Friday, June 26, 2015

Bryan Stephens is Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout

At age seven, Bryan Stephens’s daughter loved science and math. When she told a teacher at school she liked science and wanted to help people, the teacher told her she could be a nurse. This didn’t sit right with her, and when she told Bryan about her day at school that evening, she announced, “I don’t want to be a nurse, I want to be a doctor.” Bryan says he was never so proud, and he encouraged her to do just that. Today, at age 30, she’s a doctor who works as a family practitioner.

Bryan Stephens, the president and chief executive officer of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, encouraged all three of his daughters to do what they wanted to do in life and find their passion. He also taught them to be diligent, determined and dedicated in whatever they set their mind on achieving. They listened and today all three are accomplished professionals. And, all three were Girl Scouts! According to Bryan, Girl Scouts reinforced the values he worked to instill in his daughters. He also says that Girl Scouting was an important part of his daughters’ lives as a military family. Moving several times during his career, having Girl Scouts at each destination was a real benefit. That’s one of the reasons he continues to support Girl Scouts, and why he recently joined as a Girl Scout volunteer through the “Are You Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” campaign.

“I think it’s important to support women in leadership positions,” Bryan said. “Having a sound foundation and years where girls are encouraged to be leaders can make a big difference in the careers they choose and their potential to succeed.”

Throughout his career – as a Colonel in the U.S. Army and president of leading corporations – Bryan has given time as a leadership mentor to both men and women. Today, as the lead of a chamber who has a goal of building a healthy business community in Hampton Roads, he continues to be a role model and remains enthusiastic about remaining a curious learner who seeks opportunities.

“We need more people, and that certainly includes women, who are interested in making our communities thrive,” Bryan said. “We need problem solvers who are ready to take on big challenges that will result in a better economy, better schools and a well-trained workforce for our future. I see Girl Scouts and other community organizations part of the solution and part of those we call the problem solvers.”

Whether it’s a dad like Bryan encouraging his daughter to follow her dreams or a volunteer helping a girl face her fears on the high-ropes course, men can play an important role in the lives of girls and help them believe in themselves as leaders. Through the Man Enough campaign, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast hopes to have at least 100 men step up and show their support for the next generation of leaders. For more information about how to join, visit