executive director of girl scouts heart of the south
Melanie is a nationally acclaimed visionary leader who has used her innovative spirit to create and launch high impact programs for women and girls on an international, national and local level. She is an idea generator who creates transformative initiatives that bring personal benefit to the organization’s members, increases the organization’s visibility, and engages its members in take action projects.
She became CEO of Girl Scouts Heart of the South in 2014. The local Girl Scout council serves 59 counties in West Tennessee, North Mississippi and Arkansas and has over 2500 volunteers. She has elevated the organization’s relevance by transforming its culture to one of innovation and inclusion. She spearheaded the National Stand Beside Her Movement which is a call to action for women and girls to unite voices and support each other, end comparison, and competition that negates female relationships so that they can celebrate each other’s success.
She also saw the need for the initiative locally and encouraged women and girl serving nonprofits in the Mid-South to join in a collaborative coalition and form Stand Beside Her Memphis. Since coming to Girl Scouts, she has started numerous leadership programs such as the Kaleidoscope National Leadership Conference – to help young women in grades 8-12 change the view of leadership through inclusion, equity and excellence; the She Leads Leadership program for high school girls, and the We Lead Institute, a leadership program to elevate all women through inclusive leadership.
Melanie loves working with girls and helping them develop new initiatives. Created in 2018, the newest imitative is National Working Mother’s Day and has already gained national attention. She is very proud that local Girl Scouts came up with this idea.
At 25 years old, she became one of the youngest women to lead a multimillion-dollar national organization with affiliates in all 50 states. She served as the Executive Director of Kappa Delta Sorority and Kappa Delta Foundation, Inc. where she initiated and built a strong national partnership with Girl Scouts of the USA, created National Women’s Friendship Month, International Girl’s Day and founded the Confidence Coalition, a national coalition of 44 companies such as the Avon Foundation for Women, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Vera Bradley, GSUSA, and Girls on the Run. The Confidence Coalition created a collaborative space for those companies, nonprofits, and individuals who worked in the area of self-confidence in girls and women. This type of collaboration was unheard of at the time and brought the organization to a new level.
Melanie is also very active locally as a volunteer and expert of women’s leadership issues. She has served as served as a National Organizational Development trainer for the Association of Junior Leagues International, National President of the Association of Fraternity Executives, National President of National Panhellenic Conference Executives, and has volunteered with the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis,, YWCA, Arthritis Foundation, Circle of Sisterhood, Girl Scouts Heart of the South, Volunteer Memphis, Junior League of Denver, Junior League of Memphis, and many other local organizations. Melanie is mother to two daughters who are go-getters, innovators, risktakers, and leaders.