side menu icon

Leadership


Executive Team

Chief Executive Officer
Angela Salinas
Major General, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret) 

“What a great adventure…to develop young women who are tomorrow’s leaders and the foundation of our nation.”  

General Salinas' Biography

Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas (GSSWT) named Major General Angela Salinas, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret) as chief executive officer on July 1, 2015.   

Salinas served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 39 years. She was the first Latina selected and promoted to the general officer ranks in the U.S. Marine Corps. At the time of her retirement in September 2013, she was the senior ranking woman and Hispanic in the Corps.

A Girl Scout alumna, Salinas is a role model to girls and women seeking to break through the glass ceiling. She was the first woman to command the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and the Western Recruiting Region, the first woman assigned as an Assistant Chief of Staff for plans and policy of a major combatant organization and the first woman assigned as a ground major’s combat service support monitor. Her personal decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal; the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit with gold star; the Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars; the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal; the Army Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars.

Salinas’ accolades extend past her military experience. She is a 2016 San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, a 2016 Hispanic Women in Leadership Hall of Fame, 2016 TAMACC Woman of Distinction, and a 2016 Hope Hispanic Heritage Recipient.  She was named as an inaugural Top Latino Leader by the National Diversity Council and was awarded the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award; the Hispanic Heritage of Texas Estrellas de Texas; Lifetime Achievement awards from Latina Style Magazine and North Star; the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Leadership Award; Women’s International Center’s Living Legacy Award; as well as being named one of 15 Phenomenal Women by Latina Magazine and one of six Power Latinas in 2015 by Vivala.com.

Salinas serves on the board of directors for the Young Marines, The First Tee of Greater San Antonio and Prospera Housing Community Services. A native of Alice, Texas, she holds a Master of Arts from the Naval War College and a bachelor’s degree from the Dominican College of San Rafael, California. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Dominican University in 2015 and named a Distinguished Alumni in 2016.

line_spacer
jody-web

Chief Operating Officer
Jody Shaw Hernandez

Jody's Biography

As Chief Operating Officer, Jody Shaw Hernandez works closely with the Chief Executive Officer as a member of the council's executive team and leads the strategic direction of the membership, program, outdoor education, product sales, properties, outcomes and volunteer services departments and provides direction for the design, development and delivery of council program and membership efforts. Hernandez is also the head for the council strategic learning team.

A professional Girl Scout and volunteer for many years, Hernandez comes to San Antonio from Evansville, Indiana, where she was Director of Membership Services at Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana for five years. Within that time Hernandez oversaw the Girl Scouts of Raintree Council’s Strategic Learning Process where she recruited 25 prominent community members along with council staff to participate in assessing the overall delivery system in the Raintree Council and formulated framework for building strategy and tactical implementations for moving forward. Prior to her work in Indiana, Hernandez was employed as Director of Fund Development at the Girl Scout Council of Greater St. Louis.

"As a dedicated advocate for all girls and young women, it is a privilege to say that I have the opportunity to work for an organization that is the preeminent leadership development program for girls. I have great passion for the Girl Scout movement because it allows girls to have experiences they might not otherwise be able to have." Says Hernandez

Hernandez also has work experience in the field of higher education, having served as Adjunct Professor, Youthful Offender Counselor, and Vice President for Campus Life at Oakland City University where she also served as dean of students and served on the president’s board. While on the president’s board Hernandez helped increase student retention by four percent.  Hernandez professional background also includes several years in the U.S. Army Reserves, for which she served as a 91 Bravo attached to a M.A.S.H. unit in St. Louis, MO, as well as to a Blackhawk Unit at Scott Air Force Base.

Hernandez holds a bachelor's degree in Social Work, as well as a Master of Public Administration and Policy Analysis from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
 
Hernandez is joined in San Antonio with her husband John and thee children, Lily, Zachary and Emily, who is a Girl Scout. 

line_spacer
saf_crop

Chief Development and
Communications Officer
Stephanie A. Finleon Cortez

Stephanie's Biography

Stephanie Finleon Cortez was named Chief Development and Communications Officer (CDCO) for Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas on January 18, 2013, after serving as Chief Communications Officer for the council since January 2010. A Girl Scout for 31 years, Finleon was among the first Daisies to join the organization in 1984.

