April 4, 2012
By Erin Gallegos
On March 26 – 27, Special Olympics New Mexico (SONM) partnered with the Society for Human Resource Management – New Mexico (SHRM-NM) for their annual state conference at the Sandia Resort and Casino in Albuquerque.
On Monday, March 26, SONM Athlete Tim Harris and Executive Director Randy Mascorella gave an inspirational presentation to a room of more than 300 attendees about the impact the Special Olympics movement has had on their individual lives and the growing Special Olympics community. SONM Athletes Marla Gavurnik, Phil With, and Ken Patton also attended as award presenters to the conference’s additional presenters over the two days. Throughout the conference, the athletes also greeted hundreds of conference attendees at the Special Olympics information booth.
“It went awesome,” said Harris when asked about his speech. “After I spoke everyone wanted to tell me ‘Oh yeah.’ My favorite part about it was to inspire everyone.”
To add to the feeling of a true Special Olympics experience, LETR officer Gerald Sandoval and SONM Athlete Van Pexa joined Special Olympics Manzano’s cheer squad in a lighting presentation of the “Flame of Hope” to conclude the conference, while SO Manzano riled the crowd with a one-of-a-kind performance.
The conference included exhibitors from local and national businesses, and keynote speakers that included: Stuart Crabb, Head of Learning and Development for Facebook; Mike Jones, President of Discover Leadership Training, Inc; and Pamela Green, Vice President of U.S. Membership of SHRM.