Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado Inspires Young Female Leaders

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Photos courtesy of Girl Scouts of Colorado

Over the course of some 30 years, Leanna Clark has been a radio reporter, television news anchor, co-owner of one of the region’s largest marketing and public relations firms, director of a risk-management company’s charitable foundation and vice chancellor of university communications for the University of Colorado Denver.

She also founded and led PhilanthroTravel, a division of the Denver-based international medical relief nonprofit Project C.U.R.E. There, she developed the division’s business plan, drove fundraising, and designed and led trips to Cuba, Panama, Mexico and Belize with U.S. business and community leaders, enabling them to “travel with heart” to developing nations. 

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Things are looking up for Clark and local Girl Scouts

In May 2020, Clark became chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado, and in less than three years she has led the organization to new heights. They include:

  • Being on track to becoming the first Girl Scout chapter in the United States to open a Girl Scout DreamLab. Due to open in the first quarter of 2023, the DreamLab will be located in the Lowry neighborhood and will offer programs and activities presenting new, hands-on ways to experience Girl Scouting.
  • Having the work of staff and volunteers recognized by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, who last October gifted $2.8 million to Girl Scouts of Colorado.
  • Developing new partnerships with corporations and nonprofits that provide innovative programming and opportunities for Colorado Girl Scouts, including a statewide mental wellness initiative.

Meet The Ceo 2

Clark said it was the opportunity to help inspire the next generation of female leaders that drew her to Girl Scouts of Colorado. “To have a role in helping girls become confident in themselves, willing to take risks, knowing they can do and be anything they put their minds to” motivates her in her new role.

The size and scope of Girl Scouts of Colorado, she adds, “really excited me. We serve 16,000 girls with 9,000 adult members and volunteers, a staff of 120 and eight properties including camps and ranches across the state. I saw so much potential to build on Girl Scouts’ 100-plus-year history and position us as relevant and essential for our girls today and tomorrow.”

Says Christine Benero, president/CEO of Mile High United Way, “You only have to spend five minutes with Leanna to realize you are in the presence of one of the most creative, energetic, kind and visionary leaders in our community. Her spirit, sense of adventure and humor is contagious. Her relentless belief in holding up all women and girls is what makes her the right leader at the right time.”

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One of Clark’s dogs spreads love to a Girl Scout troop

“Leanna is the consummate ‘can do’ leader,” adds Debbie Welle-Powell, a former executive with Essentia Health and the SCL Health System. “She doesn’t hesitate; she acts with purpose, whether it was developing her own business, taking Denver leaders to Cuba, or her role as vice chancellor at CU. She shines with purpose.”

Clark is the recipient of honors that include being one of the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Colorado and the Denver Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame. Here are some of the reasons why:

How do people describe you?
A connector, creative, strategic and energetic.

How would you like to be remembered?
As someone with an ability to bring people and organizations together to create something more powerful and important than what could have been accomplished individually.

Who do you most admire?
My dear friends Maria Garcia Berry and Donna Lynne. Both are self-made, badass women with hearts of gold.

What is a fun fact about yourself that others may find surprising?
I’m actually an introvert! I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone over the years to the point where I’d now call myself an ambivert.

Describe your fashion style:
Casually elegant with a lot of (Girl Scout) green.

The one thing you absolutely cannot live without?
Dogs. I have three.

Your last major purchase?
A bright blue Jeep Wrangler.

Any hobbies?
Working out, traveling, seeking out live music and new restaurants, and devouring The New York Times.

What is the last great book that you read?
Dinners with Ruth, by Nina Totenberg.

When it comes to relaxing, nothing beats…
Wine, dogs, my husband and friends in our lovely backyard, complete with fireplace and koi pond/fountain.

What do you most enjoy about living in Colorado?
Its diversity, from the gritty sophistication of RiNo to the breathtaking beauty of the mountains.

What is your favorite Colorado restaurant?
The newest one to open.

Besides Girl Scouts, are you involved with any other nonprofits or charities?
I’m board chair of the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce and also serve on the boards of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame and the Public Education and Business Coalition.

Photos By Evan Semón Photography 720 620 6767

Photos by Evan Semón Photography

Leanna Clark
Age: 56
Marital status: Newlywed! Married Scott Remington on July 30, 2022
Children: 20-year-old twins (one boy, one girl) who are in college
Job title: CEO Girl Scouts of Colorado
Hometown: Colorado native residing in Denver’s Hilltop neighborhood
Education: Journalism degree from the University of Colorado Boulder

Joanne Davidson has had the good fortune of knowing Leanna Clark since the mid-1980s—and being one of her neighbors.

Categories: Community/Society