Girls face unique challenges, and they need support from the very beginning to build the resilience and confidence to overcome peer and media pressure. The Girl Scouts – 11,000 strong in the Arizona Cactus-Pine Council plus tens of thousands of local alumnae – are in a unique position to change girls’ lives for the better.

But don’t take our word for it. Each of these local leaders took something impactful from her days as a Girl Scout:

Teri Kelly

Teri Kelly

Senior Vice President, Morgan Stanley

As a brownie, I always looked up to the older girls who were leading programs for younger girls. As I became an older girl, my favorite activity was leading younger girls on hikes, through badge work, etc. The cookie sale itself gave me confidence in walking up to strangers to ask for their business.

Beth Amoroso

Director of Human Resources, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino

What I remember most about my time as a Girl Scout was earning my badges.  It was so exciting to learn to do something new.  The pride I felt completing projects and earning a badge that reflected that accomplishment was fulfilling to me.  I believe it contributed to my confidence, my desire to follow through on what I started, being curious, and learning to work both independently and as a team to achieve a goal.  Girl Scouts exposed me to activities I may never have undertaken otherwise, like service to the elders, cookie sales…and sewing (which I never mastered but enjoyed the journey!)

Debbie Johnson

Director, Arizona Office of Tourism

Girl Scouts is really the first experience I had in doing group work.  It is interesting now to see how participating in that process and seeing the benefits of working as a group has impacted me.  Using group collaboration is invaluable and I’m grateful for a positive start to that way of thinking!

Jeri Royce

President and CEO, Esperança

As I reflect on experiences in my life that have shaped my leadership journey, I immediately remember my days as a Girl Scout and what I learned. Be prepared – practice the skills you need to and be prepared for the unexpected. Be a life-long learner and embrace inquisitiveness.  Be compassionate with others knowing that I don’t always know the whole story.

Susan Brichler Trujillo

Susan Brichler Trujillo

Partner, Quarles & Brady LLP

To this day, I even remember the Girl Scout law, which is fitting is given I ended up an attorney. Looking back, everything we did in Girl Scouts was designed to help us grow into well-rounded adults equipped to successfully meet the future, which included instilling in us the desire to help others. For me, all of the programs I took part in, including cookie sales, summer camp, and badge projects provided an upward progression of leadership opportunities, from learning to make decisions in my Brownie troop to addressing the tough issues that face girls and women and our world as a whole.

Deborah Bateman

Chairman of the Board of Directors, National Bank of Arizona

In retrospect, I think the opportunity to commune with other “women” – although we were actually girls – was my first opportunity to be blessed by the collective wisdom of a group of like-minded persons.  Together, we set goals, reached higher to learn, stretch our comfort zones, and celebrated each other’s success.  It was a “safe-zone” where we were allowed to fail, without fear or shame, and yet all wanted and supported each other’s success.

Ellie Ziegler

Founder, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art/Ellie & Michael Ziegler Fiesta Bowl Museum

Girl Scouts taught me that overcoming housing, hunger and educational divides were possible. Through its programs, I accepted more responsibility and a stronger work ethic evolved. Girl Scouts provided me with the blessing of being unconditionally accepted without bullying, discouragement or judgment. 

Catherine Laganosky

Chief Financial Officer, Pioneer Title Agency and Yavapai Title Agency

I grew up in a large family, the sole female child with five brothers. Girl Scouts provided me with both female companionship and role models. In my Girl Scout troop, I had the opportunity to be inquisitive, resourceful and to accomplish goals through activities, including hiking, camping and in selling cookies. When my own three daughters were of age, I became a Girl Scout leader for their troops. I wanted to pass the torch to the next generation. Each scout in my troops learned creativity, enterprise and leadership, especially during cookie sales. We shared our “sweet success” and bonded on trips and excursions paid for with the “sweet profits” we earned. As a CPA and CFO, I continue to look at these experiences as the building blocks in my ability to manage projects, finances and people.

Lynda Riford, BSBA

Marketing Director, Southwest Behavioral & Health Services

Girl Scouts taught me the importance of leadership and collaboration and gave me the opportunity to participate in activities that allowed me to give back to the community such as when we adopted a veteran from the local VA or sang Christmas carols there and at other nursing facilities.  Girl Scouts taught me the importance of being compassionate and helping others.  I also learned that I could do anything if I set my mind to it and followed through.

Kim Dees

Senior Vice President, Washington Federal

Most people don’t know it, but the Girl Scout Cookie program is the largest girl-led business – and among the most successful financial literacy programs – in the world! And funny enough, like Girl Scout Cookies themselves, we celebrated our 100th anniversary at Washington Federal last year, too. From selling cookies, I not only took critical money management skills, but marketing, public speaking and even team work skills that I use to this day. Plus, I can still set up a mean cookie booth in a pinch, if needed. And, I still have my sash, to boot.