am packing up my office, thinking about what "retirement" might look like for
me. I've replaced my beloved Amber, my
golden retriever rescue that many of you knew with two Boykin spaniel
puppies. They are not the same as
Amber, comfortable and familiar, it's a challenge.
packing up two offices, with gifts, photos and nostalgic items collected from
more than nine years of working for a very large contingent of girls. It provokes many memories of fun times,
girls who have become successful women, and today's girls, working toward that
same end. What fun it has been, how
many I have seen grow and become leaders, women who will contribute to their
some of you may be aware, my husband and I have commuted for the past nine
years. So the spaniels will be joining
an elderly golden retriever and a very smart 3-year-old black Labrador
retriever. I expect there will be many
days that I will yearn for the commotion of the office, too many things to do,
money to juggle, requests to consider, blogs to write, not enough hours in the
day. During a large part of the year I
had options on girl events I could attend to see Girl Scouts in action. What a wonderful opportunity that was, to
see girls learning, growing, honing skills.
These girls get out of bed on Saturdays and do things, they don't sleep
in and play video games, and they are girls of action. I suspect my Saturdays might have different
options in retirement, not as fun as the ones I have had.
was fortunate when I came to Alabama that I had the support of the board and
the volunteers. Trying to forge one
entity into two independent organizations with very different cultures was no
small feat. Where other CEOs for
realignment failed, I was fortunate to have a group of adults who were in this
endeavor for the girls. The key thing
we could all agree on was this is about the girls, not me, not where the
headquarters is, it is for and about girls, nothing else. By focusing on what is important and what we
could all agree on, we experienced much more success than others. That is to the credit of the many people
engaged in this merger nine years ago and their ability to pay attention to
what is important: the girls, our future.
I take my leave, sad to go, but looking toward the future, I would ask that you
continue to keep the girls as the focal point of all you do with Girl
Scouts. As you welcome a new CEO, Karlyn
Edmonds, someone not new to this endeavor, I would ask that you would continue
to be as supportive to her as you have been to me. Karlyn is hard-working and well-positioned
to take GSSA to the next level. Many of
you know Karlyn and are familiar with her many skills. Know that her strongest attribute to be the
CEO is her commitment to the girls of this organization and its mission.
will always look back on these nine years with great fondness and wish for the
continued success of GSSA as a great Girl Scout council that builds girls who
will lead us into the future.