2023 Speakers, Moderators & Guests
Karen Carberry-Warhola – Maine Film Office
Karen Carberry Warhola, director of the Maine Film Office, has more than twenty years of hands-on production experience in the film and television industry. Starting her career as a camera operator at MPBN-TV, Carberry Warhola worked as a freelancer at Buena Vista, a division of The Walt Disney Company, before joining their staff for a ten-year run at the Burbank, CA, studio. She returned to the studio lot to manage Touchstone Television’s Prime Time Awards and their Emmy Awards campaign. Carberry Warhola holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Maine at Orono, where she studied Film & TV Production and earned membership in both Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha honor societies and was recognized for her achievements as a Presidential Achievement Pin recipient.
Ian Bannon – Mayo Street Arts
Ian Bannon is the Executive Director of Mayo Street Arts in Portland. A Pennsylvanian native, he moved to Maine in 2001 to attend the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, fell in love with the place, and never left. Ian has performed and taught puppetry in all sixteen counties—and beyond!—as a member of Freeport-based Figures of Speech Theatre, since 2005. His current community-based artistic endeavors focus on using TimeSlips Creative Storytelling to foster intergenerational creative exchanges between students and residents of nearby retirement communities.
Stephanie Clement – Friends of Acadia
Stephanie Clement oversees Friends of Acadia’s programs team, with primary responsibility for advocacy, transportation, and resource management issues. She serves as contact person for policy initiatives and staffs FOA’s Acadia Experience Task Force, Wild Acadia Committee, Wild Gardens Committee, and Advocacy Committee. She serves on FOA’s Management Team, as well as the boards of directors for the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, Island Connections, and Downeast Transportation, the operator of the Island Explorer bus system. She graduated from Colby College with a B.A. in Biology/Environmental Studies, and from the University of Vermont with an M.S. in Natural Resources Planning.
Kate Dickerson - Maine Discovery Museum
Kate Dickerson is the Executive Director of the Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor. Prior to that, Dickerson founded and ran the Maine Science Festival, sheparding it from 2.5 days to a five day event, becoming the largest program of the Maine Discovery Museum. Dickerson's work before public science engagement was centered on the energy and environmental field for more than 20 years.
Derek Fassett – HospitalityMaine
Currently with HospitalityMaine developing a statewide, registered apprenticeship, workforce and labor pipeline framework for HospitalityMaine members.
Kathryn Ference – Maine Tourism Association
Kathryn Ference is a seasoned professional with nearly a decade of experience in HR management, talent acquisition, and workforce development. After earning a bachelor's degree in International Affairs from George Washington University, Kathryn worked in employee management in Colorado before settling in Maine in 2017, where she worked at Bonney Staffing Center in talent acquisition. She currently serves as the Director of Workforce Development for the Maine Tourism Association, where she collaborates with nearly 1600 businesses to address workforce shortages and seasonal recruitment issues. Kathryn's responsibilities include supporting local recruiting initiatives and inspiring young people to join the state's dynamic tourism and hospitality industry. Recently, she has been leading a grant initiative through the Department of Labor to encourage and assist the next generation of industry professionals. Kathryn's expertise and creativity have made a significant impact on the tourism industry in Maine, helping to support its growth and sustainability.
Myha Gallagher – Destination Analysts
As Destination Analysts’ Vice President of Research, Myha thoughtfully designs and manages the implementation of Destination Analysts’ suite of research services. With nearly a decade of experience deeply analyzing quantitative and qualitative data on leisure travelers, meeting planners, DMO stakeholders and tour operators, she is incredibly effective at distilling actionable insights and marketing intelligence that support our clients’ missions.
Enock Glidden – Maine Trail Finder
Enock resides in Bethel Maine, and is an avid skier, rock climber, and hiker and participates in many other sports. These sports include tennis, basketball, paragliding, and skydiving. Through an internship related to his studies in computer science, he was able to travel across the United States and visit some of our most cherished outdoor spaces including many national parks. He culminated his internship experience in California with a 5-day ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.
He is now on a mission to get people of all abilities outdoors in the state of Maine. Through his work with Maine Trail Finder, he is showcasing all of the amazing outdoor spaces available to people while also helping to improve access.
Rachael Hailey – DEI Outdoors
Rachel is the Owner/Transformationalist at DEI Outdoors, a firm which deals directly with the outdoor industry to foster DEI in organizations. Her main objective is to transform the outdoors into a diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible space. Rachel is committed to creating an industry where anyone can experience, thrive, and lead in the out of doors, and has a focus on underserved and underrepresented communities. She has served and inspired over 100 organizations in the creation of actionable systems aligned with creating diversity, equity, and inclusion in outdoor spaces. She is a speaker, published author, and frequent contributor for industry publications like Adventure Park Insider and Ski Area Magazine. Outside of her endeavor to bridge the gap between racial and ethnic diversity in the outdoors and social justice, Rachel can be found seeking magical creatures in the woods with her daughter and German Shepherd.
