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2020-2021 Board of Directors

Officers

George Shuster headshot

George W. Shuster, Esq., Chair - George Shuster is the retired CEO and Chairman of Cranston Printworks, the nation’s oldest textile company. He is also former Chairman of Care New England, Chairman of the National Textile Association, Chairman of the Textile Hall of Fame in Lowell, Massachusetts, and past President of the Narragansett Council of the BSA. He also served on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in the US Navy. When he was in college, George worked as a boating instructor at Camp Hoffman for two summers. He was formerly a partner at Edwards and Angell. He received a BA from Yale College, an MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a JD from Yale Law School. He is the past chairman of Kent Hospital and co-chair of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition. He is the past secretary of the Yale Crew Association. He has been recognized nationally for his quilts made of clothing labels and internationally for his studies of sperm whale populations. George currently serves as the Chair of the GSSNE Council.

Joanne Lynch

Joanne Lynch, 1st Vice Chair - Joanne is currently the Assistant Dean of Admissions at the University of Rhode Island. She has been a higher education professional for more than 30 years, and past positions include Associate Director of Admission at Northern Arizona University, and Director of Student Services at Northeastern University School of Law. She earned a B.S. in English and M.Ed. in College Student Personnel from Northeastern University, and the M.A. in Counseling from Northern Arizona University. She also serves as President of the Board of the Jonnycake Center of PeaceDale RI. In 2017, she was recognized as a Wild Woman awardee by the Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County.

Joanne was a Brownie, Junior, and Cadette in Warren, MA. She chaired the Board Development Committee for two years, and she served as Chair of the CEO Search Committee. Joanne is serving her second full term as 1st Vice Chair.

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Michael D. Lynch, Esq, 2nd Vice Chair - Mike is Vice-President Legal at The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company and has been for eighteen years. Before then, Mike was a Partner in the Providence law firm of Higgins Cavanagh & Cooney. Mike has helped lead a number of non-profit entities over the years, in both the private and public sector, and he has been very active in a number of youth sports and religious activities. Mike is married to Mary and has two children. His daughter Rosalie is a recipient of the Gold Award. His son Connor is an Eagle Scout. Mike is currently serving as a 2nd vice chair for GSSNE and is the chair of the Audit Committee.

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Janice DiPietro, Treasurer - Driven by a passion for helping people and organizations succeed, Janice has successfully led and consulted to companies for over 25 years. She has experience in many diverse and complex industries, with a focus on women-led and family enterprises. A lifelong student of leadership and human behavior, Janice believes by empowering people to do their best, exceptional results are possible. Janice founded E.L.I. to channel that passion and experience in a powerful new way, bringing together an exceptional team of C-level executives to guide clients successfully through periods of growth, performance improvement and leadership and ownership transitions.

Janice holds an MBA and doctoral degree from Boston University and graduated summa cum laude from Bentley University with a BS in Accountancy. She also speaks and publishes on a variety of business topics and serves as a board member for several profit and nonprofit organizations.

Janice enjoys spending time with her husband of over 35 years and their expanding family — including four incredibly energetic grandchildren! An avid beach-goer, she takes full advantage of the beautiful New England coastline as often as possible.  Janice is currently filling an unexpired term as Treasurer for GSSNE, and she chairs the Strategic Planning Committee.

lori basilico

Lori A. Basilico, Esq., Secretary - Lori is a partner attorney with the law firm of Locke Lord LLP. She is the head of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation group. She received an LL.M in Taxation from Boston University School of Law, a JD from the University of Denver College of Law and a BA in government from Smith College. She is active with the Smith College Club of Rhode Island and was a board member of the Rhode Island Lung Association. Lori lives in Providence with her husband, Paul Adler and their two children, Griffin and Cecily. Lori is currently serving as Secretary for GSSNE.

