Pat Parcellin - CEO of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts

Sunday, December 17th

Sue Tabb chats with Pat Parcellin, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts.  She talks to us about what it’s like to be at the helm of such an impactful organization for young girls and strives to identify ways to increase membership and the communities that are underserved. 


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning and welcome to exceptional women and magic and a six point seven I'm sue to happen I'm excited to be joined in studio today by a woman who has made a full career move. From the court to the nonprofit world where she is working as a tireless advocate for women and young girls. She's cat parcel and CEO of the girl scouts of eastern Massachusetts and she's here that's to talk about today's girl scout welcome pat. Think he's somewhat silly it's wonderful to be here while we used to just think about cookies and badges and we thought about Girl Scouts and boy have we come along way it's just snapped that way anymore tell us what it means today to be a growth got absolutely sick and is you know we were talking earlier and we will both gross outs I guess. And we had a great experience around that in technique. We are focusing so much around the stem disciplines around science technology engineering and math and I think that because it's really about building girl leaders and grown that our future generation of scientists and doctors and mobs in engineers. Hadn't we're so excited about offering these opportunities around the stem disciplines. So helping today's girls become the future leaders means connecting them to the potential of science technology engineering and math and exposure to the type of Korea's that they can have in stamp. Help them to develop a passion for these fields which is preparing for college frankly in a future workforce. Yet and it's funny because I used to remember when I thought the Girl Scouts I think of that motto be prepared you know and what it meant to me back then was more about like be prepared just safety wise or. Second thing and now it's about being prepared and a whole different way you know being prepared to go out and seize every opportunity that's available TU and to be a leader and to take control of your life you know whether it be your financial you know wellbeing your health your career. You know your personal life right it's really about the whole person not just one area. Absolutely and I believe strongly that Girl Scouts inspires girls to do these things and also it's about you know taking breaks and the most successful people at those that actually take risk and try new things and a free to do that and I think by offering the growth opportunity for hands on learning allows them to come out of their comfort zone in to be successful in tracking it thanks. And you guys are the girl scouts of eastern Massachusetts so what does that encompass. It's a lot of geography at southern he had shipped out of Cape and Islands and everything east of twister. We have. 35000. Girls that are members how and we have fifteen pounds in adult volunteers and we're in 170 community so where more dense and we have a huge population. Where one of the latch is actually in the nation when Atlanta councils that's amazing so is it like it used to be like Eric troop leaders and there. Weekly meetings and what it does look like. We still have the traditional troop model in really it's up to the leaders and the girls to decide how they want to go movie follow it so they could despite meet weekly which is pretty typical especially with the younger girls yeah or they may be the older girls that you know are also involved and other activities. They may have by weekly a bimonthly meetings once a month meetings. In times with our old growth as well there individual Girl Scouts so they want to continue won the Girl Scouts spectrum and maybe go for one of your awards at a higher level they tend to be a little more independent now you mentioned awards I know that there's a new award if it Cobb the gold award yes well actually that at its new name but it's been around for what hundred years in this year actually 2016 were celebrating 100 years of gold. Hello Kathy has in its quite special people liken it a lot to the Boy Scouts eagle award a crash in what happens with that as a girl finds a project that will support the communities so that has beat community impact about that. She works with folks in the community and it could be hurt community you could be the greater community frank could be outside of the states are frankly outside of the United States. You can't just be a onetime events. Had an often McGraw spent at least eighty hours over a year and a half to two years on the projects so how. It's a huge big deal and it's such an honor. And if I could add when my thing about that is talking about our daughters in college to get when you girls go to college if they put on their application that they receive tickled to what they earned the gold award ecologists recognize that in a girl decides which the military she starts at a higher level than she would have had she not turned cold toward pats have may evening and do a lot of girls strive for that. Guess girls do strife that would be -- before I got to for peer at them is they get their silver in the prime until like you're learning entertaining skills along the way skeptical to watch but I would say probably 10% of all girls actually critical to what its heart and that's why it's so credible and it gives them so much merit going into something else because it's not an easy thing to obtain that's right he asked me even there working with community leaders talking about the proposal and how they're gonna do. Only they being organized and coming together around to what they want to do but I have to present time it you have to make it happen they have to implement it in nature sustainable. Do they still have like badges for different milestone things like I know they have these awards back. The stash is but the badges and what are those were as I remember is like. There was a sewing badge and hospitality badge and a cooking and cooking dad because that was back then and I'm sure now those badges look a lot different absolutely and we do have badges and we have patches and patches every elite media girl ghost when his attitude has a one time opportunity to experience something put up just