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1-2-3 Governance


Board of Directors
The governance structure of Girl Scouts of Connecticut is designed to ensure that members of have a voice in the decision-influencing process of the Council. To this end, the Bylaws of GSOFCT permit the inclusion of four girl members as non-voting members of the Board of Directors. If you are interested in joining the collected voice of the Board of Directors, please review the position description and complete the age-appropriate form below.

Adult Members
Please fill out the Board Member Nomination Form and return it to Samantha Peterson.

Girl Members
We are no longer accepting applications for the 2019-20 board year! Thank you to everyone who has applied!  

Girls (over the age of 16) are welcome to apply as a candidate for the Board of Directors for Girl Scouts of Connecticut. Why be a Girl Board Member? Hear from our girl board members themselves! 


All candidates will be interviewed by the Board Development Committee. Selected candidates will be formally voted in during the Annual Meeting each April. For more information, please contact Samantha Peterson.

Council Delegates
Each year, service units elect delegates to represent them at the council level. Delegates are integral members of their service unit. Delegates are responsible for attending council meetings, voicing concerns or questions from their service unit, and bringing back information to their service unit. They also vote on new members of the Board of Directors! Did you know that Girl Scouts ages 14 and up and adults can be Council Delegates? What a great way to be a leader in your community! Elections are closed for 2019.

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    GSOFCT Bylaws
    (amended April 24, 2016)

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GSOFCT Board of Directors


Sheryl Sleeva - President

Sheryl Sleeva is an accomplished executive leader, intrapreneur, business strategist and consultant. As an avid product developer and technology pioneer, she has been at the center of innovation and new venture development throughout her career. Currently Sheryl is Strategy Consultant for Digital Network Services, a Connecticut based technology services firm, specializing in industrial automation, smart building technologies and the “internet of things”. Learning technologies and workforce development are also key areas of professional focus for Sheryl and as such, her latest independent venture is that of co-founder and chief developer of Reskillit, an adult e-learning portal. In her previous role, Sheryl was Senior Vice President and Group Head of Loyalty Solutions at MasterCard Worldwide where she successfully led the global expansion of the cardholder services business, achieving sustained double-digit revenue growth.

During her 20-year tenure at MasterCard, Sheryl launched several profitable businesses and held executive leadership roles in core products, emerging payment technologies, cardholder services and loyalty solutions. She is also the co-inventor of two US patents. Thought leadership, change management and leadership education have been central to Sheryl’s professional repertoire. During her tenure at Cap Gemini, she was instrumental in helping major multinational corporations achieve impactful results in M&A, technology integration, corporate strategy and business transformation. She has also been an instructor in the area of transformational leadership as a member of the adjunct faculty at Bethel University’s MBA program.

Championing the advancement of the next generation of leaders is a particular passion for Sheryl. She is an active member of the Board of Directors for the Girls Scouts of Connecticut where she currently serves as First Vice President and also holds key leadership roles on the Executive Committee, STEM Advisory Council and Camp CEO Advisory Team. Sheryl is also a Board Advisor for Twomentor LLC, a high impact consultancy focused on helping organizations create talent strategies for a diverse workforce and build mentoring cultures that elevate women in STEM careers. She is also an active member of Women’s Forum of New York as well as the International Women’s Forum of Connecticut where she spearheads community outreach and mentoring efforts as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. Sheryl earned her MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in Marketing and Strategic Management and her BA in Computer Science from New York University. She has completed executive program certifications in product development and product management from Harvard University, UC Berkeley and General Assembly. Sheryl is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at Columbia Teachers College in the area of Adult Learning and Leadership.

Wendy Elberth - 1st Vice President

Wendy Elberth is Vice President of Administration at Hartford Hospital. Under her leadership, Hartford Hospital has earned national recognition including the Blue Distinction and Joint Commission Disease Specific Certification or spine and joint-replacement surgery, the American Heart Association Gold Plus recognition for stroke guidelines and Center of Excellence accreditation for the Surgical Weight Loss Center. She has a Bachelors degree in Occupational Therapy from Syracuse University and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is also a member of the Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Center Board of Directors. 

