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Girl Scouts Honors OC Women Leaders, Raises $281,000 to Fund Vital Programs for Local Girls


Four OC Business Leaders and Two Gold Award Girl Scouts Celebrated by Girl Scouts of Orange County

IRVINE, Calif.  – On Friday, October 12, more than 250 Orange County community and business leaders came together for Girl Scouts of Orange County’s Ninth Annual Celebrate Leadership event to recognize incredible Girl Scout alum who serve as powerful role models for today’s young women. Held at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach, attendees raised $281,000 (gross) to support Girl Scouts’ life-changing leadership development programs for nearly 20,000 Girl Scouts representing every zip code in Orange County.

New this year, two Gold Award Girl Scouts were also honored for creating meaningful, lasting impact in Orange County and our world through their Girl Scout Gold Award Projects. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls—and the most difficult to earn—and it is only available to Girl Scouts.

Check out photos from the event! You can also view the Step & Repeat photos here.

2018 Celebrate Leadership Honorees

  • Zeena Dhalla, of Ladera Ranch, Founder, VerticAlign Posture Coaching
  • Christine Mueller, of Yorba Linda, Vice President and Director of Operations, Capital Group
  • Melinda Masson, of Laguna Beach, CEO, Scripsense
  • Abigail Lovell, of Mission Viejo, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Responsibility, Experian
  • Lucy Vu, Girl Scout Ambassador, Troop 21004 in Fountain Valley, Girl Scout Gold Award Project: STEAM Family Night with Tamura Elementary School
  • Corinne Padar, Girl Scout Ambassador, Troop 1010 in Placentia, Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Track and Field Activity Camp with El Dorado High School

Each Celebrate Leadership honoree was paired with a current Girl Scout, ranging from Daisy (kindergarten) to Ambassador (grades 11-12), providing tomorrow’s leaders with opportunities to connect and mentor with the leaders of today. The Girl Scouts, ranging in age from six to 17, shared how their honorees inspire them to accomplish their goals and pursue their dreams. Each honoree was presented with a custom art piece created by her Girl Scout partner, a symbolic Girl Scout badge to represent her honoree’s unique leadership journey. Consistent with Girl Scouts’ commitment to being girl-led, Girl Scout Seniors Saachi Pavani (age 14) from Irvine and Shayda Roshdieh (age 15) from Yorba Linda emceed the program. Entertainment featured pianist Girl Scout Senior Alysea Loreto (age 14) from Mission Viejowho played a classical suite during the event reception.  

“The world needs more female leaders, and that starts with introducing girls to positive female role models,” said Girl Scouts of Orange County CEO Vikki Shepp. “Over the past nine years, Celebrate Leadership has recognized 73 extraordinary Girl Scout alum and Orange County trailblazers who were not afraid to dream big, work hard, take risks, and make their dreams reality. All have left their mark on the world and are an incredible testament to Girl Scouts as the expert in preparing girls for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure. We are so proud to honor these remarkable women, and for the first time this year, two Gold Award Girl Scouts, who are paving the way for the next generation.”

Attendees sipped on Lemonade Sparklers (a lemon and champagne-infused cocktail inspired by the popular Lemonade Girl Scout Cookie) and browsed nearly 100 silent auction items, which included a St. Thomas vacation, South Coast Plaza shopping spree, field-level tickets and batting practice experience at Angels Stadium, Newport Beach Police ride-along, and more. The action heated up during the live auction with a Chef’s Dinner for 10 at Roy’s Restaurant in the Anaheim Garden Walk; GARYS and Fashion Island Hotel package; Pelican Hill Bungalow vacation; Desert Getaway in Rancho La Quinta; and two private parties at the Argyros Girl Scout Leadership Center to view the 110th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Two lucky guests went home with stunning strands of pearls valued at $1800 per pair, generously donated by Lugano Diamonds in honor of Girl Scouts’ founder Juliette Gordon Low, who sold her own treasured pearls to raise funds to start Girl Scouts’ life-changing movement.

An outstanding event committee, co-chaired by Jacqueline Akerblom, West Region Managing Partner at Grant Thornton and Julie Farbaniec, HR Director, Blizzard Entertainment helped make Celebrate Leadership 2018 a tremendous success.

Funds raised will support Girl Scouts of Orange County’s leadership development programs for nearly 20,000 Girl Scouts and help recruit, train, and support more than 13,000 adult volunteers who guide them. The event would not have been possible without the support of generous sponsors, including:

  • Silver Sponsors: Blizzard Entertainment Inc., Experian, Kaiser Permanente Orange County, Masson Family Foundation and Scripsense, Pepper Hamilton LLP
  • Bronze Sponsors: Grant Thornton LLP, KPMG, Teacher Created Materials Publishing, VerticAlign Posture Coaching
  • Leaders of Tomorrow Underwriter: Los Angeles Chargers
  • VIP Patrons: Aitken Family and Aitken* Aitken* Cohn, Angels Baseball, Julia and George L. Argyros, Becky and Gary Bailey-Findley, Deloitte, Orange County Department of Education, OC Fair and Event Center, Christine and Tom Scheuneman, Vikki Shepp, Phyllis Winnaman
  • Event Patrons: Anonymous Philanthropy LLC, J.Allen BrackSmith, Cox Communications, Cyd Brandvein, Dzida, Carey & Steinman, Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA, Ann W. McDonald, Chris Shingleton, Community Strategic Advisors, Strategic Global Advisors, LLC, Nella Webster-O’Grady, Patti and Sam Widdicombe, Jeff and Caron Winston
  • In-Kind: B. Toffee, Irvine Company Resort Properties, Lugano Diamonds, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

We are Girl Scouts of Orange County. We are 33,000 strong—nearly 20,000 girls and 13,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. With programs in every zip code in Orange County, Girl Scouts offers every girl opportunities to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit