Tag Archives: Josh Ackley

Anna Maria Chávez Selected Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the USA

Anna Maria Chávez Selected Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the USA

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced August 24th that Anna Maria Chávez, who grew up in a small town in southern Arizona and rose to become deputy chief of staff to that state’s then-Gov. Janet Napolitano, has been appointed to the top post at the iconic organization. Chávez is set to officially assume her new role at the Girl Scouts National Council Session/52nd Convention in November.

Chávez’s appointment as the 19th chief executive of Girl Scouts, among the largest and most widely recognized nonprofits in the country, comes as the organization readies to launch a national celebration as part of its 100th anniversary designed to honor its legacy and create urgency around girls’ issues. She will replace Kathy Cloninger, who is retiring after leading the organization for eight years.

“Girl Scouts is the premier leadership organization for girls with a trailblazing legacy that stretches nearly 100 years,” said Chávez, who currently serves as chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. “The country has never needed Girl Scouts more than it does today. What girls are accomplishing in Girl Scouting is inspiring. I have seen it firsthand in Texas, and I intend to tell that story far and wide. I’m eager to work with our partners across the country as the organization embarks on a new century of empowering girls to take the lead in their own lives and make a difference in their communities and across the world.”

Connie Lindsey, National President of Girl Scouts of the USA, said: “Anna Maria is the right person at the right time for our organization. She has a tremendous track record, and her visionary leadership is going to be invaluable as we work to fulfill our mission to be the premier leadership experience for girls in ways that are relevant, engaging and meaningful.”

Chávez was appointed chief executive of the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas in 2009 after serving as deputy chief of staff for urban relations and community development for former Arizona governor and current U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. As deputy chief of staff, she promoted the governor’s policies, programs and initiatives through coordination and partnership with city, county, and tribal governments, federal agencies and community organizations. In addition, she served as the governor’s policy advisor to the Arizona Department of Housing and advised Napolitano on strategies for coordinating housing and economic development. Prior to being appointed as deputy chief of staff, Chávez served as Napolitano’s director of intergovernmental affairs from 2003 to 2007. She also served as in-house counsel and assistant director for the Division of Aging & Community Services (DACS) at the Arizona Department of Economic Security. Chávez entered state government after serving as senior policy advisor to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater. Previously, she had been chief of staff to the deputy administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in Washington, D.C. Chávez also served as chief of staff for SBA’s Office of Government Contracting and Minority Enterprise Development.

Chávez will take over as chief executive after a dramatic period of change for the organization. Cloninger has led Girl Scouts through a historic transformation designed to ensure that the organization delivers the best leadership experience for a new generation of girls whose lives—and the opportunities they face—are ever changing. The wide-ranging effort has included consolidating councils from 312 to 112, as well as developing a nationally consistent program portfolio for girls that includes a series of leadership journeys, or coordinated series of activities grouped around a theme, and a revamped system of badges and awards that align with the leadership program.

In addition, Girl Scouts in 2010 launched a national brand campaign, known by the tagline What Did You Do Today?, which is designed to inspire girls and adults to join Girl Scouts in making a difference in the world. Girl Scouts is set to launch in 2012 its first-ever nationwide fundraising campaign that will extend over five years.

“What a testament to the kind of leadership we have within the Girl Scout Movement that we were able to select one of our own to lead our organization into its second century,” said Cloninger, who acceded to the top post after nearly three decades of executive roles in Girl Scouting, including as chief executive officer of the Girl Scout Council of Cumberland Valley in Tennessee. “Anna Maria exemplifies the leadership qualities that we strive to teach all of our girls and she is going to be an inspiration to all girls and a strong advocate on their behalf.”

Chávez grew up in a Mexican-American family in the small town of Eloy, Arizona, and later in Phoenix. She holds a law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law and a bachelor’s degree in American history from Yale University. Bar admissions include the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, Arizona Supreme Court, and U.S. Supreme Court. Her husband Robert is a financial industry executive and they have a son, Michael.

Over the past 99 years, there have been 18 national CEOs. The first three were known as national secretaries and the next four as national directors. From 1935 until 2002, the title was national executive director. Since then, GSUSA’s top post has been termed chief executive officer.

CONTACTS:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Josh Ackley 212.852.8038
[email protected]

Girl Scouts of the USA Announces the Release of the Latest Girl Scout Leadership Journey

Girl Scouts of the USA Announces the Release of the Latest Girl Scout Leadership Journey

Girl Scouts of the USA and Dove®, the leading personal care brand, partner to deliver Girl Scout leadership and self-esteem programming to millions of girls nationwide and abroad with the release of the latest Girl Scout leadership journey It’s Your Story—Tell It! It’s Your Story—Tell It! uses a storytelling theme in a fun and relevant way for girls to better understand themselves and their potential. “Through girls hearing stories, sharing their stories, trying out new roles and creating their own stories, they gain confidence and see that they can make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others” says Andrea Bastiani Archibald, Ph.D. Developmental Psychologist at Girl Scouts of the USA. Building a strong sense of self is an underlying goal of the series, which was made possible in part by a generous grant from Dove.

