Girl Scout CEO Marcia Cole announces she will retire

For immediate release

(Colfax, NC – January 27, 2014) – The Board of Directors of Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont (GSCP2P) announces that Chief Executive Officer Marcia Cole will retire in 2014. The council’s board of directors has begun establishing a search committee to identify CEO candidates. Leading the search process will be Board Member April Broadway of Forsyth County.

“We will leverage the recruitment resources of Girl Scouts of the USA, as well as local connections in our search for the most qualified candidate,” says Broadway. “We’ve been given the gift of time to conduct a thorough search, and we anticipate a positive and orderly transition of leadership. Marcia will work with the council and board to ensure a smooth transition.”

During her tenure, Cole guided the realignment of four legacy councils into one, serving more than 16,000 girls in 40 counties. Through her leadership, four financial systems, four approaches to membership and program services, and four council cultures merged successfully into a single, cohesive and successful council entity. In 2012, she led the council’s celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouting with creativity and enthusiasm, sculpting a celebration of national prominence that created lifelong memories for area Girl Scouts. Cole’s focus on doing what was best for the girls was her guiding star.

“Marcia is a tireless advocate for girls, an exceptional leader and an extraordinary role model to young women throughout central and western North Carolina,” said Madeleine Dassow, chairwoman of the Board of Directors. “In unifying four legacy councils, Marcia strengthened our organization and called attention to the importance of Girl Scouting in the development of the next generation of women leaders.  We will miss Marcia’s guidance, leadership and strategic vision.  She has made an indelible mark on all those lives she has touched.”

The Board of Directors will conduct a search to find the right candidate to continue the expansion Cole started.

Although Cole is looking forward to retirement, she admits it will be difficult to leave Girl Scouting behind. “It has been an honor to serve as CEO of Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont,” said Cole. “Girl Scouting has been a huge part of my life, and I know I will miss it.  It has been a privilege to be part of an organization dedicated to inspiring girls to greatness. I am proud of Girl Scouts everywhere who make a difference in their communities, and the thousands of amazing volunteers who give their time and talent to help girls grow courageous and strong.”  

Previously, Cole served as Director of Development and Community Relations at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, where she directed and managed the development and community relations programs in an 18-county operation. Prior to that, she was the President of Sherwood Consulting, where she provided consultation services for area non-profit organizations. She served as the executive director of the Northwest North Carolina chapter for the American Red Cross from 1994 to 2006. In addition, she was a Vice President of the United Way of Forsyth County, where she directed the annual United Way Campaign for 16 years. 

In addition to holding a baccalaureate degree in sociology from Wake Forest University, Cole earned her master’s degree in community education from Appalachian State University.

Cole was the recipient of the 2013 Susan Ivey Award, the highest award given to recognize a lifetime of service to the community, by the United Way Women’s Leadership Council.  She has received the 2009 United Way Women’s Council Administrative Volunteer of the Year Award, and in 2003 was selected as the North Carolina Chapter Manager of the Year by the American Red Cross.  In 2009, under her leadership Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina won the United Way Spirit of North Carolina award for running the most successful non-profit United Way Campaign in the state.

A native of New Jersey, Cole is a former Girl Scout volunteer and resides in Winston-Salem with her husband, Rick. They have three children – David, Megan and Whitney – and two grandchildren – Anthony and Adrianna, as well as another on the way.

About Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont
Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont, a United Way agency, is one of 112 councils nationwide chartered by Girl Scouts of the USA to deliver Girl Scout program within specific geographic boundaries. The local council serves more than 16,000 girls and approximately 7,000 adult volunteers in 40 counties and maintains seven camp properties and four service centers offering unique experiences for girls and adults. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to GSCP2P, call 800-672-2148 or visit HYPERLINK “”


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