Liz McGovern - 2nd Vice President

Liz McGovern is a seasoned insurance professional, having served the last 18 years with the voluntary benefits provider, Aflac. She has a diversified background in investments and insurance, education & teaching, coaching and sales. She is a member of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, having co-chaired the Women’s Leadership Council and served on the Board of Directors.  Additionally, she is a graduate and former board member of Leadership Greater Bridgeport.  She has served as a member of other boards and advisory groups, with an emphasis on helping women and children. Her coaching and mentoring experience extends to years as an assistant coach and referee for women’s college basketball. Liz participated in Girl Scouts all the way through her senior year in high school. She credits her parents and Girl Scouts as the greatest influences in her life, both for the values they taught her and the friendships it fostered. Her love of the outdoors can be traced back to her early years camping with the Girl Scouts—she says every night is a good night for a campfire! Liz earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Fordham University, with a Masters, ex-thesis, from Penn State University in Athletic Administration.

Virginia Giuffré - 3rd Vice President

Virginia M. Giuffré is Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor, at Merrill Lynch. Virginia began her financial career in 1971 with Citibank where she managed an international division. After a twenty-two year career, Virginia joined Merrill Lynch in 1996 where she was awarded the Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM (CRPC®). Until 2016, she served as Resident Director of the Westport office where she resides today as a partner in The Giuffre James Fischer Group. Virginia also served on the board of Housatonic Community College Foundation for thirteen year.

Susan Brosseau - Treasurer

Susan Brosseau has served on the Board of Directors since 2013. She currently serves as the Director of Finance at Adelbrook Community Services, Inc.  She has over 30 years experience in financial statement audit and accounting services provided to both not-for-profit and for-profit entities.  She has also served on the Boards of Directors of numerous not-for-profit entities.  Susan obtained her BS in Accounting from the University of Connecticut and is a member of CTCPA.  

Leslie Karen Hammond - Secretary

Leslie Karen Hammond, The Empowering Story Whisperer, is a passionate advocate for women and girls across the country. She has helped thousands of mission-driven women and heart-centered men transform self-doubt into confidence for over 17 years.  A Three-Time author and national facilitator; her mission is to empower people to embrace triumph through adversity so they can inspire others with their story. In 2012, she was recognized by the Connecticut LT Governor as a Woman of Fire. Leslie is an adventurer at heart; she loves the jungles of Peru, the mountains of New Mexico, has skydived, walked on hot coals and eaten fire. She resides in New London, CT with her husband, Mark.

Mary Barneby - Chief Executive Officer
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Mary Barneby has served as the Chief Executive Officer for Girl Scouts of Connecticut since October 2012.  In this capacity, she oversees the delivery of programs and services to nearly 30,000 girl and 16,000 adult members throughout the state of Connecticut.

Mary has demonstrated leadership and a strong commitment to the advancement of others through her successful career in the financial services industry where she has held senior roles for more than 30 years. She has also been an active and enthusiastic volunteer leader in a number of community-based and national not-for-profit organizations throughout her business career, with an emphasis on the advancement of girls and women. She was a Girl Scout in Brooklyn, NY and attributes the challenge of earning badges to her drive for achievement of tangible results in her personal and professional lives as an adult.

Mary is a graduate of New York University and holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Fordham University. She completed post graduate coursework in finance at the Wharton School. She has served as both a Director and the President of the Financial Women’s Association of New York, a professional organization with more than 1200 members. From 1992-1996, she was Chair of the Board of the American Heart Association’s New York City Affiliate and served as National Chair of the AHA’s Investment Subcommittee during that time. In 2008, she was a recipient of the Women's Venture Fund's "Highest Leaf Award" for her efforts as a mentor and role model to other women. She was also recognized by the YWCA of New York in their 37th Annual Women Achiever's Awards and acknowledged by the National Organization of Italian American Women as a “Wise Woman” in 2014.

