2023 Adult Awards

Each year, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania accepts nominations for the exceptional volunteers who serve as the backbone of our organization. The Adult Award Review Committee then has the distinct privilege of reviewing those nominations and assessing each one carefully. The board approves the nominations for the Adult Awards, including the Appreciation Pin, Honor Pin, Thanks Badge I and II, and the President’s Award. Congratulations to our 2023 Adult Award recipients!

Honor Pin Recipients

The Honor Pin recognizes an individual’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, which has had a measurable impact on two or more geographic areas of service, allowing the council to reach and surpass its mission-delivery goals.

Shelley BobackService Unit SU4651-Westmont Johnstown in Cambria County

Shelley received this pin for her unwavering dedication to bringing Girl Scouts to every girl. As a troop leader for an impressive five troops—four of which began this year—Shelley is always stepping up to help wherever there’s a need. Her passion for the outdoors is evident in her certification in several outdoor activities, including archery and hatchet throwing. Her expertise has been invaluable in planning and executing outdoor activities for her troops, providing girls with unforgettable experiences and lifelong skills.

Shelley organized a wildly successful Brownie Bash event, open to all girls and attended by several service units as part of the Trefoil Alumnae group. She has also served as a Gold Award mentor, helping girls to achieve their biggest goals and reach their full potential. Her tireless dedication to Girl Scouts both within her own service unit and beyond is remarkable.

Susan Finizio – Service Unit 5703-Mt. Lebanon in Allegheny County

As co-leader of Travel Troop 52619, Susan provides girls with the opportunity to explore the world. Her dedication is truly remarkable as she tirelessly organizes the MagNut and cookie programs for girls in several different service units and plans engaging fundraising activities such as gift-wrapping and Journey days for girls all over our council. With her help, girls in the travel troop are able to raise funds for their exciting travel adventures.

Recently, the travel troop returned from an excursion to Panama, and this summer they are eagerly anticipating their trip to the Galapagos. The troop is already planning their next adventure to Germany in 2024, and Susan is the master organizer, ensuring everything is in perfect order to make these incredible journeys happen.

Michelle Wiesen – Service Unit 3622-Fairview in Erie County

Michelle has made exceptional contributions as a volunteer for the Greater Erie Area Day Camp. Serving eight service units from Erie County and beyond, Michelle has been an essential leader for years, tirelessly working behind the scenes to ensure that every participant has what they need. She’s an active member of her service unit as well, consistently working hard to ensure that events and activities run smoothly and exceed expectations.

Michelle’s talent and leadership skills also shine outside of her local community. As part of the steering committee for the adult Great Getaway retreat, she led a workshop on creating beautiful shabby chic sunflowers. The expertise and creativity inspired adult volunteers throughout our council.

Thanks Badge Recipient

The Thanks Badge honors an individual whose ongoing commitment, leadership, and service has have an exceptional, measurable impact on meeting the mission-delivery goals and priorities of the entire council or the entire Girl Scout Movement.

Denise Cerilli-Martz – Service Unit 2664-Central Westmoreland in Westmoreland County

As a troop leader for multi-level Troops 26831 and 27038, and a member of the Gold and Silver Award committees, Denise has gone above and beyond in her dedication to our organization. Her role as a mentor for troops and service units interested in flag ceremonies is invaluable, and we are especially grateful for her recent oversight of the flag ceremony and guard at the funeral of former CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA and Girl Scouts of Talus Rock, Frances Hesselbein.

Denise’s commitment to community events and initiatives has undoubtedly strengthened the integrity of Girl Scouting and its members. Her volunteerism sets the standard for excellence in leadership.

President’s Award Recipients

The President’s Award recognizes the efforts of a service-delivery team or committee whose exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience surpassed team goals and resulted in significant, measurable impact toward reaching the council’s overall goals. 

