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Outstanding entrepreneur, civic leader, political advisor, individual advocate for justice. For more than fifty years, Shep Lee has been an active participant in every facet of Maine life. He exemplifies the difference that a single individual can make through hard work and a steadfast commitment to the principles championed by Senator Muskie.
Shep grew up in Lewiston and graduated magna cum laude from Bowdoin College, joining his father’s car business after graduation and immersing himself in the needs of his local community and the potential for business expansion. Today, he owns ten franchises in Auburn, Westbrook and Topsham, as well as four used car locations in Augusta, Saco, Norway and Windham. He has served as a consultant on business issues in Maine, New England, Washington and abroad, as well as on numerous committees and advisory groups related to financial and business matters, including FAME and the Advisory Boards of the University of Maine Institute for Family Owned Business and the School of Business at USM.
His concern and commitment to justice issues was already evident as a student at Bowdoin when he spoke out against racial discrimination in the college’s fraternities. Those values became even more evident during his leadership on numerous political campaigns, his service on the Auburn School Board, and his later activism as a member of the American Civil Liberties Union. He has served on the Civil Justice Advisory Committee and Advisory Committee on Indigent Defense and currently serves as a member for the Board of Visitors of the University of Maine School of Law. He also has been an active supporter of legal aid providers in Maine over the years.
Shep has been honored on numerous occasions for business and civic leadership, including the ACLU Roger Baldwin Award, the Spurwink Humanitarian of the Year Award, and the Robert R. Masterton Award for Leadership in Economic Development by the Portland Chamber of Commerce. We are confident that Senator Muskie himself would be delighted that Shep Lee is the 2004 recipient of the Muskie Access to Justice Award.