Special Olympics announces Kelli Seely as Chief Development Officer

Special Olympics International recently announced Kelli Seely as its new Chief Development Officer.

Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Seely, who began working at Special Olympics in May, has worked extensively in the development field and brings to Special Olympics widespread experience in corporate partnerships and fundraising strategy. She is leading Special Olympics' development team of 24 which is comprised of corporate relations, major gifts, annual giving, event fundraising, direct marketing and online giving.

Prior to joining Special Olympics, Seely served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer of the United Service Organization (USO) headquartered in Washington, D.C. She joins the Special Olympics leadership team that reports to Janet Froetscher, Chief Executive Officer, and will lead the global team from Special Olympics International office in Washington, D.C.  

"We are thrilled to have Kelli join our team," shared Janet Froetscher, Special Olympics CEO. "Her strong background in identifying sustainable resources and long-term partnerships is a great fit for our movement, especially as we ramp up for our Special Olympics World Summer Games to be held in Los Angeles, CA in July of 2015 and build out our global youth marketing campaign."

As the Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer at the USO from 2008 - 2014, Seely doubled fundraising within five years to $129 million, managed a team of 35 staff, and cultivated several corporate partnerships, including Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and American Airlines, to increase revenue by 450%. Prior to her move to D.C., Kelli made her mark on several organizations in California. As President and CEO of Make-a-Wish Foundation from 2004-2008, she designed and implemented new fundraising campaigns, such as 'A Season of Wishes', and created successful planned gift programs. From 1999-2004, Kelli served as President and CEO of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce & Visitors & Conference Bureau, where she re-established the trademark for the City of Beverly Hills and led a re-branding initiative. Finally, in the mid-1990s, she served as President and CEO of the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce where she led their business initiatives and fundraising programs.

Seely joins Special Olympics International at a pivotal time as the organization is embarking on its first-ever global youth marketing campaign. The latest annual census, taken in May of 2013, shows Special Olympics reaching new milestones of growth with more than 4.5 million athletes participating in over 80,000 competitions around the world. Special Olympics Programs have worked tirelessly to add new and enhanced initiatives in the areas of education, health, youth engagement, and research and family support and continue to welcome more coaches, volunteers, and athletes.

Seely is a native of Southern California. She and her husband Jeff reside in Washington, DC and have one daughter, Lauren who is a sophomore at Mt. Holyoke College.


Christy White
Special Olympics Inc.
+1 (202) 824-0307

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 4 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs. Special Olympics takes place every day, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities all over the world, from community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood's backyard to World Games. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter@specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com