The collection of six age appropriate publications or “leadership journeys” have been developed for girls grades K-12 and is accompanied by corresponding adult guides. These resources center on a different theme at each Girl Scout grade-level and encourage girls to take the lead in planning their leadership activities and projects.

The Journeys are central to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Each level of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience takes girls on a journey – a voyage to someplace new, with adventures and discoveries along the way. These adventures strengthen a girl’s ability to discover herself and her values, connect with others locally and globally and take action to make the world a better place.

“Girl Scouts of the USA believes that girls develop confidence and self-esteem through taking action,” said Kathy Cloninger, CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA. “With this new journey, we saw an excellent opportunity to equip girls with the tools necessary in developing courage, confidence and character – three keys to leadership.”

Moreover, increased self-esteem is a natural outcome of It’s Your Story—Tell It! because, through storytelling and creative expression, girls gain a better understanding of themselves, learn how to reach their full potential and develop the confidence to become leaders in their own lives and in the world.

“The Dove® brand is proud to support the efforts of Girl Scouts of the USA on this creative and powerful programming, which will help girls to reach their full potential,” said Rob Candelino, Marketing Director, Dove® U.S., Unilever. “The purpose of the It’s Your Story – Tell It! leadership journey is aligned with the Dove® Movement for Self-Esteem, which invites all women to join us in creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.”

The Girl Scouts’ partnership with Dove® began in 2002, with the creation of “uniquely ME!”, a program designed to foster self-confidence among girls. Dove® continues its support of the Girl Scouts through the It’s Your Story – Tell It! leadership journey series. The Girl Scouts of the USA official online shop offers a full assortment of uniforms, program materials, awards, patches and accessories! Each purchase helps support Girl Scouts across the country and around the world. For more information, please visit www.girlscoutshop.com

CONTACTS:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Josh Ackley 212.852.8038
[email protected]

Nationwide Survey Finds a Disconnect Between How Teenage Girls Portray Themselves Online and in Person

Nationwide Survey Finds a Disconnect Between How Teenage Girls Portray Themselves Online and in Person

The increased exposure to social media puts teenage girls in a confusing situation where a girl’s image is not always what it seems, as nearly 74% of girls believe other girls their age use social networking sites to make themselves “cooler than they really are,” according to a national survey released by Girl Scouts of the USA.

The nationwide survey, which included more than 1,000 girls ages 14 through 17, finds that girls downplay several positive characteristics of themselves online, most prominently their intelligence, kindness, and efforts to be a positive influence. In person, girls say they come across as smart (82%), kind (76%), and a good influence (59%), whereas online, girls consider themselves fun (54%), funny (52%), and social (48%). Girls with low self-esteem are more likely to admit their social networking image doesn’t match their in-person image (33% vs. 18% of girls with high self- esteem) and are also more likely to claim that the image they portray online is sexy (22% vs. 14%) and crazy (35% vs. 28%).

“Adults and teens alike need greater understanding about the ways girls represent themselves and communicate on social networking sites,” said Kimberlee Salmond, senior researcher at the Girl Scout Research Institute. “If girls are portraying themselves differently online than they are in person, this can impact their identity, sense of self, and relationships.”

The Girl Scout survey also sheds light on the fact that a majority of girls understand their emotional safety and reputations are at risk online, yet 50% admit to not always being as careful as they should be online. Sixty-eight percent of girls have had a negative experience on a social networking site, such as having someone gossip about them or being bullied. Furthermore, many girls are concerned that they won’t get into their college of choice (42%), will miss a job opportunity (40%), and will get into trouble with parents and teachers (40%).

In contrast, the vast majority of girls prefer face-to-face communication. Ninety-two percent would give up all of their social networking friends if it meant keeping their best friend. The study also finds that social networking provides an avenue for girls to maintain better relationships and feel more connected to causes they care about. Fifty-six percent of girls agree that social networking helps them feel closer to their friends, and 36% think that social networks have increased the quality of their relationships. Fifty-two percent of girls have gotten involved in a cause they care about through a social network.

CONTACTS:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Josh Ackley 212.852.8038
[email protected]

Girl Scouts Unveils New National Brand Initiative

Girl Scouts Unveils New National Brand Initiative

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), one of the most well known and well loved organizations in the nation, is revitalizing and reenergizing its brand to reach a new generation of girls.

After extensive research and development, Girl Scouts debuted today a long-term, multichannel brand campaign that is designed to reacquaint the country with the iconic organization and communicate the power girls have to change the world through Girl Scouting. The campaign is also keyed to boosting the number of girls and adult volunteers who participate in Girl Scouting annually after a period of declining membership.

