Board Chair Corner, April 2014

yjenkins's picture

The April 8th board meeting was held at our new Flint Service Center. What a beautiful facility! Our Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan signage is visible for miles.  This leased space provides work area for staff, meeting space shared with other tenants, our Council Shop, and plenty of free parking.  

Ambassador Scout and Girl Advisory Board member, Emily O’Leary, was the April Mission Moment speaker.  She shared experiences of how Girl Scouting has developed her leadership skills through service, Bronze and Silver Award projects, and in particular, working with and mentoring younger girls.  Emily is part of a mixed age troop that spans from Daisies to Ambassadors, and her regular interaction with these younger Scouts has helped her learn new skills and given the younger girls an outstanding ‘near peer’ role model.  Thanks Emily for sharing your leadership journey and joining the board at 
7:30 a.m. on a spring break vacation day!

This month’s financial business included reviewing and filing the January and February financial statements, and approving a one-year contract extension with Fall Product Sale vendor Trophy Nut. The board was particularly excited by new products like sea salt dark chocolate caramels and tomato basil peanuts!  The board also approved issuance of a contract with new magazine vendor, M2 Media.  This vendor has good online and social media sales tools for girls, plus shares a larger percentage of profits with Council than the prior vendor.

The next item on agenda was the detailed quarterly review of the Council dashboard.  Some good news – girl membership continues to show positive increases, greater than three percent from last year. Adult membership is down by almost four percent, particularly in our suburban communities.  Denise and her team are working hard to make being a volunteer less time consuming and more convenient through changes in tools and processes.  Membership diversity continues to strengthen participation in Council and community events is at an all-time high. Council Shop revenues are strong and online engagement and use of social media to interact with GSSEM continues to increase.  This combined with our solid financial results show that our council is making progress towards our strategic learning goals. 

Peter Keating was honored with this month’s giving cup for his efforts in fund development.  The Cookie Gala was once again a successful event with more than 300 participants and strong proceeds from sponsorships, ticket sales, and silent auction items.  Upcoming fund development events are the 5K Walk at the Detroit Zoo on July 19, and the Golf Outing at Elks Country Club on August 18.  The board continued its strategic discussion on how to better engage in fund development and advocacy.

The meeting concluded with discussion of many upcoming opportunities for engagement. Board members are sponsoring girls to attend both the Michigan Women’s Foundation Awards Dinner on April 29 (with another opportunity for our girls to meet the governor) and Women’s Officials Network WONder Woman Dinner on April 30.  Other events include participation in the Gold and Silver Award Banquet on May 4, as well as the four cookie celebrations for our top sellers in mid-May.  It will once again be a busy and exciting Girl Scout spring!

The next meeting of the board is May 14 at the Port Huron Service Center.  Till then, enjoy the first glimpses of spring, and thank a volunteer for his/her service during National Volunteer Appreciation month.  We were delighted to honor 48 volunteers on April 6 as recipients of National Girl Scouts Recognition Awards. These women and men are the heroes of this Council. 

Yours in Scouting,
Nancy