Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana operates under the leadership of a volunteer board of directors, a chief executive officer (CEO), and a team of professional staff with expertise in a variety of specific fields who all work together in myriad ways to ensure that girls benefit from their Girl Scout experiences.
CEO Retirement Announcement
Maria Wynne has announced her retirement as chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, effective Dec. 31, 2013.
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Meet the CEO
Maria Wynne, CEO
Maria Wynne is Chief Executive Officer for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, the largest Girl Scout council in the world. The council brings leadership development opportunities to more than 84,000 girls ages 5-17 and 24,000 volunteers across six Illinois counties and four Indiana counties.
As CEO, Ms. Wynne is focused on bringing attention to the need to invest in girls by funding experiences that prepare girls for their 21st Century roles as global citizens and leaders. Ms. Wynne was appointed in October 2008 to lead an unprecedented merger of seven independent Girl Scout corporations into one. In four short years, she has led a restructuring of the organization that has resulted in its current positive financial position and upward trends in innovation, support and volunteer and girl engagement.
Prior to joining the Girl Scouts, Ms. Wynne was an executive leading national sales and marketing organizations as Vice President and as General Manager for America’s leading technology brands, Microsoft and Xerox, Ameritech (now AT&T), and Moore Corporation (now RR Donnelley). Her successes include accomplishments in executive leadership, P&L growth and innovation in technology, sales, marketing, business development and operations management.
Under Ms. Wynne’s leadership, the Girl Scout organization was awarded the inaugural ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award in 2010 and received awards for program innovation from the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago as well as the Community Memorial Foundation Achievement Award. In 2012, the Girl Scouts were awarded a Golden Trumpet Award by the Publicity Club of Chicago for “Reality Check: Girls Get Real” and their offices were featured in Crain’s 2012 Coolest Offices in Chicago.
Ms. Wynne was named Chicago Executive of the Year 2011 by the Public Relations Society of America and as one of the “100 Women Making a Difference” by Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine in July 2011. In October 2012 she received Outstanding Alumni distinction by her alma mater, North Central College. Most recently, Ms. Wynne was highlighted as one of the "100 Women of Influcence" by Today's Chicago Woman Magazine in July 2013.
As a community leader, Ms. Wynne serves on the board of the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, the Board of Trustees of North Central College, the Taproot Foundation, the Donors Forum, and is an advisory board member for the Chicago Innovation Awards. She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, The Chicago Network, and The Chicago Club.
Ms. Wynne earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, and her Master of Business Administration from Northern Illinois University. She continued her executive development at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, the Harvard Business School and the Center for Creative Leadership.
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Senior Leadership Team
Patty Fay, Vice President of Human Resources and Administration
Patty is responsible for human resources and business services throughout the council. Patty has experience in human resources with a variety of for profit companies. These include several positions at Wrigley, regional director of human resources at Associated Bank, human resources manager at Sandoz Agro, and human resources officer at Lake Shore National Bank. Patty received her BS degree from Miami University, she is also a Certified Compensation Professional, and a member of the Society of Human Resource Management. In her free time, Patty volunteers with her daughter’s Girl Scout troop and has spent many a cold weekend helping her daughter build money management and goal-setting skills by selling Girl Scout cookies.
Jennifer Fredericks, Vice President of Product Program and Retail Operations
As vice president of product program and retail operations, Jennifer ensures that the five skills of goal setting, decision making, people skills, money management and business ethics are infused throughout the largest girl-led business program in the world, the Girl Scout Cookie program. Leaving a successful career with JPMorgan Chase’s Worldwide Security Services and her role as a board member for the Girl Scouts, Jennifer joined the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana as a staff member following the merger of seven councils into the current council. Jennifer serves as president of the Lake Area United Way Executive Council, is a member of Athena International, the Northwest Indiana Symphony Women’s Association, Leadership Northwest Indiana, member of the board of the Miller Beach Arts and Creative District, Lakeshore Public Television’s Community Advisory board and the Chicago Executive Club. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science degree at Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Indiana, and her Master of Business Administration at Purdue University.
