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Greetings Girl Scout Family:

Following a national search, the Board of Directors of Girl Scouts of Central California South is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Russel Statham as the next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Girl Scouts of Central California South.

Statham, who was appointed by the Board after the recommendation of a selection committee composed of Girl Scout alum, volunteers, Board members, and community leaders, begins as CEO effective Wednesday, December 5, 2018. His appointment follows the beloved leadership of Dr. Cathy Ferguson, a Gold Medal Olympian who is retiring on January 5th after a decade of accomplished service as CEO.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to see Russel become our next CEO. He has proven himself to be a creative, thoughtful, and dedicated servant leader whose heart is focused on advancing the needs of the nearly 12,000 girls and 3,000 volunteers of our Council. Since joining the Council as CFO, Russel has had a major impact, helping to generate new resources that have provided expanded programming and new opportunities for our girls. I look forward to seeing our Council grow under his leadership.”

Statham, who has served as Chief Financial Officer of the Council since January, has spent the past decade in executive leadership roles in higher education and non-profits. Born and raised in the Central Valley, he earned his bachelors and masters degrees in business administration and a doctorate in educational leadership from Fresno State and has completed executive leadership development programs at Harvard University and the Panetta Institute for Public Policy. Active in the community, he has served on the Boards of numerous nonprofits, is a Rotarian, and is a former appointee of the Governor on the Board of Trustees of The California State University.

Statham talks openly of the impact of female leadership on his life and the inspiration he draws from his female mentors, mother, sisters, and nieces in taking on the CEO position. “My life has been shaped by incredible women who have made me who I am today — women who inspired me, helped me discover and nurture my gifts and talents, and developed in me a commitment to serving others. I would not be the person I am today without the benefit of many incredible females in my life and I am thrilled to be a part of an organization that is dedicated to developing girls of courage, confidence, and character who will become the next generation of leaders in our community.”

Keith Pretzer, chair of the Board of Directors, said that while the selection process was rigorous and many qualified candidates from across the country were considered, Statham’s successful track record of leadership, connection to the Central Valley and demonstrated commitment to serving the girls of our region made him the best choice for the role. “Russel’s experience, education, and vision made it clear that he was the best choice to lead our Council in its next phase. The excitement and passion with which he advocates for our girls is inspiring, and he truly embodies the G.I.R.L. model — he’s a Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, and Leader.”

“I can’t wait to get to work as CEO and learn how I can best support the important work of our Council,” Statham said. “I am committed to advancing the girls in our region and look forward to being their champion as we steward to the future of Girl Scouting in our region.”