(Grand Rapids, Mich - September 1, 2010) - Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore has named Gloria Lara as its Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Lara replaces Dianne Fairbanks who has served as the Interim Chief Executive Officer since November 2009. Lara will be based out of the Grand Rapids office on Walker Avenue.
"We are very excited to have Gloria on board," said Sharon Burtrum, board president for the Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore. "Her experience, passion and enthusiasm for Girl Scouting will lead our council forward as we continue to build a strong organization for girls."
With nearly twenty years as a Girl Scout volunteer Lara most recently served as a national board member for Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and a past board president for the Metro Detroit Girl Scouts. She gained top-level experience in marketing, sales, project management and finance, and has held executive positions at IBM, Jervis B. Webb Company, Delphi Corporation, UT Automotive, TRW and Chrysler Corporation.
While at UT Automotive, Lara founded and directed the Women's Advisory Committee (WAC) which focused on developing new product ideas for vehicle interior enhancements. Leading a diverse group of female employees, Lara developed a new idea-generating process, increasing the development of product ideas by more than 15 percent.
"I'm honored to be part of an organization dedicated to helping today's girls become the leaders of tomorrow," said Lara. "I like what Girl Scouts stands for - giving every girl access to life-changing experiences that inspire them to do something big. Girl Scouts helps them achieve their dreams all while staying true to who they are."
Lara holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and accounting from California State University, Fullerton and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.