MySweetCharity Summer Pitch: Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas

Jennifer Bartkowski*

According to Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer K. Bartkowski,

Back when I went off to Girl Scout camp decades ago, my mother was looking for an extended break and I was too – that time spent away gave me independence and both of us the rest we needed during my teenage years. 

But today, time is tight and kids are super busy so if they’re going to head to a camp, it has to offer a meaningful experience. Girl Scouts has responded to that challenge by offering an exciting and challenging all-girl leadership environment that incorporates college and career readiness. Girl Scouts, as the expert in how girls learn and develop as leaders, brings great value to new partnerships with program partners, universities, mentors and corporations, all looking to develop the next pipeline for future leaders in North Texas.

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

With camps that encourage girl-led, hands-on and collaborative learning, girls develop a strong sense of self, learn to seek challenges, and develop healthy relationships – the skills universities and companies say are essential for long-term success. 

The Girl Scout Leadership Institute (GSLI) offers high school girls a unique opportunity that most girls can’t get anywhere else. Offering university prep, corporate visits and job shadowing, the GSLI has leveraged extensive community partnerships to offer girls the opportunity to explore what could lie ahead. Openings are still available at:

  • USAA – Tuesday, July 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Ever wondered how you would select your car insurance once you begin to drive, how to find a credit card, or whether you will need renter’s insurance to lease an apartment?
  • Comerica – Monday, July 17, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.: Participate in a mini-job fair to explore banking careers, talk to a job panel of industry female leaders and more!

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

Our Summer Adventure Series at the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas STEM Center of Excellence offers girls a creative space to innovate and create. In June, girls discovered how to build and fly a drone through an obstacle course. In July, a group of girls is participating in an adventure in antibiotic discovery where they’re actually learning to chemically engineer antibiotics.  While the camp continues construction leading up to our grand opening in May 2018, we do still offer day-camps including:  

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

  • Adventures in Design: July 17-20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Girls 6-12th grade are invited to join us for “Fabulous Fashion” sponsored by Fluor and pwc.  If you have an eye for design and want to learn about patterns, production, textiles and tailoring to create your own line of products, this camp is for you!  Explore all of our session descriptions at gsnetx.org/adventurecamp
  • Adventures in Super Powers: July 24-27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Calling all Wonder Women!  Younger girls will build self-confidence through team building activities while older elementary campers will learn to use their voice to champion a cause important to them and discover how to be courageous. Sessions offered for girls K-5. 

Girl Scouts also offers the traditional summer resident camp experience at three properties across our region. Did you know, you don’t have to be in a troop to participate in Girl Scout programs and camps?  Join for $25/year to have access to member rates for all of our camps. To learn more, visit gsnetx.org/camp or call 972.349.2400.

* Photo provided by Girl 
Scouts of Northeast Texas

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Beneficiaries Celebrated Receiving Checks For More Than $5.5M

The skies were blue and the temperatures gave no sign of drizzle, let alone snow. Still, on Tuesday, April 4, it was Christmas time with 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Christie Carter and her committee members handing out six-figure checks totaling $5.6M.

Anne Besser, Cordelia Boone, Kay Barry, Theresa Francis, Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson

Hosted by Westwood Trust at Communities Foundation of Texas, the 2016 beneficiaries were downright giddy. Some, like Hope’s Supply President Barbara Johnson and Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski, admitted from the stage that the last time they had been there, they had been nervous in pitching their nonprofits for CCB consideration over a year ago.

Now, they were relieved that they had passed muster and were being handed checks to help them in their missions.

Drum roll. And the happy-faced beneficiaries included:

Susan Farris, Paige McDaniel and Margo Goodwin

David Krause

Cary Wright

 

  • Community Partners of Dallas for a “forever home for Community Partners of Dallas” — $1,359.236
  • Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas for “STEM Center of Excellence Girl Exploration Center” — $976,000
  • Hope Supply Co. for “hope for homeless children” — $600,000
  • Notre Dame School of Dallas for “Hearts and Hammers Campaign” — $676,020
  • Parkland Foundation on behalf of Parkland Health and Hospital System for “mobile medical clinic and pediatric screenings” — $789,002
  • Teach for America for “Elementary Education Initiative” — $500,000
  • The Family Place for “Children’s Counseling Center” —$750,000

Suzy Gekiere, Jennifer Bartkowski and Tricia George

Barbara Johnson

Gregg Ballew

Paige Flink and Eric White

Also, in attendance were Westwood Trust Senior VP Gregg Ballew, Eric White, Paige Flink, Melissa Sherrill, Pam Busbee, Lisa Singleton, Margo Goodwin, Pat and John Harloe, Ola Fojtasek, Suzy Gekiere, Tricia George, Candace Winslow, Rob Snyder, Cordelia Boone, Paige McDaniel, Joanna Clarke, Vinnie Reuben, Theresa Francis, Kay Barry, David Krause, Laura and Jason Downing, Cary Wright, Rea Foster, Tucker Enthoven, Piper Wyatt, Beth Thoele, Michael Meadows, Anne Besser, Susan Farris, Elizabeth Gambrell, Greg Nieberding, 2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson with husband Dwight Emanuelson, and Vin Perella with his wife/2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella, who is already managing the haul of $5.8M for the 2017 beneficiaries.

JUST IN: Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Announces Sara Martineau And Nina Vaca Women Of Distinction And Todd Williams Man Enough

Susan Glassmoyer and Laura Downing (File photo)

For those emerging from Samoa and Thin Mints rehab and in need of a Girl Scout fix, there’s great news. The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas have just announced plans for their annual Women of Distinction Luncheon. It’s already been announced that Dr. Mae Jemison will be the keynote speaker, thanks to Luncheon Co-Chairs Laura Downing and Susan Glassmoyer.

But now comes word that the fundraiser on Friday, November 3, at the Omni will honor Sara Martineau and Nina Vaca on stage receiving the Woman of Distinction Award.

Sara Martineau (File photo)

Nina Vaca (File photo)

According to Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski, “It is an honor to recognize Nina, Sara and Todd for their exemplary leadership and lifelong commitment to serving our Dallas community. Empowering and supporting girls is the key to our future, because they are the innovators, leaders and change-makers of tomorrow. It comes down to a simple truth – when we invest in the advancement of girls, we are not only helping them reach their fullest potential, we are also investing in the future success of our businesses and communities. We are incredibly thankful that each honoree recognizes the importance and value of empowering girls.”

Todd Williams*

As for the second male to be recognized by the Girl Scouts for his understanding and support of the Girl Scouts’ mission, Todd Williams will be presented with the Man Enough to be a Girl Scout Award.

Regarding the Young Woman of Distinction, stay tuned. It will be announced “late summer.”

