Laurel J. Richie
Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer
Girl Scouts of the United States of America, New York City
Laurel J. Richie describes her years as a Girl Scout as preparation for her current executive role with the distinguished organization. She credits the experience of selling cookies, a primary Girl Scout activity and time-honored tradition, with instructing her on the fundamentals of marketing. Selling cookies, she explains, requires the same key ingredients of business acumen: defining the target audience, making the sales pitch and managing money. Today, as Girl Scouts of the USA’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Richie ensures the organization’s brand identity is fresh and contemporary. She rolled out her brand-repositioning initiatives last year.
“Girl Scouts has always been about leadership; now we’re making this more widely known,” says Richie.
Under her leadership, for example, girl members are gaining visibility by taking on such issues as cyberbullying, with some of them testifying before the U.S. Congress on its dangers. This and the other branding initiatives Richie has developed are in line with the organization’s core program offerings and with the three keys to leadership in Girl Scouting: discover, connect, and take action.
A graduate of Dartmouth College with a bachelor’s degree in policy studies, Richie was a founding member of Ogilvy & Mather New York’s Employee Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion and a member of the agency’s operating board. She is a recipient of the YMCA’s Black Achievers in Industry Award and was designated an Outstanding Woman in Marketing and Communications by Ebony magazine.
Richie sees Girl Scouts of the USA as an American mainstay — an organization that grooms tomorrow’s female leaders as it continues to evolve in exciting ways. “I believe that Girl Scouts is really about ensuring that every girl has the confidence and skills needed to lead,” she says.