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Diaz Dennis is First Latina to Serve as National Board Chair
October 10, 2005
Patrice Tanaka & Company, Inc.
212-229-0500 ext. 244
NEW YORK — Girl Scouts of the USA has elected Patricia Diaz Dennis as its new Chair of the National Board of Directors. As the highest volunteer position in the organization, Diaz Dennis was selected on the basis of her long-standing commitment to Girl Scouting, as well as her ability to provide leadership, vision, and support to the world's preeminent organization dedicated solely to girls.
A former Girl Scout, Diaz Dennis currently serves as senior vice president and assistant general counsel for SBC Communications, Inc. in San Antonio, Texas. She was elected First Vice Chair of Girl Scouts of the USA in October 2002, and from 1999 to 2002 she held the office of National Secretary. Patricia also holds membership on the Executive Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the International Relations Committee.
"When I was a Brownie Girl Scout, I was drawn to this movement for the fun, camaraderie, and adventure. I serve today because I understand just how much Girl Scouting helps girls find their voices and use them to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others," said Diaz Dennis. "Just as each cut of a precious jewel reveals a bit more of its potential, Girl Scouts enables each girl to find her own brilliance within."
Diaz Dennis' installation was made official on Monday, Oct. 10, 2005, at the 2005 Girl Scout National Council Session/50th Convention in Atlanta. The event, which is held once every three years, brings together the diverse membership of the organization for a variety of activities, workshops and speakers focused on transforming Girl Scouts for the 21st century.
The National Council Session, which runs concurrent to the 50th Triennial Convention, serves as a forum for voting on policy direction critical to the Girl Scouts Movement, including the election of the new National Board of Directors.
"This year's convention is a landmark gathering celebrating 93 years of Girl Scouting while focusing on a new strategy for the 21st century," said Kathy Cloninger, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. "As our incoming national board chair, Patricia will play a critical role in ensuring our new vision for sustained success, growth, and expansion remains true to Girl Scouts' goal, which is to help girls to live the values of the Girl Scout Promise and Law."
The Girl Scout National Board of Directors consists of 40 men and women hailing from the Latino, African-American, Indian-American, and Caucasian communities, keeping Girl Scouting's commitment to diversity stronger than ever. With expertise in fields from technology to education, the National Board keeps moving the Girl Scout Movement forward.
As the first Latina National Board Chair, Diaz Dennis said she can demonstrate to girls from diverse backgrounds that Girl Scouts has great things to offer all of them.
"We are more committed than ever before to welcoming all girls into Girl Scouting — no matter their neighborhood," Diaz Dennis said. "We've made inroads in recent years reaching girls unfamiliar with all that Girl Scouts has to offer, but we have to do more. We have to do much more to live and breathe the real diversity of all American girls."
"The Hispanic population is an example of one in which we have made strides getting the word out. We're doing great things all around this country, but we need to do more to show not only Latinas, but every under-represented population of girls how substantial and relevant an organization we are."
An accomplished professional and an important resource in community service, Diaz Dennis is licensed as a lawyer in California, Texas, and the District of Columbia, and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
A three-time presidential appointee, Diaz Dennis served in the State Department, on the Federal Communications Commission, and on the National Labor Relations Board. Governor Bush appointed her to the Texas State University System Board of Regents and Governor Perry appointed her to his transition team for Texas-Mexico Relations.
Among other awards, Patricia has received the 2003 MALDEF Corporate Responsibility Service Award, 2002 Cuban American National Council Leadership Award, 2002 San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame Award—Law, 2001 Association for Women in Communications' Public Endeavor Award, 2000 Bexar County Women's Bar Association Belva Lockwood Outstanding Lawyer Award, 1999 San Antonio Women's Chamber of Commerce Corporate Executive of the Year Award, 1999 UCLA Latino Alumni Association Alumna of the Year Award, National Hispanic Employee Association's 1999 Executive of the Year Award, the 1992 Houston YWCA Hispanic Woman of the Year Award, and the 1989 Woman of the Year Award from the Hispanic Women's Council. Hispanic Business magazine has consistently included her in its "100 Influentials" list and listed her in the "80 Elite Hispanic Women Directory" in 2002 and the 2004 "Top 25 Elite Women." Hispanic Magazine also named her to its "100 Top Latinas" list in 2003 and 2004.
Born in Santa Rita, New Mexico, she holds a law degree from Loyola University of Los Angeles and an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. She and her husband, Michael, are the proud parents of three adult children.
About Girl Scouts of the USA
Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent organization for and leading authority on girls with 3.7 million girl and adult members. Now in its 93rd year, Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization strives to serve girls from every corner of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. For more information on how to join, volunteer, or donate to the Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U (800-478-7248) or visit www.girlscouts.org.