By: Jen Russon
Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida hosted their fifth annual Girl Scouts Lead the Way luncheon, raising more than $58k to reinvest local troops’ skill-building and leadership opportunities.
Held at the Signature Grand in Davie, the event featured five role models for today’s Girl Scouts, all from Broward County.
Girls Scouts CEO Lisa Johnson called the event inspiring.
“We were thrilled to be able to honor these five amazing women in person and applaud their broad range of leadership experience. They are an inspiration to the girls we serve and highlight the skill-building opportunity we offer at Girl Scouts,” said Johnson.
This year’s innovators and go-getters included Heather Geronemus, Laurie Jennings, Jessica Marra, Kelley Kronenberg, Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, and Kim Saiswick.
The experience shared amongst the 2021 Girl Scouts Lead the Way honorees spanned healthcare, law, and leaders in technology and media, as well as administrators in local government.
Chaired by Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, Susie Levan, Michelle Martinez Reyes, and Christine C. Walker, the luncheon revolved around a panel discussion about Broward County’s current issues and ways to succeed.
Easy 93.1 DJ Ellen Jaffe moderated the panel, as the five honorees took questions from more than 110 in-person and virtual guests.
Melinda Glasco, VP of communications, said the Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida include several troops from Parkland and Coral Springs. The luncheon welcomed the Montalto family, whose daughter, Gina, had been a girl scout.
“During the program portion of the luncheon, Parkland resident Tony Montalto shared with guests how leadership can happen in unexpected and powerful ways,” said Glasco.
She added Tony Montalto, Gina’s father, had bittersweet words about his late daughter’s scouting days and the scholarship created in her name.
“There’s a lot to say about the day our daughter Gina and 16 others died. What my family and I wanted to do, was look at the way she lived and how to bring about positive change. That’s when we became leaders,” said Montalto.
The Girl Scout Gold Award and other programs that enrich the Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida are made possible, in part, by the luncheon’s generous sponsors; these include Publix, Holy Cross Hospital, and the Joe Dimaggio Children’s Hospital.
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- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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