BTW, last year’s luncheon impressed vet munchers with the fact that it ran right on schedule.

Tickets are available here, but no, there will be no cookies as incentives.

For the full-blown release, follow the jump:

*  Photo provided by Girl Scouts 
of Northeast Texas

[Read more…]

As Cookie Sales Wind Down, Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Announce Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison To Keynote Women Of Distinction Luncheon

There is absolutely no truth to the rumors that the Girl Scouts are running low on cookies. Not only are there plenty of stashes of Samoas, Thin Mints, Tagalongs and other cookies still available, but there is additional news.

Inside word has just arrived that Women of Distinction Luncheon Co-chairs Laura Downing and Susan Glassmoyer have arranged for Dr. Mae Jemison (aka the first African American woman in space) to be the keynote speaker for the Friday, November 3rd Girl Scouts fundraiser at the Omni Dallas’ Dallas Ballroom.

Mae Jemison*

According to Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Bartkowski, “We are honored to welcome Dr. Jemison as our keynote speaker at the Women of Distinction Luncheon. Dr. Jemison, a former Girl Scout herself, is a representation of who we want our girls to be – a female not afraid to take risks, someone who has the courage to enter a field where she may be in the minority, and a woman with the boldness to advocate for her ideas. We all look forward to hearing Dr. Jemison’s inspiring story.”

As for the recipients of the “outstanding women leaders” awards in Life Achievement, Women of Distinction, Young Women of Distinction and Man Enough, that news is yet to come. Be patient. It’s slated to be announced this spring.

BTW, deadline for nominations is Thursday, February 23. Ah, shoot! That’s just around the corner.

As for the cookies, they’ll be available in this neck of the woods until Sunday, February 26. But don’t wait til the last minute.

And as you’re munching away on your cookies, why not nominate that special person for an award and  lock down your place at the Women of Distinction Luncheon now? Mae’s talk should be out of this world.

* Photo provided by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

The Great Girl Scout Cookie Debate Nearly Results In An Elf Brawl

The debates have not ended! The MySweetCharity espresso barroom was the scene of a near brawl this afternoon. With her eminence Queenie sitting on her throne as judge, she listened to two teams of elves argue, complain and decry the lack of knowledge of the other group. At one point it got so ugly that one debater stuck his purple tongue out.

Girl Scout S’more*

Girl Scout Samoa*

The subject? Which Girl Scout cookies were better — old favorite Samoas (aka Caramel Delites) or the new cookie on the block S’mores? The S’mores team argued that there are S’mores and then there are S’Mores. The Samoas group claimed the other side was nuts not to love the coconut-laden Samoas.

Girl Scout Thin Mint*

At one point it got so ugly that one debater stuck his … that’s right … purple tongue out. Queenie had had enough and ordered a time out. After 10 minutes Elder Elf notified the old gal that it hadn’t worked. In fact the elf gallery was now complaining that both sides were wrong. Thin Mints topped the other two and they were staging a protest in front of the MSC headquarters.

Making a Solomon decision, Queenie told Elder, “Get me a crate of each and I shall make the final decision.”

Elder sought the request here to provide Queenie with crates of cookies. One can only suspect that Queenie’s New Year’s resolution of losing that 50 pounds was history, as she waddled to her chambers with a wheelbarrel filled with the boxes of cookies.

But don’t wait to learn Queenie’s decision. The Girl Scouts are officially kicking off sale of the cookies (Girls Scouts S’more, Thin Mints, Caramel deLites/Samoas, Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs, Shortbread/Trefoils, Do-si-Dos/Peanut Butter Sandwich, Lemonades, Savannah Smiles, Thanks-A-Lot, Toffee-tastic and Trios) on Friday. They (the cookies, not the Scouts) can be ordered directly from a Scout or online.

Girl Scout cookie sales*

And look to downtown Dallas Friday night for dazzling signs of the great cookie takeover. The Bank of America Plaza will shine green and white; One Arts Place’s unique green square will dazzle; and the Omni Dallas Hotel will feature “the Girl Scout logo in green displaying the message, ‘Cookie Time.’”  

* Photos provided by the Girl Scouts

MySweetWishList: Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas

Jennifer Bartkowski*

According to Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski,

“The holidays always evoke a spirit of gratitude for the simple things in life with which we’ve been blessed. I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity to join extra-curricular activities that helped me explore the world around me at a young age. I was able to go to college and pursue a career. Many girls in our community, however, are not. Their dreams often fall short not because of the lack of desire, or lack of financial aid, but because they simply haven’t been given the opportunity to even see the possibilities available to them.

“Girls need to hear at a young age that they are smart, their ideas are valid and they can accomplish big things in life. They need opportunities to see who they can become by connecting with women who are industry leaders and by giving them the chance to experience career possibilities outside of their neighborhood footprint.   

“Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas serves more than 26,000 girls in our community. Our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. We’re building girls into leaders in their schools, communities and future careers.

Young creative Girl Scouts*

“But did you know that 86% of the girls we serve are from low to moderate income families? Accessibility to opportunities that can have a profound impact on a child’s future are limited. That’s why we’re committed to providing girls relevant 21st century experiences that are free or low-cost. 

“Girls in Girl Scouts today are learning computer coding, getting hands-on experiences in the STEM industry, connecting with female career mentors, exploring nature at our STEM Center of Excellence, building their confidence through our leadership programs, challenging their fears through outdoor adventures and more.

Girl Scouts at STEM Center of Excellence*

“We need public support to help make these opportunities possible to even more girls. We know that girls who participate in Girl Scouts are more likely to advocate for themselves and others, are less likely to bystanders, are more likely to stand up for their ideas, self-identify as leaders and take on leadership roles, are more financially literate, negotiate for themselves, and set ambitious goals for their future.

“These are attributes parents want to instill in their girls and that employers aspire to attain in their workforce. They’re also critical to positively impacting the culture of our society.

“My holiday wish is that girls throughout our community would be given opportunities to try. Girls need access to opportunities that allow them to take smart risks in safe spaces. They need a chance to build their courage, find their confidence and grow into leaders who think critically and can step up to make a difference. Learn more and connect with us as a volunteer or donor at gsnetx.org.”

-By Jennifer Bartkowski, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO

* Photos provided by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

Women Of Distinction Speaker Lauren Bush Lauren Provided “Food” For Thought In The Spirit Of The Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas

While the East Coast was crammed thanks to Hurricane Matthew on Friday, October 7, the Omni Dallas Hotel’s parking garage created a merry-go-round for Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas’ Women of Distinction Luncheon guests. Despite the parked-to-the-max situation thanks to the Momentous Institute’s Change For Good, arriving Texas-OU fans and Girl Scout supporters, Texas-sized SUVs suddenly fit into “Compact Only” parking spaces.

