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For Immediate Release
May 2, 2002
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary Gwadosky Presents Lorraine M. Fleury Award to Rhonda Starks
Contribution to Election Process Honored at Annual Elections Conference

Rockport--During the Ninth Annual Elections Conference sponsored by his Department, Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky presented the Lorriane M. Fleury Award to Rhonda Starks, Skowhegan's municipal clerk.

The Lorraine M. Fleury Award is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions to the election process. The Award seeks to honor the person who has made a significant contribution to the election process and best demonstrates the qualities of fairness, experience, knowledge and service. The Award is named after Lorraine M. Fleury who was a long time Elections Director for the State of Maine and who exemplifies the qualities that are the criteria for this Award.

"Rhonda Starks has been a member of a number of committees established by my office, including the Promote the Vote and Parent/Student Mock Election Committees," stated Secretary Gwadosky in his remarks prior to presenting the Award. "She has contributed her time and ideas to these groups, and has also taken her involvement a step further by personalizing many of the committees' initiatives for her community."

"To further students' experience in the Mock Election program, Rhonda has taken voting booths to her area schools so students could have a first hand look at what is behind the curtain," Secretary Gwadosky continued. "Additionally, she has held mini-registration drives at local financial institutions to encourage voter registration and voter participation."

Rhonda Starks has been involved in municipal government for over 19 years, 14 of those years serving as clerk. In addition to her many duties as clerk, as well as her involvement in statewide committees and initiatives, she is active in a number of civic organizations throughout her community, serving as Skowhegan's treasurer, as an active member of the Cemetery Committee and Coordinator of the Wellness Committee. Starks has also taken part in the Maine Municipal Association's Leadership Program and has been an active member of the Maine Town and City Clerk's Association, currently serving as president.

Individuals who have been honored in the past are Gerald P. Berube of Lewiston, Linda C. Cohen of South Portland, D. Brenda Caldwell of Gorham, Ethelyn Marthia of Kennebunk, Deborah S. Cabana of Brunswick, Debra Lane of Cape Elizabeth, Kathleen Montejo of Lewiston and Sally Bryant of Brunswick.