Women of Distinction
Girl Scouts Louisiana East honored four remarkable Girl Scout alums at its annual Women of Distinction luncheon and champagne reception conducted May 1 at the Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel. Started in 2012 during the Girl Scout Centennial, the Women of Distinction event has to date recognized the accomplishments of 46 female leaders from Baton Rouge and southeast Louisiana who embody what it means to be the ultimate G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker and Leader)™.
The 2019 Women of Distinction honorees were Donna Edwards, First Lady of Louisiana; Angela A. Allen-Bell, associate professor and director of the Louis A. Berry Institute for Civil Rights and Justice and B.K. Agnihotri Endowed Professor, Southern University Law Center; Beth Courtney, president and chief executive officer, Louisiana Public Broadcasting; and Priscell Holman, community health services representative, Louisiana Health Connections.
From Donna Edwards holding up her Girl Scout sash and Brownie beanie in a video address shared with the 160 luncheon guests to Beth Courtney singing a Girl Scout song she learned as a young Brownie, this year’s honorees were quick to acknowledge how much they loved participating in Girl Scouts as girls, and the impact it made on their adult lives.
Angela Allen-Bell, described as a change agent and a model for all Girl Scouts by Southern University Law Center Chancellor John Pierre, shared how Girl Scouting has impacted her two daughters and so many of their Girl Scout contemporaries, leading them to become young women of confidence, courage, and character. For Beth Courtney, it was her mother who was the biggest advocate for Girl Scouts and who instilled in her the importance of being kind, while Priscell Holman said that Girl Scouting has “shaped me into the woman I am today.”
Following a welcome by event chair and Girl Scout alum Mary-Patricia Wray and Mistress of Ceremonies Diana Deaton of WAFB Channel 9, a flag ceremony was conducted by Girl Scout Cadettes in Baton Rouge Troop 10187 before guests had an opportunity to enjoy their lunch before the awards portion of the program began. Each honoree was introduced and presented with an engraved crystal plate before sharing their own remarks.
Inspired by the accomplishments of the Women of Distinction and their eloquent acknowledgments, guests were on their feet in tribute to the honorees who truly are role models for girls today. Jesse Smith Thomas, one of the Council’s newest board members and a third-generation Girl Scout, brought it all together as she urged luncheon guests to give to Girl Scouts.
A special thank you goes to Silver sponsor Louisiana Healthcare Connections and Bronze sponsors Jackie Daniels; Robyn Merrick; DeCuir, Clark & Adams, LLP; the Louisiana Lottery Corporation; Louisiana Public Broadcasting; Southern University Law Center; Top Drawer Strategies, LLC; and Rickey Heroman's Florist and Gifts whose gorgeous floral centerpieces graced each table; and to silent auction donors, Alvin Batiste, Vacation Resorts International, Jackie Daniels, Mary-Patricia Wray, Heather Devall, Covalent Logic and Audubon Nature Institute.
The Girl Scouts Louisiana East council began its Women of Distinction recognition program in 2012 during the Girl Scout Centennial, and has recognized 42 amazing women thus far as Women of Distinction. Past Women of Distinction are listed here in alphabetical order.