And leave it to the Event Co-Chairs Maggie Cooke Kipp and Heather Perttula Randall to run a tight ship. Promptly starting at 11:20, some of the luncheon crowd had to compare notes on whether to start with the Farmer’s Salad at their places before reaching arms-length to the tomato basil soup in the center of the table. Didn’t matter. Girl Scouts and their supporters adapt to their situations.

No sooner had the lights dimmed and the guests started their meals, than KDFW’s Clarice Tinsley announced the year’s recipients:

  • Young Women of Distinction Award — Hailey Falies and Anisha Wadawadigi
  • Women of Distinction Award — Sarah Losinger and Trea Yip
  • Lifetime Achievement Award — Marianne Staubach

In accepting her award, Marianne recited the Girl Scout Law:

Kit Addleman, Marianne Staubach and Jennifer Bartkowski

Kit Addleman, Marianne Staubach and Jennifer Bartkowski

“I will do my best to be fair and honest, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place and be a sister to every Girl Scout.”

She then challenged those in the room to embrace each of the elements in the law.

Staying on schedule, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowsi told about the need for leadership in the world and how the Girl Scouts is the largest girls’ organization in the world. She then told how today’s Girl Scouts program is instilling innovation, risk taking and leadership in young women.

She went on to say that instead of asking, “Why me?”, Scouts are saying, “Watch me!”

Yvette Ostolaza and Heather Perttula Randall

Yvette Ostolaza and Heather Perttula Randall

A break in the program provided an opportunity to catch up, Yvette Ostolaza had just returned from the French Fashion Week. On the other hand, Caren Kline reported that she and husband Pete Kline had just gotten back from an 11-day junket to Scotland… With daughter-in-law Jenny Rees-Jones in tow, Jan Rees-Jones reported that she and husband Trevor Rees-Jones had moved into the new family homestead in July with the outdoor grounds still a work in progress. As for their former digs at the Ritz-Carlton, it was sold just recently… Speaking of moms-in-law, Lisa Cooley brought her future d-i-l Bela Pjetrovic, who reported that she’s decided on her gown for her upcoming wedding to Chase Cooley.

From the left: (standing) Jenny Rees-Jones, Jan Rees-Jones and Lisa Cooley; (seated) Bela Pjetrovic, Becky Bowen and Ciara Cooley

From the left: (standing) Jenny Rees-Jones, Jan Rees-Jones and Lisa Cooley; (seated) Bela Pjetrovic, Becky Bowen and Ciara Cooley

At 12:18 Kathryn Collins introduced keynote speaker/granddaughter of former President George H.W. Bush/Ralph Lauren daughter-in-law/former Brownie/Feed Projects CEO and Founder Lauren Bush Lauren. Applying lessons from the Girl Scouts, Lauren told how her “journey” had started in developing a worldwide effort to fight hunger.

Kathryn Collins

Kathryn Collins

For example, Lauren’s Feedbag program followed her steps:

  • Identify the problem — She learned that hunger killed more people than malaria, AIDs and tuberculosis combined. As further proof of the damage done to starving children, she showed brain scans of children suffering from hunger.
  • Come up with a creative solution — When in Guatemala Lauren learned that children went to school because it guaranteed a lunch. She also found out that in some countries, the education of the daughters was not a priority. To overcome that situation, programs provided for girls who attended school and were able to take home food for their families.
  • Create a plan to make the solution a reality — Combining her design talents and humanitarian efforts, she came up with the “Feedbag.” From the initial one, a simple burlap bag, has sprung an entire lineup of bags, pouches, go-to bags, diaper bags, backpacks, etc. Each is stamped with a number representing the number of meals provided for children.
  • Put the plan into action — In addition to the sale of the bags, three years ago she launched Feed Supper, a 30-day fundraising activation, in which people host dinner parties designed to get people to donate funds to fight hunger.
Lauren Bush Lauren

Lauren Bush Lauren

Thanks to Lauren’s efforts, more than 95M meals have been provided throughout the world.

Concluding her 15-minute talk, Lauren revealed the mantra for her program was “Courage, confidence and character.” But she then said, “I would add comradery to this.”

Finishing up the day’s program, Clarice surprised the crowd with the announcement of a “unique award.” For the first time ever, the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas presented “A Man Enough To Be A Girl Scout Award” for “a man in our community who has made an extraordinary effort in mentoring and empowering women.” The recipient was State President of Capital One in Texas Kent Eastman, who was busting with pride over his honor. He challenged the other men in the audience, “Who else is man enough to be a Girl Scout?” He was rewarded with shouts of appreciation and applause.

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board And 7 Beneficiaries Get Better Acquainted At Heather And Billy Esping’s Estate

Linda Secrest, Heather Esping and Beth Thoele

Linda Secrest, Heather Esping and Beth Thoele

While their magnificent pool house was still in the construction stage of life, Heather and Billy Esping hosted the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board and Beneficiary reception at their Preston Hollow home on Thursday, April 14.

Advisory Board member/Communities Foundation of Texas President/CEO Brent Christopher, who said that since his announcement of heading up Children’s Foundation he had been in overdrive, admitted, “Nobody replaces Kern Wildenthal. They just carry on.” When asked if he would stay on the CCB Advisory Board, Brent conceded that he would probably have to resign, since his new assignment would put him on the other side of the fundraising world. Instead of doling out grants, he would be seeking funds.

Kent Eastman

Kent Eastman

With 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter standing by his side, Capital One Bank Texas State President Kent Eastman graciously told the crowd that Capital One’s underwriting of the event was to salute the CCB’s support of the 2016 beneficiaries including Captain Hope’s Kid/Hope Supply Co., Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Notre Dame School, Parkland Foundation, Teach for America and The Family Place.

While his wife, Claire Emanuelson, twinkled in a gold blouse, Dwight Emanuelson stood by the fireplace sporting a new haircut and was fresh back from a fishing outing up north.

Jerry Meyer and Annette Simmons

Jerry Meyer and Annette Simmons

Anne Reeder and Susan McSherry

Anne Reeder and Susan McSherry

Others in the crowd of advisors and beneficiaries included newlyweds Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse, SuSu and Jerry Meyer, Cynthia and Brice Beaird, Pam and Vin Perella, Linda Secrest, Beth Thoeloe and the evening’s Co-Chairs Susan McSherry and Anne Reeder.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

Dallas-area restaurants were lacking more than 50 of their favorite customers on Thursday, February 18. No, the flu had not swept through. Rather, it was the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball bus tour which took a crammed bus full of the committee members for a tour of the 2016 beneficiaries like Captain Hope’s Kids/Hope Supply Co., Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Notre Dame School of Dallas, Parkland Foundation, Teach for America and The Family Place.