Dr. Marie Hansen – Husson University
Dr. Marie Hansen is the Dean of the College of Business at Husson University where she has worked since 2003. She has created a variety of education programs and workforce training options. Further, she has researched, consulted, and presented in Maine and nationally in the areas of leadership, law, emotional intelligence, and performance management. Dr. Hansen holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maine; a JD from the University of Maine School of Law; and a Ph.D in Organizational Leadership from The Chicago School for Professional Psychology. She is a Certified Executive, Group, and Mindfulness Coach; a Senior Certified Professional through SHRM; a member of the Board of Trustees at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy; the Vice Chair for the Board of Trustees at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; on the Board of Corporators for Bangor Savings Bank; and a volunteer with the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute.
Heather Johnson – Maine Department of Economic & Community Development
Heather Johnson grew up in Skowhegan and graduated from the University of Maine. She began her career by building a diverse background in the private technology sector including sales, operations and general management roles at Nokia, Gateway and Toshiba. With continually expanding roles she created startup operations inside large companies, developed new products for new markets, and ran a $1.2 billion retail business.
After leaving the private sector, Heather had the opportunity to concentrate on rural economic development at Somerset Economic Development Corporation. During her time as the Executive Director she focused on key economic drivers such as; connectivity, workforce participation, and potential growth markets. While serving as the Director of ConnectME Heather was responsible for managing a small grant program, mapping key assets, working with communities and businesses to help them identify needs and opportunities to utilize connectivity to enable their goals. Heather was able to able to make changes that positions the ConnectME to move forward into the connectivity space.
As Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development Heather continues to dedicate her career to fostering economic development, both in private companies and in rural communities across Maine.
Rauni Kew – Inn by the Sea
Rauni Kew has been working in hospitality for over two decades, and is the Green Program Manager at Maine’s Inn by the Sea, supporting the luxury resort’s initiatives around sustainability.
She served on the board of Visit Portland for 13 years, and later chaired the DMO, also serving on Maine’s Tourism Commission and as the Greater Portland’s Regional Representative at the Maine Office of Tourism.
Inn by the Sea has achieved a LEED ® Silver certification and is a member of Beyond Green, a highly curated collection of hotels and resorts with sustainable operations around the Globe.
Hope Kohtala – Efficiency Maine
Hope Kohtala is a program assistant at Efficiency Maine, the independent, quasi-state agency established to plan and implement energy efficiency programs in Maine. Through its suite of nationally recognized programs, the agency provides consumer information, marketing support, demonstration pilots, discounts, rebates, loans, and other initiatives to promote high-efficiency equipment and operations that help Maine’s homes, businesses, and institutions reduce their energy costs and lower their greenhouse gas emissions.
Hope joined Efficiency Maine in 2022 and currently works on projects related to electric vehicles and initiatives that support low-income Mainers.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism from the University of Maine and a Master of Science in Environmental and Business Management from Bangor University in Wales, U.K.
Abbe Levin – Maine Office of Tourism
Abbe Levin is a cultural development consultant. She works with a wide range of organizations to assist with the preservation, development, and marketing plans for cultural resources and assets. Current clients include the Maine Office of Tourism and the Maine State Library. Abbe serves on the Abbe Museum Board of Directors, the Maine Downtown Center Advisory Council, and the Cultural Alliance of Maine Steering Committee. In addition, she serves as a volunteer mentor with the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute and is a member of the Phi Class of Leadership Maine.
Nicolle Littrell - DoryWoman Rowing
Nicolle Littrell is an open water rower, licensed Maine Guide and the owner/operator of DoryWoman Rowing in Belfast, Maine. In this one-of-a-kind service, Nicolle offers rowing lessons, guided tours, workout and specialty rows in her traditional-style wooden dory in Belfast Bay, year-round. Nicolle is also a filmmaker, photographer and content creator. She lives in Belfast.
Steve Lyons – Maine Office of Tourism
Steve has been with the Maine Office of Tourism for more than 20 years, being named Director in July 2017. He is responsible for overall operations of the Maine Office of Tourism, having moved into this position following nine years as Director of Marketing. In that capacity, he played a critical role in developing a tourism marketing strategy for the state of Maine. In 2018, he led the development of the Maine Office of Tourism’s Five-Year Strategic Plan.
