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The following information is from the completed 2021 event. Please check back in the fall for details on next year. 

Maine HR Convention: May 10 – 12, 2022


Monday, May 10, 2021

7:00 am - 8:00 am
Morning Wellness

Start the Convention week off with Chair Yoga and Stretching led by Beth Bielat.

Program Faculty: Beth Bielat

7:00 am - 8:00 am
On the Road to Baltimore

Dynamic HR Business Partnerships

Why you’ll want to participate in this session. The virtual world provides easy access to our HR peers around the country, and since most of us are missing the joy of travel, we’re going to take you to a different location to start each day of convention week. We begin on Chesapeake Bay, where HR leaders from Baltimore join us for a discussion of their workplace cultures, their HR business initiatives, and a flavor of their City. Enjoy and learn as we are welcomed by Maryland SHRM friends.  Featuring: Warren White, SHRM-SCP, SPHR (HR Director at Volo Sports); Darcy Boegner, SHRM-SCP (Director of Talent Management at Catholic Charities of Baltimore); and Tina Schmitt, SHRM-SCP, PHR (Talent Acquisition and Retention Manager at the Kennedy Krieger Institute).

Wat’s it all about?

  • Witness the business thinking of HR leaders from the non-profit sphere and how that can help HR leaders in both the for-profit and not-for-profit world view business partnerships and business decision making through a new lens.
  • See the unique advantages and burdens HR leaders from non-profit organizations face when matching their values systems to their HR strategies.
  • Leave this session with a better appreciation for and different ways of viewing organizational reputation and the business bottom line.

Approved for SHRM Credit and HRCI Business Credit. 

Program Faculty: Darcy Boegner, Tina Schmitt, Warren White

8:15 am - 9:15 am
KEYNOTE | Why Diversity Training Doesn’t Work

A new conversation on bias, inclusion, and privilege.

Why you’ll want to participate in this session. One of our Convention traditions is to bring back a favorite keynoter from the prior year, and this year we’re delighted to announce the return of conquering hero Eric M. Bailey from Phoenix, Arizona. You surely remember his engaging 2020 discussion on brain science, and this May he’ll turn some of that analysis into a new way of thinking and acting on our diversity and inclusion instincts. These issues are front and center now, but the reality is they have been on our table for many years. Organizations and HR teams have struggled with developing and implementing effective training around diversity, equity, and inclusion. So, how do we get beyond checking the boxes to a better world of inclusion? That’s where Eric comes in, with an entirely new way to think about this journey.


What’s it all about?

  • Study the research indicating that most diversity training doesn’t work for one specific reason based in universal human psychology. Then discover how HR can lead the way to recognize and overcome this hurdle and finally make a meaningful impact on your organization.
  • Discuss the range of leadership skills necessary to be impactful on the diversity, equity, and inclusion front, including vulnerability and empathic behaviors, the willingness to have difficult conversations, coaching, and mentoring.
  • Through some challenging exercises, let’s get beyond the business case, beyond what’s right and what’s wrong, and bring your diversity and inclusion hopes to fruition.

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

Program Faculty: Eric M. Bailey

9:15 am - 9:45 am
EXPO & Networking Break

9:45 am - 10:45 am
Choice of THREE Workshops:




10:45 am - 11:15 am
EXPO & Networking Break

11:15 am - 12:15 pm
Maine Great Leaders Series

The Jackson Lab – Bar Harbor, Maine (and beyond)

Why  you’ll want to participate in this session. This year, we feature three iconic Maine organizations, their HR leadership, and the impact they have on neighboring communities. The Jackson Lab (or JAX) is the perfect first entry this year – a year in which COVID-19 dominates headlines and our daily lives. Founded in 1929, JAX is at the crossroads of some of the worlds great medical research. And, it’s more than about their mice and geneticsTheir pioneering work is associated with over two dozen Nobel prizes and directly connected to medical breakthroughs on the gamut of challenges to human health – cancer, neurological disease, blood disorders, AIDS, and Alzheimer’s, among others. We’re pleased to welcome to the virtual stage their CHRO  Emily Schorer, their Senior Director for Total Rewards and Operations  Tom Ellis, and their inspirational and visionary CEO of eight years and past-president of the Human Genome Organization – Dr. Edison Liu. 

What’s it all about?   

  • Discover the rich history at JAX, including rising from the ashes of two historic fires, and how that connects to their mission and organizational values. From their impact statement – “it is our inherent responsibility to improve the lives of our employees in our local communities and round the world and to empower all those in the biomedical community who share our vision of a healthier future.”  
  • Witness their Maine community connections that include broadening STEM educational horizons, workforce development, and technology and communication infrastructure. 
  • Observe the role that human resource leaders play in enhancing the organizational mission and business results for their 2,400+ employees in Maine, Connecticut, California, Europe, and China.

Approved for SHRM Credit and HRCI Business Credit. 

Program Faculty: Dr. Edison Liu, Emily Schorer, Tom Ellis

12:15 pm - 1:30 pm
EXPO & Networking Break

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
Lunch & Learns

  • MEMIC hosts: Using Behavioral Science in the Workplace
    • Join MEMIC HR and Organizational Development & Training leaders as they share components of their talent management strategy. Learn how they recruit and develop employees using a behavioral science tool inspired to maximize individual work styles and team synergies.
  • KeyBank hosts: Why Financial Wellness?
    • Workplace wellbeing is more than health and retirement benefits. Join us to discuss the impacts to an employer when employees are experiencing financial stress. Helping your employees to become more financially sound will make them happier, more productive, and more likely to stay with your organization.
  • Bangor Payroll hosts: Resources and Lifelines During a Challenging Year
    • Will discuss an overview of the current programs (PPP, Employee Retention Credit, Paid Leave for COVID, etc) and what Bangor Payroll/Bangor Savings Bank is doing to help as well as resources available to those looking for more information/help.
    • Employee Engagement and Rewards-How to keep employees engaged through the use of technology and how we can reward them and our communities at the same time.

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm
SHRM News Break

SHRM news & updates

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
KEYNOTE | Women's Careers

Just When We Thought The Working World Was Becoming More Equitable

Why you’ll want to participate in this session. This we know: COVID-19 has placed disproportionate obligations on working women, and when we layer that upon an already challenging world struggling with pay equity and unconscious biases, the need for HR to step up to the plate as advocates for women’s professional development is clear. This lively keynote discussion will focus on recognition of the current moment and the mitigating steps you can take to help build careers and change workplace cultures. We’re delighted to welcome Evelyn Murphy, the former Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts (and first woman to hold Constitutional office in the Commonwealth). Dr. Murphy is the founder of the Wage Project, Inc., an economist, and author of “Why Women Don’t Get Paid Like Men and What to Do About It.” Joining her is long-time Maine HR Convention friend Catherine Lamson, SVP and Chief Administrative Officer at MEMIC in Portland. She’s a progressive advocate for women in the insurance industry and serves on the Board of the Olympia Snowe Leadership Institute. Our moderator is Mim Minichiello from HUB International, whose “why” is to “create amazing work environments where people can live in their excellence.”

What’s it all about.

  • Discover and understand the economic underpinnings of the wage gap, how the pandemic exacerbates that, and how HR can make the business case for changing this dynamic.
  • Model leadership behaviors that cultivate women’s career development, for those seeking the C-Suite and for everyone seeking respect.
  • Hear stories of alliance building and how it makes all the difference.

Approved for SHRM Credit and HRCI Business Credit

Program Faculty: Catherine Lamson, Evelyn Murphy, Mim Minichiello

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
EXPO & Networking Break

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Choice of THREE Workshops:


4:05 pm - 4:20 pm
Interview with Commissioner Laura Fortman

Part 1

Program Faculty: Laura Fortman

4:20 pm - 5:00 pm
Opening Night Reception


5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
HR After Hours: Your HR Niche is the Magic of a Story

Encore presentation: On the Road to Chicago

Why you’ll want to participate in this session. Studs Terkel, Chicago author, Pulitzer Prize winner, broadcaster, and advocate for the “common” American spoke to us in a simple, yet beautiful prose, holding that work is about a search, too, for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying.” It’s a difficult time in America and certainly for all of us serving in human resourcesMaybe our HR niche and calling rests in a renewed recognition of the people who work at our sides, the values of our organizations, and the way we communicate that through stories. Joining us from Chicago are Elena Valentine, an HR advocate and film creator at Skill Scouts,James Ellis, Global Employer Brand Manager at Roku and creator of The Talent Cast, and Amber Kennelly, Chief Human Resources Officer at HUB International. Together they share through film, prose, and stories, how we bring out the best in ourselves, our people, and our communities in this moment.  

What’s it all about? 

  • Discover the magic of a great workplace story, how to conceptualize, craft, and deliver that product in a way that aligns with your organization’s purpose and brand, and more important, your core ethics. 
  • Consider how you apply artistry – through the written word, the spoken word, and the visual – to create impactful stories resonating with truth and emotion. 
  • Understand how story-telling skills are essential for HR leaders who wish to contribute to business and brand and who wish to gain the ear of your internal and external communities. 

Approved for SHRM Credit and HRCI Business.
This is a recording from last fall’s Strategic HR conference.

Program Faculty: Amber Kennelly, Elena Valentine, James Ellis
Monday, May 10, 2021 Wednesday, May 12, 2021 Friday, May 14, 2021