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Girl Scouts Reorganization Raises Access to Resources

The job titles are different, but the mission is the same: Girl Scouts is still about today's girls becoming tomorrow's leaders.

Girl Scouts of Central Illinois' new chief executive officer, Pam Kovacevich, met with her Quincy Regional Service Center staff Tuesday and said the reorganized and reinvigorated Girl Scouts is better than ever.

"We've combined six great regions," Kovacevich said. "The best thing about it is that the girls can capitalize on all the great resources we have, like the many programs and camps. ... We are sharing everything, and we're one big happy family."

Membership in Girl Scouts is open to girls ages 5 to 17. Women and men over 17 can join as adult members. Girls Scouts had a national realignment effective Oct. 1, 2007.

Erica Douglas was appointed the Quincy Regional Service Center operating director Jan. 1. The other cities in the Central Illinois area are Bloomington, Champaign, Decatur, Peoria and Springfield, which serves as headquarters.

"It's been great," said Douglas, who spent 3 1/2 years as the former Two Rivers Council communications and development director. "There's been a lot of work in the last year to get to this point, and it's nice to be involved at this level."

The Quincy Regional Service Center, responsible for a six-county area, moved from 521 State last March to 3837 Eastlake Centre Drive. It has nine employees and serves about 900 area Girls Scouts.

"The transition has been seamless for the girls," Douglas said. "We still have the same amount of services."

Kovacevich spent the past 13 years with Springfield Electric Supply Co., most recently as vice president of operational services. She's been involved for many years with the Land of Lincoln Girl Scouts Board.

She was a teacher and coach for six years, so she knows the value of positive role models for girls. Her experience in the corporate world is also valuable in her new role.

"Today in the nonprofits, business and budgeting skills are so important," Kovacevich said.

She stresses the importance of Girl Scouts volunteers, and she praised Douglas and her staff for their hard work.

"Erica has put so much energy into Girl Scouts, and she's held several positions," Kovacevich said. "There's nobody better for the job."

rhart@whig.com/221-3370

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