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Four Community Leaders Join SMART Board of Directors: Eric Parsons, Janae Sorenson, Joey Harrington, Linda Moore

Portland, OR, December 10, 2009 --( SMART welcomes the following individuals to its board of directors: Eric Parsons, Janae Sorenson, Joey Harrington, and Linda Moore. Each member brings to SMART a wealth of experience and a commitment to the cause of children’s literacy.

Eric Parsons is chair of the board of directors of StanCorp Financial Group, Inc., and Standard Insurance Company, where he was also the chief executive officer until his retirement in June, 2009. “I’ve admired the SMART program for years and am proud to be associated with such a fine organization. Children who develop an appreciation for books and reading will have such an advantage in the world of today and tomorrow,” said Parsons.

Janae Sorenson, president of Regence Life and Health (RLH), is focused on growing market share for RLH and providing an excellent experience for RLH customers. She has focused her charity efforts on literacy and teaching English as a second language. She said, “Because of special teacher and parent involvement, I developed a passion for reading and learning early on. This attention inspired me to make better choices and develop a life plan. I want children everywhere to have the same opportunities I was given by people who cared, as is done in SMART.”

Joey Harrington spent the last seven years as a quarterback in the NFL and is president of the Harrington Family Foundation which focuses on the health, safety and education of children. "Literacy is an essential building block in a child's education. It not only allows them to build the skills necessary to learn, but it opens up a world of creativity and imagination,” said Harrington.

Linda Moore describes herself as a community volunteer whose main focus is early childhood education and childhood dental care. Moore is on the board of directors at the Oregon Community Foundation and has served as chairperson of the education committee for the last seven years. Prior to that she taught English at Beaverton High School and Portland Community College. She said, "As a former high school and community college English instructor, I understand the importance of developing critical reading skills at an early age. SMART readers provide that opportunity for young children in grades K-3 to discover the fun, excitement and proficiency of reading."

Earlier this year Candace Manary of Medford joined the board of directors. Manary was a teacher/administrator in southern Oregon for 33 years and shares with SMART her expertise on literacy issues facing children and schools. She has been involved with SMART for more than a decade. Growing up in a small community Manary said, “I understand how important it is for everyone to share the load.”

SMART is recruiting community leaders with statewide influence, networking capability, and dedication to the mission of SMART. Officers in 2009-10 are Charles Wilhoite, board chair; Tom Gilbertson, vice chair; Mary Wilcox, secretary/treasurer; directors are Behzad Hosseini, Candace Manary, Elizabeth J.M. Large, Eric Parsons, Evelyn Jenson, Janae Sorenson, Joey Harrington, Kent Lewis, Linda Moore, Mary Boyle, and Patricia C. Smullin.

About SMART® (Start Making A Reader Today)
SMART is a nonprofit that envisions an Oregon where every child can read and is empowered to succeed. We engage community volunteers to read one-on-one with K-3 children who need literacy support. Participating children also receive new books each month to keep and read with their families. Since 1992, thousands of SMART volunteers have been inspiring little readers through storytelling. Together with support from the community, we are building brighter futures for Oregonians big and small. Volunteer or donate today. Visit or call 1-877-598-4633.

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SMART (Start Making A Reader Today)
Melissa Logan

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