Girl Scouts to honor "Women Who Soar" at Breakfast Badge Event
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Girl Scouts to honor "Women Who Soar" at Breakfast Badge Event

Girl Scouts to honor “Women Who Soar” at Breakfast Badge Event
Girl Scouts of Connecticut to host 23rd Annual Breakfast Badge event
at Marriott Hartford Downtown on December 6

HARTFORD, CONN. (September 3, 2019) –Girl Scouts of Connecticut has announced that it will host its 23rd Annual Breakfast Badge Award at the Marriott Hartford Downtown on Friday, December 6, 2019 from 7:30-9:30 a.m.

The organization’s theme is celebrating “Women Who Soar,” honoring three women who have gone “above and beyond” in their careers and who serve as incredible role models for girls and women of all ages. This year’s honorees are Gail Baker, ISR & Space Solutions for Mission Systems at Collins Aerospace, Joan Higginbotham, director of Human Exploration Primes at Collins Aerospace and retired NASA astronaut, and Meryl Mallery, vice president of engineering at Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense Company.

“We are over the moon to meet and honor such incredible and inspiring women,” said Mary Barneby, CEO at Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “Since the beginning, STEM has been a core pillar of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE), and with the launch of 42 new STEM-related badges this past July, we continue to offer Girl Scouts the opportunity to take on some of the biggest challenges and problems our planet faces—from cybersecurity and computer science to engineering and space science.”

Gail Baker leads Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) and Space Solutions for Mission Systems at Collins Aerospace. She is responsible for providing products and services to domestic and international government and commercial markets enabling mission success in space, the air, at sea, and the ground. She recently served as president, ISR & Space Systems, for United Technologies Aerospace Systems (UTAS), and as vice president, Air Management Systems & Business Development, for the Electric, Environmental, and Engine Systems business unit within UTAS.

Joan Higginbotham began her career in 1987 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as a payload electrical engineer in the Electrical and Telecommunications Systems Division. She was the lead for the Orbiter Experiments (OEX) on OV-102, the Space Shuttle Columbia and promoted to lead orbiter project engineer for OV-102 where she supported and managed the integration of vehicle testing and troubleshooting. She actively participated in 53 space shuttle launches during her nine-year tenure. Selected as an astronaut in 1996, Joan spent nearly 13 days in space helping to build the International Space Station.  She currently works on the Customer and Account Management team at Collins Aerospace where she manages the relationships between governmental agencies and human exploration companies.

Meryl Mallery is the vice president of engineering at Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense Company where she is responsible for overseeing the product development of mission critical hardware that is used on launch vehicles and satellites, missiles, and to support our soldiers in the battlefield. She has over 25 years of experience in the Aerospace and Defense industry, starting her career in 1987 working at the Kaiser Marquardt Corporation working on the analysis and design of liquid and gas rocket propulsion systems for tactical and missile defense markets. She spent the next several years working at Sverdrup Technology in Huntsville, Alabama supporting the Space Shuttle main engine program at Marshall Space Flight Center before joining the Ensign-Bickford Aerospace and Defense Company in 1997 as a research and development engineer.

The event’s mistress of ceremonies will be Girl Scout Angelina from Ellington, and local Girl Scouts will be present to discuss and showcase their highest award projects.

For sponsorship and event details, visit

To learn more about joining or volunteering for Girl Scouts, visit


We are Girl Scouts of Connecticut.

We’re nearly 39,000 members strong –over 26,000 girls and over 12,000 adults – who believe that every girl can change the world.

We're 2.5 million strong—more than 1.7 million girls and 750,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. And with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit