Chicago, IL (October 11, 2013) Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana announces Maria E. Wynne’s decision to retire as chief executive officer, effective Dec. 31, 2013.
“We are grateful for the visionary leadership that Maria has provided during the first five years following our unprecedented merger of seven Girl Scout corporations into the single largest Girl Scout council in the country,” said Karen Layng, president and chair of the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Board of Directors.
“During this transformational period, Maria positioned Girl Scouts as a leading non-profit in the greater Chicago business community by uniting our mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place, with a forward-looking approach to inspiring girls today with the skills they need to be successful in a 21st Century workforce,” Layng said. “As a council we will continue to build upon the momentum she started.”
In 2008, Wynne became the first CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, a council currently serving 84,000 girls and 24,000 adult members and volunteers in 245 communities in ten counties across two states.
"It is not often that one has the opportunity to transform an organization and to do so with such a superb team of board members, volunteers and staff, and with the support of visionary donors who have made the commitment to invest in girls. With the sizable consolidation job largely done, I want to pursue the next challenge. I am honored to have served such an iconic organization making a difference one girl at a time," said Wynne.
Wynne led the acquisition of “Journey World,” an experiential learning center in Chicago focused on introducing youth to the world of commerce and careers in science. Under her leadership, the council also introduced “My Girl Scout Sash is an App,” a program designed to teach software development to girls, which is currently a contender for the Chicago Innovation Awards.
“We recognize the imperative to invest in girls today so that they can grow into the workforce leaders of tomorrow. With that in mind, we have introduced amazing, new programs that are inspiring girls to have fun exploring non-traditional careers in the worlds of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and business,” said Wynne.
Wynne brought to the Girl Scouts a wealth of experience from her prior work as an executive for Microsoft, Xerox, Ameritech and Moore Business Forms. She worked in collaboration with the board of directors to prioritize the council's most urgent challenges while implementing new business practices. Her work following the merger led to the consolidation of treasury, investments and properties and a focus on structuring the organization to best serve its members and volunteers.
In preparation for Wynne’s retirement, the board of directors will oversee the implementation of the council’s transition plan and launch the search for the next CEO to lead the organization forward on behalf of its girl and adult members. The board of directors will recognize Wynne’s significant accomplishments at the Girl Scouts Tribute to Achievement fundraiser, March 12, 2014.