Members-at-Large

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Joanne M. Daly - Joanne M. Daly is a First Vice President and Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley and has more than 25 years of financial services experience. Joanne is a former CPA Tax Manager for Ernst and Young and earned an M. S. in Taxation from Bryant University. Joanne is on the board of the Women’s Fund of RI and GFWC Women’s Club of South County, as well as a member of South County Hospital’s Development Committee, RISCPA Women’s Leadership Council, RI Estate Planning Council and United Way of RI’s Tocqueville Society Committee. Joanne is a former Girl Scout leader for her daughter’s troop and her mother was a Girl Scout, as well. Joanne lives in Narragansett with her husband.

K Davis updated

Katie Davis - Katie Davis is an Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press award-winning investigative reporter at NBC 10. As part of the NBC 10 I-Team, Katie investigates waste and fraud in Southern New England and holds the powerful accountable. Her most important job, though, is being a mom to her son and daughter. When she’s not spending time with them or chasing a story, Katie loves to run and practice yoga.

Tara DeMoura

Tara DeMoura - Tara is Vice President, Employer Segment, of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI). Tara has been with BCBSRI for 20 years and is recognized as an industry leader advancing bold business strategies for growth and operational excellence. During her tenure, she has held leadership positions in the areas of underwriting, sales, product development, analytics, and operations and has been a member of the senior leadership team since 2016.

Tara holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Providence College and is a former member and captain of their Division I field hockey team. She is active in her home community of Westport, Massachusetts, where she is a board member, treasurer, and coach within the girl's basketball league. She has also served as a board member and is the former finance chair of Girls on the Run Rhode Island, a nonprofit organization serving Rhode Island and Bristol County, Massachusetts, dedicated to creating a world “where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.”

Gina DeVecchis

Gina M. DeVecchis - Gina M. DeVecchis is a Principal at DiSanto, Priest & Co. with over 20 years of experience in public accounting, specializing in estate and trust work. In addition, she is involved in consulting for privately held businesses and preparation of corporate and individual returns. In addition, she actively participates in the firm’s internship program, especially with high school students. She is President of DiSanto Priest Charitable Foundation. Gina received her undergraduate degree from the University of Rhode Island with a concentration in accounting as well as a Master of Science in Taxation degree from Bryant University.

She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants where she has been involved with the Membership and Personal Financial Planning Committees.

Gina currently serves as Chair of the GSSNE Finance Committee.

MaryKay Koreivo

MaryKay Koreivo - MaryKay Koreivo is a Senior Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager for the Rhode Island market in Commercial Banking at Bank of America. In this capacity, her responsibilities include leading a team of specialists focused on understanding each client’s unique needs to deliver strategic financial guidance and solutions.

MaryKay volunteers with several not-for-profit organizations. In support of early childhood literacy, she is an active member of the United Way of RI’s Women United where she serves on the Executive Committee and as Chairperson of the Membership Committee. MaryKay also volunteers as a Loan Committee member for Social Enterprise Greenhouse, which creates positive social and economic impacts by supporting social entrepreneurs and enterprises. In addition, she is past president of the LPGA Amateurs of RI, currently volunteers in the association’s charity fundraisers, and serves as Coordinator of its Cranston League. As a dance enthusiast, MaryKay serves on the Finance Committee and is a Partner for Dance for the Island Moving Company, the not-for-profit Newport-based contemporary ballet company. She also serves as a mentor for teammates across Bank of America Merrill Lynch as a member of Power of Ten, a grassroots program that encourages women to expand their career horizons.

MaryKay graduated with a B.S in Business Administration/ Finance Major from the University of Rhode Island. She continued her education at Bryant University where she earned a Master’s in Business Administration. She now resides with her family in Cumberland, RI. MaryKay was recognized as one of GSSNE’s Leading Women in 2019. She was a Girl Scout as a child in NJ and served as a leader in RI for seven years.

Carrie Majewski

Carrie Majewski - Carrie is committed to affecting change. Whether that means helping a company originate and execute a best-of-breed marketing and branding strategy, leading a seminar on redefining leadership, or creating safe space for female trailblazers to come together, she is fueled by desire to take action. Carrie is the Founder and CEO of the Women in Leadership Nexus. She is also the Vice President of Marketing of Trilix, a business and technology solutions firm. Carrie was named the 2019 "Woman to Watch" in the Providence Business News' Professional Services category; a 2019 winner on the RI Inno 50 On Fire List; a 2017 Rhode Island “40 Under 40” honoree and a 2016 Rhode Island Tech10 Winner. She received her bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. In 2017 she received her Women in Leadership professional certificate from Cornell University. Carrie is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts Southeastern New England and a member of the Tech Collective's Women in Technology Committee.