Service Unit 5104-North Allegheny East of Allegheny County

The North Allegheny East Service Unit fosters the development of girls’ character, confidence, and courage through a variety of troop-led events, including a summer camp-out, fall movie night, powderpuff derby, Thinking Day, and Earth Day events. The service unit actively engages its girls in community outreach, encouraging participation in charitable and service projects, with special emphasis on supporting troops working towards their Bronze Award. They also host a number of bring-a-friend events throughout the year.

Service Unit 2662-St. Mary’s of Elk County

This year, St. Mary’s and Ridgway service units merged with a shared commitment to providing exceptional Girl Scout experiences. They’ve expanded their offerings, organized more activities and events, and developed an effective digital communication plan to keep leaders informed. Impressively, they’ve retained over 65% of their girl members from last year and continue to prioritize recruitment and providing resources for their members to thrive.

Service Unit 2657-Northern Star of McKean County

The Northern Star Service Unit exceeded their recruitment and retention goal by an impressive 9%. Their commitment to effective communication, exciting programming, and community service has created a culture of hands-on learning and leadership development. Girls are empowered to take the lead in planning and executing events and activities, further fostering their growth and development.

Service Unit 2623-Clarion of Clarion County

The Clarion Service Unit is known for hosting outstanding events for their girls as well as for neighboring service units. They also make a positive impact in their community by actively participating in service projects and parades. The service unit has established a fruitful partnership with Clarion University, and they are currently planning a multi-service unit day camp for troops who would like to participate.

Service Unit 5406-Pine Richland of Allegheny County

The Pine Richland Service Unit has cultivated an active and vibrant Girl Scout community by enhancing digital communication, expanding service unit offerings, and engaging more leaders and families. With a strong focus on girls in 7-12 grades, they prioritize community involvement and opportunities for growth in STEM and life skills. The service unit also invested in a Pinewood Derby track, demonstrating their commitment to offering unique and enriching experiences for their girls. Through partnerships with their community, their girls are true leaders, tackling challenges and earning their highest awards while making a positive impact.

Service Unit 2612-Franklin Regional of Westmoreland County

The Franklin Regional Service Unit is dedicated to ensuring every new girl has a troop and supporting troop leaders and volunteers to achieve success. The team has implemented effective recruitment strategies to achieve this goal. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the service unit has successfully revived its events to keep girls engaged.

Service Unit 2651-Bradford of McKean County

The Bradford Service Unit has made significant strides in building a stronger community this year. With a remarkable retention rate of over 70%, they have successfully kept older girl troops engaged. Responding to feedback from their members and in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, they hosted a highly successful STEM event for older girls. The service unit is dedicated to providing exciting opportunities for their older age levels so they remain actively involved in Girl Scouting.

Service Unit 4651-Westmont Johnstown of Cambria County

The Westmont and Johnstown service units merger two years ago proved to be a catalyst for growth, with an impressive 38% increase in membership this year, including the addition of 61 new girls. A new leader support system was established to accommodate the 12 new troops formed in the past two years. To maintain retention, this service unit encourages girls to participate in all aspects of Girl Scouting, including planning events and activities, earning the highest awards, and engaging in community events.

Silver Award Committee

The Silver Award Review Committee guides Cadettes in their pursuit of the Silver Award, a milestone that encourages personal growth and civic engagement. With monthly FAQ sessions, intent form reviews, and final report evaluations, the committee ensures that each project meets national standards. Their dedication and expertise make a significant impact on Cadettes, caregivers, and volunteers council-wide.

Appreciation Pin Recipients

The appreciation pin recognizes an individual’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. This service, which has had a measurable impact on one geographic area of service, helps reach and surpass the mission-delivery goals of the area.

Ellie Babcock
Susan Blazosky
Amanda Bradley
Jennifer Dayton
Melanie D’Silva
Julie Ferraro
Tina Giannamore
Jodi Holland
Lorry Janknowski
Jennifer King
Diane Kisner
Serena Klink
Fahima Knestrick
Morgen Miller
Ellen Mosher
Leann Ross
Contenta Schoenman
Stacey Scholl
Lynn Sosovicka Sekeres
Kate Woods

Congratulations to all of our 2023 Adult Award recipients!

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