currents. I think and you earn a badge when you learn new skills but you've mastered that skill set. So we have badges around computer coding today a lot we have badges around the environments in environmental sustainability. We have badges around campaign and learning how to start a fire. We have badges around first aid and essential skills that really serve the girl's well. But it's not about just completing a one time event it's more like you said about demonstrating that you haven't applied knowledge in that area apps and that what you mean yeah act apps which then becomes something that you carry with you rather than just something you did for the sake of getting a batch absolutely in so many times folks we'll ask how girls what is that adds how did you get it in what does that mean. It's a great symbol of what they've been doing in the Crisco pro. If you just waking up in tuning Nina listening to exceptional women on magic one of six point seven we've been talking with CEO pat parcel and about the evolution of the Girl Scouts in the amazing programs available today T young women let's get back to our conversation I wanna talk a little bit about misconceptions about the girl scout. What would you say the main misconception beat today about what a girl scout does it looks like. Gore sewer that is a great question I peak folks may tend to still think about Girl Scouts as you know living in the sub herbs. With the stay at home. You know middle class not having any issues around financial support in things like that but that's not tree lit every community that we have an I would say actually across the nation we have girls with a diverse backgrounds. We have girls that come from different type of feed at least and may have different types of caregivers whether it's an aren't. A mom and dad it's hatteras cell growth coming all shapes and sizes and we have from different backgrounds. In so we want to make sure that all girls regardless of their situation their neighborhood. If I need to capacity have the opportunity girl scout. Never say no to across cup when speakers got. In right now it's 25 dollars a year to be a girl scout which is very modest people are shocked when I say that some girls compete at least can't afford that. But he could be milk and bread eggs for the week and so we offer financial aid to those girls as well. In we offer programs whether it's in the suburbs are in the city so that congress can participate. And how are you funded I mean we all know that you make a lot of money from your annual cookie sales but is that your main revenue stream and how often do you get funded. Sure so there's different pieces of our revenue stream that cookies IP security peace and the girl could keep glasses Arab they're selling the cookies so a portion of that field goes directly back to the troops to support the girls in what ever initiative they're interested in whether it's going on a trip. Giving back to the community going to a stem conference and in April etc. so portion of those funds go back to the girls and then the rest of it is used to support all of my programming. So all of the funds are used 100% to support whether it's you know camp or the many programs that we offer. We offer troops support it because you know if she can implement in our campus quite subsidized by the revenue because otherwise it would be an affordable for so many girls. And we also to receive revenue from the programs that we offered but again it's very minimal. In from teen and infant philanthropy as well. I can tell by the way you're talking about the organization of a lot of passion for it and I'm just wondering because I know your background. Is you're in the corporate world for over thirty years finance. In this is kind of a departure for you this is something different you just became CEO was that this past follow up treatments okay eighteen months ago. So this is a big venture Phieu and it's very different why did you choose this. Well that's a great question and interesting story so she be tight from financial services after 32 years yeah into my husband's retired. And Ernie decided by heat and what he had done it may impact on one and two in the corporate world. And I decided I was going to retire and start writing of the can instantly follows an avalanche like that little part time job or hobby and you take on this CEO Carlos got to be through Massachusetts. Well I I didn't tie your free here it was lovely Qaeda may be you know one of the best things I've ever done in my life it was selling enjoyable. And then someone sent me this opportunity and said pat. I know that you're not looking for full time worker any work at all but still have this opportunity and couldn't think of any London and Leo and so I was flattered of course and so did some research and I thought no no no no I'm retired and I'm happy and doing what immediately if you later I woke up in the and I penalty evidence that yes I know you're about to think I had won thirty and I will company thought about it he said he elected so supports my personal strategy around women in leadership and girls. I have two daughters and four sisters I have one green and it went in the wind but to me it was so important night and woke up and I thought oh my gosh and wouldn't do this LED and went forth and you know was offered this opportunity and it is Kiev to be able to do this work. Is such gift to me and for me it's about keeping. And and you know I've been given opportunities in my life I was current count he had an amazing career. In each painful in to give back so that's him to England you know it's up by. You that you say you've got up at 1:30 in the morning in iPad so many moments of clarity in the middle of the night I don't know what it is maybe it's because your comment you know bad and in the shower I. I'm like I and a decent cities like I should be doing. So that's amazing. And it's still a good fit for your skill set because you guys do a lot of rounds like financial management with the girls and things like that right. Absolutely. Yeah and for me coming from the corporate world understand sort of epic picture and understanding. Finances which is so important and you know budgets and human resource is an all of that in. Financial literacy I receive people if I wasn't doing what I'm doing now with the Girl Scouts. I think it would have volunteered to teach financial literacy to young people and older people to hit it right because I