Pamela I. Anderson
CEO; Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson
Photograph By Stefan Radtke
Pamela Anderson wants every piece of Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson’s (GSHH) literature to represent the girls they serve: “freckled, fat, skinny, black, white, Asian, Hispanic,” she says. Diversity, along with reaching out to underserved populations, is this CEO’s passion.
Anderson attended her first Girl Scout meetings as a baby, accompanying her aunt, a troop leader in Harlem. As a Girl Scout in the Bronx, Anderson learned to build her first fire in Van Cortlandt Park. Now she’s come full circle.
She spent most of her career in the financial-services industry and became one of the few black female managing directors at JPMorgan Chase’s asset-management division.
After the 2008 financial collapse, Anderson was ready for a change, and Girl Scouts was a perfect fit. As CEO, Anderson manages 65 full-time and 85 part-time and seasonal employees at its Pleasantville location. She oversees seven counties in the lower Hudson River Valley, serving roughly 30,000 girls, about half of whom are in Westchester. Anderson is committed to breaking down barriers to scouting — there are now even troops at homeless centers. Under her leadership, GSHH has seen the largest growth in Hispanic communities within Girl Scouts in New York State.
Wherever troops meet, the goal is the same: developing leaders of courage, confidence, and character. “We’re not building widgets,” says Anderson. “We’re building girls.”