Emerge Maine announces new Executive Director

Sarah Skillin Woodard of Freeport will lead the organization

Portland – Emerge Maine announced today that the new Executive Director for the organization that recruits, trains, and supports Democratic women to run for political office will be Sarah Skillin Woodard. 

Emerge Maine is the state’s premier political training program for Democratic women. It recruits, trains and supports women across the state to run for office each year. The 196 alumnae in the Emerge Maine network span the entire state, with over 35 currently holding elected office at every level, including 12 alumnae who serve in the Maine House, and 1 in the Maine Senate. Alumnae of Emerge Maine include Speaker of the House Sara Gideon and Majority Leader Erin Herbig. 

Sarah Skillin Woodard is a campaign professional, community organizer, and school board member from Freeport, Maine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Southern Maine, a Master of Social Work from the University of New England, and is a graduate of the Emerge Maine Class of 2017.

The bulk of Woodard’s experience has been in fundraising with such organizations as Demont & Associates, capital campaign consultants, and Maine Public Broadcasting. In 2014, Sarah served as the State Finance Director for State Senator Shenna Bellow's campaign for the US Senate. 

“We know Sarah will bring her extensive knowledge of Maine Democratic politics, campaigning for candidates, and fundraising to her new role as our Executive Director”, said Gabi Berube Pierce, Board Chair. “We are thrilled to have her begin to lead our organization and know she will continue to grow our success.”

Outgoing Executive Director Jill Barkley has taken a new position as the Affiliate Director at Emerge America, the national organization that has affiliate programs in 20 states across the country. Woodard will join Emerge Maine on May 1st, as applications are being accepted for the organization’s Class of 2018. 

“I can't express how thrilled I am to be taking the helm of Emerge Maine”, said Woodard. “2016 was a terrific year for Emerge candidates; we won 18 out of 25 races. We are headed in the right direction, but we can't sit back and hope it happens every cycle. To keep building the bench, we have to keep recruiting and training Democrats to fill local, state and national seats.” 

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