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

Posted by Trish | Posted in News | Posted on 30-08-2011

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]

Join the Relief Effort for Girl Scouts of Japan

Posted by Trish | Posted in News | Posted on 17-03-2011

Join the Relief Effort for Girl Scouts of Japan

This statement was released on 3/16/11 by Kathy Cloninger, National CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA

We are devastated by the catastrophe in Japan and, on a personal level, are deeply concerned about our sisters there, the Girl Scouts of Japan. USA Girl Scouts Overseas has served American military and civilian families in Japan for many years, and has extremely close ties with Girl Scouts of Japan. In fact, many of our overseas troops and Girl Scouts of Japan are sister troops. We have received many calls from Girl Scouts around the country asking how to help and are happy to report that the policy that prohibits Girl Scouts from raising money for other organizations has been temporarily suspended. To contribute to earthquake and tsunami relief efforts, you can make an online donation to the newly established Girl Scouts of Japan Relief Efforts. At times like these, Girl Scouts throughout the world come together in sisterhood to help those in need. We have seen our Movement rally in support of the victims of Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters over the years, and will continue to do everything we can to help our sister Girls Scouts of Japan in the weeks and months ahead.

Make checks payable to Girl Scouts of the USA:
Girl Scouts of the USA-Fund Development
P.O. Box 5046
New York, NY 10087-5046
Memo: Girl Scouts of Japan relief efforts

Girls are also encouraged to send expressions of friendship to their sister Girl Scouts in Japan by making origami cranes (Sadako). For instructions, see YouTube videos. The Girl Scouts of Japan made and mailed thousands of these cranes to the United States as an expression of peace and friendship after the September 11th tragedy.

Mail cranes to:
USAGSO – West Pacific
HQ USARJ/9th TSC
Unit 45005
APO, AP 96343-5005

Girl Scouts and Kraft Take Action

Posted by Trish | Posted in News | Posted on 23-02-2011

Girl Scouts and Kraft Take Action

On the first anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, Girl Scouts and Kraft Foods demonstrated how corporate and community partnerships are helping achieve the Let’s Move! goal of ending childhood obesity within a generation. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Kraft Foods’ President of Global Health and Wellness and Sustainability, Rhonda Jordan, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, Kathy Cloninger, CEO of Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, Lidia Soto-Harmon and hundreds of Girl Scouts joined together to demonstrate how today’s girls are making healthy choices and incorporating physical activity into their daily lives. The town hall event took place at Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. EST and linked via satellite Girl Scouts in Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles with Washington, D.C.

“First Lady Michelle Obama and her Let’s Move! campaign seek to put children on the path to a healthy future starting with their earliest months and years by giving parents the information they need to make healthy choices for their families. I am proud to be her partner in this effort. By eating right and getting the right amount of exercise, young girls can be an example to their friends, siblings, and even their parents to live healthier lives. With great partners like the Girl Scouts of the USA and Kraft Foods I know that we can ensure a bright and healthy future for our children” said Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services.

As part of its participation in Let’s Move!, Girl Scouts is challenging its 2.3 million girl members to take the lead and make healthy food choices and exercise a part of their daily activities. At the Town Hall, Girls exchanged ideas on how to encourage their families and peers to become healthier with the nation’s leading health authority, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Girl Scouts in Chicago, with Chef Robin Ross in the Kraft Kitchens, demonstrated how to prepare nutritious after-school snacks, while girls in DC created a hydroponic garden and took a Zumba class. Girls in Atlanta and Los Angeles also participated in the Town Hall via webcast, asking questions and sharing ideas on healthy living.

“Encouraging girls to lead happy, healthy, active lives has always been an important part of Girl Scouting. We are thrilled to be partnering with First Lady Obama, Secretary Sebelius, and our friends at Kraft Foods on Let’s Move!,” said Kathy Cloninger, CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA.

“Healthy eating and physical activity habits that girls learn at an early age can last a lifetime,” said Rhonda Jordan, President, Global Health and Wellness and Sustainability, Kraft Foods. “As the nation’s largest food company, we know we have a role to play in helping people make good choices, whether it’s providing nutritious food options or offering healthy recipes. We’re delighted to stand here today with the Girl Scouts and US Secretary Sebelius to encourage young women to start with the small steps that can lead to a healthy future.”

Girl Scout Senior Serena Patel, a student at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, MD., earned her Gold Award helping women at a local center understand nutrition information to prepare healthier meals for their families. Patel, who plans to explore a career in public health said, “It was easy to get mothers interested when I showed them how good nutrition can help their children become more alert and better students in the classroom.”

Serena’s story is only one example of how Girl Scouts is building the next generation of female leaders who are tackling the challenging issues of the day. Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and new programs including It’s Your Story – Tell It!, girls enjoy experiences, opportunities and activities that promote skills building and responsibility, and also promote the development of strong leadership and decision-making skills.

CONTACTS:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Michelle Tompkins 212-852-5074
[email protected]

Kraft Foods
Susan Davison/Valerie Moens 847-646-4538
[email protected]

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

Posted by Trish | Posted in News | Posted on 28-01-2011

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]

Girl Scouts Unveils New National Brand Initiative

Posted by Trish | Posted in News | Posted on 12-07-2010

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]