The Alumnae Association of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas is hosting former Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Kathy Cloninger, author of Tough Cookies: Leadership Lessons from 100 Years of the Girl Scouts, and they’re inviting alums from the Dallas area to hear her speak. The May 2nd book signing and alumnae networking event is part of the ongoing celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts.

While at its helm, Cloninger revamped and revitalized the organization, rewriting the old handbook and redesigning merit badges. Her focus was developing leadership in today’s girls, and she believes it’s not just the answer for a more prosperous and vibrant life for the individual scouts, but for America as a whole.

Stats say she’s onto something. A new study says half of all adult women in America were once Girl Scouts. We (I am a proud alum) display higher perceptions of self, volunteer and mentor more in our communities, vote more regularly, are more likely to have a college degree and earn more money.

In her book Tough Cookies, Cloninger debunks the idea that their signature cookie sales are a simple fundraiser. Elementary-aged girls learn to run a business, set goals, handle customer relations and invest money, she says. It’s the biggest financial literacy, entrepreneurship and sales training program in America.

Despite all her work to reenergize the organization, Cloninger gives much credit to Girl Scout founder, Juliette Gordon Low. Even before women had the right to vote, Cloninger says, girls could earn badges for skills from aviation to zoology.

Cloninger will be speaking to former Girl Scouts, volunteers and staff from 4:30-6:30 on May 2 at the Haynes and Boone offices, 2323 Victory Avenue, 7th floor, near downtown Dallas. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased by emailing Lindsay Thompson here. Joining the alumnae association is free and you can sign up here. For more info, email LHHS grad (and proud Girl Scout alum) Ginger Grinsfelder Greenberg here.