SC Girl Scouts Announce Naming of New Leadership Center

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Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands Names Leadership Center in Honor of Cathy Novinger

February 16, 2017-Columbia, SC: The Midlands lost a dear member of the community in November – Cathy Novinger. She embodied strong leadership and integrity in the corporate world and also in her civic duties. These are the same principles we work to instill in our girls – and the Leadership Center in Columbia is the perfect setting for our work.

Members of the Midlands Business Leadership Group contributed funds to honor Cathy with the naming of a new Leadership Center in Columbia.

The center is designed to be an incubator for leadership for all young women across the Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands council. The girls who learn to empower themselves at the new Leadership Center will go on to strengthen the fabric of our communities, our state, our country and our world, much like Cathy.

We are creating the workforce of the future for the Midlands and our state. Fifty-seven percent of women in business are Girl Scout alumnae. We are creating future leaders and pioneers. We are closing the gap on education and income. Girl Scouts are about 30 percent more likely to attend college and, on average, they earn 25 percent more in income than non-Girl Scouts. We are building future leaders for a fast-paced world.

The Leadership Center will serve girls across 22 counties. This innovative incubator will be a part of the fabric our community in a developing area of our city. Girls will take part in Girl Scout activities but also benefit from partner agencies here like EdVenture, Columbia College, USC, etc. Girls can take trips to our State House to see civics in action. They will have formative outdoor experiences in our natural habitats. Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands has chosen Columbia for this innovative idea to unfold.

Programming at the Leadership Center will focus on Leadership Development in the Arts, Business Enterprise, Healthy Living, Outdoors Education and STEM. The Leadership Center will feature:
* 32,000-square feet
* Overnight housing
* Healthy-living kitchen
* Greenhouse garden
* Indoor rappelling and climbing wall
* Activity courtyard
* STEM lab
* Business education center
* Art studio
* “Girls Only” Lounge
* IT hub

Project management of the Leadership Center is scheduled to be underway this spring at 1100 Williams Street and led by Mickey Layden of LCK.

We have assembled a stellar group of leaders to help make the Leadership Center become reality. Karen Mitchell is chairing the effort and we have the guidance of three honorary chairs – Charlotte Berry in Columbia; Susu Johnson in Spartanburg; and Minor Shaw in Greenville.

Cathy Novinger exemplified the leadership traits of a Girl Scout. She shared our DNA. She was a Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, and Leader, and the girls of South Carolina will learn to lead through her legacy.

To speak with someone about the project, contact LaTanza Duncan at or 803.461.3731. For more information, visit our website at

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