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Bringing the Girl Scout Movement to the Crossroads of the West

Published: 06/25/2014
Anna Maria Chavez (CEO, Girl Scouts USA), The Huffington Post -- Salt Lake is a city on the move: a vibrant financial center that is demonstrating to the world the continued strength of America's economy. It is a place where shrewd leadership, hard work, innovation and determination are creating jobs and opportunity. The city nicknamed the "Crossroads of the West" has a very real chance to become the economic "highway to the future." At Girl Scouts, we want girls from every corner of the country to be a part of that environment and to learn those lessons.

That's why from October 16-19, 2014, the Girl Scouts of the USA will bring our 2014 National Council Session/53rd Convention to Salt Lake City, Utah. For a few days, it will be the biggest Girl Scout party in the world; a celebration of our past and an exciting look to the future of possibilities for girls and their limitless potential for leadership.

We choose convention locations that we believe will inspire girls and enrich their experience. Exposing girls to innovative thinking is one of the most important things we can do to prepare the next generation of female leaders for the 21st century. Salt Lake City has a lot to teach us all about how to seize opportunity and build a strong economy, even in the midst of turmoil. Today's economic landscape changes at light speed, and one thing is clear: overcoming those challenges requires cumulative skills, perspective and leadership of EVERYONE -- men and women alike -- to keep our country competitive.

It might not surprise you to learn that as the CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, I believe that our future as a nation will depend on the potential of one of America's greatest untapped resources: girls. Investing in girls -- whether by giving money or volunteering your time as a mentor -- is one of the single best investments our society can make in the future of our economy. And we know that gender balanced work environments lead to success. According to the World Economic Forum, gender equality: Attracts top talent to a firm or country; Reduces expenses; Increases organizational performance; and, it can improve national productivity and competitiveness.

I'm a firm believer that you've got to get them young. That's why I love my job, and love the Girl Scout Movement. We teach girls that they have what it takes to be leaders, and give them the skills to believe in their potential. To do that, girls need to see, hear and learn from the best. Selecting a convention venue is like buying a house: location matters. To inspire girls, invigorate our Movement and think about its future, Salt Lake City couldn't have been a more perfect choice to host our triennial National Convention.