The Girl Scout Cookie Program is here! Girls across our 41 counties are learning about goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. These five skills can dramatically transfer to business success later in life!
Patty Briguglio, President of PFB Connect, is one of thousands of alumnae who attribute their start in business with the Girl Scout Cookie Program. We asked Patty to share with us what Girl Scouts meant – and still means – to her and why the Cookie Program made an impact on her!
You were a Girl Scout for many years! Please tell us about your favorite Girl Scout experiences.
I was a Girl Scout in the St. Louis area, where my troop sold cookies, camped, and earned badges. I was always competitive, so the badges were my favorite part.
I loved selling cookies and would take orders, going door-to-door in my sprawling suburb of Des Peres. I once walked about three miles in one day taking cookie orders — and then I cursed myself later when it came to delivering those cookies.
I was the top cookie seller for three years in a row, until my mother told me to give others a chance. I still live by that advice – I know the value of encouraging all women to be successful and helping others to achieve their goals. I started a women’s networking group that connects executive-level women with early-career women that helps them become community leaders.
You’ve been very successful in your career. Tell us what you do and how Girl Scouts has contributed to this success.
I’m currently the President of PFB Connect, a firm that works with companies in the areas of high level strategy, developing key connections, and business development, as well as assisting privately held companies in planning and preparing for sale – but I’ve had a long career in business. I’ve been very honored to receive business awards like 2009 Woman Business Owner of the Year Award from the Raleigh chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Enterprising Women magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year, and one of the 25 Most Influential Women In Business by the Triangle Business Journal.
Entering the business world wasn’t easy because not many women were leading companies when I started my firm. My father always told me that I could do anything I wanted, and many little girls weren’t getting that message at that time. I heard over and over from others that I wouldn’t be successful because I was a girl. The skills, confidence, and competitive spirit that I learned from Girl Scouting kicked in, and I refused to let others tell me I couldn’t do it. The abilities I developed from Girl Scouts helped to position me for a successful career.
Do you have any advice for our current Cookie CEOs?
My advice for selling cookies is to smile, ask for the order and then try to up-sell them. Always ask clients to buy more than what they initially ordered. It’s a great way to develop sales skills and expand your sales goals.
Give back to your community and build other women up. I’ve served on numerous civic and charitable boards including the Girl Scouts, Research Triangle Regional Partnership Board, Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women, International Affairs Council, Enterprising Women National Advisory Board, North Carolina Leadership Council of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, The Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, The NC Symphony, Council for Entrepreneurial Development, and more. It’s important to bring your Girl Scout values to the table, and use your time, talent, and resources to make your community a better place.
Anything else you want to share?
Had to throw out an expired box of Girl Scout cookies, said no one ever….