A longtime advocate for people with intellectual disabilities, Buzz Lail, the senior director of programs for Special Olympics Indiana, will soon be retiring.

Buzz began his involvement as a member of the SOIN Board of Directors in May 2007. He served on the board for seven years, including two as the chairman. Buzz is a charter member of the Carl and Betty Erskine Society for planned giving and the 2013 winner of the Dennis Schmidt Impact Award.

In 2014, Buzz joined Special Olympics Indiana’s staff as one of the organization’s first regional managers. As a staff member, Buzz worked with county programs and Unified Champion Schools across northwest Indiana. For years, he directed operations for swimming at Summer Games as well as the awards crew at the State Equestrian Championship. In support of the organization, Buzz started and managed Polar Plunges in South Bend, Warsaw and Manchester University. 

As Buzz prepares for his retirement beginning May 2, he shared the following personal messages with the Special Olympics Indiana family:

“Retiring from Special Olympics Indiana means retiring from the work. I do not think a person ever really retires from the people of the organization. Involvement with Special Olympics lifts us up — athletes, volunteers, staff and members of the board of directors all experience this.

“I will always be grateful for my experiences as a volunteer and staff member. As is leave my position I want to thank everyone who has made the organization great and my tenure successful and joyful, you have been and will remain a valued part of my life.”