Missed the 2011 Annual Meeting? Here are some of the highlights.

The meeting opened with a flag ceremony conducted by the Globetrotters, led by Debbie Clark, Troop 321, Mt. Pleasant.

Older Girl Specialist Katie Hiott introduced Mission Moments to the assembly, presenting a video by Gold Award recipient Abby Kent and introducing Ashley Pirkel, who saved a life using CPR she learned in Girl Scouts.

Finances were a key issue at the meeting. CEO Loretta Graham and Board Chairman Ruth Metzger went over the Council Performance Indicator (CPI) and explained the debt progression to the assembly, with the assistance of Board Treasurer Cliff McBride. Several delegates and assembly members had questions about the financial state of the council, centering on spending practices and investments returns and losses. The council's goal is to increase public support to help bolster finances.

Melissa Cox and Loretta Graham addressed open forum questions regarding the selling and leasing of council properties; making finances available to members; troop and girl incentives for cookie and nut sales; delegates to the National Convention; holding council events in the Florence area for more attendance; our new cookie company; promotion of Black History month; and the use of Sandy Ridge.
Ruth Metzger and Loretta Graham offered the joint state of the council. Highlights included:

  • 8 percent membership increase from the previous year over the national average, which saw a 4.4 percent decrease;
  • Sandy Ridge Camp Directors, Sue Leon and Peggy Kamp reviewed Sandy Ridge's successes and discussed upcoming plans for the camp.
  • The Program team was recognized at the National CEO Conference. There are 148 Bronze, 98 Silver and 9 Gold awards being awarded this year from our council
  • Alice Sudlow has been nominated as our first national WOD nominee for her special jacket for quadriplegics project Product Sales had a 9 percent units sold increase in the fall sale and the Cookie Sale supported Operation Cookie Drop sending mroe than 1,400 cases to our service men and women.
  • The Shop had a 31percent increase in sales and is ranked second in the Southeast councils.
  • Loretta Graham and Lisa Stafford, 2nd Vice Chair, reported on the properties. The Cross County Road office has been leased; the Florence office is up for sale; Camp Low Country is up for sale with the possible option to work out a partnership with the buyer to retain use, not ownership; bids have been received for the selling of a portion of excess land at Sandy Ridge.
  • Ruth Metzger, Board Chair reported on fundraising events: two Death by Chocolate, two Women of Distinction, and Pitchfork Fondue have been held; Grants, Annual Giving and G.I.F.T. Campaign are ongoing. She reported that a $36,000 grant from Wal-Mart has been received.
  • Meta Wright Walden, 100th Anniversary Committee Co-chair, reported that the GSUSA 100th Anniversary will be an exciting milestone and cause for celebration. It is an opportunity to ensure youth of today and of tomorrow to participate in another 100 years of Girl Scouting. Highlights of the anniversary will include the Ravenel Bridge Walk over Cooper River; Gala of all the Women of Distinction; Events of memories, singing, dancing, history; and a Parade of flags in all countries and states. She requested that everyone complete the GSESC’s 100th Anniversary Celebration survey.
  • Ruth Metzger reported that the National Convention will be held November 11-13, 2011 in Houston. Four delegates, two alternates and 10 girls will attend from GSESC. The voting proposals will be annual membership, a new formula for election of national council delegates in councils and council registration fees.
  • Loretta Graham, CEO stated that a membership increase, increasing visibility of our council and promoting the Girl Scout Leadership Experience will help us to obtain our goal.

Mary Mack, Board Member, presented the Slate of Nominees for the Board of Directors and Board Development Committee. Ruth Metzger announced that a nomination from the floor would be made. Kelly Brown, Troop 111, Chesterfield, nominated Melissa Brown for a Members-at-Large, two-year term position. Paper ballots were distributed and Cindy Floyd and Jane Locke were elected as Members-at-Large.

Ruth Metzger, Board Chair presented Lisa Stafford with an appreciation plaque. Ruby Gibbs-Williams was not present at the meeting.

Ashley Pirkel administered the oath of office to newly elected members of the Board of Directors and Board Development Committee.