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Girl Scouts of Orange County Announces 2018 Celebrate Leadership Honorees


Celebrate Leadership 2018

Four Orange County Women and Two Gold Award Girl Scouts to Be Recognized by the Nation’s Preeminent Leadership Development Organization for Girls

Girl Scouts of Orange County announced its roster of 2018 Celebrate Leadership honorees, four extraordinary local female Girl Scout alum and trailblazers who are outstanding examples of what it means to be a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™. New this year, the nonprofit also announced it will honor two outstanding Gold Award Girl Scouts who have taken action to change the world forever and for better. 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. All six honorees are to be recognized at the organization’s ninth annual Celebrate Leadership event on October 12, 2018 at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach. 

Each honoree is paired with a current Girl Scout, ranging from Daisy (kindergarten) to Ambassador (grades 11-12), providing the leaders of tomorrow with an opportunity to connect with leaders of today.

2018 Celebrate Leadership Honorees

Zeena Dhalla, of Ladera Ranch, is a world-renowned personal trainer, Pilates instructor, and Founder of VerticAlign Posture Coaching. Prior to starting her own business, she was the owner and operator of the Athletic Club for Women in Newport Beach and also served as the Pilates Director for the Orange County Division of YogaWorks. In 2015, she co-authored the top-selling self-help book Sculpt and Shape: The Pilates Way with Bollywood Celebrity Trainer Yasmin Karachiwala. Dhalla has been featured as a writer and fitness model by Squeeze, OC Metro, OC Register, Pilates Style Magazine, and on the television show Daybreak OC. She is a proud mom and troop leader to her daughter, Girl Scout Junior Zaleeya, and supports philanthropic causes throughout Orange County, including Girl Scouts of Orange County, HelpUsAdopt.org, Relay for Life Cancer, and CASA Orange County. Dhalla holds certifications from Body Arts and Sciences International, National Academy of Sports Medicine, Balanced Body University, and the National Posture Institute.

Abigail Lovell, of Mission Viejo, has been at Experian for the past 21 years and is currently head of Global Corporate Responsibility and SVP, Shared Marketing. Lovell is driving the expansion of Experian’s corporate responsibility efforts and investment, overseeing the global social responsibility and social innovation programs. Lovell also leads a team of creative designers, copywriters, event planners and website optimization experts who partner with sales teams and leaders across multiple businesses to drive revenue and business performance. She launched and currently chairs Experian’s first North American Advisory Board, connecting consumer advocate groups to Experian’s social impact initiatives, where partnerships educate and empower consumers around their financial health. Lovell is a member of the Orange County Business Council (OCBC) Board of Directors and leads the Research and Communications Committee.

Melinda Masson, of Laguna Beach, is CEO at Scripsense, a leading digital fundraising program that enables organizations and their members to earn funds through shopping. A serial entrepreneur, Masson founded her first company in her early twenties, Merit Property Management, Inc. Over 30 years, she grew the organization, from a single contract into four real estate-related service companies under The Merit Companies umbrella, which she sold in 2007 to FirstService Corporation.  Masson was also instrumental in founding several organizations that furthered the California real estate industry, including the first state Legislative Action Committee and the California Association of Community Managers. She also served on the California Department of Real Estate Commission. Through her latest entrepreneurial venture Scripsense, Inc., Masson has created a private fundraising platform that has become a valuable tool for many 501c3 organizations. She has been a guest lecturer at Chapman University, receiving Chapman’s Servant Leadership Award; University of California, Irvine; and the Urban Land Institute.

Christine Mueller, of Yorba Linda, is Vice President and Director of Operations for The Capital Group. In her current role, Christine oversees facility and property management for Capital’s Norfolk, VA, Carmel, IN, San Antonio, TX, and Irvine, CA locations. Mueller is also a member of Capital’s Security Coordinating Group, which manages workplace violence prevention. She holds the Facilities Management Administrator designation with the Building Owners and Managers Association and is a LEED-accredited professional by the United States Green Building Council. Mueller is also the incoming board President for the International Facility Management Association, Orange County. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from California State University, Fullerton. Mueller has been a Girl Scout for 42 years, earning both her Girl Scout Silver and Girl Scout Gold Awards and serves as a troop leader and service unit volunteer. She is the proud mom to a Girl Scout Cadette Madelyn and her teenage son Samuel.

Gold Award Girl Scouts being Honored

16-year-old Girl Scout Ambassador Lucy Vu from Fountain Valley, Troop 21004

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Vu wanted to address the lack of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) graduates entering tomorrow’s workforce. She organized a STEAM Family Night event at Tamura Elementary School. Her event provided fun, interactive activities for over 200 participants, encouraging students to pursue their STEAM interests and inspiring their parents to support education in this area. A teacher at the school committed to continuing the event in the future. Additionally, binders with information on STEAM activities and an instruction guide were shared with middle schools in the Fountain Valley School District so other schools can follow this successful model.

16-year-old Girl Scout Ambassador Corinne Padar from Placentia, Troop 1010

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Padar applied her passion for track and field to address the national issue of childhood obesity. She created a Track and Field Summer Camp and invited two local elementary schools. She also coordinated with her high school, El Dorado High School, to recruit volunteers to support the camp. 30 kids signed up and on the first day, they ran 100 meters. They ran the same 100 meters on the last day and their times were greatly improved. The El Dorado's track team has committed to carry on Padar’s camp in years to come.

“I am thrilled to announce this year’s extraordinary roster of honorees,” shared Vikki Shepp, CEO of Girl Scouts of Orange County. “Each of these incredible alum and Gold Award Girl Scouts embody the very essence of our Girl Scout DNA. They are go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders who have left their mark on the world and serve as a powerful testament to Girl Scouts as the expert in preparing girls for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure.”

Girl Scouts of Orange County’s ninth annual Celebrate Leadership event is chaired by Girl Scouts of Orange County board members Jacqueline Ackerblom of Grant Thornton LLP and Julie Farbaniec of Blizzard Entertainment. This signature event will host over 300 of Orange County’s community and business leaders for an evening of inspiration, dinner, auctions, and fun. Money raised will support leadership development programs for Orange County’s 20,000 Girl Scouts and the more than 13,000 dedicated volunteers and adult members who inspire them!

Support Girl Scouts of Orange County’s Celebrate Leadership event by becoming a sponsor, donating auction items, and/or purchasing tickets. Click here for more information and available sponsorships or contact Director of Fund Development Monica McDade at (949) 461-8812 or mmcdade@girlscoutsoc.org

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About Girl Scouts

We are Girl Scouts of Orange County. We are 33,000 strong-- 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 girlscoutsoc.org.