In addition to her role at Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Mary serves as a Trustee of the First Investor Mutual Funds, a $13 billion mutual fund family and she is also a Governor Emeritus for the University of New Haven, where she currently serves as a member of the Advisory Boards for the School of Arts and Sciences and the College of Hotel and Hospitality Management.

Members at Large

Richard Abrams

Richard Abrams has been involved in the financial industry for nearly 35 years, the last 25 as a financial advisor and managing director at PaineWebber/UBS. For 20 years, he has also managed high net worth, ultra-high net worth, and small institution pensions and foundations with The Abrams Group. He has appeared on top Financial Advisor lists in Barrons, Forbes, Worth, and Registered Rep. He serves on the UBS Financial Advisor board, and will be joining the Entrepreneurial board for Tufts, his alma mater. His youngest of three children has been involved with Girl Scouts from kindergarten through high school, and Rich has played an active volunteer role as a chaperone and treasurer. He lives in Wesport, CT.


Elizabeth Biederman

Elizabeth Biederman, a junior at Greenwich High School, has been a Girl Scout for 12 years. She is a Silver and Gold Award recipient, and served as the 2017 Greenwich Service Unit Council Delegate. Her extra-curricular activities include Varsity Cross Country, and Indoor and Outdoor Track. She serves as Vice President of the Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society), and is a member of the National Spanish and Music Honor Societies.

Judge Alice A. Bruno

Judge Alice A. Bruno was appointed to the State of Connecticut Superior Court in 2015. Since then, she has been assigned to Family and Criminal Courts in Waterbury and Hartford. Prior to her appointment, she had legal and management experience in the private and public sectors. She was an equity partner in Tyler Cooper & Alcorn in New Haven, and maintained her own law firm and mediation practice in Branford. She also had served as a Superior Court Magistrate, Attorney to the Probate Court Administrator, Deputy Chief Clerk of the New Haven JD Court, Executive Director of the Connecticut Bar Association, and as Special Counsel to the Secretary of State. Her volunteer service throughout her career, in both law related and educational entities, is extensive, and includes her recent appointment to the Federal Grievance Committee and election to the ABA Board of Governors (Finance and Audit Committees). She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University (B.A. English and Social Psychology), and with honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law with a J.D. and an M.S.W. from the School of Social Work.

Susan Bysiewicz, Esq.

Susan Bysiewicz, the former Secretary of State for Connecticut, is now a legal counsel at Pastore & Dailey, LLC. in Glastonbury, CT.  During her tenure in state legislature, Susan was a member of the Judiciary Committee, Program Review and Investigations Committee, and the Regulations Review Committee.  A Connecticut native and graduate of Yale University, Susan sets a wonderful example of leadership for girls in our state.

Rebecca Cohen

Rebecca Cohen, a junior at Ridgefield High School, has been a Girl Scout for 10 years. She has earned Bronze and Silver Awards and is working toward her Gold Award. Her extra-curricular activities include Varsity Track and Field, and National Charity League. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership Program, as well as the ICEP New Zealand BCC YMCA Leadership Program.


Michele Etzel

Michele Etzel is Board Member, CFO and Senior Vice President of National Graphics, Inc., a privately held commercial printer in the nation servicing Fortune 500 companies. She is skilled in the areas of finance, accounting, business development, operations, mergers/acquisitions, procurement and manufacturing streamlining and cost containment. She has consistently turned a profit for twenty plus consecutive years. She specializes in finance and accounting and is also an advisor and consultant to many high growth businesses and nonprofits in operations and turnarounds. Known for her real world financial, organizational and strategic experience, she has been a guest lecturer at events to share her observations and expertise on fiscal responsibility, fiscal literacy for young adults and advocacy for working women and girls in the business world. Michele received her Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Villanova University and later went on to earn a degree in Executive Management at Cornell University. She is passionate about her family and has dedicated herself intensely to their educational, athletic and personal pursuits. Michele is active with the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, as an advisor and investor. Along with Yale, she is currently involved with International Women's Forum-Connecticut on their Executive Committee, a Commissioner on the E911 Commission for the State of Connecticut and the Villanova Women's Professional Network and Alumni Recruiting Network. 