Captain Hope's Kids/Hope Supply Co.

Captain Hope’s Kids/Hope Supply Co.

Camp Whispering Cedars

Camp Whispering Cedars

From diapers to STEM, it was nonstop education from 8:15 a.m. to nearly 3 p.m. with no breaks. Even lunch was in transit. While the post is being prepped, check out some of the photos from the tour on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: 2016 Crystal Charity Beneficiaries Announced

There are tears and cheers being experienced through the area this evening. After a marathon meeting of the Crystal Charity Ball membership with presentations by hopeful nonprofits, the 2016 CCB beneficiaries have just been announced to share in a goal of $5,650,258.

Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson (File photo)

Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson (File photo)

The months of coordinating the monumental process of charity selection was supervised by Helen Holman.

The funds will result from the year-long fundraising efforts of the 100 CCB committee members under the leadership of Ball Chair Christie Carter and Underwriting Chair Claire Emanuelson. The 2016 CCB will take place on Saturday, December 3, at the Hilton Anatole.

Diets Will Be Darned As The Girl Scouts Cookies Season Approaches

Scrub those diet plans, but don’t feel a pang of guilt. You’re doing it for a cause…a great cause. It’s the Girl Scout cookie season. Every cookie sold will contribute to the organization that is instilling leadership qualities in young women. Thanks to the cookie program, Girl Scout Cookie Professionals learn about “goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.” Gee, sounds like an incubator for CEOs.

Girl Scout Cookie Professionals*

Girl Scout Cookie Professionals*

And just in case your brain has been in sleep mode, the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas has been making news on its very own with the creation of its STEM Center of Excellence.

Come on and admit it. You ran out of your fav cookies months ago and swore that you would really, truly stock up this year. So, why not save your pennies, make your list and prepare for the great Girl Scout cookie sales to get underway.

Six Girl Scoutt Cookies*

Six Girl Scoutt Cookies*

Just in case you don’t have a cookie professional in the household, you can check here to find your nearest fix. It’s so much easier than hunkering down in your kitchen and making your own. However, the Girl Scouts, being thoughtful and industrious, have provided recipes that are kissin’-cuzzins to the cookies like “Touch of Coconut Baklava,” “German Chocolate Ice Cream Cookie Torte,” “Thin Mint Cupcakes,” “Peanut Butter Icebox Dessert,” “Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Pie,”  and “S’mores Frosted Crispy Bars,” to name just a few.

BTW, did you know “the first-known recorded version of a ‘s’mores’ recipes can be found in an official Girl Scout publication from 1927”? It was credited to Loretta Scott Crew and was originally called “some mores.” Bless Loretta for that one.

Since it doesn’t start officially until Friday, January 15, you can sweat off the holiday fat cells in preparation for the Samoas and Thin Mint huggable ounces.

* Graphics provided by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

MySweetWishList: Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas

According to Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski,

Jennifer Bartkowski*

Jennifer Bartkowski*

“With more than 103 years as the premier leadership development organization for girls, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas today serves nearly 27,000 girls and is the largest pipeline for female leaders in our area. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience has four key program pillars – STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), financial literacy, healthy living and outdoor leadership. With the challenges facing girls today, they need Girl Scouts now more than ever before. To address those needs, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas has been leading a national transformation in the way we serve volunteers and girls in the 21st century.

“The most significant sign of this transformative programming is at the STEM Center of Excellence at Camp Whispering Cedars in southern Dallas. Today, we are in the midst of investing $13M into the property to transform it into a 90+ acre living laboratory where girls can explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs, activities and careers. It is a one-of-a-kind facility that is just 20 minutes south of downtown Dallas. Northeast Texas will see the greatest benefit as we excite and encourage more girls to pursue STEM education and careers so that our community has access to a stronger and more diverse workforce.

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

“My wish this holiday season is that our community invests in Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas so that all of our girls will have the opportunity to flourish in a 21st Century living laboratory that will open their minds to be where their hearts lead them – to be girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Come see the future in the eyes of a Girl Scout because when girls succeed, so does society.

-By Jennifer Bartkowski, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO

* Graphic and photo provided by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

Women Of Distinction Luncheon Proved Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Ain’t Your Grandma’s Girl Scouts

Instead of serving up white wine or Arnold Palmers, perhaps event planners should have been offering Benadryl and Puffs. With the temperatures feeling quite at home in the 90s. Sniffles and red noses were bad enough thanks to the seasonal allergies. But the demands of Wednesday, October 14, forced the nonprofit supporters to leave their ills at home and raise funds.

It all started off with the immediately collision of the Center for BrainHealth team holding their Institute for Brain Performance groundbreaking at the same time as the reception for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’s Women of Distinction Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom for nearly a thousand.

Gene Jones, Jenna Hager and Laura Bush

Gene Jones, Jenna Hager and Laura Bush

The choices were definitely a challenge. But former First Lady Laura Bush and daughter Jenna Bush Hager opted for the Anatole event joining Gene Jones, Nancy Dedman and Ruth Altshuler tableside.

Just a couple of tables away, Luncheon Chair Katherine Coker joined Women of Distinction Awardee Jan Rees-Jones and her husband Trevor Rees-Jones and Young Women of Distinction Awardees Devin Bray and Sruthi Tummala.

Katherine Coker, Beth McHaney and Olivia Coker

Katherine Coker, Beth McHaney and Olivia Coker

Another highlight of the luncheon for Katherine was having both her mom Beth McHaney and 10-year-old daughter Olivia Coker on hand. BTW, Katherine is a third-generation Girl Scout and Olivia is already on board to make it a four-generation Girl Scout family.

Nearby were presenting sponsor AT&T’s Holly Reed, Erle Nye, Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas COO Carri Baker Wells, Garrett Boone,  and Sally Hoglund.

Holly Reed, Erle Nye and Carri Baker Wells

Holly Reed, Erle Nye and Carri Baker Wells

Line up of scouts

Line up of scouts

Garrett Boone and Jan Rees-Jones

Garrett Boone and Jan Rees-Jones

To get the program started, girls representing various stages of the scouts lined up on the stage and with mic in hand each told how Girl Scouts had impacted them. Then emcee Clarice Tinsley introduced Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski, who let the guests know that today’s scouts are still selling cookies and camping, but they are also charging into the high-tech STEM world. Proudly she spoke of the October 16th groundbreaking of the STEM Center of Excellence at Camp Whispering Cedars in South Dallas with renderings being shown on the mammoth screens on both sides of the stage. The $13M living laboratory will allow girls “in kindergarten through 12th grade to explore science, technology, engineering and math programs, activities and careers.”

Phase One of the Center including The Rees-Jones Foundation Welcome Center and The Hoglund Foundation Girl Program Center is scheduled to open in spring 2016.

