Celebrating 100 Years of Girl Scouting
If an organization in America has a goal to succeed for 100 years, it might be suggested they follow the model of the Girl Scouts. On March 12, the Girls Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana—a group who has dedicated themselves to building girls of courage, confidence, and character—will celebrate The Leadership and Innovation Awards: A Tribute to Achievement at the Four Seasons in Chicago. Sheridan Road sat down with the event chair and Evanston resident Mary N. Dillon, President and CEO of U.S. Cellular Corporation, as she filled us in on what to anticipate for the evening and what’s in store for the next 100 years.
Sheridan Road: What would one expect for the evening of March 12?
Mary N. Dillon: The night will be a lot of fun as we highlight the Girl Scouts’ vision to give young women opportunities to think for themselves and lead the way for others. We’ll be celebrating their 100th anniversary and the achievements of several girls, who will share stories of their leadership journeys and current projects.
SR: What qualities does Anne Pramaggiore, the 2012 Luminary Award winner, exhibit that make her an example for young women?
MND: Anne has a bachelor’s degree in communication and theater and is a graduate of DePaul University School of Law. She has led ComEd through several complex transitions, making an impact on restructuring the regulated power industry and moving to a competitive electricity market. Anne is very compassionate and kind, and lives these values in both her personal and professional worlds. She’s truly an example of how you can weave the values that are important to you into your leadership style to deliver excellent business results.
SR: What will it take to keep the Girl Scouts strong for the next 100 years?
MND: In 2008, seven local councils merged to form the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. This was part of a national strategy to keep the scouting experience relevant for today’s girls. Programs like Leadership Experience, Journey World, Camp CEO, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) provide young women with 21st century skills and abilities. By adapting to our changing world while remaining true to its core principles, the Girl Scouts will easily go on to celebrate their 200th birthday.
SR: As a mother living on the North Shore, why did you feel it was important to have your daughters involved in the Girl Scouts?
MND: Two of my daughters have been involved with the Girl Scouts and my son was a Boy Scout. My youngest daughter is now 13, and her group continues to be very active and loves it. It really is a testament to the troop leaders, who are parents that volunteer their time. The Girl Scouts’ efforts to give girls access to life-changing experiences and prepare them to be future leaders really resonates with me. The support and positive role models we can provide for our young women to help them become confident, successful adults is important, especially when they receive so many messages that focus on appearance versus capability and potential.
SR: Where will the funds raised from the event go toward?
MND: This year’s funds will support leadership programs including Camp CEO, Project Law Track, Reality Check, and camping activities. These programs encourage young women to set a path for their careers with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math while building valuable life skills.
Tickets for the March 12 Leadership and Innovations Awards Tribute to Achievement can be purchased by calling 312-912-6342, or visiting girlscoutsgcnwi.org.