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Girl Scout Gala on March 20 Honors Distinguished Leaders

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Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore will celebrate inspiring community leaders at its Women of Distinction & Community Partners Gala on Friday, March 20, from 6 to 11 p.m., at Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club in Farmingdale.

The annual event will raise support to provide leadership experiences to more than 10,000 Girl Scouts across Monmouth and Ocean counties and ensure that girls in need can access year-round Girl Scout programs.

"Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore is proud to recognize outstanding role models in our community who exemplify our mission to make the world a better place by leading with courage, confidence and character," said Eileen Higgins, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore. 

Honorees at the 2020 gala include:

Women of Distinction 

  • Anne M. Davis - A practicing attorney for 20 years, Davis specializes in business, real estate, family, civil litigation and personal injury law. With offices located in Brick, she currently serves as general counsel for Stillwell-Hansen, Inc. and owns, manages and sells residential and commercial properties. Davis is author of Raising Champions Amidst Diversity, a book on co-parenting in the context of divorced and separated families. She also volunteers in her community and last year became a court appointed special advocate for foster children. A Girl Scout leader for 11 years, Davis has fond memories of community service projects, overnight camping and the joy of seeing her two daughters thrive at Camp Sacajawea.  
  • Christine Giordano Hanlon - Elected as Monmouth County clerk in November 2015, Hanlon has practiced law for over 20 years and has focused her legal practice on government affairs and municipal law. Prior to her role as county clerk, she worked as an attorney with Archer & Greiner, PC, one of the largest law firms in New Jersey. She is also a former commissioner on the Monmouth County Board of Elections. Hanlon currently serves as president-elect for the Monmouth County Bar Association and vice president for the Monmouth County SPCA. She is the recipient of numerous awards from many community and business organizations including the 2019 Silver Gull Award for Government Leadership from the Monmouth-Ocean Development Council. Hanlon enjoyed her Girl Scout experiences as a child and has gained a deeper appreciation for the organization’s leadership focus as she sees her daughters thrive in the all-girl environment.
  •  Frances Keane – The vice president of human resources at CentraState Healthcare System and chairwoman of Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore’s Board of Directors, Keane has a long history with Girl Scouts. She credits the organization with inspiring and preparing her as a young Girl Scout for leadership roles in her career and community. She served on the Monmouth County Girl Scout Council Board as it was realigning to become Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore. Over the years, she has served on numerous Girl Scout board committees and currently is board chairwoman. Her term concludes in spring of 2020. In her role at CentraState, where she has worked for 19 years, Keane is passionate about supporting her company’s most valuable resource – its people. She was appointed by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders to serve on the Workforce Development Board and served as Board Chair.  
  • Dana Lancellotti - A diverse background in sales, marketing, tourism, civic-military relations and life-long history at the Jersey Shore, led Lancellotti to her current role as the division director of Business Development and Tourism for Ocean County. In 2013, she helped create and launch the Ocean County Military Support Committee, a nonprofit 501c3. She served as the organization’s first board chair and now volunteers as executive director. She lends a hand to numerous New Jersey boards and committees. Her work has been recognized by the U.S. Air Force, Monmouth-Ocean Development Council and Jersey Shore Partnership, among others. Lancellotti is an active alumnus of the Air Force Air Mobility Command Civic Council in Illinois and serves as an honorary commander emeritus with Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. 
  • • Dr. Janice Warner - As provost at Georgian Court University, Dr. Warner is a member of the President’s Cabinet and leads the Division of Academic and Student Affairs. She works collaboratively with the Provost’s Council to strengthen the student experience. She helped develop and implement Georgian Court’s strategic plan and is a member of the Middle States Accreditation steering committee, and co-chair for the strategic enrollment plan. Prior to serving as provost, she served as dean and faculty in the School of Business & Digital Media. Before entering academia, Dr. Warner was a director at Telcordia Technologies. In 2017, she was named one of the Fifty Best Women in Business by NJBIZ.  A lifelong Girl Scout, she served as a troop leader for eight years in Holmdel.

Man Enough to be a Girl Scout 

  • Wayne Boatwright - Boatwright leads diversity initiatives at Hackensack Meridian Health as vice president of diversity and inclusion. He has over 20 years of experience partnering with senior leadership in ensuring the most productive use of human assets. His areas of focus include diversity management, employee relations, strategic planning, and fostering a culture that makes growth possible. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgian Court University and instructor for the certificate in Diversity Management in Health Care Program sponsored by the American Hospital Association and Georgetown University. He is a board member of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, and former board member of the United Way of Monmouth County and Ocean Counties, and the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. In January he was the first recipient of YMCA of Greater Monmouth County’s Dr. Martin Luther King Human Dignity Award.

Community Partner

  • Lakewood BlueClaws – Lakewood BlueClaws, an invaluable partner with Girls Scouts since the team’s debut in 2001, will be presented the Community Partner Award. Last year, the partnership took off to new heights with the highly successful Girl Scout Family Night at the ballpark attended by over 3,000 girls and their families. BlueClaws Charities has funded numerous grants to support Girl Scout programs, from STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) projects to countless fund-raising activities. Additionally, BlueClaws Charities has supported Girls Are Great, a Girl Scout program in Lakewood. Baseball players have spent time with the girls, inspiring healthy lifestyles and participation in team sports, while team mascot, Buster, has brought many smiles. Last summer, BlueClaws also distributed free tickets to their Copa de la Diversion nights, highlighting Hispanic culture and heritage, to all the families in the Girls Are Great program.

A committee of 36 volunteers led by co-chairs Tom Hayes and Teri O’Connor are planning the special event. Hayes serves as director of consumer and community relations at New Jersey Natural Gas and is a recipient of the Man Enough to be a Girl Scout Award. O’Connor, honored as a Women of Distinction in 2011, is county administrator for Monmouth County and first vice chairwoman of the Girl Scouts Board of Directors. 

The evening will include a cocktail reception, dinner, music, gift auctions and raffle, plus introductions of gala honorees by Girl Scouts who have earned the Gold Award and those on their way to achieving this top Girl Scout honor. Individual gala tickets are $225.

Tickets, sponsorships and ads for the event journal may be purchased online. For more information about opportunities to support the event, including auction donations, call (800) 785-2090 or e-mail .