Devin Bray

Devin Bray

Sruthi Tummala

Sruthi Tummala

Then it was time for the presentation of the awards by Jennifer and Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Board of Directors Chair Kit Addleman. Both Devin and Sruthi gave incredibly articulate acceptance speeches that more than impressed Girl Scouts alumnae and the suits in the crowd.

Philanthropist Jan R-J was then presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. While she admitted that she was “truly outside my comfort zone” being at the podium, she felt her message was important to tell. When she first visited Camp Whispering Cedars, she thought, “This place needs a makeover. We knew then that we wanted to get involved. It’s not so much about how it looks on the outside, as much as it is about what goes on inside.” She continued saying that the Girl Scout model of leadership and character had convinced the R-J family to invest in the project and “We have never looked back since.”

Kit Addleman, Anna Michele Bobadilla and Jennifer Bartkowski

Kit Addleman, Anna Michele Bobadilla and Jennifer Bartkowski

Greg Miller

Greg Miller

Next up was Anna Michele Bobadilla who received the Women of Distinction Award. Unfortunately, Anna’s co-recipient Tincy Miller was unable to attend the luncheon due to being under the weather. In her place was her son Greg Miller, who ended up being the only fella on the stage during the event.

Following the awards presentation, AT&T Services Inc. General Attorney Cynthia Malone introduced keynote speaker Reshma Saujani, founder/CEO of Girls Who Code and author of “Women Who Don’t Wait In Line.”

Her selection as speaker was right on target with the day’s theme of girls embracing the world of technology. In addition to giving a tip of the hat to Devin and Sruthi, Reshma provided fuel to the flame that gals cannot only study computer sciences, they can excel.

The 39-year-old Yale Law School grad admitted that she did not know how to code and she had lost two elections for public office. But she followed that up saying her failed runs for office had resulted in her developing and growing Girls Who Code “to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.”

Since beginning in 2012, Girls Who Code has involved more than 3,860 girls in 29 states. Her goal is to raise that number to 1.15M by 2020.

Reshma Saujani

Reshma Saujani

According to Reshma, 37% of all computer science graduates were women back in 1984. Today that number is only 18% despite the fact that women in STEM jobs earn 33% more than non-STEM females.

Reshma told of two Girls Who Code [Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser], who created a game called Tampon Run. They wanted to create a game that took the stigma out of menstruation. Not just for themselves and their friends, but for young women throughout the world. In some cultures girls leave school when this natural development begins.

Reshma added that she doubted a boy would have come up with such an idea to fight the taboo.

So, how can people help girls succeed?

  • Build a sisterhood like Girls Scouts.
  • Expose girls to the opportunities available to them.
  • Provide access for role models.
  • Recognize that failure can make one more resilient.

In her efforts for “world domination” this year, she said that two keys things are required:

  • Pop culture — When the personal computer was introduced in the 80s, it was marketed almost exclusively to boys/men. Girls didn’t have that experience. A programmer myth started that only nerds were involved in high tech. As an example, she said that once “Ally McBeal,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “LA Law” appeared on TV, girls thought, “I want to do that.” So, the pop culture is necessary to attract a new generation of young women to science, technology engineering and medicine.
  • The country needs to wake up and incorporate coding in the educational system. Other countries required computer science to graduate. “Time is running out and if we as a national don’t wake up and understand how important it is to build a pipeline of talent, to build the next companies of tomorrow, to find a cure for cancer, we’re gonna miss out. Not only will our girls miss out, but we as Americans are going to miss out.

In conclusion, Reshma emphasized how very huge the STEM Center of Excellence will be for the development of girls.

Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Gather For Women Of Distinction Luncheon Host Committee Reception At Trina Turk

While The Dallas Opera lovers were sipping and shopping at NorthPark’s Mulberry for the First Sight/First Night announcement reception on Wednesday, September 2, girls of all ages were gathered at Trina Turk in Highland Park Village with the munchies being provided by Bistro 31. Here’s a report from the field:

“The Host Committee of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Women of Distinction Luncheon gathered to celebrate the upcoming event at Trina Turk. Hosted by Luncheon Chair Katherine Coker, Maggie Kipp and Suzy Gekiere, more than 70 ladies attended the party sipping champagne while conversations bubbled with excitement swapping summer vacation stories, back-to-school details and plans for the fall.

Katherine Coker and Olivia Coker*

Katherine Coker and Olivia Coker*

“The Women of Distinction Luncheon is the largest fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas and will be on Wednesday, October 14, at the Hilton Anatole. Each year it recognizes outstanding women leaders in the community. This year’s recipients include the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Jan Rees-Jones, two Women of Distinction Tincy Miller and Michele Bobadilla and two Young Women of Distinction Devin Bray and Sruthi Tummala.

“Keynote speaker Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code (girlswhocode.com), will share an inspiring message about the critical need to introduce girls to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to pursue 21st century opportunities. Girls Who Code has received a lot of press recently and has been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today.

“’This ties beautifully to our luncheon,’ said Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski, who was beaming with enthusiasm over the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Center of Excellence project in South Dallas, where girls can explore STEM programs and careers in a ‘living laboratory.’

“’We have raised more than $7 million to date and are set to finish phase one construction by the end of the year! In fact, Jan Rees-Jones was our first donor to the STEM Center of Excellence!’

Jennifer Bartkowski*

Jennifer Bartkowski*

“She said this is an important time to be a Girl Scout and that the experience is more than selling cookies. Girl Scouts help instill courage, confidence and character while teaching critical thinking and problem solving skills.

“Jennifer concluded saying, ’This event will raise more than $500,000 to invest in girls, and we hope to introduce new friends to Girl Scouts to elevate our brand and tell our story.’

“Underscoring Jennifer’s message, Katherine said she loved the Girl Scouts because it gives girls an opportunity to reach their full potential. ‘I feel there is no greater gift we can give to the next generation of young women.’

“Katherine thanked the Host Committee members for all they had done to make the event a huge success and encouraged Host Committee members to put tables together that included young girls.

“’This year we are offering a special youth ticket so be sure to bring your daughter’s and their friends so they too can hear Reshma Saujani’s inspiring message!’

“In fact, Katherine’s daughter and Girl Scout Olivia Coker attended the party with nearly a dozen of her fifth-grade girlfriends as they also geared up for the event. The energy in the room was palpable as moms made plans for buying tables together.

