Department of the Interior

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Office of the Secretary

For Immediate Release:
February 16, 2006
Joan Moody

Cangelosi Named Executive Director Of Take Pride In America®

Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton today named Michelle L. Cangelosi as the executive director of Take Pride in America®, a national partnership initiative aimed at increasing volunteer service on America's public lands. Cangelosi, who has served as the group's deputy director, replaces Marti Allbright, who has taken a job in the private sector.

"Michelle Cangelosi no doubt will make a great executive director for Take Pride in America because she has already demonstrated leadership and creativity in the deputy director position." said Secretary Norton. "Take Pride has made great strides over the past several years in recognizing hardworking volunteers and inspiring a new generation to put their patriotism to work in protecting our national parks, wildlife refuges, public lands and other natural treasures."

Cangelosi has coordinated with federal, state, and local government representatives, as well as corporations and associations to generate high level involvement in planning Take Pride events in local communities across the nation. In addition, she speaks to a variety of stakeholder groups to further promote citizen stewardship on the more than 900 million acres of public lands that Americans share.

She previously served as associate director for External and Intergovernmental Affairs in the Office of the Secretary at Interior. In this capacity she led outreach to governors, local and state elected officials and the associations that represent them on behalf of the department's natural resource policies.

Before joining the Department of the Interior, Michelle was a federal coordinator for the State of Florida - Washington Office, representing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida's five water management districts.

She also previously was contracted to the Department of the Interior as an environmental scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey. She also worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Wetlands Division while pursuing her Master of Science in Environmental Engineering Sciences. Michelle received both her Bachelors and Master of Science degrees from the University of Florida. She grew up in Ocala, Fla., where her family continues to reside today.

Secretary Norton re-launched Take Pride in April 2003 as part of President George W. Bush's USA Freedom Corps, dedicated to fostering a culture of service to others. Take Pride works with elected officials and non-governmental partners to launch volunteer projects on public lands and waters throughout the country.

Take Pride also recognizes outstanding volunteers through their awards program. They give out awards for 3,000 and 4,000 hours of service and merit awards annually.

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