Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA), a nonprofit organization supporting 30 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place, is excited to announce its new CEO, Ellen Kyzer of Hummelstown, Pa.
“Ellen Kyzer is a highly energetic and delightful person and I am thrilled that she is leading Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania as our new CEO,” said GSHPA Board Chair, Veronica Longenecker. “Along with her non-profit knowledge and contacts throughout central Pennsylvania, she brings a passion and enthusiasm for building girls of confidence, character and courage through Girl Scouts.
Kyzer was selected following a local and national search and assumed the CEO position on Jan. 4th. Even though she is newly appointed to the CEO position, this is not Kyzer’s first experience with the Girl Scouts.
As a child, Kyzer, was a Girl Scout from Pike County who fondly remembers the impact the organization and the people involved in it had on her. “My time as a Girl Scout gave me exposure to strong women and that is an important part of what we represent as an organization,” said Kyzer. “I’m excited for the opportunity to influence young women and girls. Empowering women leaders starts with mentoring and developing girls as leaders from an early age.”
Kyzer is beginning her new, GSHPA role at an exciting time of the year with Girl Scouts getting ready for the Girl Scout Cookie Program, Girl Scout summer camp, the second year of its signature, financial literacy program, Change It Up!, and the 100th Anniversary of the Gold Award Ceremony. All these experiences paired with the girls’ troop activities provides girls with a chance to develop leadership skills; as well as, have opportunities to try new experiences and support their communities.
“Girl Scouts provides a safe environment for girls to grow, learn and discover,” said Kyzer. “Girl Scouts offers that in a way that no other organization does. You can see it come through in their service projects. They gain self-confidence and GSHPA helps them get over their barriers. They gain exposure to new experience, especially in the outdoors, and they carry it with them just like I did as a girl.”
Kyzer’s resume includes over 17 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit and fundraising field including: Regional Chief Executive Officer at the American Red Cross serving Central Pennsylvania; Director of Individual Giving and Prospect Management at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; Director of Development and Donor Services at the Foundation for Enhancing Communities and Senior Vice President for Marketing and Development at Goodwill Industries.
She graduated with both a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Urban Studies and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to a long career in public service, she has volunteered her time and held board leadership positions for a variety of organization like Channels Food Rescue and the Harrisburg Public School Foundation.