For more than a decade, Scott Sohr has been working as an entrepreneur in Tennessee. The president of STS Ventures, a startup incubator, he oversees the conception and development of startups in a range of industries, including real estate, healthcare, and financial technology. Outside of work, Scott Sohr supports such charitable organizations as Best Buddies International.
Best Buddies, an organization dedicated to serving individuals with disabilities, divides its programs into three main pillars: one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development. Through its leadership development programs – Ambassadors and Promoters – the organization empowers and educates individuals with and without disabilities to become advocates for an inclusive world.
The Best Buddies Ambassadors program helps individuals with IDD develop self-esteem and public speaking skills. By offering advocacy and public speaking training, the program prepares individuals to advocate for both themselves and others before their communities, local businesses, and legislators. Individuals who participate in the Ambassadors program have continual access to advocacy training from the Best Buddies staff.
Meanwhile, the Promoters program prepares youth to open new Best Buddies programs and chapters. These individuals also receive ongoing support from the organization and each Promoters chapter is assigned a Best Buddies staff member and faculty advisor. With the help of these leaders, Promoters connect with individuals with IDD and work to establish a special education program at their school. They also host events and fundraisers on and off campus that include individuals with IDD.
Scott Sohr is a Vanderbilt University graduate, who earned his MBA at the university’s Owen Graduate School of Management. In addition to establishing a successful career as a business leader, Scott Sohr contributes to and volunteers with a number of organizations, including Best Buddies International (BBI).
BBI’s aim is to create a world where those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs), including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and many others, can successfully integrate into schools, workplaces, and general society. Its ultimate goal is to create a society that is so inclusive that individuals with IDDs no longer need its resources and support.
To bolster its efforts, in 2011 BBI established its 2020 Initiative with the goal of making BBI a household name. BBI’s efforts under this initiative include opening offices in every US state, creating 2,500 school-based chapters, and providing public speaking training to 4,000 of its Buddy Ambassadors. For more information, visit www.bestbuddies.org.
The president of STS Ventures, a firm that incubates start-up companies in Nashville, Tennessee, Scott Sohr earned an MBA from the Vanderbilt University Owen School of Management and now sits on the school’s real estate advisory board. Away from his work, Scott Sohr supports Gilda’s Club Nashville, named after Gilda Radner, which provides resources to people with cancer.
Gilda’s Club Noogieland™, named after a Saturday Night Live skit, aims to help children between the ages of 5 and 17 whose lives have been impacted by cancer. Free of charge, Noogieland™ provides two support group programs that offer children a safe environment to express their feelings.
Kid Support™ is a day-long program that offers information relating to communication, socialization, and relaxation for children who live with a loved one who has cancer or have received a cancer diagnosis themselves. Grief Relief™ groups focus on children who have lost someone to cancer. The groups strive to help children process the emotions related to grief and celebrate the lives of those they have lost.