MT. VERNON – Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) held its 9th Annual Meeting on April 7 at the Doubletree Hilton in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. During the meeting, approximately 300 Girl Scout members (adults and girls) from throughout Southern Illinois elected Board of Director members and received a “State of the Council” report from Linda Manley, GSSI Board of Director Chair (outgoing), and Loretta Graham, GSSI Chief Executive Officer.

In addition, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois recognized top Girl Scout volunteers which are the heart of Girl Scouting. GSSI’s nearly 4,550 Girl Scout volunteers play an important role in providing leadership programming and opportunities for over 11,300 girls in Southern Illinois. The theme for this year’s GSSI 8th Annual Meeting was A G.I.R.L Can Do Anything.

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“Girl Scouting in Southern Illinois is strong and growing stronger but we couldn’t provide outstanding programs and services to our girls without our dedicated Board of Directors,” said Loretta Graham, CEO. “These dedicated and talented professionals help GSSI achieve its mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place,” Graham added.

Following are GSSI Board of Director members elected at the 9th Annual Meeting as well as Honored Adult Volunteers:

Board of Directors Members and Officers Election Results:

Deanna Litzenburg- Trenton, IL
Chair (Term 2018-2021)

Deanna is an attorney and shareholder with Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd. and focuses her practice in a variety of areas including civil litigation, commercial litigation, workers’ compensation and employment law. Deanna also brings to Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois a tremendous background in human resources and finance. Deanna attended law school at Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale. She serves as the secretary of Hope Lutheran Church in Highland, Illinois and is vice president of the Highland High School Football Boosters. Deanna is a graduate of Leadership Belleville and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Shagbark Council. She lives in Trenton with her husband, Dean, and two children. Deanna currently serves as 1st vice chair on GSSI’s Board of Directors, and on the HR Task Force, Bylaws Task Force, and Finance Committee.

P. Anne Haltenhof
- Columbia, IL
1st Vice Chair (Term 2018-2021)

Anne is a graduate of Saint Louis University with a degree in business and accounting. She worked for Mark Twain Bank for 21 years where she was controller for Mark Twain Services and the Information Technology Division of Mark Twain Bank. She is retired from Wells Fargo Advisors where she worked for 15 years as a senior project manager in the Project Management Center of Excellence. Anne was a Girl Scout as a child and gives back to Girl Scouts because the organization helped shape who she is today. Anne currently serves as a member at large for the GSSI Board of Directors as well as the Bylaws Task Force, Fund Development Committee, Board Development Committee, and Finance Committee.

Steven Bushong- Waterloo, IL
2nd Vice Chair (Term 2018-2021)

Steven is a professor of Network Design and Administration with Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC). He holds numerous professional certifications in IT and specializes in Network Assurance and Security. He had volunteered with many agencies including: Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southern Illinois, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (and GS of River Bluffs, GSSI legacy council), Boy Scouts of Okaw Valley Council, Camp Ondessonk and Waterloo Sports Association. Steven currently serves as a member at large for the GSSI Board of Directors and on both the Property Task Force and Audit Committee.

Beth Freeburg- O’Fallon, IL
Member at Large (Term 2018-2021)

Beth is a full professor in the School of Education at Saint Louis University in St. Louis. She teaches in the higher education administration program for domestic and international students in Saint Louis University’s Jesuit tradition of excellence. She has 25 years of progressive administrator experience in higher education and her own consulting firm. The expertise she brings to GSSI includes experience in: human resources, education, training & grant writing. She currently serves as a member at large for the GSSI Board of Directors as well as on the Board Development and Fund Development Committee.

James Sabella- O’Fallon, IL
Member at Large (Term 2018-2021)

James is the owner of Wolfersberger Funeral Home in O’Fallon. James is a retired officer from the United States Air Force. He brings to Girl Scouts special skills in human resources and business. James also volunteers in his community at the VFW and is a church council member. He has been a “cookie dad,” and two of his daughters have been Girl Scouts.

Dr. Micki Weaver – Carbondale, IL
Member at Large (Term 2018-2021)

Dora A. Weaver, better known as Dr. Mick, was employed as a psychology instructor by SIUC in 1972. Both Dora and her twin sister Doris were some of the first African American women to teach on the SIUC campus. Since earning her doctorate degree in clinical psychology from SIUC, Dora has worked in academic, governmental, and clinical settings. Dora worked as a local precinct judge and worked with the Jackson County 708 Board to help distribute funds to local social and mental health agencies. Dora gained clinical experience in helping the Boston Police Department and the Massachusetts Correctional Department identify criteria for hiring and promoting their staff members. Dr. Mick is passionate about all people in her community experiencing equality.

