Central Florida Council Scout Executive Ron Oats has been named the BSA’s next Southern Region Director and Chief Diversity Officer. He will begin his new role July 1 at the National Service Center in Irving, Tex.
In this position, he will work to engage multicultural communities nationwide and to share Scouting’s life-changing benefits and opportunities with parents and their children.
The lessons learned in scouting — for both youth members and adult volunteers, alike — should be available to everyone. Oats has spent his career reaching out to those from different ethnicities, faiths, and backgrounds to help strengthen Scouting in his local community. At the national level, he will help us continue this effort to bring fun, values, and adventure to even more youth.
“Scouting’s founder Baden-Powell once said, ‘The sport in Scouting is to find the good in every boy and develop it’,” Oats said. “This spirit has guided my professional Scouting career from the first day I started as a Scoutreach executive in the housing projects of Miami to today. I discovered very quickly that there is no boy whose life couldn’t be positively impacted through Scouting.
“To be tapped as the South-ern Region director and Chief Diversity Officer for the Boy Scouts of America is an honor I do not take lightly. I am excited and grateful to be able to use the knowledge I have accumulated over my 30 years in Scouting to guide both our professional staff and volunteer Scouters in our mission to engage more youth and families so we can continue to change as many lives as possible in the years ahead.”
During his 10 years as Scout executive of the Central Florida Council, he has made huge strides in attracting a diverse range of youth members, volunteers, board members, and staff. Specifically, his team launched a Hispanic Initiative Program and developed a Hispanic Heritage Luncheon to recognize local leaders, resulting in the engagement of more than 250 diverse community leaders who had no prior relationship to Scouting.
Oats has worked in a number of councils and positions, all within the Southern Region. From his start in the South Florida Council in Miami to a stint as Scout executive of the Gulf Stream Council in West Palm Beach and as deputy regional director for the former Southern Region office in Atlanta, he has a history of cultivating strong relationships within the com-munity and on his teams of professionals and volunteers.
Outside of Scouting, he serves on the local board of BB&T Bank, the board of the African American Chamber of Commerce, and the Florida Citrus Sports Advisory Board. He earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Fayetteville State University and enjoys spending time outdoors boating, fishing, hunting, shooting sporting clays, and golfing.
He is married to his wife, Eileen, who serves as an assistant principal in Orange County Public Schools. They have two adult children, Ronnie and Sheree.