She began her career in 2002 as a Membership Manager with Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council in Houston. Two years later, Finleon Cortez returned to her hometown of San Antonio and began her work in communications. As CDCO, she leads the council's fund development and communications department, to include oversight of individual and major giving, corporate contributions, foundation contributions, government grants and special events. She is also responsible for internal and external communications, to include public relations and advocacy, media relations, marketing, advertising, social media, crisis communications and brand management.

Stephanie uses her personal experience as a “grown-up” Girl Scout and Girl Scout Gold Award recipient to communicate the relevance of an organization that has impacted more than 59 million women nation-wide.

Finleon Cortez devotes her personal time to family and friends, volunteering as treasurer for the San Antonio Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for which she also served as president-elect, president and immediate past president from 2013-2015. She is a proud Red Raider and Roadrunner, with a degree from the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University, as well as a Master in Business Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She resides in La Vernia, TX with her husband Daniel and son Joey.   

line_spacer
BLYTHE

Chief Financial Officer
Blythe Simonson 

 

Blythe's Biography

Blythe Simonson was named Chief Financial Officer for Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas after an extensive search on June 3, 2013.

A certified public accountant with 17 years’ experience in auditing and non-profit fund accounting, Simonson is responsible for the financial and operational management of Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, including development of the annual and long-term budget, financial forecasts, organizational development and design, human resources, legal and risk management, as well as analysis and commentary on the financial impact of operational and strategic initiatives of the organization.

Prior to joining Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, Simonson served as controller for The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and Temple Beth-El.

Originally from Clovis, New Mexico, Simonson holds a Master of Science in Accounting and a B.S. in Business Administration from Trinity University. She serves on the finance committee at St. Paul’s Episcopal Montessori School and is an accomplished musician. She and her husband, David, reside near Medina Lake with their children and family pet, Molly.



Board of Directors

A volunteer board of directors sets strategic direction for Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. Board members represent the broad diversity of our council membership and the communities we serve. Members are recommended by a volunteer nominating committee and approved by the council delegates at the annual council meeting. A formal democratic process facilitates communication between the board of directors and the council's membership.

The volunteer board of directors is elected by GSSWT's membership to ensure that the council:

  1. Manages its affairs according to state and federal law,
  2. Complies with Girl Scouts of the USA charter requirements, and
  3. Secures and allocates the resources needed to deliver the Girl Scout program throughout our jurisdiction.

 

  • Annie Turner

    Board Chair
    Annie Uribe Turner
    Retired

  • Annie's Biography

    Recently retired at the end of 2020, Annie previously worked for Wells Fargo for 40 years. At the time of her retirement, she served as the Commercial Banking Leader of Wells Fargo Bank in San Antonio. In her role, she managed a diverse team of commercial bankers in San Antonio and the Hill Country. She oversaw a significant portfolio of business loans and deposits.  Over the course of her career, she has been focused on helping businesses meet their financial goals and has participated in many small business workshops with a focus on helping businesses grow in San Antonio.

    Currently, Annie serves on the YWCA Wage Equity Advisory Council, San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame Board. Cibolo Creek Community Church Trustee Board, and the University of Incarnate Word Development Board.  Previous community service includes past Chair of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Board, the Board of Lead San Antonio, the Executive Committee of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber, the Executive Committee of the So. Texas Business Fund n/k/a Lift Fund, the Board of Business Careers High School’s Academy of Finance and Corporate Partner of National Association of Women Business Owners of SA. 

    At Wells Fargo, Annie was the Executive Sponsor of the Wells Fargo San Antonio Women’s Team Member Network and was a member of the National Business Banking Diversity Council for Wells Fargo.  She is an alumnus of the Leadership Texas Class of 2000, was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015, is recognized as one of the “Who’s Who of San Antonio Women” and has been featured in SA Women magazine as one of San Antonio’s notable “Women in Banking”. She has a BA in Journalism from Baylor University.

