Nonprofit Spotlight | Girl Scouts: Do you believe in Girl Leadership?

Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada's programs develop leadership skills in the girls that are part of the program.

Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada's programs develop leadership skills in the girls that are part of the program.

Girl Scouts is known for the “Three C’s”: Cookies. Crafts. Camping. (Which is great because, who doesn’t love a Thin Mint?)

But the truth is that Girl Scouting is fundamentally a leadership development program for girls.

Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada serves 4,700 girls across northern Nevada, with the help of 1,800 volunteers who deeply believe in the power of girl leadership. And while today’s generation of girls faces unparalleled opportunities (just ask our Girl Scouts who are returning from New Zealand), they are also facing historic challenges:

Only one in five girls believes she has what it takes to be a leader.

Girls in Nevada rank 49th out of 50 on an overall index of well-being that includes measures of girls’ physical health and safety, economic well-being, education, emotional health, and extracurricular activities.

In Nevada, about 22 percent of school-age girls are living in poverty.

We’re out to change that. But we need your help to empower girls to speak up, step up, and stand up. Together we can transform the leadership landscape and change our community for the better.

We would like to cordially invite the business community to join us for a night of celebration as we raise the critical funding needed to support girl leadership in our community.

The 14th Annual TRIUMPHANT: Celebrating Women in Leadership Awards & Fundraising Dinner will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17 at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa.

We will honor extraordinary Nevada women leaders who are making a difference in our community, and who are inspiring today’s girls to become tomorrow’s great leaders.


Community Service: Britton Griffith-Douglass, vice president of operations at Reno Engineering Corporation

A fifth generation Nevadan and University of Nevada, Reno alumna, Griffith-Douglass is committed to helping community members in a variety of ways. She serves as a board member on many local organizations devoted to improving Reno, such as Volunteers of America, Nevada Youth Empowerment Project, Redevelopment Advisory Agency, Riverwalk District, Regional Alliance for Downtown and House of Genius Reno. Financial Literacy: BJ North, executive vice president & retail banking/commercial lending manager at Plumas Bank.

With over 35 years of banking experience, BJ North is ranked as the highest woman banking executive in northern Nevada. She oversees Plumas Bank’s business ventures and product development. Prior to joining Plumas Bank in 2008, North served as chief advancement officer for Truckee Meadows Community College and senior vice president for Adagio Trust. North received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno.

S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math): Daphne D. LaPointe, Geologist Emerita at Nevada Bureau of Mines & Geology.

LaPointe has devoted her career to inspiring others to discover earth and space sciences. Currently retired, LaPointe served as outreach coordinator for Nevada Bureau of Mines & Geology, as well as lead organizer of Earth Science Week field trips for 16 years. She is now actively involved with numerous initiatives expanding environmental awareness in Nevada, including the Nevada Mining Association’s Education Committee and the Geological Society of Nevada’s Education Committee.

Healthy Living: Mena Spodobalski, owner of EVOKE Fitness and Trainer.

As owner of the largest private training fitness facility in northern Nevada, EVOKE Fitness, Spodobalski and her staff are committed to providing exceptional strength training for Reno residents. An avid community supporter, she coached 19 cancer survivors to train for a national fitness competition through her program, Breast Cancer 2 Bikini. At no-cost to participants, the six-month, six-days-a-week program gave women the guidance and confidence to love their new bodies.

Environmental Leadership & Responsibility: Fayth Ross, executive director of Urban Roots

Urban Roots is a Reno-based non-profit dedicated to growing healthy minds, bodies, and communities in northern Nevada. Prior to Ross’ position at Urban Roots, she spent two years as associate director of development of Sierra Nevada Journeys.

As an advocate for sustainability and natural resource stewardship, Ross has been instrumental in promoting environmental education throughout the state of Nevada through programs such as GreenPower and the GREENevada Coalition. With more than 13 years of experience in higher education, Ross has worked as an adjunct professor at Westminister College, Utah State University, and Truckee Meadows Community College.

Inspiration Award

In addition to recognizing our five TRIUMPHANT Honorees, GSSN is ecstatic to introduce the first-ever Inspiration Award, a new category celebrating local female entrepreneurs.

Girl Scouts encourages entrepreneurialism by engaging girls in business skills such as marketing, money management, goal setting, business ethics, public speaking, and more. GSSN is proud to honor three Inspiration Awardees:

Eren Ozmen, owner and president of Sierra Nevada Corporation.

Lauren Klein, CEO of Girlmade.

Sandy Raffealli, Bill Pearce Motors.

Thank you to our generous TRIUMPHANT Sponsors: Plumas Bank, US Bank, AT&T, NV Energy, Saint Mary’s Health Network, HSI/WARC, Waste Management, Intuit, Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, Reno Engineering, Cookie Bible, Brosy Family Dentistry, Dr. Elwood Schmidt, Hometown Health, Traci Davis, Q&D Construction, Kohn & Company, Engel & Volkers, Amplitude LLC, REMSA, Leverage ITC, and Veritas.

The event will be an inspirational night honoring incredible women role models. TRIUMPHANT guests will experience exceptional Girl Scouts introducing the women honorees, dinner music by CeCe Gable and her band, a VIP wine and hors d’oeuvres networking reception, a “green carpet” photo shoot with vintage Girl Scout uniforms, an expansive silent auction, a one-of-a–kind Girl Scout Cookie dessert by Chef Kayline Amos featuring our new Girl Scout S’mores cookie, and a delicious dinner. In addition, Girl Scouts will have SWAPS (a Girl Scout tradition) to trade with guests, a Pearls and Tie raffle, and special guest Mayor Schieve will join us at the event to be recognized as an honorary Girl Scout.

100 percent of proceeds support local girls. For individual tickets ($125) or table/annual sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact Amber Aiton at 775-322-0642 ext.1232 /

Amber Aiton is the director of Development & Communications for the Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment