Girl Scout alumni in Arizona soar

Leading the Pack 

Girl Scout alumni in Arizona soar.

By Alison Bailin Batz

In Arizona, Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) serves more than 22,000 girls in grades K-12 with the help of more than 10,000 adult members who act as troop leaders, mentors, program assistants, consultants, and board members.

And, as many of our readers with a sweet tooth (or daughters) already know––for six weeks each year, Girl Scouts in Arizona participate in their biggest fundraising of the year: the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Now through March 4, more than 13,000 girls in central and northern Arizona will be walking around neighborhoods with delicious cookies and boothing in front of local stores. This year also marks the start of the second 100 years of Girl Scouting in America.

Given this milestone, we reached out to local female resident and business leaders to see the impact that scouting has had on our community. The response was overwhelming!


Susan Brichler Trujillo

Partner, Quarles & Brady LLP

“To this day, I even remember the Girl Scout law, which is fitting given I ended up an attorney. Looking back, everything we did in Girl Scouts was designed to help us grow into well-rounded adults equipped to successfully meet the future, which included instilling in us the desire to help others. For me, all of the programs I took part in, including cookie sales, summer camp, and badge projects provided an upward progression of leadership opportunities, from learning to make decisions in my Brownie troop to addressing the tough issues that face girls and women and our world as a whole.”


Kim Dees

Senior Vice President, Washington Federal

“Most people don’t know it, but the Girl Scout Cookie program is the largest girl-led business–– and among the most successful financial literacy programs––in the world! And funny enough, like Girl Scout Cookies themselves, we celebrated our 100th anniversary at Washington Federal last year, too. From selling cookies, I not only took critical money management skills, but marketing, public speaking, and even team work skills that I use to this day. Plus, I can still set up a mean cookie booth in a pinch, if needed. And, I still have my sash, to boot.”


Debbie Johnson

Director, Arizona Office of Tourism

“Girl Scouts is really the first experience I had in doing group work. It is interesting now to see how participating in that process and seeing the benefits of working as a group has impacted me. Using group collaboration is invaluable and I’m grateful for a positive start to that way of thinking!”


Teri Kelly

Senior Vice President, Morgan Stanley

“As a Brownie, I always looked up to the older girls who were leading programs for younger girls. As I became an older girl, my favorite activity was leading younger girls on hikes, through badge work, etc. The cookie sale itself gave me confidence in walking up to strangers to ask for their business.”


Sen. Kimberly Yee

Arizona State Senator

“Selling Girl Scout cookies door to door in my neighborhood was the perfect training ground to prepare me for grassroots campaigning. Very few people are comfortable doing a cold-call knock on a neighbor’s door and being able to start up a conversation, but as a former Brownie and Girl Scout, we were trained to do that every year when we sold our boxes of cookies. Today, I still go door to door in my neighborhood, but now I’m doing voter outreach and campaigning as a candidate for elected office.”


Ellie Ziegler

Founder, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art/Ellie & Michael Ziegler Fiesta Bowl Museum

“Girl Scouts taught me that overcoming housing, hunger, and educational divides were possible. Through its programs, I accepted more responsibility and a stronger work ethic evolved. Girl Scouts provided me with the blessing of being unconditionally accepted without bullying, discouragement or judgment.”


And, don’t miss the 5th Annual Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge, being held at more than a dozen North Valley restaurants Feb. 1 to 28, including The Herb Box, Ocean Prime, Rusconi’s American Kitchen, Olive + Ivy, The Henry, Super Chunk Sweets & Treats, Brat Haus, Grape Wine Bistro, The Covenant, Market Street Kitchen, and many more. For more information, visit

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