Executive Board Directors
Ron Fulop - Johnson and Johnson, Retired
Ron Fulop has been involved with Special Olympics since 1992 and has served on the board of Special Olympics Florida for over a decade, including his tenure as the chairman of the board. Prior to that, Ron spent 34 years with Johnson & Johnson where he held a variety of senior executive management roles. He was the CFO of the Ethicon, Inc. division for thirteen years. Most recently he held the position of Vice President of Corporate Internal Audit. Ron is a graduate of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics. Ron has also served on several non-profit and community Boards. He currently resides in Jupiter, Florida with his wife Cathy and has three daughters - Lindsay, Jamie, and Megan – as well as four grandchildren. His daughter Lindsay is an accomplished Special Olympics athlete who was inducted into the Special Olympics New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2009. Lindsay has participated and medaled at three USA Games and two World Games. During her career with Special Olympics, Lindsay has participated in ten (10) different sports and serves as the Chairperson of the Palm Beach County Athlete Leadership Program.
Susan Perry O’Day - President, A.W. Perry
Susan Perry O’Day was appointed President of A.W. Perry in October 2020 and in this role is responsible for oversight of the overall strategic direction and operations of the Company.
Susan lead Technology Solutions and Services for The Walt Disney Company, delivering technology capabilities that enable business segment strategies while achieving enterprise efficiency and promoting cross-company collaborative innovation.
Susan joined Disney in 2008 from the global biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she served as Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Global Shared Services. In that role, she oversaw the company's information management, global technology strategy, which included enterprise programs that significantly improved and streamlined operations and processes.
Susan began her career at Florida-based transportation company CSX Corporation where she spent 11 years, ultimately becoming Assistant Vice President of Telecommunications. At CSX Corporation, she led the railroad division in telecommunications and computer operations, research and application development.
Susan holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from The College of William and Mary and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from St. Lawrence University. She is also a proud graduate and serves as an Emeritus Trustee for Miss Hall's School in Pittsfield, MA. Susan lives in Los Angeles, CA and enjoys an active outdoor lifestyle.
Sherry Wheelock - President and CEO, Special Olympics Florida
With more than 20 years in finance and over 15 years in executive leadership, Mrs. Wheelock brings a strategic focus and proven team success to Special Olympics Florida, with the emphasis on One Team, One Mission. In her role as President and CEO of Special Olympics Florida, Mrs. Wheelock has expanded the program from $8 million in 2012 to $19 million in 2018 and has introduced unprecedented competitive opportunities across the state. Under her leadership, Special Olympics Florida has more than doubled and now serves over 44,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities across the state. In addition to athlete growth, Mrs. Wheelock has expanded the number of service programs which focus on health and wellness, educational based inclusion programs in more than 160 schools and 13 colleges, and has added 3 new sports opportunities. Under Mrs. Wheelock’s leadership, Special Olympics Florida has created a critical partnership with the Florida High School Athletic Association which serves as one of the most important wins for inclusion as athletes compete within the FHSAA competition season and letter in their home schools. Mrs. Wheelock also spearheaded the creation of the first ever Sports Advisory Council featuring all of Florida’s major league sports team CEOs and Presidents. In addition to sports competition and training, Special Olympics Florida provides over 9,500 health exams and health equipment (such as prescription eye glasses, and hearing aid vouchers) valued at over $2mm annually. Stewardship is always first of mind and with the support of over 30,000 volunteers, Special Olympics Florida is able drive 85% of dollars raised directly on programs.
Before being named President and CEO of Special Olympics Florida, Mrs. Wheelock served on the organization’s Board of Directors for 5 years and was named Board Chairwoman in 2011. During her time on the board she was active in fundraising and participated as an assistant coach of swimming and golf with Special Olympics Florida in Orange County.
She has recently been re-appointed to the Governor’s Commission, Volunteer Florida, awarded the exceptional 2015 USTA Florida Presidents Award and has actively served on the CARF International Board. Previously, Mrs. Wheelock served as Vice President and Treasurer of Universal Orlando, managing $1.5 billion in debt and all related cash flow requirements. She has also served on the boards of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and North Florida and the Universal Orlando Foundation. Mrs. Wheelock has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Baylor University and has earned a Certified Public Accountant license in the State of Florida. Mrs. Wheelock resides in Orlando with her husband Glenn and daughter Emily (3).
