What does it take to be a Cookie Boss?

For Giada Gambatese, the top cookie seller for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI), it takes perseverance, a bit of tech savviness and some serious networking skills.

In her third year of selling Girl Scout Cookies, the 8-year-old Girl Scout Brownie who lives in Chicago, sold more than 13,000 boxes of cookies. About 12,000 of those boxes were donated to the council’s Gift of Caring program, which sends Girl Scout Cookies to military personnel.

Contributing to Gift of Caring was especially important to Giada, whose grandfather served in the Marines.

“It’s important because we care about soldiers,” she said.

When Giada, whose favorite Girl Scout Cookies are Thin Mints, found out she was the council’s top seller, she was ecstatic. She originally wanted to sell enough cookies to earn a laptop, but once she surpassed that goal, she decided to go for the top prize: a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

“I want to ride all the rides and meet Merida from Brave because she looks like me,” Giada, a member of Troop 20073, explained.

In order to achieve her sales goal, Giada made videos and sent them to prospective customers. When she grows up, she wants to become a professional YouTuber.

“My father is part of the President’s Club, so we targeted his business connections and they were very generous,” said Giada’s mom, Gianna Franzia.

As the Girl Scout who sold the most cookies in GSGCNWI, Giada is also a member of the elite Cookie CEO group, which consists of the top five sellers in the council. Cookie CEOs enjoy a busy day at the GSGCNWI’s Chicago office meeting with the council CEO, Nancy Wright; holding an all-staff conference call, lunch and much more.

“It’s like being a celebrity,” Giada’s dad, Michael Gambatese, said. “It’s very, very cool.”

As a gesture of goodwill, Giada also sent customized thank-you cards to all of her customers.

“We want to teach her to show appreciation for every customer,” her dad said. “It sets you apart.”

Nearly 40,000 Girl Scouts sold 4.6 million packages of cookies in greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana during the 2016 Girl Scout Cookie Program. Next year marks the centennial celebration of Girl Scout Cookies.

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