Erica Evans

Erica Evans is an accomplished business leader with a proven track record of building high performing teams, which deliverdelivering results through strategic planning, disciplined execution, coaching and development of individuals. Currently, she serves is Head of Client Engagement at Hirtle Callaghan. In this role, Erica works to ensure clients have the optimal experience with the firm. She is also a member of the firm’s Leadership Team. Erica has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, with expertise in marketing, communications, and general management. Prior to joining Hirtle Callaghan, Erica most recently served as the head of Sales Strategy & Institutional Partnerships at Hartford Funds. She previously worked at ING Investment Management as SVP, Head of Institutional Business and served as Head of Client Investment Management Services at GE Asset Management. Erica spent over fifteen years of her career in various roles at GE, overseeing and engaging in client service, relationship management, compliance, and operational risk. Erica attended Fairfield University.Her other accomplishments include membership in the International Women’s Forum, a master black belt in Six Sigma, and the co-creator of the Investment Club for Grace Academy, a school serving under-privileged girls in the Hartford area.  Erica is is on the Board of the Girl Scouts of CT and on the Advisory Board of the Damon Runyon Cancer Foundation.


Jonna Gerken

Jonna Gerken was the Society of Women Engineers (SWE),FY18 President. In this capacity, she led 40,000-member international organization which encourages more women to enter and stay in engineering fields.  She is also the manager for the Program Chief Manufacturing Engineering (PCME) team at Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corporation (UTC).  Her team ensures all engine components meet manufacturing readiness levels appropriate to their lifecycle stage. At Pratt & Whitney since 2000, she has held numerous positions of increasing responsibility within both Operations & Engineering. Gerken holds a BS in industrial and management engineering and an MBA in technology development, both from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  She received the 2016 Pettit Family Foundation Women in Science Leadership Award from the Connecticut Science Center, the 2014 STEP Award from the Manufacturing Institute, the 2011 Pratt & Whitney Diversity and Inclusion Award, and the 2006 SWE Distinguished New Engineer Award

Bill James

Bill James began his career with Merrill Lynch in 2008, followed by over five years at U.S. Trust, most recently as Vice President, Trust Officer. Bill returned to Merrill Lynch in 2017 as a Financial Advisor. His credentials include the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) designation from the Institute of Certified Bankers. While at U.S. Trust, Bill managed diverse high net worth, multi-generational relationships and partnered with clients’ outside advisors to help ensure clients were successful in achieving their long-term goals.  

Bill’s primary goal is to assist business owners and entrepreneurs navigate the intricacies of intergenerational wealth transfer in conjunction with their other trusted advisors. Bill is a member of The Giuffre James Fischer Group which shares a common goal – we help affluent households and business owners pursue their life goals. By working with each client’s other professionals, such as attorneys and accountants, we obtain the broadest view of each client’s financial situation, risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity needs, and how all these priorities fit within their overall life plan. That planning includes all items which touch one’s life such as funding children’s education, ensuring money lasts throughout retirement and planning for rising health care costs. Finally, we can assist in transferring wealth to the younger generation.

Bill earned a Master’s of Science in Political Sociology from The London School of Economics, and a B.A. in Political Science from Hobart College.  Bill served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Romania for two years where he taught English as a foreign language in a high school.

Bill recently was a Board Member of the Estate Planning Council of Nassau County on Long Island. He is actively involved with the Greenwich Young Professionals Group, is a member of the Metropolitan Club of New York City, and is a member of the U.S. alumni association of The London School of Economics.

Bill and his wife Shari and their twin children, William and Madeline, live in Greenwich, CT.  When he has spare time, Bill enjoys golfing and travel.

