Del Mar residents among Girl Scouts’ ‘10 Cool Women of 2013’

Del Mar residents Arlene Harris and Zandra Rhodes were honored at the San Diego’s “10 Cool Women of 2013” luncheon, held by Girl Scouts San Diego on April 19.

This is the 13th year the nonprofit has recognized women whose personal and professional achievements, leadership and service to the community make them consummate role models for girls.

“Like Girl Scouts, our 2013 Cool Women make the world a better place,” said Jo Dee C. Jacob, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts San Diego. “We’re proud to honor these 10 exceptional women.”

The only woman in the Wireless Hall of Fame and a former Girl Scout, Harris invented the Jitterbug phone for seniors (which the New York Times listed as one of its “10 Brilliant Ideas of 2006”), the first airline ticketing database, and the first prepaid phone and wireless activation systems. Her innovations have helped make cellular service available to people of all levels of income and technical proficiency.

Rhodes was once a Girl Guide in England. In the 1970s, she helped put London on the fashion forefront with her dramatic use of bold prints, feminine patterns and theatrical color, not to mention her revolutionary textile patterns. She has designed furnishings, fabrics, wallpaper, shoes, cosmetics, clothes, and opera costumes and sets (including those seen in this April’s production of Aida at the San Diego Opera).

Each honoree was introduced by a Cool Woman from a prior year. Del Mar residents Ronne Froman and Linda Katz, who received the recognition in 2003 and 2002, respectively, presented Joye Blount and Pauline Foster.

Froman attributed Blount’s fundraising expertise to the Girl Scout virtue of using resources wisely. Blount, currently a Wealth Management advisor with the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank, raised one million dollars for the San Diego Zoo in 2010 and for the March of Dimes campaign in 2006. She is on the advisory boards for several local organizations, is a graduate of the FBI Citizen’s Academy, and served as a United Nations official observer for two Mexican presidential elections,

According to Katz, Foster considers education “the greatest gift you can give someone.” She is a council member for UCSD’s Rady School of Management and serves on the board of the Stanley Foster Construction Academy. A San Diego native, she has volunteered her time for many organizations, including the Governor’s Committee to Promote Trade Between California and Israel, United Way of San Diego, the San Diego Cancer Crusade and a Beth Israel interracial summer camp.

The other 10 Cool Women of 2013 are Voices for Children founder Kathryn Ashworth, children’s and labor activist Dolores Huerta, Pacific Arts Movement founder Lee Ann Kim, immigration reform advocate Rosibel Mancillas-Lopez, San Diego Unified School District Superintendant Designate Cindy Marten, and attorney Ellen Whelan.

Girl Scouts San Diego recognized Scripps National Spelling Bee 2012 champion Snigdha Nandipati as its first-ever “Cool Girl.”

The previously recognized Cool Women who introduced this year’s honorees included Barbara Bry, Irma Castro, Jeanne Jones, Karen Keltner, Gail Levin, Susan Mallory and Rana Sampson. In addition to an engraved crystal vase from Girl Scouts San Diego, honorees received an engraved Nambé picture frame, courtesy of Bloomingdale’s.

Madeleine Pickens, a 2010 Cool Woman, and the Del Mar Country Club hosted the luncheon and awards program. Event proceeds of $27,000 will help keep Girl Scouting available and affordable for 31,000 local girls.

To see photos of the event, visit