Cookies and Conversations in Carbondale, Illinois October 10th at 5:00 pm

September 26, 2019

Glen Carbon, Illinois – LEADING LADIES: COOKIES AND CONVERSATIONS! Save the date to make new friends! Join Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSofSI) for a unique casual networking series hosted by GSofSI Alumnae honoring regional women of distinction who embody the Girl Scout mission. Reconnect with your Girl Scout sisters, or introduce a newcomer to the leadership experience of Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts are creating a space to share delectable libations and clever conversations promoting courage, confidence and character. Join us in celebration!

This GSofSI event will round out the forth of four events hosted within the GSofSI service area of 40.5 counties in Southern Illinois to ensure every girl and woman has a place to share the memories and successes of Girl Scouting. This invitation is open to all members of the community. Learn about the bright future of Girl Scouting and discuss how community can empower girls to become powerful community builders. Be a part of the conversation. Share your leadership story and hear the powerful stories of the women honored.

Thursday, October 10, 2019 5-8pm at the SC Corker Lounge in the Student Center

Southern Illinois University 1255 Lincoln Drive Carbondale, Illinois 62901
5 pm – Check-In and Open Networking with light appetizers
5:30 pm – Welcome from Linda Yates, GSofSI Director of Fund Development
5:35 pm – Introduction of Regional Women of Distinction
5:45 pm – Presentation of Regional Women of Distinction: Dr. Candis Isberner and Dixie Travelstead
6 pm – Words of Appreciation by Loretta Graham, CEO
6:15 pm – Open Networking
Registration is recommended. Please register online, email Michelle Ochsner (, or call 800.345.6858.

HONOREE: Candis Isberner
Girl Scouting helped shaped Candis Isberner’s personality, skills, and work ethic. As a child, she learned about the outdoors and camping through her experiences at a Girl Scout camp in her home state of New York. Candis’ parents did not camp, so camping and the outdoors became a real experience for her and her twin sister. Camping, as part of her Girl Scout experience, provided Candis with a great way to learn outside of the classroom.

As an adult, Candis became a science educator, teaching in New York, Connecticut, and Canada before moving to Illinois. For 11 years, Candis taught junior high science and math. She then went on to earn a Master’s degree in secondary education from Hofstra University, and eventually earned a Doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Candis later went on to serve as an adjunct faculty member in the colleges of communication and education at SIUC.

Believing that public broadcasting is an educational resource for all – especially young children – Candis joined WSIU Public Broadcasting in the early 1980s, and by 2004 she had moved into the role of Executive Director and TV General Manager. During her time with WSIU, Candis promoted several early childhood initiatives, repeatedly showing her belief in the value and importance of education for younger generations. For 27 years with WSIU, Candis was dedicated to the education and support of future generations. Nearing her retirement from WSIU in 2008, Candis joined the Shagbark Girl Scout Legacy Council Board of Directors, starting with the 2008-2009 membership year, as she felt joining the board was a great way for her to start her personal journey to help the community. During her time on the Shagbark Council Board, Candis helped with the transition to combine the Shagbark and River Bluffs Legacy Councils to form the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois. She continued to serve on the Board of Directors of GSofSI until 2015. While on the Board, Candis served as chair of the Fund Development Committee and helped establish the Leading Ladies events.

HONOREE: Dixie Travelstead
Dixie began her story with the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois with a semi-trailer truck full of Girl Scout cookies and her three-car garage. Dixie was recruited by a Girl Scout staff member to help volunteer with cookie sales – and those who know Girl Scout cookies sales, it’s not an easy task to take on! Dixie volunteered for 10 years with cookie sales as the “DuQuoin, Elkville, Tamaroa Area Cookie Chairman” from 1986 to 1996. She eventually became a Girl Scout troop leader with Legacy Council Shagbark in 1988 and served on several committees, including Shagbark Council Cookie Drive and Alumni Association.

Like many other Girl Scout volunteers, Dixie was a Girl Scout during her childhood, throughout her elementary school days in Chicago before her family moved to Florida. In both her high school and college days, Dixie was very active in school and volunteering in her community. After graduating from Florida State University and teaching in Florida, she moved to Southern Illinois where she taught art and home economics at Murphysboro Middle School and was a substitute teacher in DuQuoin Unit #300 Schools. Over the years, Dixie became very active in her community and volunteers with many organizations like the Library of Arts in DuQuoin, Southern Illinois Wellness, NubAbility Foundation, DuQuoin United Way, and many more.

Dixie loved being a troop leader and helping her Girl Scouts experience new things. She was a Girl Scout troop leader from 1988 to 1998. Dixie shared her love of camping with her Girl Scouts, and fondly remembers bringing her Girl Scouts to the “Brownie Try It” experience at Camp. Other memories include a 20-member troop excursion trip to St. Louis. With her girls, Dixie experienced the zoo, eating at the Spaghetti Factory on Washington Avenue, and figuring out how to fit all 20 girls – and adult chaperones – into downtown St. Louis’s famous horse-drawn carriages. Experiences like camping and trips to area metropolitan areas are some of the stories Dixie still hears about from her former Girl Scout troop members.

Years after Dixie and her daughters were no longer active in Girl Scouting, she was recruited to serve as a board member of the merged council, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSofSI). Dixie served as Vice-President on the new board and was eventually Board Chair from 2012 to 2014. While serving as Board Chair, Dixie attended the National Convention in Houston and received a special board training at the Edith Macy Conference Center. Dixie wanted the newly merged council board to work better together and help ensure the future of the council. Dixie’s belief in service and providing a better future for the community extended to the transformation and growth of Board of Directors and the council-at-large.

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSofSI) is a high-capacity Girl Scout council serving approximately 10,007 girls and engaging 3,686 adult volunteers in 40 and ½ counties in Southern Illinois. GSofSI Mission: Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. The Girl Scouts organization is the world’s largest leadership development organization for girls. In partnership with committed adults, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives – such as strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth. Today’s Girl Scouts not only enjoy camping and crafts; they also explore math and science and learn about diversity, good citizenship, leadership and teamwork. Girl Scouting is the place where girls experience the fun, friendship and power of girls together. Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a not-for-profit organization supported by various United Ways throughout the region. Girl Scouts is a Proud Partner of United Way.
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