If there was a competition for the “Most Enthusiastic CEO,” Jennifer Wilcox would be a finalist for sure. Though still new to the job of Chief Executive Officer (she was hired in late July), Jennifer is both leader and cheerleader for Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont, an organization that stretches across 40 counties in North Carolina, and serves nearly 7,000 Girl Scouts. Jennifer comes by her enthusiasm for Girl Scouts honestly, as she told me during a recent segment of “Triad Today.”
JL: You might be new to Girl Scouts in this area, but you’re not new to Girl Scouts.
JW: That’s right. I grew up in southern Indiana, and I was a Girl Scout in Jeffersonville, which is right across the river from Louisville, Kentucky. I was a Girl Scout Brownie and Junior, and I stayed in Girl Scouts until I got to middle school.
After graduating from the University of Evansville, and obtaining a Masters from Webster University, Jennifer served as the Associate Economic Development director for her hometown of Jeffersonville, then started her own non-profit agency to promote community development throughout Indiana and Kentucky. Before long, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana came calling and hired Jennifer as Chief Operating Officer. Most recently she served as Senior Director of National Events at Girl Scouts of the USA, where she created the first-ever virtual National Council Session during the 2020 pandemic.
JL: You had great success at the national level, so what attracted you to this job?
JW: The attraction to come to North Carolina and to be a part of the Peaks to Piedmont team was really about coming home. I had a fantastic opportunity with Girl Scouts USA and got to see the global reach that we have, but I had a longing to get back to the basics of our organization, and back to the basics of our mission.
JL: I’ve learned over the years that a big part of that mission is to empower girls, so how would you describe the value of being a Girl Scout?
JW: There are so many wonderful things that girls get to take away from Girl Scouts. You get to make new friends, and you get to have fun. You also have fantastic role models and mentoring. Above all, Girl Scouts is a safe space that gives girls an opportunity to try new things that they may never have otherwise tried, and you have leaders around you, and sisters around you to support you in that space.
JL: You mentioned leaders and role models. How many adult volunteers do you have now, and do you need more?
JW: We have 4,000 volunteers employed across the forty counties, but we still need more. In fact, we’re in the middle of our recruitment season, and we’re looking for both girls and adult members, so this is the perfect time to become a Girl Scout.
To learn more about becoming a Girl Scout or an adult volunteer, visit www.girlscoutsp2p.org or call 1-800 672-2148.