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(2) Breakout Sessions: 7:30am – 8:30am

Outdoor Recreation Panel

• Workforce Training Skills

Meet our 2024 Speakers:

David Pease

Breakout Session: Navigating today & tomorrow’s Talent & Diversity Maze  

There is a shrinking workforce in Maine and the United States. Companies and organizations need to reframe their recruitment process, discover new talent pools and redefine your employment brand. Why should I work for your organization, when there are so many other opportunities? Maine is the oldest and whitest state in the nation, which brings extra challenges for us to look at new types of employees and the challenges of recruiting and more difficult retaining diverse individuals. And the forecast indicates we will be dealing with this skill/talent shortage through 2035.  And the employment landscape has changed significantly since COVID – employees are looking for more remote/work from home opportunities, flexibility and more support from their employers. Employees are no longer looking to their employers only for financial and professional needs – but physical, emotional, Organizations will need to be lean, agile, and authentic to attract this holistic worker.  

This session will help business look at their employment brand, understand future employee needs, identify new recruitment options, embrace diversity as a workforce solution and work on improving the employee experience. 


David Pease is Senior Vice President – Director of Talent, Diversity & Inclusion at Bangor Savings Bank. His HR career spans 37+ years in business, nonprofit, healthcare, academia and corporate America.  He has a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Lesley University and a BS in Political Science and Communication from the University of Southern Maine. David has earned the Certified Diversity Professional (CDP), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and the Senior Certified Professional (SCP-SHRM) national designations. David is the former State Director of Maine SHRM and received the distinguished Maine HR Leader of the Year award. He has recently received the Kenneth Curtis Leadership Award from Maine Development Foundation for his state-wide leadership contributions selected Unsung Hero of the Year by PROPEL for creating a safe and inclusive work culture for people. David serves on numerous boards to advance Workforce development, Education and Equity. He is a frequent speaker at state and regional conferences. David serves as mentor and coach to numerous professionals in all stages of their career.

Dr. Vicki Rubsult

Breakout Session: Grants & Grant Writing


Vicki joined the organization in 2010, and has more than 38 years’ experience in project and grants development and management in the fields of transportation, economic development, community planning, cancer research, primary care research, and healthcare. Vicki oversees community and regional economic activities and provides technical assistance for comprehensive planning, community development, writing and publication of the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), and infrastructure planning and development.  She has a Doctorate of Education/Educational and Transformative Leadership from the University of New England and a Masters’ in Public Administration from the University of Maine, and serves as the Co-President of the Maine Multicultural Center

Beth Bordowitz

Breakout Session:

Almost half of Maine’s private sector employees lack access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings program? To facilitate financial security in retirement, the legislature created MERIT – the Maine Retirement Investment Trust. This program aims to extend retirement savings opportunities to around 200,000 Mainers.

Employers with five or more employees are required to offer either MERIT or a qualified retirement savings plan.This session will  explain how MERIT works and how easy it is to participate.

Connie Berry

Breakout Session:

*Who are we and how we contract with the Maine Office of Tourism./Mission

*Discuss what and where all 7 of our visitor centers are.

*What our Travel Counselors do on a daily basis. 

*Membership benefits and opportunities.

*Average traffic numbers coming into centers…

*Services offered such as Maine Fishing licenses, Registrations….


Connie Berry was borned and raised in Aroostook County in St. John right outside of Fort Kent.  She is a graduate of Unity College in the Outdoor Recreation Leadership Program.  After graduation Connie began working in the social work field and stayed in that field for almost 20 years in different parts of the state.  Connie eventually joined the family business that her father, of Gene’s Electronics, started well over 50 years ago.  Connie did sales, marketing, events and managed the Bangor location.  Connie eventually followed her heart and moved into tourism and management for the Maine Tourism Association and is currently the Maine State Visitor Information Center Regional Partnership Manager Hampden North and South.  Connie lives in Winterport with her family, chickens, dogs and cats and enjoys crafting, gardening and simply playing in the woods! 

Chris Young

Breakout Session:

Workforce Development and COMPACT


Chris Young, joined the Harold Alfond Center for the Advancement of Maine’s Workforce in July 2023 and brings a wealth of experience and passion to his role, focusing on building essential workforce training skills for Maine’s hardworking individuals while connecting businesses with invaluable training opportunities at Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC).  Chris serves the Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock, and Waldo County regions.