Carrie serves on GSSNE's Leading Women Committee as well as the Advocacy Committee.

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Maria Markos - Maria is Senior Director of Finance Transformation at CVS Health, a health innovation company with the purpose of helping people on their path to better health.  She has been with CVS Health for over ten years in varying accounting roles.  In her current role, she is responsible for overseeing a multi-year project that is transforming CVS Health’s Finance Organization by upgrading digital core systems with powerful tools and standardized processes.  Prior to CVS Health, Maria was an Audit Manager at Ernst and Young, LLP.  She is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island where she received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting as well as her Master of Science in Accounting.  Maria is a CPA, licensed in Rhode Island.  She currently serves as the Audit Committee Chair of the Church of the Annunciation where she has been a longtime volunteer and is responsible for the coordination, execution, and reporting of the annual financial statement review.

Maria serves on GSSNE’s Audit Committee as well as the Cookies and Cocktails Committee.

claire nelson

Claire Nelson - Claire Nelson runs an independent marketing consulting business, Contemporary Clarity, where she specializes in communications for small businesses and non-profit organizations. Before moving to Middletown, Rhode Island in 2018, she was the Marketing & Communications Manager at Rogers Ford Sales in Midland, Texas. Claire graduated with honors from Texas Christian University, earning a BBA in Marketing and Minor in Music. She had the opportunity to travel abroad to Italy, Nicaragua, and Peru through her studies. Previously, she served on the Board of Directors of Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest, which oversees West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. A Lifetime Member of Girl Scouts, her Girl Scout Gold Award project continues to be an annual event, raising awareness for child abuse prevention in West Texas. Claire had the unique opportunity to attend a Girl Scout program called Camp CEO as a sophomore in high school, and then provide guidance to young girls ten years later as a “CEO” at the same camp. She is on the GSSNE Fund Development Committee and was on the Cookies & Cocktails Committee. Claire also volunteers with the League of Women Voters of Rhode Island and Newport County, and the American Red Cross. 

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Cynthia Paliotta - Cindi is a California native now living in Warwick, RI, with her husband, John. They have four children. Daughter Alison, who will be in her junior year at Tabor Academy in the fall, is a member of East Greenwich Girl Scout Troop 285 and is working on her Gold Award.

Cindi previously worked in sales and marketing for hotel groups. In recent years she has concentrated her efforts on fund-raising and event planning for various non-profits. She has been involved in fund-raising for Our Lady of Mercy School and Tabor Academy where her children have attended. She founded and continues to operate Holidays for Children, non-profit supporting children in DCYF care at holiday time, now in its twelfth year. 

Cindi currently serves on GSSNE’s Cookies and Cocktails Committee and the newly established Hoffman Centennial Committee.

Deb Ricci

Deborah Ricci - Deb Ricci recently retired from Carousel Industries, Exeter RI after 16 years, having held various leadership positions. Deb’s career spanned 47 years in the telecommunication/IT industry, focusing on Service Delivery, Process Improvement, Project Management, and Employee Development. Deb worked in major corporations in managerial positions in various states while employed with Avaya, Lucent, AT&T and what is now Verizon. Deb’s experience working with people—employees, leadership teams, and with customers—has focused on enhancing learning opportunities, building professional knowledge in both technical and soft skills, and coaching to accept changes in business direction. Deb continues to support the non-profit Tech Collective where she is a member of the Women in Tech committee and is actively engaged in the mentorship program. Deb is a board member of Women in Leadership Nexus.