Throughout his tenure at the Office of Tourism, Steve managed the division’s marketing research, tourism marketing campaigns, web site development, group tour marketing, fulfillment operations and contracts for visitor information centers, publications and PR.
Steve is an At-Large member of the U.S. Travel Association Board of Directors, serves on the Board of Directors for Discover New England, a regional international marketing collaborative; and represents the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development on the Board of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which operates the Amtrak service between Boston and Maine.
Steve was born in Vermont where he earned a BS in Marketing from Castleton State College. He began his tourism marketing career at Stowe Ski Resort in Vermont. Following 5 years at Stowe, he worked in hospitality positions in Glacier National Park and Portland, Oregon before returning to New England where he held positions as Director of Marketing at Mt. Cranmore Ski Resort in New Hampshire, and Public Information Specialist at the Vermont Department of Tourism.
In his spare time you can often find Steve day-hiking, paddling, snowshoeing or skiing somewhere in Maine.
Seleni Matus - International Institute of Tourism Studies at the George Washington University
Seleni Matus is the Executive Director of the International Institute of Tourism Studies at the George Washington University. Seleni works in close collaboration with governments and private sector in tourism destinations throughout the Americas to develop and implement sustainable management plans, programs, and standards that have enhanced the quality of tourism offerings and helped to ensure the long-term health of natural ecosystems.
Seleni also supports Indigenous communities to plan for tourism and to develop tourism products and experiences. She has worked with Maya and Garifuna communities in Belize, Mexico and Honduras as well as Carib and Arawak communities in Suriname, and tribal nations in The Dakotas and Maine to organize regional alliances for tourism development. She has also helped to establish the Indigenous Tourism Collaborative of the Americas that facilitates ongoing dialogue and exchange among Indigenous tourism leaders and industry champions.
A native of Belize, Seleni served as the country’s Director of Tourism and oversaw the reorganization of the Belize Tourism Board to meet the demands of a fiercely competitive global marketplace. She’s coauthored several publications including, Linking Communities, Tourism & Conservation: A Tourism Assessment Process; and, Indigenous People and the Travel Industry: Practical Global Guidelines to Good Practice.
Jesse Moriarity - Heart of Maine United Way
Jesse Moriarity is the Chief Operating & Experience Officer at the Heart of Maine United Way and has been with the organization for over six years now. Her responsibilities include daily operations for the organization, as well as the donor experience. Prior to United Way, Jesse worked for the University of Maine running their incubator programs and helping entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground. Jesse is an Innovation Engineering Black Belt, a member of the Bangor Rotary and Treasurer of its Board, and a founding member of Story Slam Bangor. When not at work she enjoys running, working out, skiing both downhill and cross country, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family including her husband and three sons.
Deb Neuman – Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce
Deb Neuman has served as President and CEO of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce since 2016. She previously served as Deputy Commissioner for Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development, as Director of the Upstart Center at the University of Maine, and as a SBA lender with Eastern Maine Development Corporation.
In 2019, Deb was recognized as the Chamber Director of the Year by the Maine State Chamber. Volunteer of the Year for Champion the Cure Challenge and was the Juliette Award recipient from the Girl Scouts of Maine.
In addition to being a former business owner in Bar Harbor, Deb has advocated on behalf of Maine's businesses through her work in media. She produced and hosted the “Back to Business” radio show for 10 years on WVOM and in 2022 launched a social channel, “My Maine Gardens” with a weekly segment on WABI TV5.
Carolann Ouellette – Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation
In 2018 Carolann returned to the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development to serve as the first Director of the newly created Office of Outdoor Recreation. Her prior role at DECD was as Director of the Maine Office of Tourism from 2010-2016. A graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, she has a strong background in hospitality and outdoor recreation including resort management and chef/owner of an award-winning restaurant. In 2015, she was named by Maine Magazine as one of “50 Mainers Boldly Leading Our State.” Carolann currently serves in board or advisory member capacity on the Maine Sports Commission, Maine Gear Share, Maine Trails Coalition, USM Muskie School of Public Service, UMaine Outdoor Leadership Program and Skowhegan Savings Bank. She is a ski, snowmobile, snowshoe, hike and paddle enthusiast, working on her fishing and hunting skills, and loves the exploration and discovery of travel.
