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Girl Scouts presents Awards of Distinction


Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) will honor eight Pittsburgh women and two local Gold Award Girl Scouts for their accomplishments and leadership on Friday, October 16, 2020 at the annual Awards of Distinction, hosted as a virtual celebration this year.

This annual event honors these inspirational women and celebrates the mission of the Girl Scout Movement, which is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

Event information and detailed biographies on each award recipient can be found at

The 2020 Women of Distinction in each category are:

  • Business & Finance: Malesia Dunn, Executive Director, PPG Foundation & Global Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Communications & Multimedia: Sally Wiggin, Retired Anchor/Reporter, WTAE-TV
  • Entrepreneurship: Rhonda Carson Leach, Senior Program Director, The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, University of Pittsburgh
  • Health Care: Terese LaVallee, Director, Highmark Caring Place
  • Law: Carolyn D. Duronio, General Counsel, Highmark Health
  • Nonprofit & Education: Dr. Valerie Kinloch, Renee and Richard Goldman Endowed Dean, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh
  • Public Service: Joy Flowers Conti, U.S. Senior District Judge, United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • STEM: Dawne S. Hickton, Jacobs Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Critical Mission Solutions

GSWPA presents the 2020 Corporation of Distinction award to Duquesne Light Company (DLC).  The company’s commitment to STEM education and workforce development remains strong, including its support of Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania. Since 2012, DLC has proudly contributed nearly $80,000 to Girl Scouts to support their STEM and leadership programs.

Two Girl Scouts will also be honored during the event. The Girl Scout of Distinction Award will be presented to Miranda Johns, a graduate of Bethel Park High School. Claira Matthews, a graduate of Seneca Valley Intermediate High School, will receive the Girl Scout Humanitarian Award.

Serving as the 2020 Honorary Chair on the event’s committee is Melissa Anderson, Executive Vice President, Chief Risk, Audit, and Compliance Officer, Highmark Health.

The 2020 Awards of Distinction benefits GSWPA and is presented by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Platinum sponsors for the event include PNC Bank, UPMC, and UPMC Health Plan, and GEICO is recognized as a gold sponsor for the event.