SACRAMENTO — Girl Scouts Heart of Central California’s (GSHCC) board of directors has selected Dr. Linda Farley as the new chief executive officer of the progressive nonprofit, which serves more than 29,000 girls and 10,000 adult members in 18 counties in the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto region.
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Farley — who holds a doctorate in leadership from University of St. Thomas, St. Paul — will leave her current position as director of development for the Crocker Art Museum to become CEO of the local Girl Scout council on Jan. 7, 2013.
GSHCC is the largest girl-serving organization in the area, offering all girls in grades K-12 the tools they need to be successful leaders now and throughout their lives.
“I am thrilled to be stepping into the role of CEO at this time in the organization’s history — just as Girl Scouts enters its second century as the preeminent leadership development organization for girls,” Farley said. “It will be a privilege and honor to work with the volunteers, staff, board and many other constituents to further the mission and achieve the vision of a program that provides endless ways for girls to learn and lead.”
Before joining the Crocker in 2008, Farley held numerous executive positions, including chief fund development officer at American Red Cross Mile High Chapter, chief operating officer of Up with People, and executive director of the Children’s Museum of Denver, among other positions. Fittingly for her role at GSHCC, her doctoral dissertation at University of St. Thomas focused on leaders in the midst of organizational change.
“Linda is a strong role model for the girls and adults she will lead,” said GSHCC Board Chair Robin Kren. “Her dedicated presence in the Sacramento community will enable her to move GSHCC forward as she focuses on building the leaders of tomorrow.”
Farley was a Girl Scout for seven years as a child and was a featured speaker at GSHCC’s 100th anniversary Gala Celebration in June, during which she shared lessons she learned — and still utilizes today —from the Girl Scout Brownie handbook.
Current CEO Pam Saltenberger is retiring from GSHCC after 17 years. Under her leadership, the organization experienced tremendous growth and efficiencies.
She became CEO of the Tierra del Oro Girl Scout council in 1996 and led its successful merger with Muir Trail to become GSHCC in 2007. Saltenberger also increased the organization’s annual budget from $2.6 million in 1998 to $7.6 million in 2013, growing total assets from $5.1 million to $12.5 million as of September.
Strongly advocating that Girl Scouts is for “every girl, everywhere,” Saltenberger focused on making sure money was never a reason a girl could not be a Girl Scout. Each year more than $150,000 in financial assistance is awarded to girls for membership dues, books and uniform pieces. GSHCC also employs staff to provide Girl Scouting in inner-city schools, community centers, correctional facilities, housing communities and shelters. GSHCC’s overall membership has grown to nearly 40,000, placing the council in the top 25 percent of all councils nationwide in terms of size.
“I made a promise to myself that I would retire when I had accomplished what I set out to do here,” Saltenberger said. “That time has come and I believe GSHCC is ready to further expand under Linda’s leadership.”
In retirement, Saltenberger will continue to serve on the boards of several organizations and as board chair of Sol Aureus College Preparatory Charter School. She is also a member of her alma mater University of Oregon’s library advancement council.
“Pam prepared the council for a strong future and we will always be indebted to her,” Kren said.
Farley will begin her position at the start of the 2013 Girl Scout Cookie Program. She also enters at the opening stages of GSHCC’s exciting new initiative, Think Girl — the Girl Investment, which funds local leadership opportunities for girls, while also providing support to professional women in the region.
For more information on how to join, volunteer with or donate to Girl Scouts Heart of Central California visit girlscoutshcc.org or call 1-800-322-GIRL.
The Central district includes: Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Mariposa, Merced, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba counties.