Rachel Ruettgers - Mt Vernon, IL
Member at Large (Term 2018-2021)

Rachel Ruettgers has many years of experience supporting top healthcare executives, automotive executives and working in finance for a large franchise. She stays involved in the local community by donating her time to Cove Connection for Baptist Children's Home and Family Services. Rachel is originally from Michigan where she was a Girl Scout Leader and grew her troop 300% in a year.

Tracy Fiscus – Centralia, IL
Member at Large (Term 2018-2021)

Tracy Fiscus has been a nursing leader for decades, most recently as the director of the ICU, Telemetry and Cardiology. Since early 2017, she’s served as interim vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer for St. Mary’s Hospital. She and her staff have been involved with raising funds and adopting children and families for holidays. She is very active in the Centralia community and is very well connected with physicians and business leaders in Marion County and surrounding areas. Tracy is a kind and compassionate individual, and is active in a variety of professional organizations.

Phil Climaco Carbondale, IL
Member at Large (Term 2018-2020)

Phil Climaco is the CFO of Eckert's, a farming and retail operation serving the Metro-East for more than a hundred years. He is a member of St. Clair County West Rotary and Christ Church in Fairview Heights, as well as a regular yoga practitioner. Phil lives in Fairview Heights with his wife, Emily, and daughter, Caroline.

Richard Huntington - Mt. Vernon, IL
Member at Large (Term 2018-2019)

Richard is a retired vice president of St. Mary’s - Good Samaritan Hospital. Richard brings to the Girl Scouts Board of Directors more than 32 years of healthcare experience and has extensive expertise in financial management. He also served on the boards of Mt. Vernon Township High School, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater St. Louis. Richard serves as a member at large on GSSI’s Board of Directors and Property Task Force as the Chair of the Finance Committee.

Board Development Committee Members Election Results:

Diane Siemer - Teutopolis, IL
(Term 2018-2019)

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Diane is a Girl Scout Lifetime Member and has volunteered with Girl Scouts for 29 years. She has been a troop leader, Service Unit manager, cookie chair, troop camp trainer and served in a variety of roles, including fund development. Diane was chair of the Nominating Committee with the Legacy Council River Bluffs. She brings to Girl Scouting expertise in business and education. She is a founding member of GSSI’s Juliette Gordon Low Society (now Pearl Society). She has been awarded Volunteer and Leader Pins, Phyllis Turner Dye Award and the Appreciation Pins I and II. Diane currently serves on the Fund Development Committee and is the Audit Committee chair and Board Development Committee chair.

Amber George – Herrin, IL
(Term 2018-2021)

Amber George is a family and consumer sciences teacher. She’s been involved in Girl Scouts since she was a young child. As an educator, she is on the Union's Executive Council and has suggested and evaluated potential candidates for the local school board. She has been a troop leader for four years and has been a council delegate for two years. Amber has a passion for community service and wants to see all girls affiliated with Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois reach their fullest potential.

Megan Biggs – Granite City, IL
(Term 2018-2021)

Megan is a litigation and corporate legal assistant with Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd. and is a 2007 graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a degree in history. As a child, she was in Girl Scouts from kindergarten through sixth grade and appreciates the value of service that was instilled in her during that time. Megan attends First Baptist Church in Maryville where she has previously served in the choir and on various committees. In her spare time, she enjoys watching baseball, becoming a master gardener and volunteering with Cardinals Care.

Carla Nilson Herrin, IL
(Term 2018-2020)

Carla was a past member and vice president of Shagbark Girl Scout Council (one of GSSI’s legacy councils). She brings to Girl Scouting extensive knowledge in human resources education. Carla is a Girl Scout Lifetime Member and a Juliette Gordon Low Society member (now Pearl Society). Carla also served as a Girl Scout troop leader and Service Unit director. Carla has earned the prestigious Girl Scout Thanks Badge and Thanks Badge II.