Jerry L. Demings- Mayor, Orange County
Mayor Jerry L. Demings was sworn in on Dec. 4, 2018 as the 5th elected Mayor of Orange County and is the first African-American to serve in the role. He oversees more than 8,000 Orange County employees and a $4.4 billion budget as the County’s chief executive officer. He says that his goal is to make Orange County the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” by creating a community culture of innovation, collaboration and inclusiveness.
Always a trailblazer, Mayor Demings became Orlando’s first African-American police chief in 1998 and was elected the first African-American Orange County Sheriff in 2008. He was re-elected in 2012 and again in 2016.
An Orlando native, Mayor Demings is married to former Orlando Police Chief Valdez B. Demings, who also made history as the first female police chief in Orlando. In November 2016, she was elected to the 115th Session of the United States Congress and was re-elected in 2018. Congresswoman Demings represents Florida Congressional District 10. They have three sons who are all graduates of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.
A lifelong public servant, Mayor Demings is a graduate of Jones High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida State University and a master’s of business administration from Orlando College. He graduated magna cum laude.
He is a graduate of the 194th session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Academy and studied at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Mayor Demings currently serves on several regional boards of directors, including the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, Central Florida Expressway Authority, Metroplan Orlando, Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority/Lynx, Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, Orange County Tourist Development Council, Orlando Economic Partnership and he is involved in numerous civic organizations. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and is a steward at Saint Mark AME Church in Orlando. Mayor Demings has a passion for working with organizations that support children and volunteers with several non-profit agencies.
Buddy Dyer- Mayor, City of Orlando
Buddy Dyer has served as mayor of the city of Orlando since 2003. As Orlando’s longest-serving mayor, Dyer has advanced the city’s businesses, transportation, economy, education and more through strategic planning and a strong focus on the community. Prior to being mayor, he served for a decade in the Florida Senate. Mayor Dyer earned his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Brown University and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Florida College of Law. Before he chose to serve in public office, Mayor Dyer worked as an environmental engineer.
Robin Eletto - Chief People Officer, Fanatics
Robin oversees Fanatics’ global human resources operations with a focus on talent engagement, recruiting, rewards and career development among many other HR programs and initiatives. Before joining Fanatics, Robin was Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Millennial Media, a leading public mobile ad tech company. During her time there she was responsible for the company’s global human resource practices, policies and operations.
Prior to her role Millennial Media, Robin served as Executive Vice President of Global Human Resources for Paramount Pictures, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Disney Consumer Products, Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources for Disney Stores and Vice President of Global Human Resources for Disney Publishing Worldwide.
Robin received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Master’s of Science in Strategy and Leadership from Michigan State. Robin is an avid co-ed softball player and previously coached soccer and baseball when her kids were young. She is a diehard New York Giants, Yankees and Los Angeles Lakers fan.
Brian Ford - Chief Operating Officer, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brian A. Ford, Jr. closing in on his 13th year with the organization after joining the Buccaneers in 2006 and in his role, oversees all aspects of the organization’s day-to-day business operations and community involvement. He works directly with team ownership to ensure that Buccaneers fans, season pass members and corporate sponsors receive a first- in-class experience. Under Ford’s leadership, the Buccaneers have consistently earned top marks among NFL teams for customer service experience, ranking No. 1 in the league’s annual Voice of the Fan report five of the past seven seasons.
Ford recently completed the oversight of a comprehensive, multi-phase renovation of Raymond James Stadium that is expected to exceed $160 million. The first stage of this project was completed in 2014 and encompassed a complete redesign of the main level concession locations. The second phase was completed for the Buccaneers’ 2016 season and was highlighted by the installation of new, state-of-the-art HD video boards in each end zone and four HD tower video displays in each corner of the lower bowl, giving the stadium a total video display area in excess of 30,000 square feet – at the time, the third- largest in the NFL. Also included was a new, comprehensive sound system and concessions upgrades, in addition to the renovation of all luxury suites. The third phase of renovations, which was completed in time for the team’s 2017 season, included a completely redesigned West Stadium Club, a new, 10,000 square-foot team retail store, expansion of the highly successful Hall of Fame Club, and an expansive new home team locker room. The most recent phase of renovations included a complete renovation of the East Stadium Club along with the opening of a new premium sports bar and restaurant named Bar 76 in the East Club atrium entrance.