Lynn McBee, Heather Randall and Lisa Singleton*

Lynn McBee, Heather Randall and Lisa Singleton*

Beth McHaney and Stephanie Stollenwerck*

Beth McHaney and Stephanie Stollenwerck*

David and Sara Martineau*

David and Sara Martineau*

“A snapshot of the gathering included former Woman of Distinction Lynn McBee stopping by to support one of her favorite causes… Girl Scout Audit Committee Member and AT&T executive Michelle Thomas joining the party to represent the presenting sponsor, AT&T… Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Board member Tegwin Pulley attending…Many women were talking about the beginning of football season. Heather Randall was headed to the UT/Notre Dame game…. Others in the crowd included Katherine’s mom Beth McHaney, Tiffany Divis, Jennifer Clark, Sara and David Martineau, Anne Besser, Kim Miller, Lisa Singleton, Elizabeth Gambrell, Sara Lee Gardner and Stephanie Stollenwerck.

“As a special treat Trina Turk generously gave 20 percent of all sales back to the Girl Scouts and Laura Downing, Ann Dyer, Jessie O’Brien, Ashley Purnell and many others walked away with shopping bags. Katherine and Maggie shopped early so they could sport Trina’s new fall fashions at the party.”

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Women Of Distinction Luncheon

According to Women Of Distinction Chair Katherine Coker,

Katherine Coker (File photo)

Katherine Coker (File photo)

“As the chair of the annual Women of Distinction Luncheon, I am so honored to be a part of an amazing organization that recognizes outstanding women leaders in our community who are strong trailblazers and great role models for our next generation of young girls.

“Presented by AT&T, the luncheon will be held on Wednesday, October 14, at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Our keynote speaker, Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, is helping to lead girls into the future through STEM education that will prepare them for the 21st century. She has been recognized in Forbes’ Most Powerful Women Changing the World and the Wall Street Journal’s Innovator of the Year.

Jan Rees-Jones (File photo)

Jan Rees-Jones (File photo)

“Additionally, we are honoring three exceptional women and two dedicated Girl Scouts. Jan Rees-Jones of the Rees-Jones Foundation will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her devotion to the local community. The impact Jan Rees-Jones has had on our community is immeasurable. From providing opportunities to disadvantaged children, helping ensure the safety and care of animals as an honorary member of the SPCA of Texas Board of Directors to serving on the Advisory Council of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health, Jan’s work personifies positive change.

Tincy Miller (File photo)

Tincy Miller (File photo)

“We will also honor two community leaders, Michele Bobadilla, a dynamic educator and mentor and Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, a positive influence for providing quality education to children all over Dallas. Michele Bobadilla, has created many opportunities for others to continue their dreams and build a better community. Bobadilla is involved in education initiatives, civic boards and volunteer organizations. With more than 35 years of serving as Board of Director for different boards, she also established the Society of 100 Endowed Scholars’ Fund to continue the “educational legacy” for students pursuing degrees.

“Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, another Woman of Distinction honoree, has made it her mission to provide quality education to students through “better curricula” for children with learning disabilities and ensuring that textbooks maintain their historical and factual accuracy. Miller dedicated 26 years to the State Board of Education, District 12 and acted as Chair of the Board from 2003-2007.

“Funds raised will go directly to impact the lives of girls through four program areas: financial literacy, healthy living, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and outdoor leadership.

“As the the premiere leadership organization for girls and the largest pipeline for female leadership, Girl Scouts is definitely leading the way for future woman leaders of tomorrow.

“If you would like to join us on October 14, please contact Aisha McClendon at 972.349.2480.”

JUST IN: Devin Bray And Sruthi Tummala To Be Honored As Young Women Of The Year At Women Of Distinction Luncheon

And the good news keeps rolling in. At the annual Women of Distinction Luncheon benefiting the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, one of the highlights is the honoring of two current girl scouts as the Young Women of the Year.

Drum roll, please.

Devin Bray*

Devin Bray*

Sruthi Tummala*

Sruthi Tummala*

This year’s honorees will be Denton Guyer High senior Devin Bray and Ursuline Academy in Dallas senior Sruthi Tummala.

According to Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski, “Devin and Sruthi are two extraordinary young women who have made significant impacts on their communities. It is remarkable to experience the level maturity, leadership and dedication these young ladies have shown through their extensive community involvement and academic success. They are exemplary Girl Scouts who have put into practice the courage, confidence and character we strive for and definitely have made the world a better place.”

Here’s the rundown on the impressive twosome:

  • Devin has been a Girl Scout in Troop 317 since kindergarten. Her Girl Scout adventures include camping experiences, lots of cookie booths, numerous service projects, and even a trip to the Birthplace of Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia, during the Girl Scout Centennial in 2012. Along with growing up as a Girl Scout, Devin spent 12 years as a competitive gymnast and competed in livestock shows where she showed pigs and lambs. Devin lives in Corinth, Texas with her parents, Don and Denise, and her younger sister Dixen, who is also a sister in Girl Scouting. Devin plans to major in chemistry in college with hopes of becoming a hospital pharmacist after professional school.
  • Sruthi has been a Juliette Girl Scout member since 2012. She earned her Girl Scout Gold Award which involved exciting fourth graders about math and science; and also recently received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her outstanding commitment to community service. Sruthi is the president and founder of the National Science Honor Society and Entrepreneurship Club at Ursuline has been published in several anthologies and online magazines for her poetry and short story works. Sruthi is a recognized equestrian and is a 2015 Team National Finalist for the Interscholastic Equestrian Association. She was awarded “best lawyer” in the 2015 Mock Trial Regional Competition.

Devin and Sruthi will join Jan Rees-Jones, Anna Michele Bobadilla and Tincy Miller on stage receiving the accolades. The luncheon that is being chaired by Katherine Coker will take place at the Hilton Anatole on Wednesday, October 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. CEO of Girls Who Code Reshma Saujani will be the keynote speaker.

Tickets start at $175. And for the gents, they’re welcome to join in the celebration of women of all ages.

* Photos provided by the Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas

 

2015 Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas’ Women Of Distinction Luncheon Honorees And Keynote Speaker Revealed

Despite vacationing and the rising temperatures, the news just keeps rolling in. The 2015 Women of Distinction Chair/third generation Girl Scout Katherine Coker just sent word about the annual Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas fundraiser luncheon. Oh, boy…or, rather, “Oh, girl!”

Katherine Coker*

Katherine Coker*

First let’s get the date and location down, so you can put it on your calendar. The 2015 Women of Distinction Luncheon will be Wednesday, October 14, at the Hilton Anatole and will be sponsored by AT&T.

Now that you’ve got it down, pat yourself on the back because here’s what’s on hand. Three women will be honored and each is a standout.

The luncheon is the perfect venue to salute female “leaders and Girl Scouts for their service to the community.”

Jan Rees-Jones (File photo)

Jan Rees-Jones (File photo)

Michele Bobadilla*

Michele Bobadilla*

Tincy Miller (File photo)

Tincy Miller (File photo)

Okay you’ve been patient, now for the roll call of the honorees — Philanthropist Jan Rees-Jones will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for her community leadership and service to others. Being recognized as the Women of Distinction will be Anna Michele Bobadilla and Tincy Miller for their “civic involvement and positive impact on the community.”