Kim Palmer – Miles Partnership
Kim manages the Destination Optimization Program team at Miles and has helped guide the development and industry awareness for this program since its launch in 2017. These efforts have helped empower Destination Marketing Organizations and travel industry businesses to update and enrich content through Google and other major travel planning platforms to improve the discoverability of their communities. Previously she has been the company’s Director of SEO, the Director of Digital Marketing for the Hospitality division and launched some of the industry’s first destination marketing websites in the late 90’s
Alice Pierce – Ogunquit Chamber
Pearce joined the Ogunquit Chamber in 2019, bringing with her 35+ years of experience in travel and tourism marketing and advocacy for a variety of hospitality businesses in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Most of her efforts were devoted to helping grow and market the New Hampshire ski industry; she worked with dozens of ski areas to develop and manage Ski NH, that state's first statewide trade association. She's also headed other nonprofits, including NH Made and Granite State Ambassadors, and worked with restaurant, hotel, and outdoor recreation clients at Cone Communications in Boston. After all her years of promoting mountain vacations, she's thrilled to be promoting oceanside vacations in the beautiful and unique community of Ogunquit. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor sports, travel, music, and politics.
Molly Siegel – Efficiency Maine
The Efficiency Maine Trust is the administrator for programs to improve the efficiency of energy use and reduce greenhouse gases in Maine. The Trust serves all sectors and all regions of the state. Its suite of nationally recognized programs provides consumer information, discounts, rebates, loans and investments for high-efficiency, clean energy equipment and strategies to manage energy demand. The Trust is a quasi-state agency governed by a Board of Trustees with oversight from the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Molly Siegel is the program manager for EV Initiatives at Efficiency Maine.
Stephen "Shed" Shedletzky – The Optimism Company From Simon Sinek
Stephen Shedletzky—or “Shed” to his friends—helps leaders listen and nurture the voice of others. He supports humble leaders that put their people and purpose first, all while knowing they are both a part of the problems they experience and part of the solutions they seek to create.
A sought-after speaker, coach, and advisor, Shed has led hundreds of keynote presentations, workshops, and leadership development programs around the world. As a thought-leader on psychological safety in the workplace, he works with leaders in all industries where human beings work. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Speak-Up Culture: When Leaders Truly Listen, People Step up (Page Two, 2023).
After years on a corporate track, Shed was introduced to Simon Sinek and inspired by his work. Soon after their meeting, Shed joined Simon’s team. For more than a decade, Shed has contributed to Simon Sinek, Inc., where as Chief of Staff, Head of Brand Experience, and Head of Training & Development, he has led a global team of speakers and facilitators. Shed continues to speak and facilitate with Simon Sinek, Inc., helping to create a more inspired, safe, and fulfilled world.
Shed graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business with a focus on leadership, communication, and strategy. He received his coaching certification from The Co-Active Training Institute. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two young children.
Topaz Smith – World Economic Fund
Topaz Smith is a cultural and business expert with a background in tourism and policy. She previously worked at a Leading Hotel of the World in Positano (Amalfi Coast), Italy, worked in the U.S. Peace Corps, and managed contracts at the United Nations. She launched EN-NOBLE a travel startup to serve travelers frustrated by underwhelming mass market tourism options, looking for travel experiences that your typical traveler drives past on a tour bus. Topaz previously worked at The Roux Institute in Portland, Maine, supporting underrepresented founders. She is currently leading strategy for the Aviation, Travel and Tourism department at the World Economic Forum
Jaime Sweeting– Planeterra
Jamie Sweeting is the President of Planeterra Foundation and Vice President for Social Enterprise & Responsible Travel for G Adventures, where he leads the company’s social enterprise, stewardship and community development work. He is responsible for establishing the company’s long-term social enterprise strategy and working to ensure responsible corporate sustainability performance.
Previously, Sweeting served as Vice President for Environmental Stewardship and Global Chief Environmental Officer for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. where he guided their work to conserve and protect the environment.
Sweeting has over 30 years of experience in tourism, conservation, development and business management. Prior to working with Royal Caribbean Cruises, he served as senior business advisor and senior director of the Travel and Leisure program for Conservation International’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business.
Sweeting received a Master of Tourism Administration from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a B.A. honors in Leisure and Business Management from Manchester University in England.
Lynn Tillotson – Visit Portland Maine
A native of Maine, Lynn started her hospitality career in Florida in 1988 at the Orlando World Center Marriott, a 2,010-room, 450,000-square-foot convention center property. She spent 14 years working directly with event planners in the meetings industry, managing conferences from 500 – 5,000 people.
In 2002, she returned home to Maine, and it was then that she joined Visit Portland (formerly the Convention & Visitors Bureau). Lynn was promoted to President + CEO of Visit Portland in 2013 after working 11 years in various organizational roles, including Director of Tourism Marketing.
She holds board positions with The Maine Tourism Association, Portland Community Chamber of Commerce, Cruise Portland Maine, and USM Hospitality Advisory Board. She is also the regional representative for the Maine Office of Tourism’s Regional Advisory Committee.