Peg Ruggieri

Margaret Ruggieri - Margaret Ruggieri has been a faculty member of the Providence College School of Business Accountancy Department for the past twenty years. She recently retired from the ordinary faculty. Prior to her teaching career, Peg, a certified public accountant, worked at Ernst & Young for six years in both the audit and tax departments. She received her Bachelor of Science from Boston College and a Master in Taxation from Bryant University. Peg currently serves on the Finance Council of St. Luke’s Parish in Barrington and is a former member of the Diocese of Providence Finance Council. She has served on the Barrington High School Improvement Team and has been an instructor for Junior Achievement in the Life Skills Program.  Peg was a girl member and three of her four children have been involved with Scouting including a son who has the rank of Eagle Scout. Peg and her husband John reside in Barrington, Rhode Island.

Lisa St Onge

Lisa St. Onge - Lisa St. Onge is a Senior Assistant Vice President and Director of the Property Loss Division in the Claims Executive Department of Amica Mutual Insurance Company, Lincoln, Rhode Island. Lisa has over 27 years of experience in risk management, customer service and leadership with Amica. She currently is responsible for oversight of Amica’s homeowners and marine claims technical operations and catastrophe coordination. Lisa has a B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs from the University of New Hampshire. She has obtained professional designations including AIC, INS, and AIM. She serves on the Property & Liability Advisory Board of the Property & Liability Research Bureau (PLRB). Lisa resides in Attleboro, MA with her husband and their two children. She was active in Girl Scouts for many years and is a proud parent of a Senior.

Lisa currently serves on GSSNE’s Advocacy Committee and Fund Development Committee.

Kelli Viera

Kelli Viera - Kelli Viera is a Managing Director, leading the Rhode Island office of Marsh & McLennan Agency and brings more than 25 years of leadership, management, and employee health & benefits consulting experience. Kelli’s expertise includes business development, branding, team management, and coaching, employee health & benefits strategy and planning, and alternative financing arrangements.

Kelli received her undergraduate degree from The University of Michigan with concentrations in business and organizational psychology. Presently, she is an Executive Leadership Team member of Go Red For Women (Southern New England American Heart Association chapter), a member of the Board of Governors for The University Club in Providence, RI, and a licensed producer for both Life/Health and Property/Casualty lines of business. She is currently a member GSSNE's Leading Women of Distinction Committee and was a Girl Scout herself for several years, growing up in central Michigan.

Honorary Board Member

Betty Cugine

Betty Cugini - Betty Cugini has been involved in Girl Scouting in Rhode Island for 50 years. She has been on the Board of Directors since 1978 and was council President from 1986 to 1992. She is currently the chair of our museum committee, serves on our finance committee, and is an honorary board member. Betty’s received the YMCA Service to Youth Award and several of Girl Scouting’s highest awards: the Thanks Badge, the Thanks Badge II, and the Mira Hoffman Award. Betty was the council’s “Partner in Philanthropy” in 1998. Betty graduated URI with a BS degree in early childhood education. Betty is married to Joseph N. Cugini and is the mother of two children, Betty-Jo and David, and the grandmother of three, Katharine, Christopher, and Finley. 

Board Development Committee

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Joanne M. Daly - Joanne M. Daly is a First Vice President and Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley and has more than 25 years of financial services experience. Joanne is a former CPA Tax Manager for Ernst and Young and earned an M. S. in Taxation from Bryant University. Joanne is on the board of the Women’s Fund of RI and GFWC Women’s Club of South County, as well as a member of South County Hospital’s Development Committee, RISCPA Women’s Leadership Council, RI Estate Planning Council and United Way of RI’s Tocqueville Society Committee. Joanne is a former Girl Scout leader for her daughter’s troop and her mother was a Girl Scout, as well. Joanne lives in Narragansett with her husband.

susan-hannel

Susan L. Hannel - Susan is Chair of URI’s Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design Department and teaches the technical aspects of apparel design. Under her direction, URI’s apparel studio has had major upgrades.  In 2006 Susan was awarded a $130k Champlin Foundation Grant for an industry-standard CAD system for apparel design and manufacture.  In 2010, the same foundation provided $82k for an inkjet fabric printing system.