    She has been married to her husband Randy for 34 years and they have one daughter, Taryn who is a recent graduate of the University of Texas in Austin. Annie joined Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas Board of Directors as a Member-at-Large from 2016-2017, then served as Treasurer (2017-2019, 2019-2021).  In addition, Annie was a member of the council’s Finance and Investment committees.

  • line_spacer
  • JELYNNE LEBLANC BURLEY

    1st Vice Chair
    Jelynne LeBlanc Jamison
    Center for Health Services, Chief Executive Officer

  • Jelynne's Biography

    Jelynne LeBlanc Jamison is the President of JLB Group, a consulting firm which specializes in leadership training and talent development, project management, economic development and community advocacy.

    She is a retired executive from CPS Energy having served the San Antonio community for 34 years. Jelynne has supported numerous organizations through the years as an officer or member of the Board of Directors. This includes the National Forum for Black Public Administrators’, NuStar GP Holdings Inc., and San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside (SAGE) where she was also Chair.

    In 2015, she received the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Executive Award for Large Business and was selected one of Texas’ Most Powerful and Influential Women by the Texas Diversity Council. Jelynne earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Southern University and a Master of Arts degree in Urban Studies from Trinity University and is a Certified Construction Executive from Texas A&M University.

  • line_spacer
  • Carrie Headshot

    2nd Vice Chair
    Carrie Gray
    Burnam | Gray, Co-Founder/Principal

  • Carrie's Biography

    Co-Founder, and Principal of Burnam | Gray, Carrie brings 30 years of nonprofit experience in the areas of fundraising, strategy, budgeting, organizational development, community partnerships, and board engagement. She led a $25 million multi-faceted campaign for the YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish, has created numerous communications plans, designed programs for girls of all ages, served on the leadership team that led the YWCA through program acquisition, and has managed multiple organizational change projects.

    As one of the principals for Burnam | Gray, Carrie provides leadership and guidance to nonprofit executives and board members in the areas of fundraising, board governance, strategic planning, building infrastructure, board and staff partnerships, and provides coaching services to high level fundraising staff. Carrie has dedicated her life to the nonprofit sector having worked for three different Girl Scout Councils, two YWCA’s, and two community foundations throughout her career. She is steadfast in ensuring women have equal rights and that all people, of all backgrounds are included and welcomed in philanthropy.

    Carrie has her B.S. in Education from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN and has attended an array of fundraising certification courses. She has been married to her husband, Christopher Lefelhocz for 25 years. Together, they have two children, Julianne of New York City and James, a student at Reagan High School. A fifth family member is their Bernedoodle named Olive.

    In addition to her GSSWT Board service, Carrie is a Texas Women’s Leadership class of 2020 member, a member of the Alpha Chi Omega National Fraternity as a Women & Wisdom mentor, Gold Award recipient, and a Lifetime Member of the Girl Scouts.

  • line_spacer
  • Dr Sarah Baray

    Secretary
    Dr. Sarah Baray
    Chief Executive Officer, Pre-K for SA

  • Sarah's Biography

    Dr. Baray is Chief Executive Officer of Pre-K 4 SA, San Antonio’s award-winning early learning program. Dr. Baray has more than 25 years of experience in education. Before joining Pre-K 4 SA, Dr. Baray was a professor at Texas State University where she directed the Ph.D. in School Improvement program and served as a researcher and instructor in the Educational and Community Leadership program. Dr. Baray began her education career in the Austin Independent School District, serving in various roles including teacher, principal, and district administrator.

    Dr. Baray holds a Ph.D. in Executive Public School Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin, where she also earned Master of Education and Bachelor of Science degrees. Her research interests center on policies and practices related to educational equity. As a scholar-practitioner, Dr. Baray utilizes research to inform practice, particularly as it relates to the role of high-quality early learning in educational outcomes. Dr. Baray has authored dozens of articles and book chapters and provided extensive professional development to help educators become more culturally responsive.

