I was born to be a Girl Scout. I just didn’t know it until I was in my forties. January 4, 2023, marked the start of my eighth year as the CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa. I never forget what a privilege this is, to get to learn and lead and represent something amazing. And I’ve been allowed to show up authentically, perhaps the greatest gift of all.
I’ve learned so much about life and leadership and the humility needed (and acquired!) along the journey. I’ve been surrounded by a team that does incredible work. We’ve made countless decisions that impact the lives and safety of others. I’ve laid awake at night with worry and decision fatigue. The silence was deafening as the hustle and bustle of workplace connection disappeared into Zoom chatter boxes for a few years. I choked back tears at our first campfire back together, voices in harmony filling my ears and my soul. I’ve walked with team members though life tragedies, I’ve celebrated with them in days of pure celebration.
I’ve ridden horses, sang under the stars, zip-lined, sailed, thrown axes, been on the Today Show, crawled in the mud... and much more! I’ve been so moved by the strumming of chords that I learned to play the guitar. I’ve been so inspired and in awe of nature and the magic of our camps that I’ve added a life goal of seeing every National Park.
I’ve learned supply-chain management is entirely complex with millions of boxes of cookies! I’ve been on dozens of stages and learned to always do a mic-check and cut out 90% of what I think is “funny.” I’ve seen parts of the world I only dreamed about, from the west coast to the east, from Mt. Rainier to D.C., and dozens of stops in between. I’ve learned to embrace the unknown, make the best decisions you can in the moment, and empower the best person and get out of the way. I’ve been lonely, proud, confident, overwhelmed, uncertain, energized, and nervous – sometimes on the same day.
I’ve grown into a passionate advocate for equality and the ways workplaces can take a stand for the benefit of people.
I’ve sat around campfires, airports, and conference centers cementing deep and genuine friendships with the amazing people tied to this place, people who have become close to my heart.
I’ve experienced personal heartbreak and had the gift of wearing my tears authentically in the presence of colleagues. I asked for patience and grace as I struggled to be the best person, leader, and teammate possible in a stormy season. And I received it.
I’m so thankful for my amazing family (without whom I’d never be able to juggle this bonkers schedule!), our team, new friendships, and the incredible volunteers and donors that make GSGI thrive!