(Reno, Nev.) – Special Olympics Nevada (SONV), an organization that provides year-round sports training, athletic competitions, and health programs and events for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, is proud to announce the hiring of Brianne McGowan-Durfee as the northern Nevada development director.
“We are thrilled to have Brianne join SONV,” said Terrence Thornton, executive director of SONV. “Her depth of experience and knowledge of sports will complement our growing team in northern Nevada.”
In her new position, McGowan-Durfee will develop a strategy to identify and secure corporate partners, individual donors, and foundations to financially support the organization’s governance, programs, and events. McGowan-Durfee’s duties will include assisting SONV in its efforts to establish an independently run chapter in Nevada. While all fundraising dollars support athletes in Nevada, SONV is currently under the umbrella of Special Olympics Northern California. Additionally, she will grow, manage and support SONV’s partnership with local law enforcement agencies that participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR).
“As a former athlete, I know that sports has the power to change lives,” said McGowan-Durfee. “I am excited to be joining the Special Olympics Nevada team to bring more awareness to the organization’s mission of inclusion through sports in our community.”
Before joining SONV, McGowan-Durfee was most recently an area manager for Walmart. Prior to that, she was the assistant softball coach for the University of Nevada, Reno.
Durfee, a Reno native and one of the most decorated softball players in the state, was a standout, four-year starting pitcher at Wooster High School. She led the school to four consecutive 4A state titles and was named the state’s “Pitcher of the Year” in 2001. Following her high school career, she went on to play four years of college softball at Oregon State University from 2004 to 2007, while earning a bachelor’s degree in health and human science. In 2010, she went on to earn a master’s degree in athletic administration from Idaho State University.
About Special Olympics Nevada
SONV is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities through sports, education, leadership and athlete health. The 501(c)3 nonprofit organization offers free year-round training and competition programs for 2,357 athletes who compete in more than 14 competitions in 7 sports annually. Within the Community Sports Program and the Schools Partnership Program, SONV is encouraging the growth of Unified Sports®, bringing together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to play as teammates. In a typical year, SONV impacts more than 14,276 students by promoting inclusion on school campuses. SONV is also committed to improving the overall health and well-being of individuals with intellectual disabilities through Healthy Athletes events, offering screenings and services free of charge. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the organization was able to convert its programing to virtual platforms to keep people with intellectual disabilities healthy and safe. SONV relies on the support of 1,003 volunteers and funding from individuals, organizations, corporations and foundations. More information may be found by visiting www.sonv.org and following on Facebook, Twitter @SONevada and Instagram @specialolympicsnv.