think it's so important financial literacy is an important part of our curriculum that Girl Scouts as well. And I want to talk a little bit about some of the things you put into place since taking on the role I know you've already established a mentoring program called the emerald leadership circle powerful and a bit about that. Yes sure so. What we did was we engaged senior executives in the Greater Boston area we invited them to what we called our inaugural if you that was just been a year. Our inaugural game of leadership group. And he presented to them on what was happening with Girl Scouts these women got to also be you know able to network with each other which is fabulous in her amazing women with a small group. Our plan is to actually crow that group. But the value of it is C have offered to mentor some fat girls in action have their girls you know come visit them in their offices so that the girls can see what they can be you know because we all need role models that we can you know aspired to be in and say that she was just like me when they look at her now she's this leader in rights organization. Any of you have strong family role models I feel like it's nice outside of that to have additional positive role models because your parents can't be everything you know and maybe they don't know anything about a career that you might aspire to you. Don't listen to strangers and adolescent stuff. Up at error when I. Know that. What you say has been your toughest challenge since coming into the position. Well the difference if you will from being in the corporate world and being in a nonprofit world is that you know the wonderful volunteers that we have. We have 151000 volunteers and so probably my biggest challenge is not being able to meet everybody because there are meeting and if so much of themselves and their time in their inspiration to girls are all the troop leaders volunteers. Yes on the two teams of volunteers we do have a program we care in certain communities. We partner with the school and we actually have some corporation. Who provides us with funds that we can have trained facilitators of fuel because it's held at the school. I'll have legal for the training all the volunteers constraint right in we offer a lot of support so I guess my biggest challenge I guess if anything I wish I could do more of would be to meet with those volunteers went Mac being such a big organization and there's about a possible. I am so grateful for them they do humans work I mean what about. Your proudest accomplishment and it's only been eighteen months into sort of taken over the reigns but is there something that you really proud of or something you've -- I am that you're definitely looking to do in the near future. So eighteen months of last with that meeting because she eighteenth at the Girl Scouts and two we have reminded get within our organization and move pieces of liberals responsibilities. And that's going really well. And I think I'm proud of it but it's not me it's the team here they're leaving it in your still the visionary said that's good but yes I think you have to have really solid people Andrea. Absolutely so they're doing a great work. They care so much about the girls and about the work that we killing him and it's interesting because you know being in this round two is made I have to pick her if that and that. If that makes cities that Adam well it's almost like it's not just did job it's kind of a lifestyle when you say absolutely and and when you think about it like even being here today so one thing I think would definitely each since happening here. But again huge to oust American teens think visibility in the current. Issue ethical to what. Isn't as prominent or people's minds even the girl scouts of today I feel it's great to be able to talk about apparently quiet we all heard about the eagle scout and not all heard about the gold award for the Girl Scouts you know we need to kind of level that playing field app to play now that the girls are doing good things to absolutely. OK if you are just tuning in your listening to exceptional on magic when a six point seven pact are some CEO of the girl scouts of eastern Massachusetts is our guest today. She is filling us in on the amazing work of the organization. And telling us about the leaders that they are currently shaping up continue on I wanna talk a little bit about the volunteers again how do you find him if people who are listening. Wanna get involved whether they want to make a donation whether they wanna be a leader. How can people get involved. So there will be fine volunteers as within 170 communities have service coordinators. It's actually an individual that helps to reach out within the community to identify those women that will be pro models for girls in addition to act we call the school palace. Always looking for an easing women and men to volunteer to be troop leaders and role models for girls. Tell me ages that you need to be to be girl scout because I remember they were brownies Girl Scouts is that still how it goes right back is a brownie separate. All Girl Scouts are okay but we actually start with the EC level it -- yeah national agreement on isn't easy. And it went and how old are daisies so that they tend to be five and six years old so kindergarten at first great yep and then your brownies and they're you know contests in juniors and seniors and theaters. So it goes from each side to each team and then after eighteen the girls collect left college to school or to work force but with these great scales. Yeah amazing volunteers typically eighteen and older. Actually probably what typically 25 channels are. And that's what changed from the parents at volunteers of yesteryear where typically stay at home moms you know their moms and dads and most often they're also in the workforce. And by volunteering being troop leaders is keeping them scales in giving them a network of other men and women to connect its community and I think that you know you have to remember that the girls are learning things from each other. That the head of steam when is that with service units in the together and they just have this great connection and they care so deeply about each of the success. You've been around a long time you partner with a lot of organizations. Outside of your own talk a little bit about that how important it was partnerships are. Sewell are so on the program for a week patent for the with the