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Girl Scouts of Connecticut Celebrates Community Leaders

June 11, 2009

Girl Scouts of Connecticut honored two outstanding individuals at the 2009 Woman of Merit Dinner on Wednesday, June 10 at the Hartford Marriott Downtown. Woman of Merit 2009 Honorees, Joan McDonald, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and Mary Fox, Senior Vice President, Product Group Aetna, Inc, were both on hand to accept their awards for their extraordinary leadership, personal achievement, and service to the community.

More than 250 friends and supporters enjoyed the ceremonial Girl Scout evening of fun and fundraising to celebrate the honorees while supporting Girl Scouts of Connecticut. The evening's events helped Girl Scouts of Connecticut raise over $150,000 that will be used to support enrichment, educational, recreational, and personal development programs that help girls in grades K - 12 bring out the best in themselves and their communities.  

Girl Scouts of Connecticut is known and respected for helping girls develop uncommon leadership skills that serve the common good. As former Girl Scouts, Joan McDonald and Mary Fox continue to display exemplary leadership in their professional and everyday lives.

As Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Chair of Connecticut Innovations, Joan McDonald is charting a new course for economic development in the state.  She is successfully strengthening programs that drive innovation and help Connecticut businesses and industries become more competitive in the global marketplace. She has also been a leader in the development and implementation of Governor Rell's responsible growth and Brownfield redevelopment agendas.  Ms. McDonald has 25 years of experience in government and the private sector in strategic planning, economic development, transportation policy and operations and public finance.

As Senior Vice President for Aetna's Product Group, Mary Fox is responsible for leading end-to-end support and management across all Aetna product areas. Ms. Fox has had a long and successful career at Aetna, serving in various roles, including vice president and head of Aetna Behavioral Health; head of Operational Excellence Group (OEG); and head of Aetna Business Resources. Until 1998, she was President of Aetna Financial Services, Inc. (AFSI), a subsidiary of Aetna Inc. Ms. Fox is a Trustee of the Wadsworth Atheneum, and is on the Hartford Hospital Board of Governors, Quality and Safety Committee. She served as President of the Board of Directors of the YWCA of the Hartford Region and as a member of the Aetna Foundation Board. 

Despite very demanding careers, the Woman of Merit Honorees have stayed true to their Girl Scout roots by displaying courage, confidence, and character in their lives. Their high standards and recognizable accomplishments make them great role models for Girl Scouts across Connecticut.

Sponsors of the Dinner include:

Merit Sponsor



Chairman's Table Sponsor



Platinum Sponsor


Hartford Steam Boiler

McCarter & English LLP

The Hartford

Webster Bank


Gold Trefoil Sponsor

Eastern Connecticut State University

Mutual of America

Peoples United Bank

Robinson & Cole LLP

Alstom Power

Northeast Utilities

University of Hartford

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