In addition to the stadium renovation project, Ford also oversaw the planning and construction of the team’s new state-of-the-art indoor practice facility which opened prior to the start of the 2017 regular season. The 100,000 square-foot facility features a full-sized FieldTurf playing surface and includes up to 3,500 seats for viewing of select training camp practices.
For the 2019 Ford is working with new food and beverage providers, Legends and retail partner, Fanatics.
Prior to joining the Buccaneers, Ford was part of the team that opened Raymond James Stadium as the district manager with Fine Host Corporation in 1998. He remained in that capacity until 2006, when he began his career with the Buccaneers.
An active participant in and around the Tampa Bay area, Ford is a member of the Pediatric Cancer advisory board in addition to serving on the boards of Ronald McDonald House
Charities of Tampa Bay, American Cancer Society CEOs Against Cancer, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Leadership Team, Sports Advisory Council for Special Olympics Florida, Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Foundation and Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Ford has also been a driving force and participant in the team’s annual Cut for a Cure event since its inception in 2012. The event has raised over $315,000 for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation to date. Prior to the 2016 season, Ford also became a member of the Honorary Commander 927th Air Refueling Wing, which allows business men and women from the local community an opportunity for an up close and personal experience of the policies, programs and overall mission capability of the United States Air Force.
Ford, a native of Miramar, Florida, graduated from Florida State University in 1989 with a B.S. in business administration. In 2018, Ford was named the Alumnus of the Year from Florida State’s Dedman School of Hospitality. He is an avid runner and triathlete and competes in numerous events each year, including a marathon each of the past 15 years as well as several 70.3 Half Ironman events over that same period.
He and his wife, Judy, live in Tampa, and have two sons, Brian III and Brandon. The couple is celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary in 2019. Judy is also a graduate of Florida State University in College of Education. Oldest son Brian III is pursuing his Masters in Sports Management at Florida State University while Brandon is entering his senior year at their parents’ alma mater.
Brian A. Ford, Jr. just completed his 11th year with the organization after joining the Buccaneers in 2006 and in his role, oversees all aspects of the organization’s day-to-day business operations and community involvement. He works directly with team ownership to ensure that Buccaneers fans, season pass members and corporate sponsors receive a first- in-class experience. Under Ford’s leadership, the Buccaneers have consistently earned top marks among NFL teams for customer service experience, ranking No. 1 in the league’s annual Voice of the Fan report four of the past six seasons.
Rowdy Gaines - Olympic Gold Medalist
Rowdy is an American former competitive swimmer, U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame member, three-time Olympic gold medalist, and member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is the chief fundraiser for USA Swimming as well as a renowned swimming analyst for television networks ESPN and NBC. He has covered swimming at every Olympic Games since 1996, including the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, the London 2012 Summer Olympics, and the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. He was also part of the ESPN broadcast team for 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.
In addition to broadcasting, Rowdy volunteers for the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation. He is also on the Board of Directors of Swim Across America, an organization designed to raise funds for cancer research. Rowdy is the Executive Director of Rowdy’s Kidz, a wellness initiative developed and supported by The Limu Company that reaches out to children across the country.Rowdy and his wife, Judy, reside in Lake Mary, Fla., with their four daughters.
Maryann Gonzalez - Special Olympics Athlete
Maryann has been an active athlete for over 45 years. She has played 10 sports and officiated softball and volleyball, at 5 World games and 4 USA games. Maryann is part of the first group of athletes to serve on the United State Leadership Council and first to sit on the North American Leader Council. She was one of two athletes to propose to the United States Leadership Council to offer National Games in the USA like other countries. In the past, Maryann was a County Coordinator for Sumter County for 5 years, a coach for 5 different sports including Unified sports and served on the management team for Sumter and Lake Counties. Her roles in Athlete Leadership have been: Chair of the County, State Athlete Input Council, Chair of the State Athlete Congress and served on the Board of Directors of Florida. Currently, she is employed by Special Olympics Florida in the sports department. In her new role, in addition to helping with sport events and presentations, is to obtain and share athlete feedback to help make changes for the athletes that Special Olympics Florida serves. Maryann now serves on the Board Directors for the 2022 USA Special Olympics Games-Orlando. Maryann was inducted into Special Olympics Florida Hall of Fame in 1999.
Malcom Harris-Gowdie - Special Olympics Athlete
Malcom Harris-Gowdie became a Special Olympics athlete in 2006 where he competed in basketball, bowling, golf, and track & field. After much success, Harris-Gowdie was voted St. Lucie Athlete of the Year in 2010. He is a sportscaster who has worked for CBS 12 as a special correspondent and was a guest announcer for the St. Lucie Mets minor league affiliate. He was a guest at the 2014 ESPYs. Harris-Gowdie graduated with a certificate in Business Management from Indian River State College in 2011 and remains an advocate for improving opportunities in Post-Secondary Education for Students with Disabilities. “To those with disabilities, pursue your dreams. Don’t give up! Believe in your abilities and yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Have a strong support system, and surround yourself with positive people on the same mission as you!”
Teresa Jacobs - Board Chair, Orange County Schools
Teresa Jacobs became Chair of the Orange County School Board in November 2018. She previously served two terms as Orange County Mayor (2010-2018) and two terms as an Orange County Commissioner (2000-2008).
A native of South Florida, Jacobs graduated cum laude from Florida State University with a degree in Economics and enjoyed a nine-year career in banking, before entering public office.
She has served on the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, Central Florida Expressway Authority, Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission, LYNX Board of Directors and MetroPlan Orlando.
Jacobs and her husband Bruce have four children, all of whom attended Orange County Public Schools and graduated from Olympia High School. A long-time community volunteer, Jacobs was actively involved in PTA and School Advisory Councils at her children’s schools. She was also a member of the OCPS Impact Fee Committee and is a member of West Orange Chamber of Commerce, President of Orange County Homeowners Association Alliance and Florida Association of Counties, and member of the East Central Planning Council.
Dr. Richard Lapchick - Founder and Director, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports
Richard Lapchick, Ph.D. is an author, human rights activist, pioneer for racial equality and known internationally as a recognized expert on sports issues. Most recently, Lapchick was appointed to serve as a board member for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games where he will help lead strategic direction for the Games. He is currently the endowed chair and director of the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He is also president of the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS), a program he brought to UCF.
Lapchick has received an astonishing amount of recognitions, awards and honors for consistently bringing guidance and awareness to global issues such as programs related to race, environment and violence prevention. He has received numerous humanitarian awards, as well as been inducted in four notable Hall of Fames including the Sports Hall of Fame of the Commonwealth Nations. Lapchick has also received nine honorary degrees, such as being named the Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez Fellow by the State of Michigan. He is also on several boards at multiple universities and foundations across America, and acting as founder of the Hope for Stanley Alliance. Being named as one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Sports” for six consecutive years, as well as one of the “100 Most Influential Sports Educators in the World” Lapchick continues to spread awareness on global issues and provide continuous growth in the sports industry.
Kelly Lafferman – Chief Marketing Officer/Principle, Findsome & Winmore
Kelly Lafferman is currently principal of strategy and development for Findsome & Winmore. As a principal, she is responsible for managing the client services, marketing, brand and communications practice areas for the multi-million dollar agency and instrumental in their expansion and growth.
Kelly is a dynamic, tactical and experienced marketing and brand strategy leader who started her career as a sales and marketing representative at the 1996 Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. This marked the first time in Olympic history that revenue was generated by selling packaged events and skyboxes. Continuing her experience in the sports industry, Kelly became the assistant director of marketing for RDV Sports in Orlando, Florida. It was here that she managed the marketing, promotions and game operations for three professional sports teams: the Orlando Magic (NBA), Orlando Miracle (WNBA) and Orlando Solar Bears (IHL). In her last two years at RDV Sports, she was the director of business operations for the Solar Bears, the only female in that role in all of professional hockey.
