Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: July 11, 2022 On the record

On the Record: Mara Moorhead, new CEO at Girl Scouts of Maine, is ‘listening and learning’

Photo / Jim Neuger Mara Moorhead is the new CEO of Girl Scouts of Maine, which has an annual budget of $4 million and a year-round staff of 50, plus 60 seasonal employees. The organization has offices in South Portland and Bangor.

Mara Moorhead, a one-time bakery entrepreneur, is the new CEO of Girl Scouts of Maine. Mainebiz caught up with the nonprofit leader to find out more ahead of her July 11 start date.

Mainebiz: As CEO of the Girl Scouts of Maine, what are your top priorities?

Mara Moorhead: Initially, I want to spend some time just listening and learning. With the Girl Scout Cookie Program, this is a different nonprofit business model. We also have four camp properties and a myriad of program offerings and participation opportunities involving hundreds of volunteers, so I will need to get up to speed on the organization as a whole.

Girl Scouts is known for cookies, yet they are the premier leadership program for girls in our state. I want every girl who wants to be a Girl Scout to have that available and accessible to them. And I want all girls and their families who don’t know about Girl Scouts to learn what we have to offer and be able to participate.

MB: Were you ever a Girl Scout yourself?

MM: I was not a Girl Scout growing up. I was a Camp Fire Girl. My daughter was a Girl Scout when she was in elementary school. She loved it!

MB: What is the mission of the Girl Scouts, and can you give examples of current impactful programming?

MM: Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Our leadership experience encourages girls to discover themselves, connect with others and take action.

There are four pillars: STEM, outdoors, life skills and entrepreneurship. Through badges, patches and journeys across the four pillars, girls learn invaluable skills from cybersecurity and digital leadership to global action and outdoor high adventure. Troops and individual Girl Scouts are empowered to follow their own lead, no matter their age, and participate in programming that interests them.

Many Girl Scouts translate their passions and skills learned into impactful projects in their communities. Recently, one troop in Brunswick learned about the conflict in Ukraine and decided to earn money for Doctors Without Borders. A troop in Lewiston made anti-bullying posters. After learning about a diminishing rabbit population, a troop in Cape Elizabeth created educational materials and built rabbit habitats for a local farm. And currently we have a Gold Award Girl Scout candidate from Lamoine working towards building transitional housing for female veterans.

MB: How does selling cookies — what most people associate with the Girl Scouts — fit into that mission?

MM: The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world, aligning with our entrepreneurship pillar. Through it, girls learn five essential skills: Goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. These important skills are not taught in school and learning them as a part of the Girl Scout leadership experience builds girls’ confidence and so much more. Girls are building their cookie businesses and earning their way to free camp sessions, fueling their own adventures with troop activities, funding community service and action projects, and saving for local and international travel.

The goal setting and determination to meet those goals is impressive. We just had a new record set for cookie sales by an individual girl — 2,083 is the new record to beat. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from every box stays in Maine to support Girl Scouts in our community and further our mission.

MB: What’s your take on today’s fundraising climate for nonprofits in general, and Girl Scouts of Maine in particular?

MM: Though nonprofits have to be aware of the economy and the financial climate, we are fortunate to live in a very generous community. Historically, even in challenging financial times, and sometimes even more so during those challenging times, people find a way to support nonprofits.

Ultimately, my focus will be on building stronger connections with our current donors and expanding our donor base to ensure that our Girl Scout Council continues to grow and thrive and be here to help build future generations of strong, courageous and confident women.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF