Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, visited Denver on the morning of Thursday, October 19, 2017. Before meeting with girls, volunteers, and supporters, she stopped by 9News (KUSA-TV) to talk with TaRhonda Thomas about why Girl Scouts is the BEST leadership organization for girls. Here is the link to the interview: http://www.9news.com/life/girl-scouts-introduce-new-stem-focused-badges/484535809
A lifelong Girl Scout herself and former rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sylvia has held positions with some of the world’s most respected companies, including founder, president, and CEO of CommuniCard LLC, a marketing firm known for its innovative approaches to working with changing community demographics. A fierce advocate for education, Sylvia has also worked as a strategic consultant to national organizations that strive to improve outcomes with America’s rising generation of youth, as well as a national advocate for STEM education.
Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, will join Girl Scouts of Colorado in celebrating “20 years of Amazing Women” at the annual Thin Mint Dinner in Denver. The event on October 19, 2017, at the Denver Marriott Tech Center will recognize all 426 Women of Distinction who have been honored in the Denver-metro area since the program began in 1997. Girl Scouts of Colorado will honor Sylvia as an honorary Woman of Distinction.
A lifelong Girl Scout herself, Sylvia is committed to Girl Scouts’ mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. A former rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sylvia has held positions with some of the world’s most respected companies, including founder, president, and CEO of CommuniCard LLC, a marketing firm known for its innovative approaches to working with changing community demographics. A fierce advocate for education, Sylvia has also worked as a strategic consultant to national organizations that strive to improve outcomes with America’s rising generation of youth, as well as a national advocate for STEM education.
Since 1997, Girl Scouts of Colorado has honored top female leaders in our community as Women of Distinction, based on their remarkable achievements as business, community, and civic leaders. All 426 of these women are examples of corporate, civic, and philanthropic leadership and serve as role models for female leaders of tomorrow. The Women of Distinction program brings together a group of women dedicated to raising support for Girl Scout leadership programs.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary, seven Women of Distinction are being recognized. These Women of Distinction were voted by their peers, and will receive an award in the following categories at the 2017 Thin Mint Dinner:
Advocacy for Youth – Elaine Gantz Berman ’02, Former Member, State Board of Education
Progressive Community Leader – Juana Bordas ’03, President, Mestiza Leadership International
Accomplished Philanthropist – Arlene Hirschfeld ’97, Community Volunteer
Dedication to Girl Scouts – Jean C. Jones ’07, Former CEO, Girl Scouts Mile Hi Council
Lifetime Achievement – LaRae Orullian ’97, Retired National President, Girl Scouts of the USA
Advocate for Women & Girls – Jill S. Tietjen ’97, P.E., President and CEO, Technically Speaking, Inc.
Commitment to Public Service – Hon. Elbra M. Wedgeworth ’04, Chief Government and Community Relations Officer, Denver Health
The Thin Mint Dinner is October 19, 2017, at the Denver Marriott Tech Center from 5:30 to 8: 30 p.m. The event includes Thin Mint cocktails and dessert made with Thin Mints, three-course meal, and event program.
Thank you to our 20th Anniversary Thin Mint Dinner Silver Presenting Sponsors: DISH and MDC Richmond American Homes Foundation, and Bronze Presenting Sponsor: CoBiz Financial. For information regarding tickets and sponsorships, visit girlscoutsofcolorado.org/woddenver or contact Heidi Books at 303-607-4833 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Girl Scouts of Colorado volunteers may purchase discounted tickets for this event by contacting Carol Griffin at 303-607-4879 or at email@example.com.
During the last year, Girl Scouts has reclaimed its ownership of and legacy in the leadership space for girls, showing the world that there is no better program to ignite the power of every girl. In addition to continuing to invest in technology to better deliver and influence new programming, Girl Scouts welcomed a new leader, CEO Sylvia Acevedo, who brings to the organization a background in entrepreneurship; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and innovation, as well as a lifelong commitment to advancing opportunities for girls. Under Sylvia’s leadership, the Girl Scout Movement has expanded its reach to populations that need it most and is enhancing its research-proven program offerings so more girls can develop leadership skills that aren’t cultivated in traditional school settings.
When the results of the World Value Index were released last week—showing Girl Scouts second out of 150 organizations ranked according to how audiences perceive and value the purpose and mission of the brand—it was apparent that Girl Scouts’ dedication to girls’ healthy development and education is being noticed in a BIG way. In fact, Girl Scouts scored at the top of four key areas: high awareness, relevance and resonance, a strong motivator in garnering active support, and an influential factor in spending.
“GSUSA is honored to be recognized on the 2017 World Value Index as the second most valued brand in the world,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “For more than a century, we have been cultivating girls to serve as female leaders poised to smash glass ceilings and stereotypes across all industries around the globe. We are proud of Girl Scouts who are making a difference in their communities and who have, thanks to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and our caring adult volunteers, gone on to assume leadership positions in the United States and around the world. It’s time to invest in girls—the future of female leadership.”
We are excited to inform you that Sylvia Acevedo, interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA since June 2016, has been appointed permanent CEO of the organization, effective immediately. The appointment comes after an extensive nationwide search.
As a lifelong Girl Scout who has served the organization with distinction for many years, Ms. Acevedo brings to the role a deep understanding of the mission of Girl Scouts and the needs of today’s girls. Indeed, her tenure as interim CEO has been marked by a renewed emphasis on Mission + Movement and the implications for girls. She is a true visionary with a strong desire to lead the Girl Scout Movement into the future, and with her passion for everything we stand for, we know she will continue to bring new and innovative ideas, as well as new members, to Girl Scouts.
