Retired AF colonel chosen as new chair for Girl Scouts

Sara Ayala, of New Hartford, was recently elected as the new chair for the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways Board of Directors.

GSNYPENN serves girls in 26 counties of New York and Pennsylvania. Ayala is a lieutenant colonel retired from the U.S. Air Force. She is a computer science graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology and a Business Information Systems graduate at the University of Washington. She has a 32-year career in management, program management and acquisition management in communications, networking and computers. She works part-time for the 5th District Court as a permanency mediator, volunteers as a mediator with the Peacemaker Program in Utica and mediates Family Court and small claims situations. She is a volunteer for the nation-wide community collaborative rain, hail and snow reporting agency.

She has previously volunteered with the Valley Oasis Domestic Violence Center in California, the Northern Virginia Suicide Hotline and as a trainer for Boy Scouts budgeting and hiking awards. For two years she also served as a HAZMAT first responder in Southern California.

Other officers for the 2012-13 year are: Judy Suddaby of Syracuse, 1st vice-chair; Kim Lamar Shelton of Vestal, 2nd vice-chair; Deborah Schwarting of Weedsport, secretary; and Susan Duerr of North Syracuse, treasurer. Terry Plizga of Deerfield was also re-elected for a two-year term. Plizga just completed a three-year term as the chair of the council’s Board of Directors.