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Rep. Ellie Espling (R-New Gloucester)
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For Immediate Release

Date: 08/07/12

Rep. Espling completes national leadership program at University of Virginia

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ellie Espling recently completed the Emerging Leaders Program, a nationally renowned symposium held annually at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business. She was one of 50 state legislators accepted for the program from a pool of more than 200 nominees from across the country.

Rep. Espling (R-New Gloucester), a first-term legislator, serves on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. House Speaker Robert Nutting nominated her for the program, which is run by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF), a nonpartisan organization that seeks to inspire promising legislators to continue their careers in public service.

For three days, participants attended classes and discussed and debated such matters as ethics, motivation, political leadership and negotiating skills. Classes were led by faculty from the Darden School. The students also toured Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello and attended a lecture by John Meacham, a Pulitzer Prize winner and author of the upcoming "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power."

According to the SLLF, the legislators "explored the significant opportunities and challenges that face their states and this country. They examined our changing world's impact on politics and policy. They also examined the challenges of ethical decision-making and they developed their own definitions of leadership."

"I really appreciated that we were able to leave our 'D' and 'R' labels at the door and just be students ready to learn from the staff and from each other," Rep. Espling said. "As a citizen Legislature, Maine has folks serving from all walks of life. Many of us do not have political backgrounds, have followed other careers and still work at those careers. We often learn as we go, so training like the Emerging Leaders Program is valuable. It was a great honor to be nominated by Speaker Nutting."

SLLF president Stephen Lakis said the Emerging Leaders Program is designed for legislators whose actions demonstrate qualities associated with leadership - integrity, compassion, intelligence, vision and common sense. ###

Jay Finegan
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445