Also advantageous is Ms. Acevedo’s background as an engineer, which will help Girl Scouts raise its profile among Silicon Valley companies and expand external support of STEM activities-a key component of our organization’s programming. Throughout her professional life, she has advocated for Hispanic, Asian, and other minority populations in the U.S., as well as girls’ and women’s causes. Ms. Acevedo recently received a Distinguished Service Award from ALPHA in recognition of her lifelong participation in Girl Scouts and work as an entrepreneur, author, engineer, and, yes, a rocket scientist.
Thank you for supporting Girl Scouts and girls’ incredible leadership capacity.
From Sylvia Acevedo, Interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA
At Girl Scouts of the USA, a commitment to inclusivity is part of our DNA. Founded by a daring and courageous woman who wasn’t afraid to break the mold, Juliette Gordon Low plainly stated that Girl Scouts was to be a Movement “for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world.”
For more than 100 years, we have lived up to these words and carried forward the legacy of openness, inclusion, and unity that Juliette Low handed down to us. We have actively embraced all girls and are reflective of American society. Through turbulent and troubled times, through wars and economic depressions, and through periods of peace and prosperity, we have always served girls in every walk of life, without regard to their race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, economic standing, orientation, country of birth, or family history.
Girl Scouts has truly been, and will always be, a Movement for ALL girls—a place where girls can, must, and will feel safe to explore their potential, learn new skills, make lifelong friends, and tap into their potential for the leadership that our world so desperately needs. In today’s environment, some of our girls may be experiencing certain pressures and anxieties; they may feel unsure, confused, or even threatened.
So let me be perfectly clear: Girl Scouts of the USA is here for them. Our role is to support and encourage every girl, not insert ourselves into her spirituality, question her birthplace or family’s country of origin, or concern ourselves with her economic status. We’re not interested in her family’s political beliefs. No matter who she is, she has a home and a safe place at Girl Scouts. What matters is that she is a girl living in our community; a girl with hopes and dreams, ideals, and ambitions that we seek to nurture. Girl Scouts is about the girl she is and the woman and leader she has the potential to become. In today’s hyper-partisan, super-charged world, it’s easy to lose sight of what we stand for as Girl Scouts and what we exist to do.
We stand for inclusivity. We stand for unity, patriotism, and a commitment to the country we all share. We stand for the skills and resources that girls need to discover their talents and gain the courage, confidence, and character they need to be leaders. We stand for being honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, and courageous and strong. We stand for sisterhood. And we stand for making the world a better place, one girl at a time.
Girl Scouts continues to be a home for girls from all walks of life. The world can be frightening and confusing. We continually rededicate ourselves to the values of our promise and law and work day in and day out to make sure every girl feels included and welcome. We are aligned to make our world a reflection of Juliette Gordon Low’s dream from so long ago—one where we come together, celebrate our common bonds, champion our unique heritage and shared history, and make the world a better place.
“Who am I? I am Sylvia Acevedo-a lifelong Girl Scout who ‘bleeds green.'”
A proud Girl Scout, engineer and rocket scientist, and passionate advocate for both girls and Girl Scouts, Sylvia Acevedo credits her Girl Scout experience with propelling her to success in the corporate and philanthropic sectors.
Acevedo grew up near Las Cruces, New Mexico. When she joined a Brownie troop there, she knew she had found her home. That troop ultimately expanded not only her future, but also that of her family-for one, Acevedo’s mother got to practice her English with the troop leaders, who helped her pass her U.S. citizenship test.
“I understand the power of Girl Scouting. I understand how it changes destinies because it changed mine,” said Acevedo. “Through Girl Scouts, I launched a rocket into the clear, blue, New Mexico sky to earn my Science badge. Girl Scouts gave me the courage, the confidence, and the character to enter the engineering field at a time when girls didn’t do that, when people of my background didn’t do that.”
She discovered other passions through Girl Scouts as well.
“My favorite badge was my Bicycling badge. I absolutely loved getting outside with my troop,” said Acevedo, whose love of both the outdoors and science came together naturally at Girl Scouts.
“Science is all around you in the outdoors, and it’s been a part of our Girl Scout DNA from the very beginning. Whether you’re studying leaves and flowers on a hike, calculating distances on map, or using a compass, you’re using science, you’re using math-and you’re having fun doing it.”Acevedo took the tools and experiences Girl Scouts gave her to Stanford, where she earned a master’s degree in engineering, and eventually on to Silicon Valley.
“At my first engineering job, there wasn’t even a bathroom for women because there were virtually no women working in the field,” she recalled.
Speaking of STEM, Acevedo is a national advocate for STEM education who serves as a strategic consultant to companies that wish to use technology to capitalize on demographic trends-and she previously served as president and CEO of CommuniCard LLC, a firm that used innovative technology to harness market trends. A talented executive who has held positions with some of the world’s most respected companies, Acevedo is also a fervent supporter of Hispanic, girls’, and women’s causes, and a White House commissioner on the Presidential Initiative for Hispanic Educational Excellence.
Acevedo’s love of Girl Scouts and the mission eventually led her to the GSUSA Board of Directors, where she served as secretary and Executive Committee member. And now, as interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, Acevedo wants to continue to give back to a movement that has given her so much.
“Here’s what I’m about: I want to get more girls, more families into the Girl Scout Movement so that we can change their lives-their destinies-forever. Let’s start now! Go to girlscouts.org to learn how you can get involved-we’re waiting for you.”