Encantos Snags Former Girl Scouts of America CEO

Culver City-based Encantos, a children’s book-publisher turned digital education startup, has brought on a former Girl Scouts of America CEO as its chief impact officer.

Anna Maria Chávez was the first woman of color to head the Girl Scouts and was, most recently, the executive director and CEO of the National School Boards Association. She will helm Encantos’ strategic partnerships, corporate and public affairs and community impact activities.

Encantos promotes play-based learning through its digital subscriptions and stories.

Chávez has also been named president of Encantos’ newly formed philanthropic arm, Encantos.org. The nonprofit entity will focus on advancing research and implementation around learning 21st-century skills like financial literacy, STEM and resiliency.

“I just saw during the pandemic how we really have been failing our children when it comes to ensuring a digital connection and their ability to learn by using technology,” Chávez said.

The former Clinton administration staffer and aide to Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano calls her new gig a “capstone to my career.”

“What I bring to Encantos is 25 years of experience of understanding impact on certain populations, specifically children and underserved populations,” she said.

Chávez led the NSBA, a nonprofit that represents 51 million public school students, through the heart of the global pandemic. The experience underscored to her the importance of modernizing and supplementing traditional education.

“She is an icon in the education and Latino community,” said Encantos CEO Steven Wolfe Pereira. “To get someone of her caliber is a huge win for us.”

Wolfe Pereira — who is a vocal advocate for diverse leaders — formed the nonprofit to advance research, provide assistance to underserved communities and close education gaps.

“There is a dearth of research and investment that is being done in 21st-century skills,” he said.