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Joining the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s Associate Board is an exciting opportunity for early- to mid-career professionals who want to contribute their time, talent, and treasure to the Girl Scout mission, while building professional networks and enhancing leadership skills.

Apply to join the Girl Scouts GCNWI Associate Board »
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Benefits of an Associate Board Membership

  • Friend-raising and networking experiences, including leadership development with the GCNWI Board of Directors.
  • Mentoring opportunities with girl constituents.
  • Name recognition in council materials.
  • Opportunities to enjoy special privileges such as behind-the-scenes tours and previews of new programs and initiatives.

Associate Board Membership Requirements

  • Commit to building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place and be passionate about developing future leaders.
  • Personally donate $500 (give) and work to bring in additional $500 (get) through personal/professional networks throughout the year.
  • Attend at least half of the bi-monthly general meetings, though attendance at all meetings is strongly encouraged.
  • Participate in a committee.
  • Volunteer at least twice each year.
  • Engage personal and professional networks and/or companies to support the organization at-large and Associate Board-specific events such as the Smart Cookies fall fundraiser, led by the Associate Board.

Download this PDF for additional details [PDF]

Apply to join the Girl Scouts GCNWI Associate Board »


Associate Board Members

Associate Board Members


April Morgan - President, Chicago Transit Authority

April is the Chief of Staff to the Board Chairman of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), the second largest transit agency in the United States. April is also an attorney, and prior to her current role she was a corporate attorney for CTA. Before joining CTA, she served as an attorney for the Illinois General Assembly and the Chicago Board of Education. April is a founding member of the Associate Board and has served as co-chair of the Membership and Governance Committee, Vice President, and now proudly serves as the President.

"As a former Girl Scout and a current troop leader, I have experienced firsthand the positive impact of Girl Scouts, and I believe in the organization’s far-reaching potential to equip girls from all communities and backgrounds to be leaders."

Vanessa Valdez Pelaez - Vice President

Vanessa grew up as a Girl Scout in San Antonio, Texas. After obtaining an Engineering degree at the University of Southern California, Vanessa began a career in consulting focusing on global business transformations. When she moved to Chicago, she began volunteering with a Girl Scout troop and joined the Associate Board.

"As a former Girl Scout, the words 'courageous' and 'strong' really hit home for me. I enjoy supporting the organization that gave me the foundation of who I am today."

Kara Nally - Director of Communications

As an attorney in Chicago, Kara's practice is centered on litigation. She helps individuals and small businesses navigate conflict, mitigate future risks, and achieve positive outcomes. In addition to the Associate Board, she also serves as the Co-Chair of the Chicago Bar Association's Alliance for Women. She's been lucky to live in many locations across the country and is very happy to have landed in Chicago.

"We all have a duty to support our community and ensure we're doing our part to improve it. Empowering girls is empowering our future. "


Amy Scholz - Manager, Enterprise Transformation Vendor and Asset Management, Grant Thornton

Amy Scholz is a manager in the Enterprise Transformation Vendor and Asset Management organization at Grant Thornton LLP. She holds a Bachelor’s degree and MBA in Accounting, and was her university’s cheer captain through grad school. She is no stranger to Girl Scouts, spending almost 10 years of her childhood as a Girl Scout and working at Camp Pokanoka during the summers of her undergrad years. She now spends her “free time” updating her foodie blog, hanging out with her husband and two rescue dogs, traveling, and running.

"Girl Scouts was a huge driver of who I turned out to be. I feel blessed to be able to “invest in girls” through this organization I could never fully repay."

Amanda Modelski - Demand Generation Manager at ATLATL Software

Amanda has called Chicago home for the past fourteen years after receiving a Bachelor degree from Saint Xavier University. She has ten years of experience in the planning and execution of digital marketing campaigns within the consumer goods and technology industries. In her current role, Amanda focuses on demand generation strategies and tactics for a SaaS startup. She recently graduated with a Master degree from Northwestern University. Amanda is an active member of the Associate Board and Global Action Volunteer Team.

"I enjoy serving on the Associate Board with other like-minded volunteers focused on the girl driven aspect of the organization. I often credit Girl Scouts in shaping the woman I am today."

Alexandria Seay - Manager, Field Communications at Walgreens

For as long as Alex can remember, she's been passionate about communicating. She is grateful to have discovered a career path where she currently uses her love of words, puns and alliteration to help more than 250,000 retail employees feel connected and empowered to be their best selves at work. Whether it’s coming up with a creative way to announce a product launch or writing a candid story about how employees are responding amid a pandemic, Alex values having a platform to do what she loves while impacting an iconic organization.

"My experiences as a Girl Scout undoubtedly shaped me into the woman I am today. I am honored to reconnect with the organization and to have the opportunity to ensure girls across Chicagoland achieve their dreams."