Susan was named the 2011 “Apparel All-Star” by the International Textile and Apparel Association.  The award recognizes outstanding contributions in teaching/curricular development, research, and service activities in the textile and apparel field. She earned a Ph.D. in the History of Clothing and Textiles from the Ohio State University. She was a Girl Scout in Springfield, Ohio where she had great leaders who gave her wonderful experiences, and memories which have lasted a lifetime.

john houle

John Houle, BDC Chair -John Houle founded JH Communications in 2002 with the mission of offering small businesses access to high-quality, effective marketing and public relations services, and today the agency represents over 50 small businesses, medical practices, and trade associations in New England.  Active in the community, John was a principal organizer of Gateway Healthcare's Light of Hope Campaign, in which he has been responsible for providing thousands of families and children with holiday gifts. John also serves as the secretary of the executive committee of the Board of Directors for the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce and served on the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island. A graduate of Boston College (BA, 1994), John resides in Cranston, RI, with his wife, Susan, and their children, Jenna and Christopher.

John previously served six years as a member at large on the GSSNE board of directors.

mike ritz

Mike Ritz - Training language instructors from multiple cultures while studying applied psycholinguistics in Mexico City sparked Mike's lifelong interest in human behavior and communication.

Over 25 years, Mike served as a Tri-lingual interrogator in the U.S. Army, established his first company by the age of 25, motivated people to excel at his fitness Boot Camps, and served as a Regional Manager for an international healthcare company based in the United Arab Emirates. A former on-call interrogation analyst for CNN, Mike has been interviewed hundreds of times for TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. He participated in nine documentaries in the past 15 years; "Songs of War" won an International Emmy.

Under Mike's leadership for the past 10 years, Leadership Rhode Island has received numerous accolades, including the Excellence in Public Service Award by Common Cause RI, two National Innovation Awards from the Association of Leadership Programs and three Community Outreach Awards from the RI Press Association for public forums in partnership with The Providence Journal and Rhode Island College. LRI’s innovative Make RI Stronger social enterprise is recognized by Gallup as an inspiration for the global strengths movement.

On the heels of serving as the Rhode Island Chairman for the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve since 2012, Mike spearheaded the national transformation from an executive strategic subcommittee to ESGR's first board of directors since its inception in 1972. He was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service before being recruited to serve as President of the board of FORGE, a national nonprofit focused on decreasing veteran suicides through The Overwatch Project.

Mike is also the Director of Cultural Food Initiatives for PCEI and a board member for the national Association of Leadership Programs.

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Sally A. Russell - Sally is President of Howard Russell Insurance and partner in Rhode Island Insurance Group. She and her sister, Heidi Russell Duggan, own and operate their business in East Greenwich. Sally graduated with a BA degree from Denison University. She was a girl member, served as a Girl Scout adult volunteer and just completed her third term as a member of the Board of Directors. She most recently served as Chair of the Service Fee/Family Partnership Task Group and member of the Fund Development Committee. She is active in the Rotary Club of East Greenwich. She and her husband, John Prendergast, reside in East Greenwich. They have a daughter and a son who were both involved in Scouting.  Sally is the current chair of the Board Development Committee.

National Council Delegates & Alternates: 2020-2023 Term

George Shuster headshot

George W. Shuster, Esq., GSSNE Board Chair - George Shuster is the retired CEO and Chairman of Cranston Printworks, the nation’s oldest textile company. He is also former Chairman of Care New England, Chairman of the National Textile Association, Chairman of the Textile Hall of Fame in Lowell, Massachusetts, and past President of the Narragansett Council of the BSA. He also served on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in the US Navy. When he was in college, George worked as a boating instructor at Camp Hoffman for two summers. He was formerly a partner at Edwards and Angell. He received a BA from Yale College, an MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a JD from Yale Law School. He is the past chairman of Kent Hospital and co-chair of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition. He is the past secretary of the Yale Crew Association. He has been recognized nationally for his quilts made of clothing labels and internationally for his studies of sperm whale populations. George currently serves as the Chair of the GSSNE Council.

pam

Pam Hyland, GSSNE CEO - Pam Hyland has over 42 years of progressive management experience in the not-for-profit sector. Before Pam arrived in Rhode Island as the new CEO for Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England, she was previously the CEO of Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways and held several leadership positions amid various Girl Scout councils in South Carolina, New York, Virginia and overseas. She formerly served as the Director for USA Girl Scouts Overseas where she managed Girl Scouting on 14 military installations throughout mainland Japan, Okinawa, and Korea. Pam has been a Girl Scout since 4th grade and is a Gold Award Girl Scout (having earned the First Class Award in the 70’s). She is also a proud Lifetime Member and a Juliette Gordon Low Society Member.

