On April 23, the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama honored eight local women leaders and one Corporate Champion at the annual Central Alabama One Smart Cookie Celebration, held at The Harbert Center.
According to the organization, each recipient is recognized for exemplifying leadership in all forms, displaying perseverance for making the world a better place and for being excellent role models for young girls.
Koko Mackin, vice president of corporate communications and community relations at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, received the Mildred Bell Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award for demonstrating a lifelong dedication to serving her community.
A former Brownie and Girl Scout, Mackin has been with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama for 37 years. Among her team’s responsibilities is overseeing the company’s charitable foundation, The Caring Foundation, and corporate giving.
“You have to be courageous,” Mackin said. “You have to try new things and make sure you have a lot of adventures in your life because that’s how you grow, and that’s how you develop new skill sets, and you never know when you will use those down the road.”
The Alice M. Williams Community Impact Award was given to Isabel Rubio, executive director of Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama. HICA is a community development and advocacy organization whose mission is to advocate for economic equality, civic engagement and social justice for Latino families residing in Alabama.
Regions Bank was honored as the Corporate Champion by the Girl Scouts.
In addition to the awards, six local women were recognized as Women of Distinction, including Myla Calhoun, president of the Alabama Power Foundation and vice president of charitable giving at Alabama Power; Holly L. Roe, corporate pilot for Naphcare; Nena F. Sanders, Ph.D., RN, College of Health Sciences at Samford University; Dr. Ann Slattery, RN, director of the Regional Poison Control Center at Children’s of Alabama; Allison O’Neal Skinner, senior vice president of the senior corporate counsel at Cadence Bank, N.A.; and Kristina M. Visscher, Ph.D., associate professor and co-director of the Civitan International Neuroimaging Laboratory in the department of neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Many of the women honored have Girl Scout connections, including Slattery – a Girl Scout troop leader and mother to a scout – and Visscher – a former Girl Scout and lifetime member.
“Through Girl Scouts, I learned the joy of working together with people for a purpose,” Visscher said.
The event also showcased the impact of Girl Scouts in Central Alabama, with local scouts serving as greeters and emcees and leading the flag ceremony. Exhibits showcasing the scouts’ leadership efforts were set up in the venue.
The annual event raised money to provide low-income and underserved girls in North-Central Alabama with access to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.