CEO: December 2008 Archives

poinsettia.jpgThis time of year, we are reminded of the importance of friends and family.  There is fun in shopping, seeing all the decorations and thinking of family traditions.  I have learned that parades are also a part of the holiday season in Alabama.  What a great way to celebrate the holidays!  The picture below is the winner of the 2008 Holiday Card Contest by Sarah S. of Brownie Troop 9161 in Millbrook.    We appreciate all of the creative entries we received.
I wanted to take the opportunity this holiday season to thank you for what you do for the girls of southern Alabama.  The gift of time and attention to girls is more valuable than the material things you might give, and the importance of spending your time to have a positive influence on others is so precious to those whose lives you touch.
I spoke with a Brownie leader who has her troop go caroling for the elderly and then pass out Christmas gifts.  She said this is something the Brownies enjoy, and I know those who are fortunate recipients of that love also soak it up.   What a wonderful gift during this season of giving.  I trust that many of those girls will treasure that event for the rest of their lives.  Sentiment and happy memories of traditions are part of what makes this season of giving so wonderful.
My holiday wish is that each of you has a wonderful season of giving, family and friends.  Best wishes for 2009!
Happy Holidays,
Elizabeth M. Brent, PhD.

liz_brent.jpgI was reading about a post-realignment Girl Scout council that has so many unhappy volunteers they wound up in the local newspaper.  The story goes on to note the three councils weren't financially solvent when the realignment occurred.  It was one of those moments when I was grateful to be in Alabama.

Clearly, realignment here created some difficult issues, but we have tried to work through those challenges one at a time, keeping the girls at the center of the focus of all we do.   I realize we still need to work on certain areas, but I feel like we have made significant progress.   For example, we are trying to replicate good programs from one area of the council across the remainder of the council.

When I came to Alabama, a longtime staff person told me the volunteers were the heart of the work.   I have had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people in this position.   Those I have met have been interested in providing the best for the girls they serve.   They know that it isn't about them; it is about shaping our future through sharing with the girls we have the opportunity to touch.   As I read this article, I was grateful for the volunteers in southern Alabama.   Most can see the larger picture of what Girl Scouts is about, where it is going and most important, have been supportive.

I want this to be one of the best Girl Scout councils in the US.  Cooperation, good ideas, resourcefulness and hard work are all part of what it takes to create one of the best councils in the US.    I was buoyed to have GSUSA send an e-mail yesterday asking if they could use some of our materials to illustrate how to shape good volunteers.  We are slowly making progress toward becoming one of the best through ideas, good programs and sharing knowledge of success with others.   I am grateful for that; sharing in this context is the highest form of flattery.

Having the wisdom, support and sharing the wealth is one of the secrets to making this one of the best councils for the girls of southern Alabama and beyond.  I am grateful for your hard work and partnership in this endeavor.   Thank you.


Elizabeth M. Brent, Ph.D.



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