Tampa, Fla. Girl Scouts of West Central Florida (GSWCF) was recognized by South Tampa Chamber (STCOC) with the inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Champion Award. This award recognizes an organization for its internal-facing programs, initiatives and activities focused on improving diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. GSWCF President Cami Gibertini and CEO Mary Pat King accepted the award at the monthly STCOC Membership Luncheon on Aug. 16, 2023, at the Centre Club in Tampa.
“Girl Scouts of West Central Florida is honored to receive this award,” said King. “Inclusiveness has been a core value of Girl Scouts since its founding in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low. This value is fundamental to the Girl Scout mission, promise, and law. Our commitment to expanding and redefining how we serve girls, while remaining true to the essence of our founder’s vision, is how we remain relevant and able to make the world a better place.”
Since King was named CEO in March 2020, her strategic vision has been to increase DEI-RJ initiatives throughout the council, both internally and externally. Since fall of 2020, “Pursue Equity” has been the overarching strategy threaded throughout GSWCF’s strategic plan.
In April 2022, GSWCF boldly set a goal to reach 30,000 members by 2030 by removing barriers and creating opportunities for a high-quality Girl Scout leadership experience to every girl. To reach this goal, GSWCF restructured its organization to become more community-based, able to deploy the hyper local relationship-building strategies that grow Girl Scouting in schools, neighborhoods, communities and places of worship. The organization also enhanced its program delivery model and removed financial barriers by making it more affordable for families to be involved in Girl Scouts. This plan was accelerated by a $2 million donation from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott in Fall 2022. Now, the organization is seeking local donors and sponsors to help sustain this effort.
“We are still recovering from the impact of COVID, which resulted in a 30% loss in membership when schools and community centers were closed to community organizations like ours in 2020 and 2021,” King said. “Thankfully, we’ve been experiencing a membership increase since last fall and we aim to grow back more diverse than ever with our hyper local focus on creating welcoming, inclusive environments where all girls and families feel like they belong.”
GSWCF serves an eight-county region engaging more than 18,000 members.
“While we have made great progress and we are so proud of what we have achieved, we know that we still have major projects ahead in our DEI-RJ work,” said King.
CEO Mary Pat King is available for interview.