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LRPPC Member Biographies

In November 2009, the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Board of Directors complied with a Girl Scouts of the USA mandate, relevant for all recently realigned councils, and embarked upon a strategic review of all its camp properties in order to make recommendations about how those properties would support the Girl Scout Mission and the council’s strategic visions for the future.

Following the direction of other Girl Scout councils across the country and recommendations from Girl Scouts of the USA, the board considered and ultimately decided not to retain a paid consultant . Instead the board prudently and deliberately reached out to our membership to ask for committee volunteers who were passionate about Girl Scouting as a movement and about the role that properties play in supporting the overall Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

The appointed committee (including geographically representative volunteers with Girl Scout experience, Girl Scout board members and other volunteers with relevant professional skills and strong ties to Girl Scouting) dedicated hundreds of volunteer hours each over the course of nearly two years to the process involved in serving on the committee.

The volunteer members of the committee worked diligently to review and discuss thousands of pages of documents and reports and visit the properties in person, with some even camping on site at the properties under review. None of the volunteers sought, nor were paid, any monies for their service to the committee and Girl Scouts. Instead, these volunteers, to whom the board and Girl Scout membership is extremely grateful, even paid for their own parking and transportation costs incurred getting to the meetings and for the miles they drove to visit each of the council properties in person. They did so with professional and personal independence and passion.

It is with great appreciation that the council acknowledge the incredible and generous volunteer service of the following people who were involved as members of the Long-Range Property Planning Committee:

Chair: Karen P. Layng is a shareholder in the Chicago-based law firm of Vedder Price P.C., where she served as the chair of its 53-person Litigation Practice Area and the Construction Law Group. She serves on the firm’s Board of Directors and chairs the Compensation Committee and was the first woman president of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association. Karen first became involved in Girl Scouting in this council's geography more than 40 years ago, having grown up in Berwyn and Lombard.  Indeed, she camped for the first of countless times, as a Girl Scout Brownie at Camp Wild Rose.  As a mother of three children, all of whom are involved in either Girl Scouting or Boy Scouting, Karen is active in her boys' troops and has served as her daughter's past and current troop leader for twelve years (her daughter, a Silver Awardee, is still a very active Girl Scout even as a junior in high school). Karen, along with the troop's other two leaders, took all 14 of their Girl Scouts to the WAGGGS World Center in London last year after the girls planned and achieved their financial goals.  A graduate twice over from the University of Illinois, Karen received her undergraduate degree in International Economics in 1984 and her law degree in 1987.

Levita Anderson of Chicago, Illinois, is retired school teacher. Previously, Levita worked in the Prairie-Hills Elementary School District for 35 years as a science teacher. Levita has been involved with Girl Scouts for 28 years. She earned her bachelor of science from Northern Illinois University, a master of arts from Northwestern University and a master of arts from DePaul University.

Toiria Baker of Chicago, Illinois, is an independent contractor and was formerly an assistant vice president at TCF National Bank. Toiria has experience in the banking, community relations and education fields. She earned her A.A. from the International Academy of Merchandise and Design.

Bryan Barus of Lisle, Illinois, is president of Suburban Real Estate Services, Inc. (SRESI). Bryan holds a BA in Marketing and Advertising from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. Professionally, Bryan is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Illinois, a Certified Commercial Member (CCIM), an IREM Certified Property Manager (CPM), and belongs to the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of Realtors (NICAR).

Laura Distler of Hinsdale, Illinois, is president of Asset Relief Management, and is the development coordinator for Inland Real Estate. She is an experienced property management and communications professional. Laura earned her bachelor’s in Finance and Marketing from the University of Denver.

Deborah Dodt of St. Anne, Illinois is the former director of Senior Services of Catholic Charities, in Kankakee, IL. She currently volunteers as the Illinois state advocate for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. Deborah has served as a master trainer with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, and formerly with Girl Scouts of Trailways Council, for the past 13 years. Deborah has earned her both a bachelor and master of arts.

Carrie Durkin is Partner in the law firm of Litchfield Cavo, LLP in Chicago, Illinois. Carrie earned her Juris Doctorate from Chicago-Kent College of Law and her Bachelor’s Degree from Colby College. She was a past board member of the Girl Scouts Illinois Crossroads Council, and she previously held officer positions with predecessor councils. Carrie is the founder of The Fairway Network, a professional women’s golf network.

Ann McAloon is Senior Vice President and Product Delivery Manager for Bank of America. Ann joined Bank of America (formerly LaSalle Bank) in 2003, and has more than 25 years of corporate banking experience. Ann received her Master’s of Business Administration degree in Finance from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University. Ann joined the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana two years ago to volunteer her time to an organization dedicated to building future women leaders. With support from her employer, Bank of America, Ann hopes to help the council expand its financial literacy programs for girls.

Kevin McDonnell of Burr Ridge has more than 30 years experience in finance, international business and general management. Kevin has worked at companies such as Kenny Construction, Heidrick & Struggles International, Hewitt Associates and Sara Lee. Kevin earned his MBA from Northwestern University with concentrations in Business Policy, Marketing, International Business and Finance. He earned his B.S. in Accountancy from the University of Illinois. Kevin grew up on Chicago's South Side where he was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, and continues his involvement as a volunteer for the Chicago Area Council of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

Tresa Radermacher of Dyer, Indiana, is a substitute teacher for the Town of Munster in Indiana. She also has four years of experience with the American Red Cross of Northwest Indiana. Formerly, she was director of program at the Girl Scouts of Calumet Council, as well as supervisor of caretakers at Camp Apple Acres. She attended Murray State University, as well as Purdue University Calumet. Tresa has been involved in Girl Scouts for 32 years, begining in childhood. She volunteers in Girl Scouting as a service unit manager, council trainer, American Red Cross trainer, and member of numerous committees. Her service to Girl Scouting for the past three decades has impacted the lives of thousands of girls and adults.

Sara Sullins of Evanston, Illinois, has worked for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois for more than 26 years, most recently as a traffic consultant. Prior to that, she was a graphic artist for Talman Home Federal Savings. Sara has been a Girl Scout adult volunteer for more than 16 years. She has served as a troop leader, troop organizer, VISTA manager, member of several membership and training committees, and most recently, an outdoor trainer. During her childhood, Sara was an active Girl Scout, and her two daughters were also involved in Girl Scouts. She fondly remembers her summers at resident camp in Alabama and New Mexico, and being a 19 year-old counselor at a Girl Scout Roundup, Follow the Star, in Cleburne, Texas in 1973. Sara earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at Austin.

Monica Weed is Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary for Navigant Consulting. Prior to joining Navigant Consulting, she served as Associate General Counsel for Baxter Healthcare Corporation. She previously served on the Girl Scouts of Chicago board of directors. Monica earned her BA, MBA and JD from Northwestern University.

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