Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Eleanor Roosevelt Award Luncheon to honor Salt Lake County's Sherrie Swensen

The Utah State Democratic Party’s Chair of this year’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award Luncheon, Salt Lake County Community Services Department Director Erin Litvack, is pleased to announce the 2010 Eleanor Roosevelt Award recipient will be Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen.

Ms. Litvack said, “Sherrie Swensen is a modern example of the courage and values we saw from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Eleanor Roosevelt was a woman ahead of her time, a warm, loving, sincere, kind, wise, strong, disciplined, and very human person who used her talents and position to help bring about much needed social change for which she will never be forgotten and will always be treasured. We think the same can be said for Sherrie.”

Democratic State Party Chair Wayne Holland praised the selection saying, “The level of participation in Utah’s elections has fallen to such a low level that Governor Huntsman created a commission to find ways to encourage participation. I know of no person in Utah who has done more to fight the tide of apathy or more to encourage positive participation than Sherrie Swensen. She has truly been a great public servant, doing her best to get us all involved and doing it with such competence and style. Utah’s election system is highly trusted by the voters in our state. That is due in no small part to the efficiency and hard work of Sherrie and the staff of her office.”

Sherrie Swensen was born in Murray and resided in Midvale for 28 years prior to moving to Sandy in 1998. She has two sons and eight grandchildren. She enjoys all sports including bowling, tennis and rollerblading, but particularly loves water skiing. She was involved in little-league sports programs for over ten years. Ms. Swensen served on the Executive Board of the Ute Conference and was both president and secretary of the Hillcrest Little League Football program.

Ms. Swensen did volunteer work for youth baseball and basketball programs as well. She served on the Board of Directors for the Advocates for People with Mental Retardation (ARC) and numerous civic boards and is involved in many community organizations.

Sherrie Swensen serves the community with integrity and, as the Salt Lake County Clerk, sticks to her mission of running accessible, fair, honest elections in Salt Lake County. She has coordinated and established several successful programs to make voter registration more convenient for residents in Salt Lake County. Swensen proposed and successfully lobbied for the passage of House Bill 488, "Emergency Absentee Ballots," which allows votes to be cast by people who have been hospitalized or confined to a care facility after absentee ballots have been mailed out.

Sherrie Swensen was selected by a committee of past award winners from nominations submitted by members of the public and party activists. Other nominees this year included wonderful people truly deserving of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award such as Kay Christensen, the former Chief of Staff to Congressman Wayne Owens and Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini; Gwen Larsen; wife of the later Congressman Wayne Owens and educator Marlene Owens; State Senate Democratic Leader Pat Jones; educator and longtime Iron County Party officer Georgia Beth Thompson; Maria Garcia; Meg Averett; former Box Elder County Party Chair Jan Douglas; State Senator Luz Robles; Stonewall Caucus Chair Nikki Boyer; former State Party Treasurer Susie McHugh; congressional candidate and educator Claudia Wright; and, the recently deceased party activist Bettina Rothman Black.

The award will be presented at the seventeenth annual Eleanor Roosevelt Award Luncheon to be held on October 7, 2010 at the Salt Lake City Downtown Marriott. In addition to the award presentation, luncheon attendees will enjoy a dynamic keynote address by Joan Goldsmith. Joan has been an organizational consultant, coach, and educator for the past thirty-five years, specializing in leadership development, organizational change, conflict resolution, and team building. She has served on numerous boards of directors, and been an advisor to the Woman's International Health Coalition, Disney Institute for Women Entrepreneurs, Women's Lens on Global Issues, and Women International League for Peace and Freedom, and a speaker at national and local conferences on issues of women in leadership.

Past award winners include former Congresswoman Karen Shepherd; Utah First Ladies Lucy Beth Rampton and Norma Matheson; former Attorney General Jan Graham; former State House members Judy Ann Buffmire and Beverly White; State Senator Karen Mayne and former State Senators Karen Hale and Paula Julander; Party activists Fae Beck, Rosa Vida Black, ShaRon Nelson, Louise Henson, and Helen James; former Executive Director of the Utah Education Association Susan Kuziak; former Utah AFL-CIO political director Beverly Saathoff; well-known community activists Annette P. Cumming, Esther Landa, Robyn Matheson  and Peggy Swenson.

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