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Five RI civic leaders receive the 2015 National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Medallion Award

Providence, RI - Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea recognized four individuals and one institution with the 2015 NASS Medallion Award at a ceremony held this afternoon at the State House.

State Senator Hanna M. Gallo of Cranston; Pilar McCloud of the NAACP Providence; the Center for Southeast Asians; Nicholas Capobianco of the St. Mary's Feast Society; and Jan Ruggiero, an Assistant Clerk at the Town of North Providence Board of Canvassers all received the NASS Medallion Award from Secretary Gorbea.

"These five leaders represent what is right with Rhode Island, and we all know that they are not alone," Secretary Gorbea said. "There is a lot that is right with Rhode Island, and there are many Rhode Islanders who, like them, are working hard to turn this state around."

Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed and Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello also addressed the gathering and praised the honorees.

Senator Gallo was recognized for her leadership in public and civic education; Pilar McCloud was recognized for her efforts to organize and mobilize young Rhode Islanders of color; the Center for Southeast Asians was recognized for its work to register and mobilize Southeast Asian American citizens across the state; and Jan Ruggiero was recognized for her remarkable public service career spanning more than two decades as a recognized leader in elections administration for the State of Rhode Island and, most recently, the Town of North Providence.

"One lesson that we can all learn from today's honorees is that each of us, in our own, very personal way, has the power to transform things around us," Secretary Gorbea added. "We must all learn to embrace and leverage that power to transform."

The NASS Medallion award was created by the National Association of Secretaries of State to recognize outstanding public service and civic engagement. Secretaries of State are given the opportunity to award up to five NASS Medallions each year to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated remarkable civic leadership in their state. Founded in 1904, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) is the oldest nonpartisan, professional association of public officials in the United States.


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  • Department or agency: Office of the Secretary of State
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  • Release date: 09-17-2015

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