GLEN CARBON – Loretta Graham joins Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) as their new Chief Executive Officer. The entire council welcomes her with open arms and open hearts— ready to learn and live the promise and law with her at the helm. During her first week as CEO Loretta Graham gave a moving speech at GSSI’s Annual Meeting in Mount Vernon and received a standing ovation. This is an indication of the kind of leader she is and the power she has to communicate with humility and strength. GSSI has no doubt this will also be the tone of her leadership. She is a woman on a mission to bring people together in order to create a culture of trust and to amplify the great successes of the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois Council.

Loretta introduces herself to the region by sharing, “I am extremely honored to have been selected as the New CEO of the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois. I am boundlessly grateful to the Board of Directors who empowered me to lead Girl Scouting, and I can hardly keep in my impatience to get started.”

Loretta joined Girl Scouts in 1991, beginning her career with roles in membership and marketing, before returning to South Carolina over 9 years ago. She lived in North Dakota for more than 25 years. Her achievements in the nonprofit sector include working with communities to be a voice and face for girls, and developing volunteer programs and council activities.

Loretta notes, “In Girl Scouting, we reach out to our communities for support and in turn we are challenged to be a service to those communities. In the Girl Scout Law, we pledge: To be honest and fair, courageous, strong, responsible, and to make the world a better place. I will hold true to this pledge. Even through the challenging times that we may have throughout the year, I will remain committed to meeting the needs and interest of girls, and developing leadership skills.” She continues, “There is a statement that fits us perfectly: ‘The best way to prepare for the future is to have a hand in creating it.’ Having a hand in it is something we strive to do every day. Together we can help girls imagine what they can do, and help them develop the skills to make their dreams a reality.”

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.

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