The information below is from the completed 2022 event. Check back in the fall for 2023 updates.

Maine HR Convention: May 8 – 11, 2023


Wednesday, May 10, 2023

6:30 am - 5:00 pm

6:45 am - 8:30 am

7:00 am - 8:00 am
Maine Great Leader Series

Messer Truck Equipment and Chalmers Insurance Group New Thinking from 4th Generation Maine Businesses

Why you’ll want to attend. Family-Owned Business Power! We are delighted to welcome to the breakfast table Jeff Messer, President of Messer Truck Equipment in Westbrook and Dottie Chalmers Cutter, VP of Operations at Chalmers Insurance Group in Bridgton, both of whom serve on the Board of the Institute for Family-Owned Business. We’ll start with their stories, because the roots of these companies go deep. Dottie and Jeff are the fourth generations of their families to continue the business. Chalmers Insurance opened its doors in 1857, and Messer Truck Equipment started as a blacksmithing shop in Portland in 1899. And here they are today, with a wave of fresh thinking for our attendees on the issues described below. Moderated by Dave Vasconcelos and Bud Bernstein.

What’s it all about?

  • Learn about the HR traditions and business platforms at these two companies.
  • Discover the mission and underlying values that have been able to stand the test of time and the role that generational shift has played.
  • Hear about the nimbleness, adaptability, and innovation required to sustain the long term.
  • Witness their community connections and how giving back to their employees and to the surrounding towns, both serves their values and business models.

Approved for SHRM credit and HRCI Business Credit

Program Faculty: Dave Vasconcelos, Dottie Chalmers Cutter, Jeff Messer

8:30 am - 9:45 am
KEYNOTE: Two-Step Decision Making

For your next level of leadership

Why you’ll want to attend. Empowerment!Following up on her Monday afternoon Convention conversation,Neha Sangwan, MDwants to know if you have “decision fatigue?” Have you missed key opportunities because you couldn’t make up your mind? You know, when you waffle over making a decision that should be simpler than it feels. And what do you do, when in today’s world, many decisions have to be made with a high degree of uncertainty and unknown? You make dozens of decisions every day ranging from the simple to the complex. It’s a process you’ll want to master as you consider the strength of your leadership and your aspiration to the next level of leadership. In whatever career aspiration you have, you’ll want to know how to make quick, effective, clear decisions. In what if, in only two simple steps, you could be making the right decision…every time. 

What’s it all about?

  • Discover a two-step process where you will enhance your decision-making and leadership effectiveness.
  • Engage in an exercise that will help you consider areas in which you are confident about your decision-making process. Flipside of that coin – what decisions do you struggle with?
  • Discover how to frame a situation for effective decision making, particularly for those situations creating anxiety and uncertainty.
  • Learn how to make decisions that connect to what matters most to you, and in the process elevate your game as a human resource professional and as a human navigating extraordinary times.

Approved for SHRM credit and HRCI Business Credit 

Program Faculty: Neha Sangwan, M.D.

9:45 am - 10:15 am
Book Signing

Meet Dr. Neha and get your copy of her book signed.


9:45 am - 10:15 am
Break Time

Visit the EXPO. Support our Sponsors. Grab a coffee sensation from Bard and a Holy Donut. And visit the Convention bookstore, open 9 AM – 1 PM.


10:15 am - 11:45 am
Choice of Three MegaSessions

11:45 am - 1:00 pm

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Choice of Three MegaSessions

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm
Dessert Break

Visit the EXPO. Support our Sponsors. Grab a coffee. Visit the Convention bookstore. 


2:45 pm - 4:00 pm
KEYNOTE: Emerging Leadership

Gateway to a Sustainable Maine Economy 

Why you’ll want to attend. Imagine working for a company that creates backpacks out of recycled sailcloth. Or turns to the ocean for innovative products from sustainably farmed sea greens. Or is building an online employee wellbeing platform. Or better yet, imagine young friends or family members and where they want to work. In this session we visit with Kristan Crow from Atlantic Sea Farms in Biddeford, Devin McNeill from Flowfold in Gorham, and James Brissenden from LifeGuides (formerly on staff with the Maine HR Convention). They will share their personal journeys, the stories of their companies, and how they are helping build the next generation of business. Moderated by Ron Schneider from Bernstein Shur in Portland.

What’s it all about?

  • Consider the advantages and challenges companies built on sustainable environmental ethics and corporate social responsibility face with generational recruiting and building sustainable business enterprises.
  • Discuss how these enterprises intend to uphold their mission and values as they grow and scale their HR functions.
  • And, in a fireside chat, engage with these leaders about progressive HR practices for the future. 

Approved for SHRM credit and HRCI Business Credit 

Program Faculty: Devin McNeill, James Brissenden, Kristan Crow, Ron Schneider

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Wednesday Reception

8:30 pm - 11:30 pm
Evening Entertainment

Monday, May 8, 2023 Tuesday, May 9, 2023 Wednesday, May 10, 2023 Thursday, May 11, 2023