Chris’s journey towards workforce development is underpinned by his diverse professional background. Before joining EMCC, he served as an Education Specialist at FAME, where he honed his skills in education and training. His academic foundation includes a B.A. in Political Science/Education from the University of Maine Orono. Prior to this, Chris spent an impressive 13 years as a high school teacher and administrator in rural Maine, imparting knowledge and guidance to students. He also dedicated six years as a Regional Facilitator for GEAR UP Maine, a federally funded education grant through the University of Maine Farmington, where he assisted rural and underserved students and families in their transition to post-secondary opportunities.

Jenn King

Breakout Session:

Training Resources from EMDC


Jennifer joined Eastern Maine Development Corporation in 2022.  As the Director of Planning & Development and native of the region, Jenn brings several years’ experience in Planning, Economic and Community Development, and Municipal Management.  She leads EMDC’s planning team in providing technical assistance for comprehensive planning, coastal and climate resiliency guiding municipalities and communities.  Jenn oversees the Regional Planning Commission for municipalities in Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties coordinating efforts and leveraging resources while providing Planning, Broadband, Climate Resilience and Municipal Apprenticeships. She also serves on the Board of Maine Association of Planners.

Charles Galemmo

Breakout Session:

Hospitality Workforce Development


Charles Galemmo has spent his working career in the hospitality industry. Starting in the dish room Charles has worked his way through the industry to line cook, Chef and general manager. He went on to do extensive consultant working assisting in the opening of over a dozen restaurants. As part of this consulting work, he spent 8 years with a national franchisor as a business consultant to franchisees at 48 locations in New England. His past 12 years were spent as a Culinary Arts instructor and department chair at York County Community College. Charles continued with the Maine Community College System in his current role as the Hospitality Workforce Coordinator with the Harold Alfond Center for the Advancement of Maine’s Workforce.

Rob LaBelle

Breakout Session:

Social Media Best Practices and SEO


Rob is the owner of Strategic Digital Marketing, based in Gardiner, ME and holds an MBA in Marketing from Husson University. Specializing in hospitality, SDM has helped hotels, resorts, tourism associations and businesses in many other industries improve their online presence and drive visitors to their website. Rob started his career at a digital marketing agency in Boston before coming home to Maine to become the marketing director at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport for five years. Rob has done work with many of the state tourism agencies and was awarded as a “Rising Star” by Hospitality Maine in 2019. 

Angie Arno

Breakout Session:

What is the Maine Highlands and How Does it Help My Business?

The Maine Highlands region encompasses Penobscot and Piscataquis counties in Maine; covering the Greater Bangor region, Katahdin Area, Lincoln Lakes region, Moosehead Lake region, Sebasticook Valley and Piscataquis River Valley region. In this class we will explore our new regional destination marketing website and how you can engage with The Maine Highlands through a partnership with your local Chamber of Commerce.  

James Macomber

Breakout Session:

Your Road Map for Your Business

Rather you are a start-up or existing business, your business plan is a key part of your business planning.  If you are a start-up it will be a key to you getting funding. If you are an existing business, your planning for growth, funding, new employees, expansion or new product your updated business plan will help you review all the details. 

We will discuss free business resources and tools. We will discuss different types of funding.


Business Advisor, HUD Housing Counselor & Financial Empowerment Coach. James has worked with us for nineteen plus years. Jim is responsible for providing technical assistance and business counseling to existing and start up microbusiness owners. Duties include instructing the business, home buyer Education, Financial Empowerment workshops and classes plus providing one-on-one technical assistance to start-ups, microenterprises and existing business. James is a past recipient of the SBA Home-based Business Champion Award for both Maine and New England. James has “real world” entrepreneurial experience as the business owner of a website design and maintenance company.

Breakfast and Lunch are included and donated by COMPACT~


Katahdin Sponsor:

Brookfield Renewable

Mt. Chase Sponsorship:

Katahdin Higher Education -UMA East Millinocket Center

Baxter Sponsor:

The Maine Highlands

Allagash Sponsors:

Dead River

Eastmill Federal Credit Union

FA Peabody

Ktaadn Resorts – Formerly New England Outdoor Center

Katahdin Federal Credit Union

Outer Reach Broadband

Ledge Falls Sponsor:

Piscataquis County Economic Development Council

Lunch Donor:


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