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Governance & Finance

May 7, 2019, Merger Update to All Members

Dear Girl Scout Members,

We are excited to inform you of our big news—the merger between Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle, Inc. and Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, Inc. is OFFICIAL!

The effective date for this historic event is Friday, May 3, 2019. The newly combined council will be known legally as Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, Inc. (GSGC) and will cover 35 counties in North Florida—from Jacksonville and the Atlantic Coast to the western side of the Florida Panhandle in Pensacola—and serve approximately 12,500 girls and 6,000 adult members. We will truly be the Girl Scout gateway to Florida!

We want to thank everyone for their support of this process over the past few months. Both councils approached the decision to merge with thoughtful deliberation, taking into consideration the most effective and resourceful way to best deliver the Girl Scout mission and serve the members in this region. Ultimately, the transition was viewed as an opportunity to combine the councils’ strengths and to collectively build a vibrant future for Girl Scouting in North Florida.

Some of you already know Mary Anne Jacobs, as she has served as the chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, Inc. since 2013 and will continue to serve in this role at the newly combined council. If you have not met her yet, please be on the lookout for opportunities to do so over the next several months. She and others from the council will also be in regular communication with you by way of Troop Scoop, GSGC’s email newsletter for volunteers, and Gateway Connect, a weekly all-member email newsletter, as well as through other emails, social media (including GSGC’s Facebook page),and posts on GSGC’s website.

We also want to express tremendous gratitude to the Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle, Inc. Chief Executive Officer, Raslean M. Allen, MSM, for her 30 years of dedication to the Girl Scout Movement. She served with distinction in many roles, including as chief executive officer of the Florida Panhandle council for the past 10 years.

Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition!

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Ed Rastrelli
Board Chair, Board of Directors
Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, Inc.

Beverly A. Nash, Ph.D.
President, Board of Directors
Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle, Inc.

Timeline of Merger Process

January 2019—The Joint Task Force was created with members from Florida Panhandle and Gateway councils to explore a merger between the two councils. Both councils signed a letter of intent to express their interest in proceeding to a discovery phase.

February 2019—The Joint Task Force began its due diligence work, focused on four areas: finance, governance, programs/membership, and property.

March 2019—The Joint Task Force reported findings and recommended the merger to each council's board of directors. Both boards voted to recommend the merger between the Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle and the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council.

April 2019—Both councils held their respective annual meetings. Members of both councils voted in favor of the approval and adoption of the Merger Agreement.

May 2, 2019—Girl Scouts of the USA Board of Directors approved the change in jurisdiction.

May 3, 2019—Necessary papers were filed with the State of Florida, making the merger effective and the combined council now known as Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, Inc.

Merger Presentation
Documents for Reference

Legal Plan of Merger

Transition Updates to GSGC Members
April 27 Update

April 27, 2019

Dear members,

On Saturday, April 27, during its 2019 annual meeting, the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council voted to approve and adopt the Merger Agreement, and the transactions contemplated thereby, with the Girl Scouts of Florida Panhandle Council.

As for next steps, the Girl Scouts of the USA Board of Directors will vote to approve the merger’s jurisdiction change during its quarterly meeting, May 1-2, 2019.

This transition marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in which we move forward united in our commitment to championing the strongest leadership development organization for girls in the world.

We’re deeply grateful for your ongoing perseverance throughout this process and your unwavering dedication to girls. As always, we continue to enthusiastically embrace the Girl Scout mission to grow girls of courage, confidence, and character who will boldly chart our course toward a promising future.

Yours in Girl Scouting, 

Mary Anne Jacobs
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Gateway Council

Raslean M. Allen, MSM
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle

March 22 Update

March 22, 2019

On Thursday, March 14, the Board of Directors of the Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle, Inc. voted in favor of recommending the vote to merge. On Thursday, March 21, the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of the Gateway Council held a regular meeting. The Gateway board considered the report given by members of the Joint Task Force (as a reminder, this group consists of board, volunteers and staff from both councils and was formed to conduct due diligence on a possible merger) and also voted to recommend the merger between the Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle, Inc. and the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council.

The next step is for both boards’ to present their recommendations to their respective members regarding a vote to merge, which will take place at each council’s annual meeting: Panhandle—Saturday, April 13; and Gateway—Saturday, April 27*.

*As a reminder, please join us for the Annual Meeting of the Girl Scouts of the Gateway Council to cast your vote and let your voice be heard Please review the event listing for meeting logistics and to register to attend.
We look forward to our meeting next month.

Feb. 11 Update

Dear Girl Scout volunteers,

As you may have heard, GSGC is just starting to explore whether uniting our strengths with our sister council, Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle, would help us amplify Girl Scouts' reach and impact across northern Florida.

On Saturday, Feb. 2, and Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle held three Town Hall Meetings with its members—one each in the Pensacola, Panama City, and Tallahassee areas. They invited me to attend with them, which I gladly did, along with approximately 185 volunteers, girls, parents, and other members of that council.

During each meeting, Florida Panhandle’s leadership—both staff and board members—presented on a few key topics, including what led them to consider uniting with a sister council and what the next steps would look like. They then opened the meeting for any questions and feedback on what had been presented. At each meeting, the feedback made it clear—no matter the council or community—members across our Movement are united by our shared love for and belief in Girl Scouting and the positive effects it creates in girls’ lives and our communities.

As far as next steps, the first full meeting of the Joint Task Force was held Friday, Feb. 8. The task force is just beginning the due diligence process, which includes gathering legal and operational documents to identify our similarities, differences, and strengths. Also, there will be several sub-groups working within the task force, focused on governance, finance, property, and program and membership.

I will continue to share updates every few weeks, as we reach key milestones in this process.

If you have questions about this, please email us at Thank you for your continuing support of the Girl Scout mission.

Jan. 22 Update

As you know, one of our sister councils here in Florida, Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle, was significantly impacted by Hurricane Michael last year. The storm impacted both the council’s day to day operational capacities, and their financial bottom line. At Girl Scouts, our promise and law calls on girls to be a sister to every Girl Scout, and as leaders in this Movement, we seek to model the behaviors we want to see in our girls.
So to that end, Girl Scouts of Gateway is going to look for ways to step in to help our colleagues from Florida Panhandle. Last week, our board of directors voted to form a joint task force to conduct due diligence on how we might bring our two jurisdictions together as one for the sake of the girls and other members who can benefit from the efficiencies of a larger council.
Together over the next several weeks and months, we will explore all options to ensure that the girls we serve continue to benefit from the one-of-a-kind Girl Scout experience we offer them, and go on to make our world a better place.
We will keep you apprised of our work as we move forward in this process; and we thank you as always for your commitment to Girl Scouts, and your dedication to the ideals we uphold.
If you have questions about this, please email