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2009 Woman of Merit Release

May 7, 2009

Contact: Dana Rogers 
Girl Scouts of Connecticut 
(860) 522-0163 ext. 3262   

Girl Scouts of Connecticut Celebrates Community Leaders

Woman of Merit Dinner benefitting Girl Scouts is June 10

May 5, 2009- Girl Scouts of Connecticut will honor two outstanding individuals at the 2009 Woman of Merit Dinner on Wednesday, June 10 from 5:30 - 8:30 pm at the Hartford Marriott Downtown. The 2009 Honorees are Joan McDonald, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and Mary Fox, Senior Vice President, Product Group Aetna, Inc. 

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. Friends and supporters are invited to join this ceremonial Girl Scout evening of fun and fundraising to acknowledge the inspiring community leadership of Joan McDonald and Mary Fox, while supporting Girl Scouting's personal and leadership development programs for young women. A former Woman of Merit honoree herself, Governor M. Jodi Rell is the Honorary Chairperson for this year's dinner.

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.

Net proceeds from the Dinner will support enrichment, educational, recreational, and personal development programs that help girls in grades K - 12 bring out the best in themselves and their communities.  The Girl Scout Leadership Experience offers girls the lifetime skills they need to discover their personal best; connect with others to build healthy relationships; and take action in their communities to make the world a better place.

Sponsors of the Dinner include:

Merit Sponsor



Chairman's Table Sponsor



Platinum Sponsor


Hartford Steam Boiler

McCarter & Eng

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