Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. It was exciting to start the season once again watching Girl Scouts in America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade march down Woodward Avenue wearing green Santa hats! Their synchronous routine was performed with smiles and enthusiasm despite the cold, ice, and snow. Congratulations girls for winning the WDIV online contest for best-choreographed team for a second year!
January weather once again presented a challenge for our first board meeting of 2014. The arctic cold burst a water pipe in the Fisher Building and the board meeting was held amidst blowing fans and heaters drying out the Detroit office suite. This time was less dramatic than the power outage at the Fisher Building in January 2013, but challenging just the same. Still, we had a productive meeting and are off to a great start for 2014.
Anaya Johnson, Senior Girl Scout and member of the Girl Advisory Board, presented our Mission Moment. Anaya described how Girl Scouting has given her the confidence to pursue her dreams and try new experiences. She has just started planning for her Gold Award project and we wish her much success. Our auditors from Baker Tilly joined the meeting to review the results of the recently completed audit for program year ended September 30, 2013. GSSEM once again received a clean audit with no material deficiencies. The auditors were complimentary of the high percentage of revenue directly used for programming (90%) vs. the non-profit benchmark of 80%. This reflects the careful fiscal management exhibited by Denise and her staff. The board proudly passed a resolution to approve the audit. The board also approved some pension investment policy revisions and discussed plans to terminate a legacy pension plan and move these monies to an annuity. Finally, the board endorsed the recommendations from the Board Development Committee for 2014 National Council delegates and alternates. This slate will be submitted for approval by council delegates at the March Annual Meeting.
Plans for the Delegate Meeting on January 25 were discussed. In addition to training, delegates will have the opportunity to provide feedback on things that are going well and not so well in Council. Several board members will serve as break out group facilitators.
Finally, the Fund Development Committee discussed preparations for the Cookie Gala. Board members were encouraged to nominate women from the community who exemplify professional and community service leadership for the One Tough Cookie Awards again this year. The Cookie Gala is Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at the beautiful DTE atrium. Hope to see you there!
The next board meeting is February 12, 2014 at the Clinton Service Center. Till then, enjoy winter and stay warm.
Yours in Scouting,