UW-Green Bay’s own Kelli Strickland (Executive and Artistic Director, Weidner Center for Performing Arts) made guest remarks last Wednesday (May 16, 2018) at the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes’ 18th annual Winner Trivia, a yearly fixture that draws local trivia lovers and Girl Scouts supporters. As a former Girl Scout and Gold Award recipient, Strickland’s remarks aptly introduced the 60-question trivia quiz’s 31st item relating to the organization’s highest honor.
Strickland’s remarks touched on the rich and diverse experiences the organization provided her — from selling cookies to Sting at the O’Hare airport and being interviewed by Dan Rather for “selling an obnoxious amount of cookies” to trips that took her to Japan, Mexico, Kentucky and Montana. Stirckland explained the significant impact the Girl Scouts had made in her life, speaking candidly about her upbringing in a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago which she said wasn’t only a “…household with little money.” It was also, with some frequency, “a household filled with violence and addiction as a result of the mental health issues of my father.”
“You know as adults that that is a recipe for a kid to fall through the cracks,” Strickland continued. “My mother definitely gets some credit. She was/is a very strong woman. But she is happy to share that credit with the Girl Scouts.”
This year’s trivia event, which started in 2000, was organized in large part by UW-Green Bay alumna Chiara Boss ’13 (Public Administration, Nonprofit Management). In Boss’s role as fund development coordinator she oversees fundraising efforts in the Green Bay region for Girl Scouts (which includes Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto and Shawano counties). Fundraising efforts comprise of community development, grant writing, organizing special events, overseeing committees and much more. Boss credits much of her success to the professors in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management, “especially Lora Warner, and my experiences in the UW-Green Bay Advancement office.”
This event has additional ties to UW-Green Bay. Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance Sheryl Van Gruensven serves on the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes Board. Morgan Hansen ’14, manager of events and annual giving volunteered, and two teams were comprised of UW-Green Bay staff.
Story and photos by Kimberly Vlies, Marketing and University Communication