Special Olympics Florida

Naples YMCA president joins Special Olympics Florida Board of Directors

Special Olympics Florida announced that Paul Thein, President and CEO of the Greater Naples YMCA, has joined the Special Olympics Florida Board of Directors.

paul thein“Paul has an impressive business record and a true heart for service,” said President and CEO of Special Olympics Florida, Sherry Wheelock. “His experience as a coach, educator, and non-profit leader perfectly aligns with the goals of our organization and brings a great perspective to our Board.”

“It is an honor to be selected to represent Special Olympics Florida, an organization that provides such meaningful developmental and spiritual growth opportunities through wellness and sport,” said Thein.

During his three years as head of the Greater Naples YMCA, Thein has implemented a strong summer camp curriculum for children and developed after-school services in Title I schools. Under Thein’s leadership, the YMCA was totally renovated and rebuilt as a world-class Healthy Living Center in less than 20 months after a fire destroyed more than 70 percent of the building. 

Before moving to Florida, Thein spent five years as head of the Waycross (Georgia) YMCA, where membership tripled and revenues doubled during his tenure. Thein brought about innovative advances in technology and community partnerships to make a positive impact. He also spearheaded a youth development and wellness initiative that sought to tackle childhood obesity.

During his career, Thein has also been a coach, educator, Dean of Students, Athletic Director, and Vice President at colleges in Minnesota, Kansas, and California. His passion and dedication to providing opportunities to underrepresented populations have garnered recognition by multiple organizations.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, a master’s degree from the United States Sports Academy, and an Educational Specialist’s Degree in Leadership from Pittsburg State University. He resides in Naples with his wife Shanon and their children Shalyn and Brody.

This Saturday, March 25, 2017, Special Olympics Florida Healthy Community will be hosting a Family Health Forum at the Greater Naples YMCA for Special Olympics athletes and anyone with an intellectual or developmental disability. For more information on the Family Health Forum, please contact Jasmine Green at 352-727-5097.