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Camp CEO: Leadership in Action!

July 3, 2014

At Girl Scouts of Connecticut’s Camp CEO, 18 young women had the experience of a lifetime participating in fun camping activities and leadership experiences with some of Connecticut’s top female executives. Held at Camp Laurel in Lebanon from June 25 – June 28, these young women between the ages of 14-17, alongside female executives, learned about leadership, character, and taking action to make the world a better place.

Girls and executives participated side by side in exciting camp activities like boating, hiking, and archery. In addition, groups worked on the development of a marketing plan for solar lights, presenting these projects at the end of the weekend. It was an unforgettable and interactive experience for those girls who attended.

“It’s a combination of leadership camp and regular camp,” said Patty Brosseau of Hebron. “Over the course of a day I’ve done archery and I’ve created a marketing plan, which is really cool.”

“You can never have enough mentors or female role models in your life – It’s great to come here and make new connections,” added Nina Best of Bloomfield.

Executives who participated enjoyed the interaction with the girls and creating a tangible project as a result of the weekend.

“[This project] is multinational,” said Sheryl Sleeva, Senior Vice President/Group Head, Loyalty Solutions, MasterCard Worldwide. “It touches on STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math; it’s touching on leadership development, [and] it’s not just about business. It’s giving them a real life case study.”

“The girls are amazingly bright and they bring great energy to this experience,” said Tracy Knofla, Co-Owner, High Impact Training. “Working with them has inspired me to continue working with girls in the future.”

Both returning and new executives were part of this year’s Camp CEO. They included:

• Shirley A. Jackson, Professor, Southern Connecticut State University
• Tracy Knofla, Co-Owner, High Impact Training
• Sheryl Sleeva, Senior Vice President/Group Head, Loyalty Solutions, MasterCard Worldwide
• Leslie Karen Hammond, Founder of S.O.A.R., Unique Strategies for Women Leaders
• Valarie A. Gelb, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, TheBarnYardGroup
• Michele Etzel, Sr. Vice President/CFO, National Graphics, Inc.
• Mary Barneby, CEO, Girl Scouts of Connecticut
• Stephanie Fielding, Elder/Linguist, Mohegan Tribe
• Chef Jill Zamparo, Director of University Special Events, University of New Haven
• Olivia Puckett, Legislative Clerk for the Council on Medical Assistance Program Oversight, Connecticut General Assembly
• Suzanne B. Peters, Vice President, The Fund for Women and Girls, Fairfield County Community Foundation
• Sara Greenwood, Marketing Director, Inflection PointMedia
• Shalu Arora, Sr. Talent Consultant at Baystate Health

 “Camp CEO was an incredible experience for myself, the girls, and my fellow executives,” said Barneby. “We always learn so much from our girls and it was wonderful to experience the fun of camp with them while growing their leadership skills. I’m looking forward to another exciting and enriching experience next year!”

Photos from Camp CEO can be found on our Facebook Page. For photo permissions, please contact Tiffany Ventura Thiele at

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