Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England would like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2023 Leading Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony, and to those who supported the event but were unable to attend!
We thank our honorees, Anita Bruno, Lisa Guillette, Dr. Deb Myers Meilun, Ayana Melvan, Dimetra Nettles, Monsurat Ottun, Lisa Ranglin, and Amy Walsh for the outstanding commitment and contributions they have made. Each of them has identified issues in their community that are important to them, and are using their voices and extraordinary skills to make a difference. We want our Girl Scouts of today to see women who show up as full human beings, who have experiences across sectors and geographies, diverse backgrounds, and upbringings … and who have excelled.
We would also like to thank Alisha Pina, our outstanding emcee; our other 32 award nominees; our generous event sponsors; the local elected officials who were able to join us; and our Leading Women of Distinction Awards Committee, led by Peg Ruggieri.
Many attendees have inquired about ways to engage with GSSNE moving forward. Here are some ways to stay involved with Girl Scouts:
AND DONATE! If you didn't have the chance to make a tax-deductible contribution at the event, please make your investment now.
At GSSNE, we are laser-focused on ensuring that Girl Scouting is the most relevant, engaging, and inclusive youth leadership development program available—and we are actively, mindfully, personally, professionally, and collectively focusing our energy on making sure that our work is available to ALL who want to be a part of the Girl Scout Movement. With your support, we are providing more financial aid, more free memberships, more transportation, more community-based programs, more partnerships with local community organizations, and more camperships than ever before. Please help us make sure our Girl Scouts, Woonsocket to Westerly, Foster to Fall River, are equally ready for badge-earning, peer-to-peer relationship building, individualized attention, mentoring, outdoor adventuring, and fun.
We hope you enjoyed your time with us, were inspired by our honorees, and feel energized by the Girl Scout Movement. We will share event photos on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok in the coming days!
Thank you again!
Yours in Girl Scouting,
Your friends at GSSNE
First launched in 2015, Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England's Leading Women of Distinction is a unique breakfast fundraising event that celebrates local outstanding women of courage, confidence, and character! Each year, we celebrate and honor leading women who:
Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England (GSSNE) is able to celebrate these women thanks to the support of businesses and corporations who are advocates of balanced leadership – those who recognize that gender equality supports business success and growth. These businesses know that supporting Girl Scouts feeds our community’s leadership pipeline.
Through the years, GSSNE has honored over 40 Leading Women, representing many industries, organizations, and skill sets. We’ve shined a light on those that lead the way in their community by going above and beyond to help others. From teachers to executives, small business owners to CEOs, community pillars to emerging talent, Leading Women of Distinction provides a stage to recognize the hard work it takes to exemplify bravery, empathy, and drive. Learn more about our past honorees below!
Girl Scout Speaker: Marykate Tillinghast, Gold Award Girl Scout
Through everyone's support, we were able to raise approximately $31,000 through this event!
Sara DeCosta-Hayes, Owner of RI Sting Girls Hockey, Olympic Gold & Silver Medalist
Marie Ghazal, CEO of Rhode Island Free Clinic
Pamela Harrop, MD, President, Medical Associates of Rhode Island
Hilary Levey Friedman, PhD, Professor at Brown University & Former President of RI NOW
Eva-Marie Mancuso, Managing Partner of Hamel Waxler, Allen and Collins Law Offices, Founder Clothes for Kids
Jennifer Pereira, Vice President of Grant Programs at Rhode Island Foundation
Girl Scout Speaker: Olivia Tracy, Gold Award Girl Scout
Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health
Kimberly Anderson, Creator, Co-Founder, PLANT CITY
Kate Brewster, Executive Director, Jonnycake Center for Hope
Angela McCalla, Newport City Council, First Ward
Sandra Pearl, President, Science & Engineering Education Development, Inc.
Carole Ann Penney, Founder, Penney Leadership, LLC
Rachel Prendergast, Owner/Operator, RaNew Salon and The Barbershop by RaNew Salon
Shannon Sullivan, President & COO of Women & Infants Hospital, Care New England
Girl Scout Speaker: Holly Viphakone, 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout
The ceremony recording is available at https://youtu.be/rNuYPVQRgMM.
Girl Scout Speaker: Julie Lewis-Borgia, Gold Award Girl Scout
Girl Scout Speaker: Nicole Famiglietti, 2018 Gold Award Girl Scout
Guest Speaker: Neil D. Steinberg, President & CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation
Those honored at the first annual event in 2015 included: