ITD's Girl Scout roots run even deeper

ITD's Levi Sittser's granddaughter Kiele Sittser also is featured on billboards in the Treasure Valley, promoting the benefits of Girl Scout cookie sales. Kiele sold more than 2,000 boxes of cookies last year and has been a top seller the past several years, averaging more than 1,000 boxes sold per year.

She is an eighth-grader at West Junior High in Boise. Levi works in the Office of Highway Safety.

Brianna Fernandez gets jump start on business through cookie sales

She has spent the last six years refining business ethics and decision-making skills, money management, personal skills and goal setting. This spring she added public relations and promotion to her marketing experience.

That resume would put Brianna in strong competition for corporate leadership or sales positions. But businesses and organizations will have to wait another decade or so. Brianna is only 11.

But she already has developed skills that will serve her well the rest of her life.

The daughter of ITD’s Nestor and Sonna Lynn Fernandez has turned Girl Scout cookie sales into a passion, and that passion into high visibility and name recognition.

Her photograph appears on four billboards – three in the Treasure Valley (one a short distance from St. Mary’s School where she is a sixth-grader), and another in the Pocatello area.

A 15-second public service video, produced by Boise television station KTVB, began airing in mid-February, whetting appetites for Thin Mints, Tagalongs and other delicacies Girl Scouts market every year. But the video also emphasizes the skills and experience girls gain from the annual sales promotion.

Brianna has been a top-seller since joining the Silver Sage Council’s Troop 324 as a first-grader. Mom, Sonna Lynn serves as leader of the 21-member, Nampa-based troop. During the workweek, she is a planner for ITD; husband Nestor is ITD’s roadway design engineer.

The youngster’s annual sales resembles Apple’s growth chart. As a first-grader, Brianna sold 400 boxes of cookies. It grew by 50 percent the following year to about 600 boxes, and for the past four years she’s sold between 700 and 900 boxes annually – a six-year total of nearly 4,000 boxes.

She has parlayed those sales into three years of summer camp in McCall, two years at the Pine Creek Ranch, which specializes in horsemanship, near Challis, and day camps in Nampa. This summer she will be among 40 girls nationwide to attend a “destination” event, traveling without parental accompaniment to Minnesota and Wisconsin for 10 days.

Brianna already is coveting a destination event in Italy during her high school years at Bishop Kelly. Cookie sales help her earn part of the funds to attend the summer camps and destinations, Sonna Lynn explains.

Ambitions extend beyond Girl Scout activities, though. She enjoys cross-country running, hopes to run in junior high and high school track, and eventually would like to become a veterinarian.

Published 3-2-2012