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Gilda Nardone

Gilda Nardone

Gilda Nardone has developed and managed the Maine Displaced Homemakers Program from the time service delivery began in 1978. The Maine Legislature funded a pilot program the previous year, one of several programs being developed across the country to address the needs of mid-life and older homemakers forced to enter or re-enter the paid labor force due to death, disability, or unemployment of a spouse, divorce or separation.

Under Gilda's leadership the Program has grown from a budget of $15,000 and one paid staff person to a budget of close to one million dollars and over 40 fulltime and part-time staff in 1993. Comprehensive community-based services are provided to over 1,000 individuals each year through 14 Resource Centers from Aroostook to York Counties.

Gilda grew up in a working class family in Presque Isle. Her mother became a displaced homemaker at 46 when Gilda's father died suddenly from a heart attack. She began her professional career as a secretary with an Associates Degree from Westbrook College. She became involved with the women's movement in the early 1970's and completed her BA through the University Without Walls Program at the University of Massachusetts while teaching day care and organizing women's services and resources on Cape Cod. Earning her M.S. in Educational Administration from Wheelock College expanded her interest in adult development, and she returned to Maine at 30 to continue her work with women.

Gilda's collaborative and empowering style is reflected throughout the Program's work on a community, state, regional, national, and international level. The Program is at the forefront in advocating for and expanding women's economic and leadership development opportunities.

Gilda serves as President of the Governing Board of the National Displaced Homemakers Network and previously represented New England for the NDHN and the Women's Work Force Network of Wider Opportunities for Women. She was the first Chair of the AFDC Advisory Council and currently Co-Chairs the Advisory Board of the Family Law Project.

In recognition of her significant contributions to women and girls in Maine, Gilda received the Maine Commission for Women's Progress Award in 1989 and the Maryann Hartman Award in 1991.

1993 Photograph

Inducted March, 1991