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April 14 , 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Chip Gavin
(207) 626-8406

Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau Honors
Maine Department of the Secretary of State

Department Credited for Hosting Conference with
Greatest Economic Impact Last Year

AUGUSTA , MAINE -- The Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Portland has selected the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) as the recipient of its annual Phoenix Award, which recognizes the organization whose conference had the greatest economic impact on the region during the previous year.

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky, who served as President of NASS and organizer of the association's summer conference in Portland , praised the Convention & Visitors Bureau and the many individuals who contributed to the success of last July's gathering of the nation's top election officials.

“Last summer's NASS conference brought more than 400 people from around the nation to Portland for education, training, professional development and recreational opportunities,” Secretary Gwadosky commented. “I was pleased by the support offered through the Convention & Visitors Bureau, and am delighted by this award. It's a tribute to dozens of individuals who worked hard to make the conference a great success.”

The Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates that the NASS Summer Conference generated approximately $500,000 for shops, restaurants, hotels and many other Maine businesses. In addition to work sessions, educational programs and lectures, the conference included events at the Portland Museum of Art, Bowdoin College , Great Diamond Island and the Maine Maritime Museum .

“By selecting Maine for its 2003 summer conference, the National Association of Secretaries of State recognized the many unique and special qualities our state has to offer, as well as the ability of Maine people to organize and host a major event of this kind. It's gratifying to know that as a result of our efforts Maine businesses realized a half million dollars in additional revenue,” Gwadosky added.

The Phoenix Award was announced during the Convention & Visitors Bureau's 22 nd annual Meeting, held in Scarborough on Wednesday. Previous honorees include the Rural Letter Carriers Association and the Family Motorcoach Association.