
Special Olympics New Jersey’s goal is to be the premier non-profit sports organization for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and works to achieve this by providing opportunities to enrich the lives of all current and potential Special Olympics athletes, their families, and society as a whole.