Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Trains Tomorrow's Leaders
Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Natasha Hemmings, CEO of the Girl Scouts Heart of NJ, to discuss how the organization provides leadership and life skills for long-term success.
"We are pleased to welcome, for the first time, Natasha Hemmings, CEO, Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey. Good to see you. Thank you for having me. How did you get hooked up with the Girl Scouts? My mother was a Girl Guide in Barbados, West Indies. Which is where my family was from. Is that right? So she got the experience in her older sister to go to Europe for the first time, traveling out of Barbados. And that was the little seed that was planted. And I wasn't a Girl Scout growing up because my mother worked. You were not? I was not a Girl Scout growing up, and still, I'm a Girl Scout CEO, right? How that happened was... Yeah. ...because I was involved in arts, and arts entertainment, and that kind of stuff in high school, and my mother worked, you know, in the city and couldn't lead my troop, and there weren't very many Girl Scout leaders in Plainfield where I grew up. Hmm. And so I am changing that dynamic. Describe it. The change. So the change is being visible and being proud of being a Girl Scout mother and a Girl Scout leader myself. I didn't come to the CEO role without some experience, 18 years of telling girls stories through Girl Scouting, what they were doing in Girl Scouting, and what Girl Scouting was really about for the last 18 years at my sister Girl Scout Council in Central and Southern New Jersey. And then, as a leader of 32 dynamic girls in Plainfield, I'm where I grew up. You know, our daughter Olivia happens to be in the Girl Scouts, in the process she's in. Had her first sleepover recently. Absolutely loves it. The connection to the other girls. The... you know, I'm a student of leadership. I talk about it all the time. I think about it all the time. There's a leadership connection here? There is a leadership connection. Absolutely. Girl Scouts... If someone says, "Oh you're selling cookies..."? Okay. Oh no. It's a lot more than that? It's so much more than that. Nothing wrong with that? But more than that? It's so much more than that. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is a leading entrepreneurial program. It sure is. That's really what it is. And our girls are learning lifetime leadership skills through the activities that they do in Girl Scouting. Communication skills. What else? Problem-solving skills, working with a group of girls, team building. Conflict resolution? They're doing conflict resolution, business ethics. Huh? Give me that one. Yeah, all of that is wrapped up into how you run the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Really? Your daughter is learning how to relate to other businesses, how to market..."