Guest post: Athlete-leader Lynna Hodgson’s Q&A with former, new SOMO CEOs
Lynna Hodgson is an athlete-leader from Lee’s Summit. She writes on her personal blog and we highlight those posts from time to time. This is a re-post from her April 25 blog.
I had some questions for the old CEO and for the new CEO of Special Olympics Missouri. First up is Mark Musso. Here are the questions I asked:
1. Do you have any advice for the next CEO?
MM: Hire the best people on staff, move staff who aren’t good fits off the team. Always work to make the games better each and every year. When considering various issues, always do what is best for the Athletes and do so by including Athletes in leadership positions throughout the organization.
2. Are you planning to come back to some SOMO events:
MM: In the years to come you will certainly see me at some SOMO events, probably as a Fan in the Stands.
3. What are you planning to do with your retirement?
MM: Travel, fish, golf, attend many concerts, most of all spend time with my family- especially my grand kids.
4. When you first got this job, did you expect that you would be the CEO for SOMO as long you did?
MM: Great question, I promised the search committee I would stay 3 years. Needless to say I did so 9 times. While I had multiple offers to run other Special Olympics programs- I realized I wanted to be part of SOMO which I believe is one of the premier programs in the world.
5. What are your messages to all of the SOMO athletes, coaches, and staff?
MM: Remember SOMO is your organization- YOU can make it the best in the world if you all work together and agree to always improve on each and every event & programs. Most importantly- do what is best for the athletes!
6. When was your first day of being the CEO for Special Olympics Missouri, and when was your last day?
MM: My first day was September 1, 1991 and my last day was March 31, 2019. Exactly 27.5 years to the day.
And next up is new SOMO President & CEO, Susan Stegeman.
1. What does it mean to you that you are the new CEO for SOMO? And what does CEO stands for?
SS: It means a lot to me personally, because I want to do a good job for you and your fellow athletes. I take responsibility very seriously. As CEO, I want to ensure our team has the resources, skills and training to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. I want SOMO to continue to grow – we need to grow our family if we want to serve more athletes. CEO stands for Chief Executive Officer
2.What are some of your goals when your job starts?
SS: Within the first 100 days, I will be on my “listen and learn” tour to determine trends, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. I will visit with each staff person, and some volunteers to learn what we need to do to grow. I will also be focused on learning about the inner workings of the board and how to support this important group of volunteers. My job started on April 1, 2019
3. Is there something that Mark has said to you that is important to you?
SS: He stressed that he’s always known me to do the right thing and as long as it’s the best thing for the athletes, it’s the right thing.
4. Has Mark given you any advice? If so, what were they?
SS: Have fun. Move into his office sooner, than later. I did on Day #2
5.Is there anything you want to say to the athletes, the coaches and the staff?
SS: Thank you for being on the SOMO Team!
Athletes – you are our heroes; your spirit and determination make the world a better place. Keep shining!
Coaches – thank you for your dedication and for being the best volunteers in the movement. Keep inspiring!
Other volunteers – thank you for helping make our program and events possible! Keep serving!
Staff – thank you for your commitment to carry the mission forward. Remember to dream big!
Together Everyone Achieves More!
- Are you excited? What are the most memorable moment that you have experienced in SOMO?
SS: I am excited to learn and stretch my skills. At the end of May I will celebrate being on staff for 29 years. I never thought I would say that. I’ve enjoyed the variety of my work every day. Working with law enforcement to raise awareness and funds has taught me so much about teamwork, the human spirit, setting goals. Being asked to carry the torch into the Opening Ceremony along with LETR Founder Ralph Biele and Athlete of the Year Lucas Blattel – was the best! It is so cool what law enforcement does on a daily basis for our communities and then what they do for SOMO on top of that – to be given the honor of carrying the flame to light the cauldron. It’s one of my most cherished memories!