Villie M. Appoo, the current CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois assumed her postion in 2009 and later formed a Senior Leadership Team that successfully led the merger of two legacy councils, the Girl Scouts of River Bluffs Council and the Girl Scouts of Shagbark Council.
The merger, however, was contentious. Nevertheless, at the end of the first year, GSSI had a balanced budget and had eliminated a $ 1.2 million deficit, exceeded or maintained council productivity with no greater than a five percent variance in a few areas, had a strong unified council led by a dynamic leadership team, and a very supportive and resourceful GSSI board of directors.
Born in Mumbai, Appoo joined the Girl Guides in the first grade and was active for 11 years. Her troop was involved in community service projects, particularly the Society for the Education of the Crippled, a newly established school for physically challenged children established in the mid-1960s.
After completing her masters in social work at the Tata Institute of Social Science in Mumbai, she worked in some of the roughest slums in Mumbai for two years. She then raised sufficient funds to move to the U.S. and received her masters in Social Work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
As CEO, Appoo’s Girl Scout philosophy maintains that she wants "the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois to become the premier leadership experience for our girls, an organization of choice that is dynamic, vibrant and relevant and meets the needs of today’s girls." "