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Ten Minutes With … Rolinda Sample, Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland – Wichita Business Journal – Wichita Business Journal

Rolinda Sample came to Wichita from Wyoming this summer to step into the role of chief executive officer for the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland.
She replaced Liz Workman, who retired at the end of June after eight years as CEO, but Sample’s no stranger to the state.
Sample, who grew up on a farm along the Kansas-Nebraska border in the Washington County area, has been traveling to Wichita for five years or more to visit family. So there’s no doubt her time here will be useful at the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, which serves 80 counties in the state and is headquartered in Wichita.
She’s also no stranger to business. Prior to leading youth organizations, Sample spent much of her career working within her local chamber of commerce, including serving as vice president for the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce.
Now she’ll be responsible for leading the region’s long-standing nonprofit that works to build courage, confidence, and character in young girls.
Sample joined the WBJ for a Q&A about her new role and how the business community fits into her future goals.
You most recently served as chief professional officer for Boys & Girls Club of Cheyenne, Wyo. Tell me about some of your most memorable experiences there. The opportunity to serve more youth through leading a capital campaign, building a new 21,000 square-foot clubhouse on a 12-acre property, securing a Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Center grant to open a school-based site in a high-poverty and low-academic achievement school as the after-school provider, and the opening of a career-focused teen site integrated on a college campus. It was remarkable supporting youth and families through tough times and seeing the youth soar, including the four state and many local Youth of the Year recipients.
What are some key goals and ideas that you have for the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland? I am helping our team work through Covid challenges and see opportunities we can utilize to come out stronger by engaging more girls and volunteers at a higher level of the Girl Scout experiences across the 80 counties we serve. It is important to share information about our impact through Girl Scout leadership experiences where girls discover, connect and take action to make the world better (with outcomes of strong sense of self, positive values, challenge seeking, healthy relationships, and community problem solving) and how the experiences positively impact the future as girls become excellent employees and business owners.
How do you feel that the Wichita business community fits into the Girl Scouts’ mission? The forward-thinking and diverse business community has welcomed girls and women with courage, confidence and character — making the Wichita area a better place. We, as a community, can continue to place an importance on supporting our girls and young ladies through mentorships, leadership and resources to help them see local career opportunities — especially in STEM-related fields — grow their entrepreneurial and business skills through the cookie program, and role model by giving back as leaders throughout the Council.
The business community may donate to support our Council and may serve as adult leaders who help the girls develop important life skills. Adult leaders also have opportunities to share outdoor experiences with the girls through our Council-owned camps in regional parks and travel opportunities. Adults can encourage girls to attain the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest level of Girl Scouts for the older girls. Girls look for ways they can make a difference in their community then plan, present, develop and complete a meaningful and sustainable project. The Gold Award helps develop skills we often look for in employees and citizens who make a difference in our community.     
The business community’s spirit of giving back to others aligns with our sponsored troop opportunities as girls are able to participate in Girl Scouts just like their peers.
How would you describe your leadership style? Goal-focused, while mentoring others to help meet the mission. I work on a culture of “trust and verify” to keep the process moving to goal attainment.
What are your impressions so far? What have been some of your best discoveries? Wichita is a very friendly and giving community. We have received such a warm welcome and have met some amazing people who are dedicated to community betterment. Wichita is an active and vibrant community, and I am excited to continue meeting great people, exploring the food culture and engaging in community events. I’ve enjoyed the outdoors, including warm evenings watching lightning bugs and thunderstorms as well as community assets such as the Keeper of the Plains, Great Plains Nature Center, Pawnee Prairie Park and the Kansas Aviation Museum.
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Age: 53
Title: CEO, Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland
Education: Bachelor’s, Business Administration and Management, Peru State College
Experience: 13 years in youth development, 15 years in chambers of commerce, three years with hospital foundation
Family: Husband, Terry; son, Trenton and soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Lauren
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