According to Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski, “Jan, Michele and Tincy are local women who are model leaders that have made a huge impact on our community through their passion and commitment to making a difference. At Girl Scouts, we encourage every girl to be part of the positive change in their local communities. These women are exceptional leaders and role models that demonstrate firsthand how to let inspiration be the driving force for making the world a better place.”

Reshma Saujani*

Reshma Saujani*

As for the keynote speaker, she will be founder/CEO of Girls Who Code Reshma Saujani. Her organization “inspires and equips girls with computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.”

It’s so perfect that Reshma will be featured, since the funds “raised during the luncheon help provide leadership programming to more than 26,600 girls in Northeast Texas in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), financial literacy, healthy living, and outdoor leadership.”

Those Girls Scouts have come a long way since the early days and they plan to go a lot further in the world of the 21st century.

If you need a refresher course on Jan, Michele, Tincy, Reshma and/or Katherine, follow the jump. You just may be surprised what you didn’t know about these “women of distinction.”

Now that you’ve got the date on the calendar, get your tickets/sponsorships pronto.

* Photos provided by Girl Scouts of 
Northeast Texas

[Read more…]

2015 Diet Plans Will Have To Make Room For Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Cookies

Girl Scout Cookies*

Girl Scout Cookies*

Whoa! Before putting together diet plans of lemon water and glorified grass, take into account that the Girl Scouts cookies are in ovens being baked. On Friday, January 16, the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas will start selling Somoas®, Thin Mints, Tagalongs and other familiar favorites.

They’ve even added two cookies — Rah-Rah Raisins and Toffee-Tastics!

Girl Scouts Cookie Time*

Girl Scouts Cookie Time*

It won’t be hard to find the girls in green. They’ll be everywhere including Tom Thumb, Sam’s Club, Lowe’s and Kroger.

So, make some time-out time for your weight-loss plan to support the girls with the cookies.

* Photos courtesy of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Deliver With Women Of (All Ages) Distinction, While Another Sweetheart Disappointed Elsewhere

There you go! It’s those times where you try to multi-task and you totally mess up. That’s how Wednesday, November 19th started off. Drat!

Alison Levine and Gene Jones

Alison Levine and Gene Jones

The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’s “Women of Distinction” luncheon was a name-popping affair. Lifetime Achievement Awardee Gene Jones looked more spectacular than ever with white shredded-edge cuffs and collar. Such a fashion setter, the brunette showed off a couple of gams in black opaque stockings. Whoa! Those legs were joined by a bunch of others in black. Just shows that when the temperatures drop down, the stockings pop up on the scene.

Ashlee Kleinert and Nancy Ann Hunt

Ashlee Kleinert and Nancy Ann Hunt

Woman of Distinction honoree Nancy Ann Hunt was joined by dotter Ashlee Kleinert, but she soon found herself in conversation with the Dallas Women’s Foundation’s Ros Dawson and keynote speaker Allison Levine.

Both Gene and Nancy were pleased to see the upcoming generation of Girl Scouts represented by the 2015 Young Women of Distinction Hockaday senior Meredith Burke and The School for the Talented and Gift at Townview Center senior Cameron Wicks.

Meredith Burke

Meredith Burke

Cameron Wicks

Cameron Wicks

Over at a table Ruth Altshuler was trying to keep a low profile, but forget it. She soon found herself chatting with young Girl Scouts, Bobby Lyle and Luncheon Chair Elizabeth Gambrell.

Katy Menges was your typical proud mama bear. Her daughter Lyric Menges was on target for her Girl Scout goals, just like her mom.

Couldn’t stay for the luncheon because of another one taking place at the Winspear. But due to “restrictions” that one got scratched for coverage. It seems that the headliner‘s handlers put a kibosh on photos during the grip-and-grin come together. Too bad. She didn’t look that bad from afar.

Boo-hoo! Should have stayed at the Girl Scouts. Evidently Alison was a memory maker and user-friendly by one and all.

BTW, if you saw all that brouhaha about the Girl Scouts going digital in selling cookies, relax. The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas are going to take a pass on participating in the hi-tech program this year. According to sources, they “will evaluate phase one of the Digital Cookie platform at the end of the current cookie season and make a decision about its implementation in our council for the 2015-2016 season.”

So, the traditional booths and direct door-to-door sales will continue for the upcoming season that starts January 15, 2015, with the addition of new flavors Rah-Rah Raisins and gluten-free Toffee-tastic.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Women Of Distinction Luncheon

According to the Women of Distinction Luncheon Chair Elizabeth Gambrell,

Elizabeth Gambrell*

Elizabeth Gambrell*

“I have the honor of chairing the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Women of Distinction Luncheon this fall. Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas will honor two deserving women and two exceptional Girl Scouts. Gene Jones, member of the Board of Directors for the AT&T Center for Performing Arts and the Texas Cultural Trust, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for her lifelong pursuit of helping others. Nancy Ann Hunt, former Girl Scout and teacher, will receive the Woman of Distinction Award.

“Presented by AT&T, the luncheon will be held on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Keynote speaker will be Alison Levine, team captain of the first American women’s Everest expedition and author of the New York Times best-seller, On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership.

“The Women of Distinction Luncheon recognizes outstanding women leaders and Girl Scouts for their service to the community. Funds raised during the luncheon support wow-worthy activities for nearly 33,000 North Texas girls in four Girl Scout program areas: financial literacy, healthy living, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and outdoor leadership.

Gene Jones*

Gene Jones*

“Lifetime Achievement recipient Gene Jones has had a tremendous impact on the North Texas community. She guided the Jones Family into involvement with The Salvation Army both locally and nationally, has been a dedicated supporter of the arts through Board membership and was a driving force behind the creation of the Cowboys Art Collection at AT&T Stadium. Her track record of community involvement is extensive, including leadership and support roles for Southern Methodist University, the George W. Bush Institute Woman’s Initiative, Children’s Medical Center and Sweetheart Ball. She is mother to three, grandmother to nine, and wife to JerryJones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys.

Nancy Ann Hunt (File photo)

Nancy Ann Hunt (File photo)

“The 2014 Woman of Distinction recipient, Nancy Ann Hunt, is a former Girl Scout who credits the organization for having a positive impact on her life. She attended college at Southern Methodist University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Hunt taught second and fourth grade science and math at Dallas Country Day School, served as president of three PTA’s in the Richardson Independent School District, and coached girls soccer for six seasons. Hunt is an active member of the United Methodist Church and Boy Scouts of America, and is a current Trustee for the Simmons School of Education at Southern Methodist University. She’s a proud mother of five and grandmother of nine.