Kathryn Mlsna, Chief Strategy, Legal and Governance Officer
Kathryn’s leadership in the areas of strategy development, legal services, board governance, and council operations continues to contribute to the work of the council to deliver the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Prior to this, Kathryn was a longtime managing counsel in the Global Legal Department of McDonald’s Corporation focusing on marketing, advertising, communications and government relations. Kathryn’s extensive not-for-profit experience includes service on the board of directors of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana and Girl Scouts of Prairie Winds, as well as the board of trustees for Northwestern University, the board of directors of the Northwestern Alumni Association (currently its president-elect) and the Association of Corporate Counsel/Chicago Chapter, as well as past service as president/chair of the Promotion Marketing Association. Kathryn is the author of, or has been profiled and quoted in, a number of management and governance books and articles, and holds a B.A. and J.D. from Northwestern University, and is a frequent speaker. Kathryn credits her many years as a Girl Scout for her business skills and can-do attitude.
Janet Neubert, Chief Operating Officer
Janet joined the Girl Scouts in 2010 as vice president of human resources and organization effectiveness. She transitioned into her current role in July 2012. Immediately prior to joining the Girl Scout organization, she worked for Nicor, Inc. where she performed a variety of human resources management roles for Nicor Gas and other subsidiaries. Other experience includes consulting for Flex Execs Management Solutions and serving as director for North American Operations at Armature, Inc. Janet has been involved with Girl Scouts since she was a Brownie. She was very active within the Prairie Winds Council and was a camp counselor and assistant director at Camp Greene Wood. She chaired the Nominating Committee for the legacy DuPage County council, responsible for recruiting board members, and also had a seat as a board member. During our council realignment process Janet served on the Human Resources Subcommittee helping to lay the HR foundation for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Janet has a Masters of Human Resources Management from Keller Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell College. She is also a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources, and a Master Trainer for the Girl Scouts.
Bryn Reese, Chief Development Officer
Bryn is responsible for strategic and tactic oversight and implementation of the council's integrated fundraising and marketing initiatives. She has an extensive track record in major gifts, corporate and foundation support, government grants and special events. Prior to joining the Girl Scouts, she held positions as senior vice president, Chicago Botanic Garden; executive vice president, Metropolitan Family Services; vice president for external affairs, Chicago Council on Foreign Relations; and vice president for external affairs, Chicago Academy of Sciences. Bryn earned her Bachelor of Science in Merchandising at the University of Arizona and her Master of Science in Rehabilitation Administration at DePaul University.
Board of Directors
Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is governed by a volunteer board of directors composed of women and men who believe in the value of Girl Scouting and the program's ability to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.
Board members use their professional expertise and personal perspectives to make decisions that provide leadership for the council and establish its policies and bylaws. These governance volunteers represent our membership and reflect its diversity, including geographic, racial/ethnic, gender, age and socio-economic. Board members are elected by the full Delegate Assembly.
President – Karen Layng, Scheck Industries
First Vice President - Maryann Waryjas, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation
Second Vice President - Monica Weed, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Third Vice President - Christine McGrath, Mondelēz International, Inc.
Secretary - Ann McAloon, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Treasurer – Kathy Scherer, Deloitte Tax LLP
Chief Executive Officer – Maria Wynne
Josephine (Jodi) Bahl, Ernst & Young LLP
Cheryl K. Beebe, Ingredion
Amy Best, Exelon Corporation
Phyllis Cochran, Navistar Financial
Sidney Dillard, Loop Capital Markets
James Dimitriou, Tatum
Dr. Karen Eng, CSMI
Jolanta Gal, Gartner Executive Programs
Janet Gibbs, Feeding America
Maureen Jamrock, Retired
Maryann McNally, Illinois Tool Works, Inc.
Tamara Meyer, Health Care Service Corporation
Carla Michelotti, Leo Burnett Worldwide
Meg Murray, The Hillshire Brands Company
Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, Nielsen
Marlena Peleo-Lazar, McDonald's Corporation
Jeanne Reynolds, Fifth Third Bank
Scott Saunders, HAVI Global Solutions
Karen Schillings, Retired
Violet Sistovaris, NiSource
Eileen Sweeney, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Genevieve Thiers, Contact Karma
Girl Representatives to the Board