  • line_spacer
  • Jessica Mobley

    Treasurer

    Jessica Mobley
    Retired

  • Jessica's Biography

    Retired USAA Senior Financial Services Executive, Jessica Mobley spent 27 years in different senior executive roles at USAA driving profitable long-term growth and increasing member experience. In the last 10 years she was USAA Bank Chief Audit Executive reporting directly to the Chair of the Bank Board’s Finance and Audit Committee and focused on building out the Business Risk and Control function for the Bank that was later adopted by the rest of the USAA organization.

    Jessica Mobley has over 20 years of financial and corporate tax experience and 15 plus years operational experience. She began her career with Ernst & Young in 1987 where she performed financial and tax planning for a diverse clientele including financial institutions, investment companies and real estate developers.

    Since joining USAA in 1994 she has held several leadership positions in Corporate Finance, CAPCO, Investment Management Co, FASG and Audit Services, and served as Vice President, Bank Business Controls. In addition, she has served on the Risk Committee of the Consumer Bankers Association (March 2016- July 2018)

    Jessica holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from St. Mary’s University where she graduated with honors. She is a certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI).

    Ms. Mobley previously served on the GSSWT Board of Directors as Secretary and Audit Committee Chair.


Board Members-At-Large 2021-2022

 

  • Luis de la Garza

    Dr. Gretcha Flinn

    Claudia Garza

    Monica Moore Gonzales

    Teri Grubb

    Amy Grubbs

    Gwendolyn Jaramillo

    Lee Anne Keim

    Wendy Kowalik

  • Lori Johnson Leal

    Anthony Medina

    Brian Oley

    Amy Perry

    Erika Prosper

    Lea Ream

    Maritza Rodriguez

    Amy Shaw

    Jay Uribe

    Dr. Sandi Wolff


Ex Officio Girl Board Members

 

  • Diya Ballal, Girl Board Chair

    Symantha Noel, Vice Chair

    Ella Danica Arispe

    Miriam Barba

    Monica Cruz

    Saumya Dwivedi

  • Stella Marti

    Anju Soman

    Morgan Stone

    Vaibhavi Sunkara

    Karina Valencia

    Ria Vazir

 

 


Board Development Committee 2021-2022

Board development committee members are elected by GSSWT's membership to recommend candidates for the board of directors and the board development committee. The board development committee presents the following for delegate vote at every annual council meeting:

  1. a single slate of nominees for officers of the council;
  2. a single slate of nominees for directors; and
  3. a single slate of nominees for members of the nominating committee.

Every three years, the board development committee also presents a single slate of regional delegates and regional delegate alternates.

GSSWT accepts potential board member and nominating committee member referrals year-round for a single slate presented at our annual council meeting. We place a high priority on recruiting women and men from diverse geographic and racial/ethnic communities. 

  • Board Members

    Claudia Garza

    Lori Johnson Leal

    Lea Ream

    Maritza Rodriguez

    Amy Shaw

  • Community Members

    Major Joya Gamara

    Lynn Weirich

    Celina Montoya

    Michelle Martinez


2020 GSSWT National Delegates

The National Council is the membership body of Girl Scouts of the USA charged with providing input and broad direction to the future of the Girl Scout Movement. As required by the Girl Scouts of the USA Constitution in the Blue Book of Basic Documents (English and Spanish) , the body convenes every three years and is the major link between Girl Scout councils and the national organization.

The following individuals were chosen via an application process by the Board Development Committee. The BDC selection recommendations were officially approved by the council’s Board of Directors. These individual will serve as national delegates representing Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas at the 2020 National Council Session.

Girl Delegates & Alternates *

  • Stella Marti

    Graelen Killian

    Monica Cruz

    Megan Fitton

    Smruthi Shashidhar

    Grace Simonson

    Krishi Kothari

  • Ella Danica Arispe

    Paige Gantzler *

    Alisha Siddiqui *

    Isabella Jacobs *

    Abigail Patterson *

    Mia Mireles *

    Diya Ballal *

Adult Delegates & Alternates *

  • Shanita Bush

    Laura Hill

    Evelyn Alejandro

    Hannah Richmond

  • Kathy Patterson *

    Annette Perez *

    Elizabeth Gantzler *

    Pamela Riles *