Letter to the Editor

A salute to Denise Stewart

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

To the editor:

An important servant leader in our community has recently moved away with little or no fanfare or recognition. I'd like to thank Denise Stewart for her years of service as executive director of our Otahki Girl Scout Council in Cape Girardeau. The Girl Scouts has reorganized and consolidated several local councils into a regional office that has caused some restructuring. Denise was planning to retire. But she has decided to continue her service to the Girl Scouts as a statewide director in Arkansas. Our loss is their gain.

Denise has been one of the most effective executive directors I have had the pleasure to work with. She represented the Girl Scouts proudly in our community and represented our community proudly in many national Scouting activities and programs. And she is also a dear friend to many. I remember when we moved into our home here over 12 years ago. I barely knew Denise, but she was kind enough to bring us sandwiches so we wouldn't have to stop to get or fix food.

It just didn't seem right for Denise to leave our community without saying goodbye, although I understand why. Goodbyes are so hard. So, Denise, please continue your servant leadership in Arkansas knowing that Cape Girardeau is a grateful community, grateful for the passion you had for our girls and for the many leadership roles you took on at other organizations such as the Rotary club and area chambers of commerce. You will be missed.

NANCY JERNIGAN, Executive Director, United Way of Southeast Missouri, Cape Girardeau