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Girl Scouts of Connecticut Appoints Jennifer Smith Turner as CEO of Statewide Council

April 18, 2007

Jennifer Smith Turner, a highly regarded civic leader with extensive experience in non-profit, government, and corporate sectors, has been named as the first Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut. This new, high capacity organization is being created through the realignment of five area Councils: the Connecticut Trails, Connecticut Valley, Housatonic, Northwestern Connecticut, and Southwestern Connecticut. The Girl Scouts of Connecticut will serve over 55,000 girls and 20,000 adult volunteers in the state. Turner’s appointment was announced by the Council Realignment Committee, a group of board members and executives from the five existing Councils who, in a joint statement, noted: “Jennifer brings her proven leadership abilities and wide-ranging experience to her new position as the first CEO of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut. We are confident that with her energy and expertise, she will advance our statewide council’s vision, achieve greater organizational effectiveness, and advocate strongly for the girls—our future leaders.”

Turner is currently President/CEO of Smith & Associates LLC, a management consulting company that specializes in assisting organizations in achieving their strategic and operational potential. In 2004, she was appointed by Governor M. Jodi Rell of the State of Connecticut as Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Economic and Community Development. She spent twenty-eight years in corporate America holding numerous senior executive positions. An engaging speaker and leader, Smith is deeply involved in community and civic organizations. She is the President of the Board of The Hartford Stage Company where she has been a long time board member. She serves as a Trustee of Union College and as a Regent at the University of Hartford where she is on the Strategic Plan and Executive Committees. She was recently appointed to the board of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the accrediting association for all K-12 and higher education public and private institutions throughout New England and in several foreign countries.

Appointed by former Governor Lowell P. Weicker, she served for six years as a Trustee of the University of Connecticut and chaired the Health Affairs Committee during most of that tenure. “I am delighted and honored to be appointed to this important position with the Girl Scouts of Connecticut,” said Turner. “The organizational transformation the Girl Scouts’ policy leaders have decided to undertake, both nationally and here in Connecticut, is bold, courageous, and forward-thinking. I welcome the opportunity to play a key role in this transformation and be a part of ensuring a bright future for the girls served by Girl Scouts of Connecticut.” Turner’s prior corporate experience includes holding positions as President/CEO of BerkleyCare Network, a subsidiary of W.R. Berkley Companies, Greenwich, CT., and senior executive positions with Aetna Life & Casualty and Traveler’s Insurance.

Her former board memberships include Connecticut Public Television and Radio, Connecticut Golf Foundation, American Heart Association, Boys and Girls Club of Hartford, United Way of the Capital Region, The Foundation for Mental Health, Hartford College for Women, and St. Joseph’s College. A native of Boston Massachusetts and a resident of Hartford, CT, she graduated from Union College in Schenectady, NY, and received her master’s degree from Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. Turner is a published poet. Her first book, Perennial Secrets, Poetry & Prose was published in 2003 and Lost and Found, Rhyming Verse Honoring African American Heroes was published recently by Connecticut River Press. An avid writer, she is working on her first novel and a play.

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