Marla Meyer is the CEO of Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons. She grew up in Beaver Creek, Minnesota, and attended Minnesota State University Mankato for undergrad before earning her MBA in Marketing from Craig School of Business at California State University in Fresno, CA. An accomplished executive, her career path led her to Coca-Cola and PepsiCo in both headquarters and field settings before she decided to make the move home. Meyer now lives in Brandon with her eight-year-old twins, Madeline and Maximus.
Q:You’ve lived and worked all over the country. What drew you back to the Sioux Falls area?
A:Yes, moving back to the area was my 14th relocation in my professional career and we are here to stay! We picked the Sioux Falls area because it is a progressive regional city, with amazing schools in the area, and of course we are surrounded by our immediate and extended family.
Q:Name a tool could you not live without. Why?
A:Let’s go with a Swiss Army Knife and duct tape. Being the CEO of Girl Scouts, I never know what each day will bring, but I’m always prepared. As such, I need to have my tools at the ready, whether it’s my staff, ideas, vision or gear. A utility knife allows the user to have multiple operations and can be used in any given situation. As a Girl Scout, I am always prepared and this tool continues to help me on my journey. As for the duct tape... I believe you can “MacGyver” your way through almost any situation... and most of the time for MacGyver, it involved duct tape!
Q:What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
A:I love a good selfie, have had full conversations in BitMoji and can’t pass up a good Snapchat filter! I like to blame it on needing to keep up and stay relevant with what the girls are into as the CEO of Girl Scouts... however, I secretly just enjoy them! So, to go back to a tool I truly could not live without–it’s really my phone!
Q:What is something you are optimistic about?
A:I am so optimistic about more and more girls gaining the experiences and confidence to unleash their leadership potential. I am fortunate to see firsthand what the Girl Scout Leadership Experience provides as they take their experiences and practice over and over how to discover, connect and take action! I often see comments or stories with concern over future generations, but my lens is different. I see generations of go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leaders!
Q:What makes a great leader?
A:I read a book titled The Leadership Challenge early in my career and have found what I highlighted back then as common practices of successful leaders has been what I have observed and experienced: challenge the process, inspire a shared vision, enable others to act, model the way and encourage the heart.