Alison Levine*

Alison Levine*

“This year’s keynote speaker, Alison Levine, captures the essence of Girl Scouts’ outdoor leadership and adventure. She served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, climbed the highest peak on each continent, skied to both the North and South Poles and made history in 2008 as the first American to complete a 600-mile traverse from West Antarctica to the South Pole. Additionally, she worked in corporations for more than two decades, founded the non-profit Climb High Foundation and currently works as an adjunct instructor and strategic advisor at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“For more information about becoming a sponsor, purchasing tickets or a table at the event, please contact Brianna Morris at 972.349.2438.”

* Photos provided by the Girl 
Scouts of Northeast Texas

Jennifer Bartkowski Appointed Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas CEO

It’s a rainy, gray day. Ain’t it great! Isn’t it wonderful to smell the water falling from the sky? So, let’s continue to the splashing of raindrops with more good news.

Jennifer Bartkowski*

Jennifer Bartkowski*

Starting Monday, the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas will have a new CEO with a very familiar face. Executive VP/COO Jennifer Bartkowski has been named to success Colleen Walker as CEO.

According to GSNTX Chair of the Board of Directors Millie Bradley, “Jennifer has been instrumental in elevating Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas into a high-capacity, high-performing council, and the timing is absolutely right for her to take the helm. We are extremely grateful to Colleen for her leadership and transformative work over the past seven years, developing a Girl Scout Council recognized for its strengths in preparing girls for leadership in the 21st century. And, as an added bonus, the Girl Scouts and the Perot Museum have enjoyed a longstanding partnership, which will continue to deepen and mature for both organizations.”

A graduate of Texas A&M University, where she also earned her Master of Public Administration, Jennifer had previously worked with the American Lung Association of Texas, United Way of Austin and Charitygift. Before joining the GSNTX, she served as Senior VP of Workplace Campaigns for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

* Photo provided by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

Round Robin April 24: Camp Bette Perot Aquatic Center, Dallas Women’s Foundation Dinner And Soup’sOn! Check Presentation

The gals were busy, busy Thursday, April 24. No, they were white gloving it and sipping tea and munching cucumber sandwiches . . . not by a long shot. And then there was the party-hearty crowd celebrating the opening day of the John Wayne Film Festival at Gilley’s with Pat Green on stage. Yahoo, baby!

Camp Bette Perot Aquatic Center Groundbreaking

It’s been a long time in the planning, but the best things don’t happen overnight. As Colleen Walker concludes her final days as CEO of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, she helped GSNETX CFO Debbie Roling and the project architects officially break ground for the Camp Bette Perot Aquatic Center in Anderson County.

Colleen Walker and Debbie Roling*

Colleen Walker and Debbie Roling*

While the pool will be finished just in time for June activities, the entire aquatic center won’t be finished until September.

Thanks to the Perot Foundation’s gift of $1.2M in 2012, the center is “aimed at continuing the transformation of a fully comprehensive camp.”

Leadership Forum and Award Dinner

Presented by AT&T, the annual Dallas Women’s Foundation celebrated the 2014 Maura Women Helping Women Award and Young Leader recipients at its Leadership Forum and Award Dinner. Held in the Trinity Ballroom of the Omni Dallas Hotel, the Maura Awards were bestowed on Debbie Dudley Branson, Lauren Embry, Helen Holman, Retta Miller and Gauthami Vemula.

The Young Leader Award, that was created just last year, was awarded to Dr. Myiesha Taylor and Brittany Merrill Underwood.

The evening’s keynote speaker was Ping Fu, who rose to fame for software programming and was named Inc. Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year. As part of the initial NCSA Mosaic team that became Netscape, she went on to help launch Geomagic, a company that is involved with everything from personalizing prosthetic limbs to repairing NASA spaceships.

Soup’s On! Check Presentation

January and its chilly weather requiring simmering soup seems like an age ago. Since the Soup’s On! luncheon at the Omni with the knock-out speaker Liz Murray, the bean counters have been burning up their abacuses.

Bruce Buchanan, Tonya Meier, Gail Davis and Sarah Leverett Charbonnet**

Bruce Buchanan, Tonya Meier, Gail Davis and Sarah Leverett Charbonnet**

It was well-worth the wait. A check for $340,000 was presented to The Stewpot Alliance’s Rev. Dr. Bruce Buchanan and Alliance President Tonya Meier and another one for $60,000 was given to the Encore Project.

The handovers took place at Susie Simon’s home with Luncheon Co-Chairs Gail Davis and Sarah Leverett Charbonnet sporting the biggest smiles in the room.

Plans are already underway for the 2015 luncheon that will be co-chaired by Anne Besser and Jackie Moore. Plan on soup at the Omni on Friday, January 30.

* Photo provided by Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas
** Photo provided by Soup's On! luncheon committee

Quickie: Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Colleen Walker To Head Up Perot Museum Of Nature And Science

Colleen Walker (File photo)

Colleen Walker (File photo)

Colleen Walker, who has been CEO of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, will be leaving the organization at the end of May.

Her new job?

No, she’s not returning to Neiman’s as a buyer. She’ll be CEO of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. That’s the position that has been held by Nicole Small, who is now president of the Lyda Hill Foundation.

Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Are Ramping Up To “Make Someone Feel Important” With Cookies

Like that nightmare of a blind date that your former best friend set you up on, diets can be a bore. Sure, both sounded great at first, but then reality set in.

We just knew that you needed a reason to be decadent and drop the New Year’s diet plan, so is your get-out-of-jail opportunity — Girl Scout Cookie Time!

On Friday, January 10, the cookies will be rolling in your direction. The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas will “sell, deliver and collect money” with cookies.

Yes, it is “an integral part of the Girls Scouts’ Business and Economic Literacy initiative for girls in grades K-12,” but let’s be honest. Like as honest as your scales are when you step on them — nobody needs to know but you why you bought a case of cookies. It’s the cookie factor of life. Yummy, hit-the right-taste bud, OMG delish factor that hits at killer times during the day.

Here’s the game plan:

  • Friday, January 10 — Door-to-door sales begin
  • Friday, January 17 — Booth sales begin
Mary Kay Entrepreneur patch*

Mary Kay Entrepreneur patch*

Ah, but there’s a new cookie player this year — Mary Kay! Adorable pink Mary Kay Entrepreneur patches will be earned by Girl Scout troops who have achieved “a goal of at least 50 packages during the 2014 Cookie Program.”

It seems only right since Mary Kay believed — “You should pretend everyone that you encounter has a sign around their neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ How do you think you customers want to be treated?’”

Ah, do you heard the sound of Samoas going and people feeling important? Then the Girl Scouts have just made another sale.

* Graphic provided by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas