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SOS founder and executive director Arn Menconi resigns

October 30, 2014, 10:39 am

Twenty-one years ago, a snowboarder named Arn Menconi started SOS Outreach in Vail, Colo. and oversaw the organization’s growth into a leading youth development non-profit. Having just surpassed 40,000 students across 31 resorts nationwide, Menconi has decided the time is right to move on and pursue new opportunities and passions, the SOS Outreach Board of Directors announced Thursday.

Arn Menconi

Arn Menconi (Facebook photo).

“Arn Menconi is a unique person. His passionate commitment to SOS over the past 20 years has made SOS the amazing organization it is today. Arn has dedicated his career to making a positive difference in the lives of so many youth, and he triumphantly succeeded,” said board president Buie Seawell, a professor at the University of Denver. “I look forward to his continued success, as well as that of SOS, as we move into an exciting new chapter of this extraordinary organization.”

“For 20 consecutive years, we’ve grown funding, added programs and achieved fantastic outcomes for tens of thousands of participants and thousands of volunteers,” said Menconi. “SOS is in the best place it’s ever been with an amazing staff at 10 locations, a healthy funding base and significant financial reserves. I leave with a heavy heart, but with the knowledge that the organization is in great hands, with a strong board and dedicated staff. Most importantly I’m so grateful to the youth in SOS who have given me so many blessings.”

Seth Ehrlich, who has served with SOS for the past nine years, most recently as vice president of operations, has been tapped as interim executive director and will continue to be based in Colorado. The organization is on pace to serve 4,500 participants across 22,000 program days nationally for the upcoming 2014-15 season.

Theresa Papandrea, vice president of programs, will continue to oversee program implementation nationally in addition to direct program management for more than 500 Lake Tahoe youth in California. She too is a nine-year veteran of the organization.

“Vail Resorts wishes Arn only the best in his new endeavors and is looking forward to supporting SOS in its future incarnation at our mountains,” said Kristin Kenney Williams, SOS board member and vice president of mountain community affairs for Vail Resorts. “The impact SOS makes on the youth in our resort communities has been so meaningful and is so perfectly aligned with our core values.”

A SOS board member for over 15 years, Intrawest CEO Bill Jensen added: “I applaud Arn for the success that he has created. This organization has grown so much under his leadership, and I wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”

Menconi’s tenure as executive director has provided programs for 40,000 youth and trained more than 2,000 adult mentors in community stewardship curriculum.

In 2009, SOS merged with Meet the Wilderness, a 34-year-old summer-based non-profit. Through the merger, SOS participant numbers grew from 3,000 to 5,000 youth and to nearly 20,000 days of activity annually.

For further information, please contact SOS Board President Buie Seawell at bseawelljr@gmail.com.

Stay in touch with Arn at arnmenconi@gmail.com.

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