Suzanne Smyth, Ph.D., P.E. - Managing Engineer -- Exponent

Dr. Suzanne Smyth is a licensed professional engineer, a certified fire investigator, and a lifelong Girl Scout. She has over ten years of experience in the application of fire science and mechanical engineering to incident investigation, failure analysis, risk assessment, and litigation support. When not solving engineering problems, she loves hiking, bird watching, gardening, and puzzles of all kinds!

"I attribute so much of my courage, confidence, and character to a lifetime spent in Girl Scouting and I love giving back to the organization that gave me so much!"

Laura Rossi - Managing Director - Tax at Ernst & Young

Laura is a Managing Director in EY Private Tax, providing tax and financial planning to entrepreneurs, private business owners, multi-generational families and senior corporate executives to help create, preserve and transition wealth across generations. She is a recipient of the AICPA's 2017 Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Standing Ovation Award, which honors young CPAs for contributions to personal financial planning.

"Helping to raise awareness of the Girl Scout mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place."

Alyssa Ferrando - Actuarial Senior Consultant, CNA Financial

A lifelong Girl Scout, Alyssa earned her Gold Award in high school, and worked as a volunteer at Camp Greene Wood throughout college and beyond. Alyssa joined the Associate Board in order to continue her involvement in and support of Girl Scouts. Alyssa holds a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University and is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, hiking, and playing board games.

Nakhia Crossley - Central Region Director & Counsel, State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association

Nakhia Crossley is Central Region Director & Counsel at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a national trade association dedicated to solar advancement, advocacy, and education. She currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors at The Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc., a Founding Associate Board Member of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago/Northwest Indiana, and mentor and volunteer of both the Women’s Energy Network and the Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE). Nakhia earned her B.S. in Journalism/Mass Communications from North Carolina A&T State University and her J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, CA. She is a 2020 Fellow of the Chicago Urban League and University of Chicago Booth School of Business IMPACT Executive Leadership Development Program.

"I am passionate about empowering young girls to explore everything!"

Jessica Shuma - Lead Research Advisor - dscout

Jessica Shuma is a Lead Research Advisor at dscout. Jessica has worked in research and insights related roles for over 8 years.  As a lifelong Girl Scout, Jessica has gained many valuable experiences like earning the Gold Award, working as a camp counselor, and traveling to exciting locations such as Our Chalet, one of the five World Centres in Switzerland. On the weekends, Jessica enjoys taste-testing her husband's latest cooking experiments, having game nights with friends, and hanging out with her golden retriever.

"Girl Scouts provided me with countless experiences, friendships and growth opportunities that I would not have experienced otherwise. I value giving back to Girl Scouts and ensuring that other girls have similar opportunities."

Maggie Hartney - Asset Manager - Invenergy

Maggie Hartney works as an Asset Manager at Invenergy and is responsible for a portfolio of operating renewable energy assets including wind, solar, and battery storage projects. Previously, Maggie worked for the Bureau of Land Management in Tucson, AZ. She has an MBA from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and a B.S. from Tulane University. Maggie was a Girl Scout for 12 years and earned her Gold Award. She started and led her own troop in Tucson for 2.5 years. Maggie joined the Associate Board in 2021 upon moving to Chicago.

"Girl Scouting had a significant positive influence on the woman I am today. I am compelled to do a good turn and give back so that girls of today and of the future can reap the multitude of benefits this organization has to offer."

Juliann Krupa -  Environmental Scientist and Public Engagement Manager - Alliance for the Great Lakes, Shedd Aquarium and the Chicago Children’s Museum

Juliann Krupa is an environmental scientist and public engagement manager who has worked at the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Shedd Aquarium and the Chicago Children’s Museum, honing her expertise in project and program management, experiential learning, and outdoor recreation. She is an active member in Chicago's nonprofit community, also serving on the board of the Young Nonprofit Professional Network (YNPN) of Chicago. A lifetime Girl Scout member, she loves supporting Girl Scouts through the Associate Board and is particularly excited about serving on the Gold Award committee and connecting with older scouts. When she’s not out and about in Chicago, she loves reading cookbooks, playing board games, and fussing with her vegetable garden.

Yaqoota Aziz - Healthcare Strategist - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

Yaqoota works as a healthcare strategist at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois where she focuses on revenue diversification and growth strategies. She is passionate about developing & empowering young people, especially those from disadvantaged populations, so she volunteers with and serves on the Associate Boards of both Girl Scouts and Tutoring Chicago.

"Girl Scouts has a broad reach allowing us the opportunity to lift up young women, enabling their leadership development and professional growth in new and exciting ways."

Don’t hesitate to reach out!

Contact Holly Johnson, Senior Manager of Special Events, with any questions at 312-912-6329.