Linda Manley- Highland, IL
(Term 2018-2019)

Linda is a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments. Linda, a Girl Scout Lifetime Member, has been involved with Girl Scouting for 40 years, first as a Girl Scout through high school and later as a troop leader, Service Unit cookie chair and Service Unit treasurer. She brings outstanding skills and knowledge in fundraising, finance, business and technology. Linda previously served GSSI’s Board of Directors as board chair. She also serves on the St. Paul Education Foundation board, Jarvis Township Senior Program board and the Troy/Maryville Chamber of Commerce board.

Adult Award Honorees:

Volunteer of Excellence Award:

Service Unit 7 in Bond County:
Jenny Campbell; Sarah Hulbert; Ellie Saboff; Judy Stewart; Mandy White

Service Unit 27 in Jackson County:
Vanessa Thomas; Tonya Walker

Service Unit 90 in West Williamson County:
Amber George

Service Unit 201 in O'Fallon/Shiloh:
Cathi Ponciroli

Service Unit 207 in Belleville/Swansea
Theresa Brown

Service Unit 202 in ClinClair
Jaime Bates; Laura Gandy; Alyce Keesler; Tiffany Little; Jason Shirley

Service Unit 511 in Effingham
Sarah Myers-Koeberlein

Service Unit 544 in Crawford/Jaasper
Chrystal Hartman; Keah Hartman; Tanya Pfeifer; Hope Weber

President’s Award:
South Macoupin, Service Unit 107
O’Fallon/Shiloh, Service Unit 201

Appreciation Pin:
Jennifer Batek, SU 110 – Highland ; Mary Beil, SU 110 – Highland; Dena Davis, SU 110 – Highland; Sarah Fischer, SU 522 – Eastern Coles; Theresa Gratton, SU 101– Alton; Cathy Hartman, SU 544 – Crawford/Jaasper; Susan Heide-Wexell, SU 201 – O’Fallon/Shiloh; Tara Holbrook, SU 101 – Alton; Amy Huller, SU 207 – Belleville/Swansea; Lindsey Hunter, SU 522 - Eastern Coles; Winnie Kenney, SU 201 – O’Fallon/Shiloh; Valerie Kirby, SU 101 – Alton; Pamela Mackin, SU 207 – Belleville/Swansea; Jessica McMillen, SU 110 – Highland; Michele McPhillips, SU 110 – Highland; Christine Minar, SU 201 – O’Fallon/Shiloh; George Mitchom, SU 201 – O’Fallon/Shiloh; Stephanie Nicklin, SU 110 – Highland; Edith Ruez, SU 9 – Centralia; Elizabeth Strong-McCormick, SU 522 – Eastern Coles; Dustha Wahls, SU 522 – Eastern Coles

Honor Pin:
Nancy Matis Service Unit 101 Alton; Marcia North Service Unit 101 Alton; Marsha York Service Unit 101 Alton; Debbie Workman Service Unit 110 Highland; Debbie McAuliffe Service Unit 201 O’Fallon/Shiloh; Debra Parker Service Unit 544 Crawford/Jasper

Thanks Badge
Teresa Bushong Service Unit 211 Waterloo

Thanks Badge II
Dawn Quicksall Service Unit 511 Effingham

GSSI Heart of Gold
Norma Dyer Service Unit 30 Jefferson

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is a high-capacity Girl Scout council serving approximately 11,300 girls and engaging 4,550 adult volunteers in 40 ½ counties in Southern Illinois. GSSI Mission: Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. The Girl Scouts organization is the world's largest leadership development organization for girls. In partnership with committed adults, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives – such as strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth. Today’s Girl Scouts not only enjoy camping and crafts; they also explore math and science and learn about diversity, good citizenship, leadership and teamwork. Girl Scouting is the place where girls experience the fun, friendship and power of girls together. Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a not-for-profit organization supported by various United Ways throughout the region. Girl Scouts is a Proud Partner of United Way.

Please visit the GSSI website www.gsofsi.organd follow us on Facebook

More like this:

Apr 11, 2016 | Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois honors exceptional Girl Scout volunteers

Apr 3, 2017 | Board of Directors elected and Girl Scout volunteers recognized at 8th annual meeting of the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois

Apr 8, 2014 | Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois holds 5th Annual Meeting

Apr 2, 2015 | Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois holds 6th Annual Meeting

Mar 27, 2013 | Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois holds 4th Annual Meeting

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