As President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Special Olympics New York, Stacey Hengsterman leads the largest Special Olympics chapter in the country and the sixth largest in the world. Prior to taking the role in July 2018, Hengsterman spent two decades shaping state higher education policy as a top advisor to the chancellor, Board of Trustees, and 64 campus presidents at the State University of New York (SUNY).
Drawing on what she’s learned throughout a distinguished career in public service, and as a mother to a son with Down syndrome, Hengsterman has a set a vision for the future of Special Olympics New York that positions New York to be the most inclusive state in the country.
Special Olympics New York serves more than 67,000 athletes – children, youth and adults with intellectual disabilities. It provides year-round sports training and competition in 22 sports; partners with nearly 250 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports, where students with and without intellectual disabilities compete as teammates; and works to improve athlete health. Because all Special Olympics New York programming is provided free to athletes and their families, the statewide nonprofit also coordinates hundreds of fundraising events per year.
Hengsterman’s vision includes recruiting and supporting the next generation of Special Olympics New York athletes and coaches; growing the Unified Sports movement; advancing a comprehensive health agenda; increasing awareness, engagement and understanding; and identifying new partners and philanthropic champions to support its athletes as well as its work to create unified, inclusive schools and communities across New York.
A Rochester, NY, native and a graduate of the State University of New York at Cortland, Hengsterman lives in Clifton Park with her husband Rick, a high school history teacher, and their three children, Jackson, Alex, and Lauren.