ERIE Recognized as a Corporation of Distinction

Oct. 6, 2009 - The Girl Scouts of Northwestern Pennsylvania recently recognized Erie Insurance as a Corporation of Distinction for its support of community initiatives. Specifically, they applauded ERIE’s support of capital improvements at Camp Hawthorne Ridge in Fairview, Pa.

“Erie Insurance has a long history of supporting youth development and education,” said Ann Scott, vice president and manager, Diversity and Community Outreach. “Girl Scouting is a valuable component of healthy development for girls, and Erie Insurance is honored to have been selected as this year’s Corporation of Distinction.”

The awards luncheon, which took place on Sept. 18, is an annual event that recognizes one individual and one corporation for their support of the organization. Kathy Dahlkemper, Pennsylvania’s third congressional district representative, was recognized at the same event as the 2009 Woman of Distinction.

Cheryl Ferrie, senior vice president and division officer, Corporate Services, and Karen Skarupski, vice president and senior counsel, Law and Government Affairs, were present at the luncheon to receive the award on ERIE’s behalf. Both were Girl Scouts in their youth.

“Being a Girl Scout means so much to young women today,” Ferrie notes. “At the event, an 11th-grade Girl Scout spoke about her experience volunteering in the Amazon and other places. If more young women can have experiences like that, it’s easy to see a positive impact on the next wave of women in leadership. These are great opportunities for young women to develop courage and character.”

According to the previous chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts, Kathy Cloninger, in an interview with BusinessWeek, the vast majority of today’s women leaders were once Girl Scouts. She noted in the interview that 69 percent of the women serving in the Senate and 65 percent of the women in the House of Representatives are former Girl Scouts. Close to 80 percent of all women business executives and business owners are as well.

“We often hear a lot about the importance of boys becoming Eagle Scouts,” Scott says, “but we don’t really hear about the many accomplishments of Girl Scouts. It’s something I hope can change.”

Both Cheryl and Karen fondly remember their Scout days. For Cheryl, crossing the bridge at Camp Hawthorne Ridge to become a Girl Scout was an important milestone in her life. Karen fondly remembers their meetings in the basement of Weis Library Church in Fairview and notes that she still has the needlepoint butterfly she made for a badge. “I can still recite the Girl Scout pledge by heart,” Cloninger says.