The Board of Directors of Girl Scouts Heart of the South is pleased to announce the selection of Venus Chaney as its new Chief Executive Officer.
“Venus embodies 360° of exceptional leadership. She is the first CEO to rise through the ranks of Girl Scouts in over 20 years. After interviewing many candidates during a six-month national search, the Board of Directors and I unanimously determined that Venus was the best and most qualified candidate to serve as our new CEO. We are excited about the future of Girl Scouts under her leadership,” said GSHS Board Chair, Lori Patton.
Venus has served the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years. She joined Girl Scouts Heart of the South in 2002 as a Field Executive. Even then, Venus was a consummate advocate for girl’s leadership development and used her expertise to employ innovative practices that successfully increased member growth and engagement. Venus went on to become the organization’s Chief Operations Officer and most recently, the organization’s Chief Development and Advocacy Officer where she has played a critical role in connecting with community leaders and leveraging relationships that led to increased community support, volunteer engagement, funding, and agency visibility.
As CEO, Venus will oversee fundraising, operations, programming, and community engagement to ensure the organization is fulfilling its mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character throughout its 59-county jurisdiction.
A native South Memphian, Venus attributes her grit and determination to learning how to navigate the challenges of growing up in a community that lacked resources and opportunities for youth and to the love, support, and encouragement of family and mentors.
Venus lives by a commitment to providing girls with unique skill-building experiences that prepare them for the future. Our new CEO believes, “All girls need access and exposure to meaningful opportunities that help them grow and thrive and look beyond their immediate surroundings. When girls and young women thrive, our communities thrive.”
The Heart of the South Council staff describes Venus as passionate, humble, a servant-leader, and always girl- and community-focused. In her own words, “It’s ALL about the girls and equipping them with the skills, tools, and knowledge to live their best lives and be the best possible version of themselves.”
“Girl Scouts gives girls the tools they need to navigate the world — from the simplest to the more complex,” she said. “It’s our mission. It’s our privilege. It’s why we’re here. It’s why I’m here. I’ve dedicated my career to youth development. I am so honored and proud to lead Girl Scouts Heart of the South as we continue to help girls explore new interests, cultivate positive values, develop a strong social conscience, build higher self-esteem, access life-changing adventures, and gain critical life skills.”
GSHS Board Chair, Lori Patton, stated, “We are thrilled to have Venus’ expertise, dedication, and strong leadership at the helm of Girl Scouts Heart of the South. The future of our organization is brighter than ever.”
The Girl Scout Difference – Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow
Today’s challenges are complex, interconnected, and more than ever – global. Solving them will demand collaborative leadership and innovative perspectives. Girls represent humanity’s greatest untapped talent pool and investing in them will produce the greatest return in economic development, social progress, and public health, improving not only individual lives, but the fabric of society overall.
With 111 councils nationwide, GSUSA has a presence in every zip code. Each new investment enables Girl Scouts to become a unifier at the broadest level, harnessing the leadership skills of generations to come and ensuring a future that is inclusive, empathetic, united, and equitable. Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them. To join us, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, visit girlscoutshs.org.