During our annual meeting, we were delighted to welcome Liza Crisafi as Girl Scouts San Diego’s new board chair! Liza, a dedicated board member and volunteer, was an Urban Campout chair in 2016 and 2017. For her first official act, she presented her predecessor, Regina Buckley, with the Thanks Badge (story), the highest honor for Girl Scout volunteers.
Nearly 150 GSSD members attended the gathering, which brings together board members, delegates, and members-at-large for a state-of-the-council address.
This year, members voted to accept the amended and restated bylaws. They also unanimously elected Liza and her fellow officers Machel Allen (vice chair), Rita Datko (treasurer), and Claudia Silva (secretary); members-at-large Carmen Vann (second term), Marsha Chandler, Suzanne Frontz, Janice Kurth, Angie Lasagna, and Woody Ledford (first term); five Board Development Committee members (for their first three-year term): Immediate Past Chair Regina Buckley, Jeanette Day, Tange Gavin, Patricia McQuater, and Kevin Munkholm; as well as Julia Brown (second term).
We also thanked and showcased the important work accomplished by the following board members who have completed their terms: Andy Gallagher (treasurer), Barbara Lamb (secretary), and members-at-large Suzanne Schlundt, Denise Scott, and Bill Whelan.
CEO Carol Dedrich presented an update regarding our three-year strategic plan, and Regina outlined the overall strategy. Carol provided a state-of-the-council address, which included our work to support Girl Scouts of the USA’s national key objectives.
Fiscal Year 2018 (FY2018) achievements by key objectives included the following (details in annual report):
- Reach more girls—During FY2018, with 2,000 troops and 23,000 girl members (including 3,800 in our staff-led Outreach program), we were recognized by GSUSA as a growing council.
- Higher impact—We are focused on providing the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls in K-12 through our four program areas: STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), entrepreneurship, life skills, and outdoors. During FY2018, we welcomed the addition of 23 new badges that engage girls with the outdoors and STEM.
- Increase investments—As part of our mission to develop a culture of philanthropy, we raised over $230,000 to support our STEM Pledge. We also continued to have strong financials.
- Stronger brand—We increased our media presence with stories showcasing our organization as the #BestPlace4Girls.
- Effective operations—We continued to make the volunteer experience as easy as possible by providing enhanced technology platforms like the Volunteer Tool Kit, as well as launching and engaging volunteer-driven Go Teams (below).
Five of our Emerging Leader Girl Scouts showcased highlights of the past year (annual report) sharing their personal stories pertaining to the following topics:
- Gold Award—Gold Award Girl Scout candidate Isabella Catanzaro spoke about the highest honor and introduced a public service announcement showcasing girls who have earned the prestigious accolade.
- STEM Pledge—Isabel Silva announced that local Girl Scouts participated in 21,057 STEM activities, as part of GSUSA’s national pledge to add 2.5 million girls to the STEM career pipeline by 2025.
- Life skills—Cadence Dobias reported on local girls earning nearly 61,000 badges while exploring new interests and expanding their horizons. Makayla Mayor—our third-ranked 2019 Elite Cookie Entrepreneur, who marketed 4,010 packages of cookies—rounded out the life skills topic with impressive statistics about the 2019 cookie program (infographic).
- Outdoors—Julia Davis described how thousands of Girl Scouts from San Diego and Imperial counties took part in these aspects of our outdoor programs:
- Almost 3,500 girls attended our day and resident campers.
- Approximately 500 explorers hiked through mountains, chaparral, and deserts.
- Nearly 300 older girls progressed in leadership as counselors-in-training, day camp aides, and wilderness backpacking trainers.
Last year, Girl Scout adult members identified four priority areas they felt needed addressing. From this information GSSD established our first “Go Teams.” Team leads described work accomplished over the past year. Leslie Catanzaro presented on highest awards, Michelle Mullen on training, Beth Nelson on communications, and Stephanie Kwiatkowski on new leader experience.
In addition, Nichole Peterson, a member of our Promise Circle and Juliette Gordon Low Society Committee, provided an update on philanthropic activities benefiting our council.