Kelly cares deeply about the community, serving various boards, committees, and volunteer organizations, including onePULSE Foundation Executive Board of Trustees; past board member and brand committee chair for Orlando Economic Partnership Board of Directors; past board member of Greater Orlando Sports Commission; and past board chairman for UCP of Central Florida during a multimillion-dollar capital campaign. She is currently a Master’s student at Rollins College and volunteers at Agape Therapy Institute. Kelly has earned various honors for her leadership and marketing experience. She is also mom to a blended family of four great kids.
Marcos R. Lopez - Osceola County Sheriff
Marcos R. Lopez was born in Chicago and raised n Central Florida. He is a proud father of three healthy children, two of which are UCF graduates. Lopez joined the U.S. military when he was 17 years old and completed a total of 22 years of service. One of his primary drivers for joining the military was the inspirational leadership exhibited by his grandfather, who gallantly served during World War I.
After leaving active duty and serving in the reserves, Lopez became a Sheriff’s Deputy in Osceola County. He obtained the rank of Sergeant and worked in various specialized units, including but not limited to narcotics, sex crimes and other types of crimes that required extensive criminal investigations. During his tenure with the Sheriff’s office, he became a field training officer and a firearms and defensive tactics instructor.
Dawn Millner - Past Board Chair, Special Olympics Florida
Dawn Giebler-Millner is a Shareholder at GREENBERG TRAURIG and former chair of the Litigation Department. She focuses her general litigation practice in the areas of product liability, employment, consumer, commercial and complex civil litigation. She has served as trial counsel in numerous cases involving claims of product liability, breach of contract, fraud, breach of various state and federal consumer statutes, employment discrimination and land contamination. Dawn previously served as lead jurisdictional coordinator for hundreds of tobacco cases throughout Central Florida. She was also responsible for developing and coordinating discovery for hundreds of toxic substance cases on a nationwide basis.
Professional & Community Involvement
- Chair, AdventHealth Cardiovascular Institute Board of Directors
- CVI Board President, Florida Hospital, 2019
- Secretary, 2018
- Board Chair, Special Olympics Florida, Board of Directors
- Participant, Guardian Ad Litem Program
Jason Siegel – President & CEO, Greater Orlando Sports Commission
Jason Siegel has enjoyed more than 30 years of success and accomplishments in sports tourism, major and minor league professional sports, as well as intercollegiate athletics. Under his leadership, the Greater Orlando Sports Commission (formerly the Central Florida Sports Commission) hosted more than 200 events, projected to drive more than $500 million in economic impact from 2016 2019. GO Sports serves one of the largest sports tourism regions in the country and drives economic impact for the City of Orlando, Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties.
During Siegel’s tenure, the Sports Commission has helped secure millions of dollars in funding and subsequently landed marquee events including but not limited to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, the 2019 Monster Jam World Finals, 2019 MLS All Star Game, 2019 and 2021 D1 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Tennis National Championships, 2020-2023 ECNL Boys and Girls Florida National Events and 2019 and 2020 Florida Cup.
Siegel currently serves on a number of local community Boards including the Special Olympics 2022 USA Games, American Diabetes Association (past Community Chairman 2018 & 2019), Orlando Regional Chamber, Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, Boy Scouts of America, and the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness.
Joe Dzaluk- President and CEO of The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games
Joe Dzaluk is President and CEO of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games and is responsible for the planning and execution of the national sports competition that will showcase the power and joy of sports and the awe-inspiring abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities. The Games will be held in Orlando and include over 5,500 athletes and coaches and 125,000 spectators from the USA and Caribbean. Joe was most recently CFO of AA Metals where he led the finance, information technology and human resources organizations.
Prior to that, Joe spent over three decades with IBM and held numerous senior management positions including General Manager Delivery, Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA), where he directly oversaw the activities of tens of thousands of employees delivering a full range of strategic outsourcing services. In addition, Joe also served as CFO, IBM Global Technology Services for EMEA. Joe also held a wide variety of senior executive financial positions at both the North America and Global level.
Joe is recognized as an information technology industry expert and has been featured in over 50 publications including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, BusinessWeek, and Computer World. He was recognized as one of the top industry outsourcing professional by Supply Chain Digital Magazine.
Joe received his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Georgetown University, his MBA from Marist College and has an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Clarke University. He was a guest Lecturer at the NYU Stern School of Business and has served on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Florida.
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