Arn Menconi to leave SOS Outreach |

Arn Menconi to leave SOS Outreach

Arn Menconi

EAGLE COUNTY — The board of directors of SOS Outreach, the youth development nonprofit, said Thursday that its founder and executive director, Arn Menconi, will leave the organization.

Menconi, who founded the organization 21 years ago and oversaw its growth to 31 resorts nationwide, has decided the time is right to move on and pursue new opportunities and passions, the board of directors said in a press release.

“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, who served as an Eagle County commissioner from 2000 to 2008. “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.

An SOS board member for over 15 years, Intrawest CEO Bill Jensen said: “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.

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