Mobile Site Logo

Staff Spotlight, Malea Tennyson

Headshot of Staff member Malea wearing a jean jacket.

Malea joins Special Olympics Oregon as the Special Events Manager, where she’ll lead the charge on all things Polar Plunge. She’s excited to bring her passion for inclusion and advocacy as well as her wealth of fundraising and event experience to the organization.

Born and raised in the Portland Metro area, Malea Tennyson has had a lifelong passion for fundraising and nonprofit work. Starting as early as 16, Malea helped raise money for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital with her high school and discovered that she could plan events and raise money as a career.

She received her BA in Sociology from Willamette University (Go Bearcats). During her time at Willamette, Malea was involved heavily in various nonprofit and political organizations. Upon graduating, Malea worked as a campaign manager for multiple local elections. She then turned her focus specifically to fundraising for several candidates and causes from the school board to a governor’s race. She loved working with the community to invest in what they care about and getting to know people from all over the state.

Malea lives in Aloha with her husband and their rescue dog, Newton. In her free time, she loves to read, cook, and bake. You might also find her escaping to the Oregon coast, locating the best food trucks, or volunteering in her community. Malea grew up playing softball and basketball and is thrilled to get back into enjoying sports with SOOR!