How Tammy Wharton led a successful merger of three Girls Scouts councils Featured

10:17pm EDT January 3, 2013

Pillar Nonprofit Executive Director Finalist

Tammy Wharton

CEO

Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council Inc.

(614) 487-8101 | www.gsooh.org

Through a process that took two years to complete, one of the strongest Girl Scout councils in the country with one of the greatest percentages of girl members was formed — and Tammy Wharton was the force behind the creation.

It was shortly after she was hired that she faced the challenge of merging three Ohio councils into one — Heart of Ohio, centered in Zanesville, Heritage Trails, centered in Mansfield, and Seal of Ohio, with headquarters in Columbus.

While the structuring the council was a daunting job, Wharton recognized another challenging component: the cultural and emotional impact on staff, volunteers and girls along with resistance to the changes that would inevitably occur.

To meet this task, she kept her eye on the end goal and paid particular attention to the sensitive emotions of the organization’s stakeholders.

Since the merger nearly five years ago, Wharton has worked tirelessly to create one voice of Girl Scouting out of the 30-county district. Girl Scout participation grew by more than 3,000 girl members under her leadership, a remarkable showing among other mergers of Girl Scout councils in the U.S.

Wharton envisions a goal, commits to it, and then executes the plan while coaching staff and engaging thousands of volunteer workers to help girls see themselves as the leaders they aim to be. Her passion for the organization is contagious.

In addition, she gives back to the community through volunteer activities including the United Way, the Human Services Chamber of Franklin County, the American Red Cross and Central Ohio Diabetes Association Women’s Board.