Roni Luckenbill — who helped build the Ohio local girl scout council into the sixth largest in the country — will retire at the end of the year.
Luckenbill has spent 44 years of her career with Girl Scouts, 33 of those within Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and its predecessor council, Great Rivers.
She has served as CEO of the council since 2012.
The council Luckenbill leads has more than 30,000 girl members in 32 counties in Ohio and southeastern Indiana. Northern Kentucky’s counties are served by a separate council covering 66 Kentucky counties with about 7,000 members.
“I am grateful that I was trusted with the opportunity to lead this great council as CEO and feel honored to have served,” said Luckenbill. “It has been humbling to see the pride in girls’ eyes when they earn their Gold Award — Girl Scouts’ most prestigious award — when they run their first business with the cookie program, or when they tackle their fears on the climbing wall at camp.”
Luckenbill has pinned thousands of girls with the Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards, the program’s three highest awards.
As co-chair of the National Cookie Steering Committee, she has helped grow the Girl Scout Cookie Program into the largest girl-run business in the world. The program helps many young entrepreneurs — both locally and across the country — learn the skills to enhance their business expertise.
Attributing her drive for success to early experiences at camp, Luckenbill shepherded the launch of “Empower Her,” the council’s campaign to raise $8 million to update four camp properties with state-of-the art facilities and programs.
As chief operating officer in 2007, Luckenbill played a pivotal role in completing the merger of four councils as they became Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. The national organization reorganized in 2006, reducing its number of councils from more than 300 to about 100.
As CEO, she continued to strengthen the council through proven governance and strategic operations: deftly guiding the council through the challenges of the COVID pandemic, expanding marketing and fundraising efforts and increasing the diversity and focus of the board.
The organization’s board, led by chair Victoria Nilles, will establish a search committee to hire a new leader.
“Throughout her career, Roni has demonstrated leadership and a strong commitment to the advancement of girls and women,” Nilles said. “She has built a strong leadership team with a strategic vision for the future, and we’re grateful for her service to Girl Scouts, her dedication to excellence, and her commitment to making the world a better place.”
Dozens of nonprofits in the Tristate and thousands nationally are facing a wave of CEO retirements as longtime Baby Boomer leaders move on.