Kellogg Executive Mentors Girl Scouts

Kellogg Executive Mentors Girl Scouts

It’s not every day you get to pick the brain of a top executive. But if you’re a Cookie CEO, it’s part of the job description.

Last week, Wendy Davidson, president of U.S. Specialty Channels for The Kellogg Company and Tribute to Achievement honoree, met with a few Cookie CEOs, the top five cookie sellers for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

During the meeting at the Chicago Gathering Place, Davidson, who’s a former Girl Scout, shared business tips, words of wisdom and lessons learned with the young entrepreneurs.

“The leadership skills that you’re learning in Girl Scouts are so important. Everything I’ve learned along the way has prepared me for what’s next,” she said. “Community involvement is also important. Communities don’t happen by accident. They happen when people lean in and invest. You’re doing that already in your communities and I hope you carry that with you.”

As part of her role with Kellogg, Davidson oversees the bakeries responsible for producing the iconic Girl Scout Cookies.

“For me, it was like coming full circle,” she said. “I was at the Louisville [Kentucky] bakery and I was like a little kid. I got to see them make the Thin Mints and got to try one hot off the production line. I was giddy. I think I have one of the best jobs ever.”

Once the Cookie CEOs are in pursuit of their dream jobs, Davidson advised them to “always lend a hand before you need a hand.”

“As you move forward, reach back and help the people behind you,” she said. “Your giving back never stops and your need to receive never stops.”

After their meeting with Davidson, the Cookie CEOs took her advice to heart and payed it forward by sharing cookie-selling strategies with younger Girl Scouts from the GirlSpace program, which brings the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls in at-risk communities.

Cookie CEO Nina Grotto (center) shares advice with younger Girl Scouts.

“Girl Scouts has opened a lot of doors for me, so I’m really glad I stayed with it,” said Nina Grotto, a 17-year-old Cookie CEO who raised nearly $18,000 to send about 4,500 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to members of the armed forces through the Gift of Caring program.

Davidson also met with the GirlSpace Girl Scouts, participated in their healthy living program and answered questions about her role with Kellogg.


“One of my favorite parts about my job is partnering with Girl Scouts to help grow and develop future leaders, so that one day you can all take my job,” she said.

Davidson will receive the Luminary Award at this year’s Tribute to Achievement dinner on Monday, April 25. For tickets and more information, please visit

A Day in the Life of a Cookie CEO

A Day in the Life of a Cookie CEO

While every Girl Scout is a #CookieBoss, it takes a lot of enthusiasm and determination to become a Cookie CEO. On Monday, Oct. 12, the top five cookie sellers from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) visited the Chicago Gathering Place and were Cookie CEOs for the day.

This year, the Cookie CEOs were Holly Doyle, 12 of Lake Forest; Nina Grotto, 16 of Hinsdale; Morrigan Macho, 14 of Chicago; Taylor Magruder, 18 of Tinley Park; and Mairead Skelton, 16 of Chicago. Together, they sold more than 26,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies.

“It feels rewarding and exciting,” said Nina, who raised nearly $18,000 to send about 4,500 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to members of the armed forces through the Gift of Caring program. “I’m excited to give feedback to the actual CEO and help improve Girl Scouts as a whole.”

The Cookie CEOs began their busy day by meeting GCNWI CEO Nancy Wright and giving suggestions for improving the member experience, camping and travel programs, as well as incorporating the arts into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education.

Cookie CEOs with Nancy
The Cookie CEOs start their morning by meeting with GCNWI CEO Nancy Wright (center) to suggest improvements to the council.

Afterward, the girls enjoyed a light breakfast with the staff where they received special “My CEO Met Me” patches from Wright. “This patch is really about you and what you want to be,” she said while presenting the patches. “We’re all here to empower you and who you want to be. The patch says ‘live your dreams.’ As you go out in the world, we want you all to live your dreams wherever they may take you.”

Following breakfast, the Cookie CEOs toured the Gathering Place, learned about the various Girl Scout artifacts on display throughout the office and met with several teams, such as marketing, retail and programs. Later in the day, the girls addressed everyone during an all-staff conference call.

Cookie CEO conference call
Nina, a 16-year-old Girl Scout Ambassador, addresses staff during a midday council-wide conference call.

“I love being here,” Holly, a third-year Cookie CEO, said during the meeting. “Each year, it motivates me to sell a lot of cookies.”

In addition to learning important life skills from selling cookies, such as goal setting, decision making and money management skills, several of the Cookie CEOs said the Girl Scout Cookie Program helped develop their confidence.

“I used to be shy and have low self-esteem,” shared Morrigan. “But Girl Scouts helped me build my people skills. I’m more confident in myself and I have Girl Scouts to thank for that.”

Afterward, the Cookie CEOs had lunch at Maggiano’s Little Italy and visited the set of a hit television show being filmed in Chicago.

“I like being a Cookie CEO because everyone is so welcoming and they’re really nice,” said Taylor, a first-time Cookie CEO.

Cookie CEO selfie
(From left to right: Morrigan, Holly, Mairead, Taylor and Nina) The Cookie CEOs take a #selfie after meeting with marketing as part of their Twitter takeover. All smiles, here!

Mairead, who returned for a second year as a top cookie seller, agreed.

“It feels good to be a Cookie CEO because you earned it,” she said. “It’s exciting to meet everyone and make new friends.”

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