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 Nicki Segura

Girl Members
We are currently accepting applications for the 2018-19 board year! Application deadline: February 11, 2018.

Girl Board Member Application

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 two girl board members themselves - Hannah and Megan - in this video! 


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 Nicki Segura or ext. 3266.

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 currently closed for 2018 and will reopen in the fall.

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    GSOFCT Bylaws
    (amended April 24, 2016)

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Council Delegate Training
Open to newly elected council delegates or returning delegates who would like a refresher, the Delegate Training will be held on February 15 at the Hartford Service Center from 5:00-6:00 PM. Council delegates will learn about their role in GSOFCT governance and be able to ask questions as they review the delegate handbook. The training will also be available via webinar.

If you will be attending in person, please email Nicki Segura to RSVP.

If you will be attending via webinar, please register here.

GSOFCT Board of Directors


Patricia Bowen - President

Patricia (Trish) Bowen has served on the Board of Directors since 2012. Trish is a lawyer with over 20 years of experience in the health care industry, including 14 years at UnitedHealthcare where she held a variety of leadership roles in the legal, compliance and regulatory affairs departments. Trish left UnitedHealthcare in 2014 to pursue at Master of Social Work degree at the University of Connecticut as an Urban Health Scholar with a focus on aging issues and end of life care.  Trish received her MSW in May 2016 and is currently associate director of the Alzheimer's Resource Center of Connecticut. 

Sheryl Sleeva - 1st Vice 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.

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

Dr. Sousan Arafeh

Dr. Sousan Arafeh is an Assistant Professor and Director of Doctoral Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Southern Connecticut State University.  Dr. Arafeh has worked in the fields of education, policy, and communications as a classroom teacher and a researcher for over 15 years and has published and lectured nationally and internationally, particularly in the area of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Prior to SCSU, Dr. Arafeh served as the Deputy Director of the National Center for Technology Innovation (NCTI) – a National Center to innovate assistive technology for improved outcomes for students with disabilities.  She was also a Senior Research Analyst at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) – an education research firm and think tank in Washington, D.C. where she consulted for key education-related agencies and foundations nationwide.  She continues to provide independent research, evaluation and strategic-planning services to national organizations, states, private and public educational institutions, and philanthropic foundations through her Connecticut-based firm Research Images.

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.

Wendy Elberth

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. 

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 Gioffre

Erica Evans Gioffre is an accomplished business leader with a proven track record of building high performing teams which deliver results through strategic planning, disciplined execution, coaching and development of individuals. Currently she serves as the Managing Director of Sales Strategy & Institutional Partnerships with Hartford Funds, with a history of working for such illustrious companies as ING and General Electric.  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 currently a board member of the Girl Scouts of CT, serving on the investment and finance committees and is on the Damon Runyon Advisory Board.

Rhea Grant
BDC March 2016 Agenda

Rhea Grant is from Milford, Connecticut, and has many Girl Scout accomplishments such as the Presidential Award for Community Service, and the Bronze and Silver Awards. She is currently working on earning her Gold Award. She participates in many extracurricular activities such as Interact Club, Science Club, Key Club, track, and soccer. She is a member of the National Honors Society and serves as a student leader; she is indoor track captain, a Science Club Officer as well as a member of the junior class student council. She looks forward to bringing a positive attitude to the Board of Directors this year.

Andrea Kovacs

Andrea Kovacs has served on the Board of Directors since 2012. Andrea is the Vice President for Marketing at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, where she is charged with developing and implementing a cohesive brand strategy and long-range organizational strategic marketing plan to enhance public image, identify new markets, and support enrollment growth. She has a Master of Arts in Leadership from Albertus Magnus College and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY). 

Juliette Linares

Juliette Linares, from Chester, Connecticut, is senior at Valley Regional High School, and has twelve years of Girl Scout experience. In 2016, she earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, which focused on addressing childhood literacy in an inner-city elementary school. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, Hispanic Honor Society, Valley Regional’s Summer Reading Committee, Yearbook Committee, and Musical Production. 

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.


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. 

Eloisa Melendez

Eloisa Melendez is a twenty-three year old councilwoman for the City of Norwalk. She is the youngest person to serve on the Norwalk City Council in over 40 years, having first been elected in 2013 when she was nineteen. She is currently serving her second term. Eloisa is also the chair of the Ordinance Committee, and a first generation inhabitant of Norwalk. Her mother was born in Medellin, Colombia and her father was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents. Eloisa was a Girl Scout for six years. She is a student at UConn Stamford, and a member of the Connecticut Hispanic Democratic Caucus. 

Margaret Monaco

Margaret Monaco joined the Board of Directors in September of 2016.  Now retired, she has over forty years of corporate experience, most recently serving as the COO of Merrill Lynch Ventures, LLC, a private equity fund with $1.5 billion of assets under management.  Her experience also includes management positions in the fields of manufacturing, banking and retailing.  She also has extensive experience as a member various Boards of Directors and Audit Committees of publicly traded corporations.  She has a undergraduate degree in Political Science and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

Dawn Morris

Dawn Morris is executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Webster Bank and Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE:  WBS).  She joined Webster in 2014. Prior to that, Dawn was with Citizens Bank in Dedham, Mass., where she served in a variety of roles, including head of customer segment management, product and segment marketing, and business banking product management.  Earlier in her career, Dawn worked in a number of business line and marketing roles at RBC Bank in North Carolina. Dawn serves as co-chair with Governor Dannel Malloy on the Governor’s Prevention Partnership, and serves on the boards of The Hartford Stage, Girl Scouts of Connecticut, and Marketing EDGE.  She is also on the executive committee of the CT Veterans Parade. She is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served as a captain in the Army’s 530th Supply and Service Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  

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.

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.

Caterina Wang

Caterina Wang, a senior at Farmington High School in Farmington, has over 10 years Girl Scout experience and has earned her Silver Award. Her extracurricular activities include yearbook, Model UN, choir, orchestra, and dance. 

Karen Wright

Karen Wright is Vice President for Institutional Advancement at St. Thomas Aquinas College, directing all resource and advancement initiatives related to development, government, and alumni affairs. Previously, she was Director of Development at New York University’s School of Social Work, responsible for securing major gifts and steered efforts to raise over $10 million during NYU’s capital campaign. She has also worked at Western Connecticut State University and the Urban League of Southern Connecticut in leadership roles in fundraising and communications. Karen also had a successful career as an entrepreneur, establishing a custom gift business specializing in luxury gift baskets and corporate client protocol gifting. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Girl Scouts of Connecticut and has completed extensive training in Leadership, Fundraising, Management, Executive Sales, and Entrepreneurship.  She actively volunteers in areas that support the empowerment of women, families and children. Karen is a graduate of Fisk University and MSW candidate at NYU.


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.

Shalin Peck

Shalin Peck is an experienced finance manager, currently the Vice President of Deposit Operations and eBanking at Dime Bank.  She has also been an active troop leader since 2011, including serving as a Delegate for Great Oak Service Unit.  Her commitment to Governance has now grown to serving the Board Development Committee.