Honorable MENtions

Honorable MENtions are men who have distinguished themselves in the Girl Scout community.

Don Lee, Ph.D.

Community Volunteer; Retired Engineer, 3M Company

Don Lee has served as an adult Girl Scout volunteer for 35 years, was a member of the legacy St. Croix Valley Council’s Board of Directors and is a parent of Girl Scouts. Lee received the highest honors awarded to Girl Scout volunteers, including Girl Scouts of the USA Appreciation Pin, Honor Pin, Thanks Badge and Thanks Badge II. Lee also serves Habitat for Humanity as a volunteer builder and is a volunteer instructor for driver safety classes for AARP. During his career as an engineer at 3M, Lee was recognized by the company with awards for new product development and quality achievement. He earned Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Denver and the University of Minnesota, respectively.

When Don Lee became a Girl Scout volunteer, it took courage to accept a position that involved working with a lot of people, especially girls. Prior to that, his training and experience was with mechanized processes and equipment — not people. Much of the time, he was out of his comfort zone and had to show confidence even though he had internal doubts.

As Lee became more experienced and saw needs in the organization, he expanded his volunteer positions and found the courage to step up and contribute even more service. He has always tried to serve as a positive role model and is proud of the accomplishments of the girls in his troops. Lee takes pride in his efforts that have contributed to their overall development.

Jeffrey Redmon, J.D.

Attorney, Redmon Law Chartered; Past National Board Member, Girl Scouts of the USA

Jeff Redmon is a Girl Scout volunteer with 35 years of service. He was a board member of the legacy St. Croix Valley Council as well as Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) National Board of Directors, serving on various committees. Redmon is a Girl Scout Lifetime Member, has served as a National Operational Volunteer and was honored with the Thanks Badge. He is a practicing attorney with Redmon Law Chartered in Hudson, WI, and is actively involved in many community organizations.

Redmon is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Iowa State University, and holds a Juris Doctor degree with high distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Girl Scouting has been a huge part of Jeff Redmon’s life, beginning with his marriage into a family with deep roots in the Movement. Redmon’s most rewarding experience as a Girl Scout volunteer was serving on the legacy St. Croix Valley Council’s Nominating Committee in the late 1980s because it gave him the opportunity to shape the organization’s future by identifying and attracting the very best talent. He was honored to be part of introducing three extraordinary women who would go on to become council presidents.

Redmon believes he has made a difference in his many volunteer roles, but feels he has gained so much more than he ever could repay. The many amazing individuals he has worked with across the country, the friends he has made and experiences he has had are a blessing for which he will always be grateful.

Chingla Thao —

Dean of Students, New Millennium Academy, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Dean of Students, New Millennium Academy

Growing up in a single-parent home without a male role model, Chingla Thao found a supportive community in Boy Scouting. Through his involvement, he had life-changing experiences including opportunities to travel to Utah, New Mexico and Canada. With the encouragement and support of adult mentors, Thao proudly earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

In his work at New Millennium Academy (a charter school serving Hmong students), Thao attempts to provide his students the same type of mentorship he received. He is personally involved in tutoring students, stays late after school to ensure that students are picked up by parents following activities and field trips, and focuses on trying to build their self-esteem through praise and support.

Thao is an active supporter of Girl Scouting within his school and the broader Hmong community. He is encouraged by the impact he has had on the confidence and self-esteem of the students who participate, and the exposure Girl Scouts has provided to educational and career opportunities that broaden their horizons.

Thao is a board member of New Millennium Academy and a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

Chingla Thao is inspired daily when teachers and families overcome cultural differences and truly focus on common ground — the education of a child. He appreciates that his position as Dean of Students allows him to facilitate these interactions and make a positive impact on children’s lives, and Thao takes this responsibility very seriously.