Interview by: Edie W.
Amy Dosik: I was a Girl Scout. I was a Brownie, and a Junior Girl Scout. I was a Girl Scout for four years.
LGG: Where did you work before coming to Girl Scouts?
Dosik: I worked at Ernst and Young, the accounting firm, and I led the not-for-profit group there, so non-profit organizations like Girl Scouts have been my clients for a long time. At some point I decided that my clients were having much more fun than I was having, so I looked around for a place where I could give back to the community and Girl Scouts was a great place to be able to do that.
LGG: Has it been hard to learn the language and culture of Girl Scouts?
Dosik: It’s like coming home. Girl Scouts is a little different than it was when I was a girl, but it’s exciting to be back with the Girl Scouts. Anytime you come to a new place, you have to learn a little bit of a new language and a new culture, but I’ve been very fortunate in that I have so many great people here to help me. I have wonderful adult volunteers, who have been very helpful to me in learning about what they need to serve all of our girls, and I’ve enjoyed spending time with their girls at things like the Cookie Rally. They’ve helped me learn about things like the five scales of cookie sales, and everything else I need to know. So, I’m very grateful to our staff and council members and volunteers, because I have lots of good teachers.
LGG: How has your past work experience prepared you for a job at Girl Scouts?
Dosik: One of the things I always loved doing in all the jobs I had before working for Girl Scouts was developing my teams, and helping to build the lives of young people I mentored on my teams. I used to tell people that my favorite day of the year at Ernst and Young was October 1st, because that’s when all of the people that I mentored got promoted every year. Watching the people that I had mentored and that I had coached get promoted was even better than getting promoted yourself. One of the reasons that our board brought me to Girl Scouts was to be a coach and a team leader for all of our staff members as well as volunteers and girls, and that’s what I really love to do every day and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have the opportunity to interact with them every day.
LGG: What is the most challenging part of your day as a CEO?
Dosik: It’s a challenging time to be a Girl Scout. It’s also an exciting time to be a Girl Scout, but I would say that one of the challenges is making sure we have enough resources to serve all of the girls in our council. In Atlanta, where our council is becoming more diverse, there are a lot of girls who have financial needs, and we really want to be a home for every girl in our council. One in five girls in our council lives in poverty, and so not every girl can afford to be a Girl Scout. We do offer financial assistance to many girls every year, but that need is greater than our ability to provide. My biggest challenge I would say is “How can we can really be a program for every girl in our council?” because that’s what I’d like to see us do.
LGG: I saw the AJC column that you wrote. You said that you hope to provide financial assistance to 20,000 girls by 2020. That’s amazing! How do you identify people who need assistance?
Dosik: Well, we have a team of membership specialists who work with us in all the different geographies of our council, and they work with schools and other members of the community to identify girls who need financial assistance for them to participate in Girl Scouts. In many cases those girls don’t even have adults to lead them. We actually have paid facilitators who lead some of those girls in areas where there aren’t any volunteers. Those paid facilitators also help us to identify the girls who need assistance to have a Girl Scout experience. It’s a big goal, 20,000 girls by 2020, but we have a lot of adults with courage, confidence, and character at our council, and that’s something we’re all working very hard to accomplish.
LGG: I love the Ban Bossy campaign through Lean In and GSUSA. How do you feel about this program?
Dosik: I couldn’t be more excited about Ban Bossy. I’ve been called bossy many times over my life, and I’ve been called bossy for as long as I could talk. It’s a label that changes; you don’t get called bossy when you reach a certain age, but those labels change, and they don’t feel any better. It says, “It’s not okay to do what you’re doing. It’s not okay to be a leader.” I think that’s a very bad message that we send to girls when we call them bossy. I think its exciting that this campaign is out there because it tells people that words matter and that labels matter, and the label you put on a behavior really does matter how girls, and later women, feel about those behaviors. In the work place, many people want to discourage women from being leaders. They get called things like “too aggressive” or “not a team player” or “cold” or things like that that become the words to be used instead of bossy when you get older and graduate to a work place. So, I couldn’t be more excited about Ban Bossy. I think it’s a great campaign and I’m thrilled at all the media attention it’s getting.
LGG: Any words of advice for girls who think they might want to fill your shoes someday?
Dosik: You’re on the right track if you’re a Girl Scout!
LGG: Finally, the most important question of all: What is your favorite type of Girl Scout cookie?
Dosik: I have two, and I go back and forth. Straight out of the box, I like Do-Si-Dos, but I also love Thin Mints out of the freezer.