Pam is thrilled to bring this culmination of experience to Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England and champion the council as the CEO.

ellie clemence

Ellie Clemence - Ellie Clemence is a middle-level educator with the Coventry School Department, in Coventry, Rhode Island. She has taught in Coventry since 2003. She specializes in English Language Arts with a focus on teaching public speaking. Ellie has been a Girl Scout leader since 2014 when she built a troop for her daughter and other second graders. The next year she created another branch of that troop to include Daisy Girl Scouts to give her other daughter, and girls her age, access to the world of Girl Scouting. Ellie is dedicated to her role as a spouse and as a mother to her three children. She enjoys being outdoors as well as being creative in arts and problem-solving endeavors alike. She is a trained mindfulness teacher and loves to practice yoga.

corinne robbins

Corinne Robbins - Corinne Robbins is a part of the 2021 graduating class at South Kingstown High School and has been a Girl Scout since she was in the first grade. She attended Camp Green Forest at Camp Hoffman for seven years and has been a volunteer there since she was in eighth grade. Corinne has earned her Bronze and Silver Awards and is currently pursuing the promotion of Mental Health First Aid training at SKHS for her Gold Award. In addition to Girl Scouting, Corinne is both an artist and a leader within her community. She is a member of the 2021 SKHS Class Office, where she works on a team to plan events and raise funds. She has been dancing since she was three years old and has participated in many musical theater performances. Corinne has also been playing violin since she was in fourth grade, and currently plays first violin in the SKHS Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Rhode Island All-State Orchestra. Corinne is very excited to be a Delegate for the National Council because she is extremely passionate about helping to build a community of strong and supportive young women.

veronica wathen

Veronica Wathen - Veronica Wathen is a freshman at The Prout School in Wakefield, Rhode Island. She is a Senior Girl Scout and has been in Girl Scouts since kindergarten. She has earned her Bronze and Silver Awards. Veronica serves as the class Secretary on Student Council and plays on the JV Volleyball team. She has been in ballet since she was 5 years old and is a Second-Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. As a military child, moving to different destinations has been a way of life. Girl Scouts has given her the instant community that helps a new place feel like home.

Alternates

ania hughes

Ania Hughes - Ania is a freshman at Cumberland High School. In school she enjoys art and the French language. During the summer she worked at New Harvest Coffee Roasters at a farmer’s market in Providence. Ania is also a patrol leader at Camp Ker-Anna which she has attended for six years. She is a member of Troop 399 in Manville which she joined in sixth grade. Ania has built amazing relationships with the people in her troop and the people she has met on their adventures. Ania is one of the patrol leaders for her troop and has learned a lot from this position. She is grateful for the opportunities Girl Scouts has given her because without Girl Scouts she would not be the person she is today. 

jane perron

Jane Perron - Jane has been a Troop Leader for three years, Cookie Mom, and Community Recruitment Champion in Cumberland. She also was a Girl Scout in Woonsocket for six years.

As a Girl Scout alum and a current Girl Scout volunteer, Jane hopes to provide her experience to explore the future of the Movement. She started a Daisy troop when her daughter expressed an interest in Girl Scouts and there were no troops available in her area. Jane believes that the growth of the alum base will give Girl Scouts stability and longevity.

For the past two years, Jane has served as a Juvenile Probation Supervisor at DCYF. Previously she was a Probation Officer for both DCYF and Department of Corrections for 14 years. She is also a licensed mental health clinician. Jane received her BA and MA from Assumption College. Jane is the mother of four children and resides in Cumberland, RI.