Diana Mahoney

Diana Mahoney is an accomplished engineering professional with over 28 years’ experience in numerous aspects of electrical engineering, design, and organizational leadership within the utility industry. Currently, Diana is Director Planning, Scheduling & Contract Services at Eversource and is responsible for developing an integrated work plan across three states, measuring performance in the execution of the work plan, and developing data analytics tools to drive process improvement. Other roles Diana has held at Eversource include Director Transmission Engineering, Director Operations Support, Director Division Operations, and Manager Asset Strategy. Diana holds a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Diana also serves as a member of the UConn Electrical & Computer Engineering Industrial Advisory Board. She has been a Girl Scout, a Girl Scout Leader, Registrar and Service Unit Manager in the town of Berlin.


Lisette Martinez

Lisette Martinez has been named Yale-New Haven Health System’s chief diversity officer. She is responsible for the success and continued growth of the system’s diversity and inclusion efforts, guiding analysis, development, and implementation of strategies to advance diversity and inclusion throughout the system.

Before joining the health system, Lisette Martinez was the Director of Diversity and Language Services at TriHealth.  Her responsibilities included leading a multi-dimensional D&I strategy, enhancing the inclusion efforts of the workforce and advocating actions to help achieve the advantages of a diverse workforce.  She facilitated the implementation of diversity change management initiatives; and worked to provide linguistic services for patients who have limited English proficiency or are deaf or hard of hearing.   Lisette’s ability to think strategically on a global corporate perspective makes her integral to the success of continuing and growing TriHealth’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

Lisette previously was a board member of the Greater Cincinnati Community Action Agency where she was a member of the Programming and Marketing committees.  She was also a board member of the Diversity Advisory Council for the Cincinnati Reds.  She was a member of the Ohio Minority Supplier Development Councils Leadership Advisory Committee and a member of the Cincinnati CDO Roundtable. Lisette is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated where she is an active member of the Phi Psi Omega Graduate Chapter.

Lisette is the recipient of the 2016 top 100 under 50 Executive Leaders award by Diversity MBA magazine and was also a Forty Under 40 awardee in 2012, and was one of the first women in Cincinnati to receive the Women of Influence Award by Lead Magazine in 2013.  In 2014 she was awarded the Multicultural Leadership Award by the Ohio Diversity Council.  Most recently she was honored by Major League Baseball with the SEAT 21 award that recognizes individuals who embody the humanitarian spirit of Roberto Clemente.  She is a proud member of Urban Leaders Class 21 and is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati’s Class 38.  

Lisette graduated with Delta Epsilon Sigma honors from Thomas More College with an MBA in May of 2006; and received her BBA from the University of Cincinnati in August of 1996.  She has one daughter, Giselle Sophia who is a Freshman at Hanover College in Southern Indiana.  Lisette is a native of Detroit, Michigan and of Puerto Rican descent, speaks fluent Spanish and is in love with her culture.  She is always proud to share her Puerto Rican heritage with everyone she meets and enjoys cooking her famous arroz con habichuelas (rice & beans) for her friends and family.  


Michaela McCormick

Michaela McCormick, a junior at William H. Hall High School in West Hartford, has over 10 years of Girl Scout experience. Her extracurricular activities include track, technical theater, guitar, and volunteering at St. Francis Hospital. She is proud to have performed over 100 hours of community service. She is also learning American Sign Language. Michaela is excited to be on the Board of Directors and looks forwards to empowering girls through Girls Scouts. 

Adrienne Parkmond, Esq.

Adrienne Parkmond, Esq. is the Chief Operating Officer of The Workplace in Bridgeport, Connecticut, a $25 million non-profit agency responsible for job training, business development and human services for youths and adults, including services for veterans, older workers, and at-risk populations.  Adrienne earned her J.D. at Quinnipiac University of Law and brings her change management and grant writing skills to Girl Scouts of Connecticut.

Victoria Rozario

Victoria Rozario, a junior at William H. Hall High School, has been a Girl Scout for 12 years. She has earned her Silver Award, Destinations 2017, Service to Girl Scouting bar, and the Community Service bar. Her extra-curricular activities include Mock Trial, Model United Nations, Community Service Club, soccer, track & field, violin, and volunteering at the Childrens Museum.


Nicole Sandford

Nicole Sandford is a partner and the national practice leader for Deloitte & Touche LLP's Regulatory and Operations practice. Her practice is focused on providing advisory services to boards and executive teams as they seek to improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of programs that identify and address ethics and compliance risks across the organization. Nicole’s clients are large, global companies in a variety of industries, with particular focus on the consumer and industrial products and financial services industries. Nicole is a member of the advisory board of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. She has served as the lead audit partner for public companies in the manufacturing and technology industries.

Pamela Scagliarini

Pamela Scagliarini, Chief Operating Officer of Bridgeport Hospital and Senior Vice President of Operations for Yale New Haven Health System, brings her extensive experience in process improvement to GSOFCT.  In addition to her twenty-plus year career in supply chain management, she also serves as a Women & Leadership course facilitator at Yale New Haven Institute for Excellence.  Pamela graduated with her M.B.A. in Health Care Management from the University of New Haven and was named Graduate Fellow.

Carol Quinn Toomey

Carol Quinn Toomey is a director in Accenture's public service business. She’s been with Accenture’s Hartford, CT office for 29 years, having joined the company with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut. Since joining Accenture, she has specialized in helping organizations successfully navigate change, particularly as relates to global change programs and large scale systems implementations. Carol is currently responsible for achieving Accenture’s vision to be the premier innovation and execution partner for the State of Connecticut, and university and nonprofit clients in Connecticut. She is passionate about bringing the best of Accenture every day to support her home state across a range of consulting and technology programs. Carol has been involved with various locally-based charities & organizations, including teaching children’s religious studies and serving on the board for a local chapter of the Spina Bifida Association for several years. She lives with her husband, daughter and son in Portland, CT.



Board Development Committee

Jeanne Ambrosio

Jeanne Ambrosio has been involved in Girl Scouts for over 30 years, holding various roles from troop leader to National Delegate three times. She served on the governance committee and is very excited to now serve on the Board Development Committee. As a registered nurse she worked in various areas, always involving children – from NICUs to school nursing supervisor. Her most recent position was as an adjunct instructor at Goodwin College. Now retired, Jeanne lives in Bristol with her husband Tony. They have two children in college.

Yasmin Blackburn, Esq.

Yasmin Blackburn, Esq. is a Senior Associate at Kidambi & Associates, P.C. in Trumbull, Connecticut, a boutique-business immigration law firm where Yasmin specializes in bringing multinational and executive managers, engineers, doctors, and professional athletes and coaches to the United States.  She is also the President of the Polished Pearls Foundation, Incorporated, a non-profit foundation focused on strengthening and supporting the community by offering programs to enrich the lives of women and girls of all ages, providing scholarships and book grants to children from Fairfield county pursuing higher education, healthy financial planning workshops, provision of seasonally appropriate clothing, and food drives. Yasmin has been a proud Girl Scout since the age of 6 and she hopes to continue instilling that love in girls by leading the multi-level troop of Daisies through Seniors she started in 2010. In addition, Yasmin has been a Girl Scout Gold Award Mentor since 2013. Yasmin earned her J.D. at Temple University Beasley School of Law. She also holds a BA and MA from Iowa State University where she honed the grant writing and leaderships skills used to this day.

Marie Kulesza

Marie Kulesza is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Accounting at Central Connecticut State University. Her teaching areas are in financial accounting, financial reporting theory, and auditing. She holds a BS in Accounting from Central Connecticut State University and a MS in Public Accounting from University of Hartford.  She is a member of the CTCPA Advisory Board, American Institute of CPAs, Institute of Management Accountants, and Community Accounting Services.