Meet The CEO
Nancy Wright has a proven track record in leading cross-functional teams within diverse business environments, focusing on revenue results, developing new business and building brands.
Prior to joining Girl Scouts, Nancy served as president of Blue Plate Catering, Inc., overseeing the operations of a significant multi-million dollar business that provides upscale catering services to corporate, non-profit, social and cultural institutions; direct service catering to private homes and offices; a world-class restaurant; and management of Applause Food Operations for the Chicago Symphony Center.
Nancy graduated with a Master of Science in Education degree from Northwest Missouri State University and a Bachelor of Special Studies degree from Cornell College. She served on the board of directors for the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and is a member of the Advisory Council for the International Catering Association. She is a member of the Woman's Athletic Club of Chicago, is a Girl Scout alumna, and was a Girl Scout leader and volunteer for six years.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Patty Fay, Vice President of Human Resources and Administration
Patty is responsible for human resources and business services throughout the council. Patty has experience in human resources with a variety of for profit companies. These include several positions at Wrigley, regional director of human resources at Associated Bank, human resources manager at Sandoz Agro, and human resources officer at Lake Shore National Bank. Patty received her BS degree from Miami University; she is also a Certified Compensation Professional and a member of the Society of Human Resource Management. In her free time, Patty volunteers with her daughter’s Girl Scout troop and has spent many a cold weekend helping her daughter build money management and goal-setting skills by selling Girl Scout Cookies.
Gwen Ferguson, Vice President of Volunteer Engagement
Gwen leads the teams responsible for screening, training, supporting and recognizing the more than 18,000 volunteers in our council. She is a career Girl Scout, who has worked for Girl Scout councils in Illinois and Michigan for almost 30 years. Immediately prior to the realignment, Gwen worked for the legacy Girl Scouts of Chicago council for 15 years. With experience as a membership specialist, program director, product program director, adult development manager, and director of membership and volunteer services, Gwen brings a unique perspective to her current role in supporting and retaining volunteers. Gwen is a third generation Girl Scout, following in the steps of her mother and grandmother. She earned a degree in sociology from Illinois State University, with the intention of pursuing a career in Girl Scouting. Gwen earned a Certificate in Volunteer Management from Harper College and pursued post-graduate work in Nonprofit Administration at North Park University. She served as a GSUSA national guest trainer for 5 years, training Girl Scout staff members in volunteer management and support.
Vicki C. King, Vice President of Programs and Property
In her role, Vicki has responsibility for program strategy, community engagement, camp programs and properties, as well as for developing new business alliances across the council geography. Contained in this function is also our marquee experiential learning initiative, Journey World. Our primary focus for program strategy is delivering a 21st century experience aligning with the GOTO2040 Plan for the Chicago Metropolitan Area and Quality of Life Indicators for Northwest Indiana and in the areas of STEM, financial literacy, and healthy living in order to prepare Girl Scouts to be leaders in the world that they will contribute to as adults. Community engagement is focused on delivering grant funded programs to girls who are underserved, as well as bringing innovative, grant funded programs to all girls across our geography. Vicki oversees direct management of and strategy for GCNWI’s entire portfolio of properties, including seven camps and six office centers known as Gathering Places. Vicki joined Girl Scouts in March of 2009 and is past president of the board for Loaves and Fishes Community Food Pantry in Naperville, Illinois, and retired in July of 2004 after 17 years with Microsoft Corporation as director of US outbound reseller sales, having managed revenue attainment and strategic direction for the outbound segment of the US reseller sales organization, which business represented 12 of the world’s largest Microsoft selling partners, $4 billion in revenue contribution, and a $3 million marketing budget. Vicki has a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from DePaul University.
Julie Somogyi, Vice President of Member and Mission Engagement
Julie oversees a team of dedicated membership, marketing and volunteer services staff who are responsible for sharing the Girl Scout story to engage people in our Girl Scout Mission as members, volunteers, donors, and brand champions. As a news-editorial journalism graduate from the University of Illinois, Julie began working as a newspaper reporter and editor and quickly found her passion by shifting to non-profit marketing and communications. She has advocated on behalf of girls and women for more than 20 years, serving as a staff member for three Girl Scout councils.
Joel Wilcoxen, Vice President of Finance & Administration
Joel is responsible for accounting, finance, IT and retail operations for the council. The majority of his career has been in the business-to-business services sector, including marketing, advertising and trademark licensing. He has received recognition for improving the operational efficiency of accounting departments by implementing streamlined workflow and best practices. He brings a wealth of financial and operational experience to the position, having served in senior management capacities in small, privately held companies as well as large, publically traded companies including Leo Burnett and Draft Worldwide. Immediately prior to joining the Girl Scouts, Joel led the successful three-year turnaround effort of a large social services agency based in Chicago. Joel received his BS in Accounting from Illinois State University and his MBA degree from Bradley University. He serves on the board of directors for People’s Resource Center and is honorary treasurer for the Salt Creek Ballet.