museum site and on Friday nights we have is people were at the museum which I think cabinet have to try to do that what it is that's got to out. Super cool probably have a 110 staff and then of questionable with another few hundred in the summer so we can do so much. So we partner with other organizations to offer programming which we think will be huge twin girls that Sony. And you partner with any colleges in terms of preparing high school girls for college uranium back I think. Absolutely we do and we have and huge partnership with the conflicts. We have two weeks conferences together. And we've recently had a conference Coca Beecher way. We and we had a meeting speakers come in and talked to the girls about their journey and these high school girls ride back. To get them inspired because when I think about it we talked about leading women essence which happened in March. And there's many colleges that are supporting cast because they know that these girls in the future students as. Do you hope in an app you can pinpoint this in a sentence or two but what do you hope that the girls take away from your experience as a girl scout what is it that you want them because you want them to have a lasting benefit right in what would that be if you had to put in words. Mission said it's the girls that the eagle away feeling courageous feeling confident in coming into the world and they make it into place whatever that mean mean to them personally and that you know go getters. Your leaders there risk takers in the beaters within everything that the team that her community impact. And what would you say looking at where you're going down the road what is your hope that girl scout organization. As we move along into the future there's so much. That's changing about a world weather peak technology. Or. The opportunities that are now available to women like the stamp thing is huge I have a daughter who's interested in going into engineering and it's a whole new world and I can't believe how it's still such a new thing for women it's seems to me like we should be even further I want them yes but. At least from a different direction. And I just think that that's amazing and what you're seeing down the road if he had to say you know five or ten years from now. Actually silk so no one I want all girls school we feel not only so inspiring but knowing that they can do anything except at ninety and that they have had these circumstances that keeps them that confidence around. And so when I think about the future I think about. Continuing to keep relevant around new technology I mean there are things in the next five to ten years that we can't even imagine today turn out right so you have to be ready we need to be ready to talk about those opportunities for the girls. In frankly they're going to be building some of that technology that. I was just gonna say yeah will be our bosses day I don't have that'd be a bit heavy fighting the act we let me show that they have that. At that you know we're strong country yes on communities. In that they have gender equality in the work force as well because what's which for for women is good for FEMA les is good for the community. It's good for the world so it's really important that. We take care of teacher yes and you really put a strong focus on being a good mentor yourself and the people. That are volunteering your organization did you mentor growing up that was really instrumental in your life so. Many mentors at sheet and leading column my point of directors impressed athletic director at. But I would say you know my mom might Wear incredible and my mom is a woman of strength Scotty four years old conflict for our I met an agency or she's 83 and a half my dad said he can do anything EC ninety I think it was because I have four sisters and a brother that he was you know also well you know when the power. So then be set for this coupled network Austrian. For many years in me came to the United States with very little. And I mean they had a plaque in the kitchen that's set the world you're living that you have to work hard to it so for me it was like you can do you can be whatever you wanna be have to work for it doesn't just happen. And so that was very fun to me. It's funny that you remember I've out of exactly how exactly. It's funny the things that we carry with us is and it which is why. You she feels so good in knowing that you're making such an impact is I'm assuming that a lot of them stay with Tokyo. For years and years and years as they grow up and he said there you know Beazer years they're forming me yeah cash. And at around 89 that's been girls tend to start losing their self confidence they sent to be shot you know you ask don't wanna be Smart in school and things like that so. But I meant to those things obviously had a delta center when I was an adult is centers and centers but. I talk about these things as a child and be in my formative years and of course I troop leaders how could I forget and they were so professional. I never remember them being gossipy your caddie it was all these amounts are right girls this is what we're gonna do they were highly organized. They made us feel welcome them I mean he's formed you know these were things that formed the earliest in my life. We are running out of time and fortune so if people are listening and they either wanna become a girl scout or there are an adult who wants to get involved in your organization someway. Tell us the website how they can find out more information absolutely so the website is hurt. Girl Scouts dot org that a lot of fight everything that you meet in past contact numbers if you need more information. Thank you pat for sharing the girl scout mission with us today in helping us understand the importance of disorganization. As you continue to have such an impact on young girls lives we wish you much success near journey it's been such a pleasure having you thank you so much so. It's been my pleasure to have pat Parsons CEO of the girl scouts of eastern Massachusetts as my cast an exceptional event. Remember that exceptional women are everywhere we interview celebrities and authors and CEOs who we are also interested in talking to teens and coworkers and neighbors we're just quietly making it different to you know someone like that let us know go to magic when a 67 dot com. And click on exceptional women and then joined Tina gala meet every Sunday morning at 730 have a great day everyone.