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 Governance and Board Experience
Gwen is responsible for working with the board, the national delegates, and the council delegates on engagement and governance. She is a career Girl Scout, who has worked for Girl Scout councils in Illinois and Michigan for almost 30 years. Prior to the realignment, Gwen worked for the legacy Girl Scouts of Chicago council for 15 years. With experience in membership, program, product program, adult development, volunteer services, and governance, Gwen brings a unique perspective to her current role. Gwen is a third generation Girl Scout, following in the steps of her mother and grandmother. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Illinois State University, with the intention of pursuing a career in Girl Scouting. Gwen earned a Certificate in Volunteer Management, and has 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 membership and volunteer management.
Jill Hudson, Vice President of Fund Development
Jill oversees the team responsible for establishing and securing financial partnerships with corporations, foundations, government entities, United Way agencies, and individuals, all of whose contributions support the council’s programming and operations. As a former journalist with a commitment to causes that advance girls’ and women’s interests, Jill was naturally drawn to the Girl Scout Mission. She joined Girl Scouts in 2007 as a manager in fund development in the Illinois Crossroads council, one of the seven councils that merged in 2008 to become Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. She had held several positions in the fund development department before becoming the department head in 2017. Before joining Girl Scouts, Jill ran her own public relations consulting firm for 10 years after working as a reporter for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat for several years. Jill earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University.
Vicki C. King, Vice President of Camp Programs, Property, Community
Engagement, Retail and Customer Care
In her role, Vicki has responsibility for community engagement, camp programs and properties, retail and customer care. The community engagement initiative, known as GirlSpace, is focused on delivering grant funded programs to 5,000 at-risk, underserved girls across the council geography. Vicki also oversees direct management of and strategy for GCNWI’s entire portfolio of properties, including seven camps and six office centers known as Gathering Places, over site for the council’s $1.2 million retail operation, and the area of business focused on providing phone-based volunteer support. 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. In the role, she 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 the marketing, recruitment, member services, troop support, service unit support, and data administration/reporting teams that are responsible for engaging people in our Girl Scout Mission as members, supporters and brand champions. As a news-editorial journalism graduate from the University of Illinois, Julie launched her career 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.