Maine HR Convention: May 12-15, 2020 – Samoset Resort, Rockport, ME

The following information is from the completed 2019 event. Please check back in the fall for details on next year. 


Friday, May 10, 2019

7:00 am - 3:00 pm


Be sure to take advantage of Convention amenities including:

Don’t forget to download the Convention Mobile App for up-to-the minute Convention news, session materials, certification credit tracking forms, venue maps, attendee networking and more! Mobile App available for download in April.

Mobile App Sponsored by: Kronos Incorporated
Mobile App Provided by: Cvent Web Surveys/CrowdCompass 

Special thank you to our Certification Sponsor KeyBank




7:00 am - 9:00 am
Breakfast is Served

8:00 am - 9:00 am
KEYNOTE | The Workplace as a Venue for Healing: You Are Not Alone

Susan Schmitt, Applied Materials

Millions of people struggle to thrive as adults after growing up with a dysfunctional or abusive family life. The result? Adult Survivors of Damaged Pasts (ASDP). ASDPs grow up learning how to survive by avoiding conflict, working in isolation, and keeping their thoughts and ideas to themselves. Alternatively, high-performing perfectionism can also be a sign of ADSPs struggling to prevail over a wounded past that continues to threaten their well-being and careers. The modern workplace presents an opportunity to help these employees discover emotional safety and confidence, freely collaborate inside team environments, trust their own judgment, and look to the future with optimism. The benefit to employers? Retention and cultivation of valuable talent in a healthy corporate culture, where all employees feel empowered to contribute their best.

Susan Schmitt (Chief HR Officer at Applied Materials in Silicon Valley) tackles this pervasive issue using insights and stories from her experiences as an ASDP, extensive psychological research, and a 31-year career working with emotionally complex employees.

Why you’ll want to participate in this session:

  • Understand the costs of loneliness and emotional conflicts on business vitality, company cultures, as well as personal careers.
  • Identify opportunities HR has to develop a culture that is a brave space for employees to heal from the past and bring their full gifts, potential, and professionalism to high-performing teams.
  • Explore ways that HR professionals can discover new levels of joy in their own lives and career fulfillment by creating a healing culture inside their company.

Approved for SHRM credit and HRCI general (HR) credit.

Program Faculty: Susan Schmitt

9:00 am - 9:15 am
Meet the Author and Book Signing

Susan Schmitt: HR Directions, “How the Suitability Model Simplifies the Way We Think About Talent”

Program Faculty: Susan Schmitt

9:15 am - 10:15 am
PLENARY | The Working Mom and Dad: Your Culture, Your Business, and Your Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

What’s it all about? There are a thousand and one ways to look at D&I and its impact on your workforce and your organization’s values. One area that often slips below the radar screen is the Working Mom (and sometimes the Working Dad). This session highlights how Bright Horizons Family Solutions has put in place progressive practices in this arena, practices that meld with their workplace culture and produce measurable results. Based in Watertown, Massachusetts, Bright Horizons employs over 20,000 people in the U.S. Please join Scarlett Abraham Clarke, their Senior Director of D&I, and Jessica Kaplan, their Senior Director of Talent Management & Leadership Strategy, as they describe their company’s practices and the challenges that those practices in turn created. In the process, you’ll engage in discussion of how this relates to legal mandates, recruiting and retention, and business results.

Why you’ll want to participate in this session.

  • Discover the latest trends in working parent policies and practices, the expectations of working parents, the expectations of the rest of your workforce, and how this affects career paths.
  • Discuss creative and progressive practices from the working parent realm, their costs and benefits, and how to measure results.
  • Understand the implications of working parent policies on your workplace culture, your legal compliance requirements, and your needs in a tight labor market.
  • Build a communication network that helps align everyone on the benefits and challenges of working parent issues – including working parents, co-workers, managers, and the C-Suite.

Approved for SHRM Credit and HRCI general (HR) Credit.

Program Faculty: Jessica Kaplan, Scarlett Abraham Clarke

10:30 am - 12:00 pm


12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
Lunch and HR Conversations

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
KEYNOTE | Mentorship Matters: Lessons from the Olympia Snowe Women's Leadership Institute

Christina McAnuff, Olympia Snowe Womens Leadership Institute

What’s it all about? In 2015, former Maine Senator Olympia Snowe launched her Women’s Leadership Institute, an innovative three-year program designed to help develop leadership, collaboration, and problem-solving skills in future generations of Maine women. The program facilitates meaningful mentor relationships between high school girls and women advisors throughout the state with a curriculum focused on three themes: My Values, My Voice, and My Vision. We invite Christina McAnuff, Executive Director of the Institute, to discuss the impact of this evidence-based program, and its implications for developing leaders in the state. Students from the Institute and their advisors will join Christina on stage to share their stories, experiences, and the impact of mentorship on their lives.

Why you’ll want to participate in this session.

  • Uncover the evidence-based outcomes of successful mentorship relationships.
  • Learn how this innovative program was developed and implemented in the state of Maine.
  • Take ideas back to your office on how to foster a mentor network within your organization or empower external mentor relationships in the community.

Approved for SHRM credit and HRCI general (HR) credit.

Program Faculty: Christina McAnuff

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm
KEYNOTE | Keep the "Human" in Human Resources, Please!

From no-win to win-win

Laurie Shakur, Rakuten

What’s it all about? And for that matter, what’s this conference all about? For the better part of a decade, HR has focused on data, analytics, and business processes. All to the good, right? After all, we are earning more respect from the C-Suite and senior management. However, there’s mounting evidence that in our drive to demonstrate the business value of HR, we are diminishing an underlying core value of the profession – the empathy and actions that inspire trust from and bring out the talent of our individual employees. Laurie Shakur joins us from San Francisco to share stories of deep dives into metrics that didn’t quite turn out as planned. In this closing keynote, she’ll help us reposition from the no-win position of being caught between the business aspirations of our companies and the human aspirations of our people to a win-win, where organizations AND people thrive.

Why you’ll want to participate in this session.

  • Gain a better understanding of the intersection between effective HR business platforms and effective HR people practices.
  • Learn how to navigate these waters without being seen by management as disconnected from financial reality, and at the same time, not being seen by employees as disconnected from their hopes and needs.
  • Use lessons from this session to synthesize all the learning you have acquired at this conference into one effective package you can bring back to work.

Approved for SHRM credit and HRCI general (HR) credit.

Program Faculty: Laurie Shakur
Monday, May 6, 2019 Tuesday, May 7, 2019 Wednesday, May 8, 2019 Thursday, May 9, 2019 Friday, May 10, 2019