January 2013 Board Chair Corner

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Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season.  It was exciting to begin the holidays watching 100 Girl Scouts march down Woodward Avenue with the 100th Anniversary cake float in America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Congratulations girls for winning the WDIV online contest for favorite float-choreographed team! 

Our Girl Scout resourcefulness served us well for our first board meeting of 2013.  The night before the January 9 Board meeting, which was scheduled for 7:30am at the Detroit Service Center, the Fisher Building lost power.  With a flurry of phoning and emailing, we changed the location to the Clinton Township Service Center. As a result we had to reschedule our mission moment with Kandis Johnson, member of the Girl Advisory Board.  We look forward to hearing Kandis’ remarks at our February board meeting.  

Despite the last minute change in venue, the Board conducted a significant amount of business.  The Pension Administration Committee reviewed strategies on managing legacy pension obligations, and the board passed a motion to designate funds to ensure plans remain properly funded.  Our auditors, Baker Tilly, joined the meeting to review the results of the recently completed audit for program year ended September 30, 2012.  We are pleased to report that GSSEM received a clean audit with no material deficiencies and continues to strengthen the balance sheet thanks to the responsible fiscal management of Denise and her staff.  The board proudly passed a resolution to approve the audit.   The board also supported a revised format for the dashboard that provides key council performance metrics each month.  This dashboard is instrumental in keeping the board apprised of progress on membership, retention, diversity, program participation, product sales, social media visits and reach.

The board continued discussion on specific ways we could promote the significance of the Gold Award in the community.  A number of recommendations for better engaging board members in promotion were developed.  The new promotion materials from GSUSA were also positively received.

Plans for the Delegate Meeting on January 26 were discussed.  In addition to training, delegates will provide input on proposed by-laws changes and other council issues.  Several board members will serve as break out group facilitators.

Finally, the Fund Development Committee proposed the addition of new recognitions at the Cookie Gala.  The One Tough Cookie Awards will be presented to two individuals, one for leadership and another for community service. These awards will recognize women in our community who exemplify leadership and service.  Nominees will be featured in the Cookie Gala program, and final winners will be announced the evening of the Cookie Gala.  We are excited to add this additional tribute during our signature event.  Invitations to Cookie Gala will be mailed soon.  Mark your calendars for Cookie Gala on Wednesday, March 27, 2013. We are looking forward to celebrating at a new location, DTE Energy Headquarters.

The next board meeting is February 12, 2013 at the Detroit Service Center.  Till then, enjoy winter and stay warm.

Yours in Scouting,