“A revitalized and energized brand is absolutely essential for us and our future growth,” said Kathy Cloninger, Chief Executive Officer of GSUSA. “About one out of every 10 girls participates in Girl Scouting and that’s a tremendous number when you think about it. But that also means that we have a great opportunity to grow even after almost 100 years. We have literally revamped our entire organization to appeal to that 90 percent of girls who aren’t benefiting from the Girl Scout leadership experience. And with our new brand work, we think we have the right message at the right time.”

The branding, in the works as part of the organization’s comprehensive transformation that began in 2004, is composed of a striking new visual identity, which includes a distinctive trefoil mark, revised color palette, and refreshed logo that was originally created in the 1970s by the legendary designer Saul Bass. In addition, the initiative also includes plans for a 360 degree marketing program that taps the online, place-based and traditional media.

As part of the new campaign, Girl Scouts also has developed Spanish-language advertising to target the Hispanic market, one of the few girl populations in the country that is growing. GSUSA already has secured more than $10 million in donated exposure in Spanish-language media ranging from Telemundo to People en Español. In its general market campaign, Girl Scouts is working to secure $30 million in pro bono placements from national online and in-mall and airport outlets, as well as traditional broadcast and print media.

“What we’re doing with this initiative is repositioning Girl Scouts with a message that is relevant to girls and the lives they lead today,” said Laurel Richie, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President at GSUSA. “To some degree, our brand had faded and our research revealed that while many girls and parents knew about us, they had a very limited view of us. While we are proud of our $700 million cookie business run by girls, we offer so much more than that, and this new work is designed to let people know about all the new and exciting things girls do every day as Girl Scouts.

“Our brand promise is that Girl Scouts gives every girl access to life-changing experiences that inspire her to do something big. That’s a promise we keep every day, and you don’t have to look much further than our National Young Women of Distinction and Gold Award earners to see evidence of that.”

Girl Scouts has already implemented major changes in recent years as part of its Core Business Strategy, which was developed under Cloninger’s leadership to turn around the organization amid changing demographics and a gradual decline in membership. In just the past few years, the organization has realigned its federated system of 312 councils to 112. Those councils now operate with bigger budgets and are able to draw on economies of scale. And in 2008, the organization rolled out the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, a program that every Girl Scout will engage in from the youngest Girl Scout Daisy to the eldest Girl Scout Ambassador.

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience also features a series of 15 outcomes, or benefits, that for the first time in the organization’s history will allow Girl Scouts to gauge how well its program is working in terms of developing key leadership skills in girls.

Richie said that Girl Scouting is launching its rebranding from a position of strength because it can draw upon strong name recognition and a long legacy of leadership development. With this new campaign and the projected growth in overall girl population in the United States, Girls Scouts expects to see its membership begin to increase over the next few years. The campaign will also pave the way, Richie said, for a major effort to gain exposure during the organization’s national centennial celebration in 2012.

CONTACTS:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Josh Ackley 212.852.8038
[email protected]

Girl Scout Testifies Before Congressional Panel on Dangers of Cyberbullying

Girl Scout Testifies Before Congressional Panel on Dangers of Cyberbullying

Girl Scout Dominique Napolitano testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Healthy Families and Communities Subcommittee on the issue of cyberbullying on Thursday, June 24, providing legislators a teenager’s perspective on the increasingly widespread practice.

“Cyberbullying is not just a phase or behavior in which kids will be kids,” Napolitano told the panel chaired by U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY). “Cyberbullying poses serious consequences to the health and safety of all children.”

Dominique NapolitanoDominique was among a core group of Girl Scouts who helped develop LMK, a leading online safety Web site developed by Girl Scouts in collaboration with Microsoft’s Windows division. The site is unique because it is designed to cover such topics as cyberbullying, online sexual predators and cybersecurity from the perspective of young people. Twenty-three Girl Scouts working with Internet safety expert Parry Aftab have developed the online safety tips and advice for parents and young boys and girls.

In addition to Dominique, the panel heard testimony from syndicated talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw, as well as Aftab, who contributed to the LMK Web site, and educators from around the country.

“I know from my experience that kids don’t always think that adults understand their issues or get technology,” Dominique said. “So we need to empower youth to take this problem into our own hands and find solutions that work for us. I feel that I’ve had that experience through Girl Scouts, my youth group, and in school, but far too many kids don’t get that chance.”

Her testimony drew media coverage in newspapers and television stations. A story appears in the Boston Herald, and Dominique’s testimony is available on YouTube.

You can also check out photos of Dominique at the hearing at the Wall Street Journal.

CONTACTS:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Josh Ackley 212.852.8038
[email protected]