Municipal Human Resources & Management Conference

Municipal Human Resources & Management Conference

June 22, 2023 - University of Maine at Orono

Tight municipal budgets in Maine create increased challenges for municipal elected officials, managers, human resource directors, supervisors and department heads. As a result, municipalities are more concerned than ever about technology in the workplace; employee benefits; reducing costs of services and optimizing employee performance; recruitment and retention;  diversity, equity, and inclusion; and compliance, which are some of the topics discussed at this annual conference.


8:00 am: Registration/Continental Breakfast/Visit with Sponsors

8:45 am: Welcome
Catherine Conlow, Executive Director, Maine Municipal Association

Sophie Wilson, Town Manager, Town of Orono and Past President of Maine Municipal Association

9:00 am – 10:00 am: Keynote Presentation - Embracing a Culture of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging
Marwa Hassanien, MS, M.Ed., System Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Northern Light Health and Chairwoman of the Bangor School Committee, will focus on “Embracing a Culture of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging” in which she discusses the spaces in which identity, belonging, and inclusion are negotiated, the need for developing organizational objectives for DEI, and the importance of advancing DEI initiatives and moving from commitment to action. 
Presenter: Marwa Hassanien, MS, M.Ed., System Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Northern Light Health and Chairwoman, City of Bangor School Committee
MTCMA Certification – 1 point Human Resources and Leadership categories
About our Presenter:

Marwa grew up in Oklahoma before moving to the east coast with her husband. She, her husband, and their four children have called Bangor home since 2004. Marwa earned her master's degree in Education from the University of Maine and is now a doctoral student in the Literacy Education program. She also received certification in DEI from Yale and Cornell Universities. She is the System Director of DEI for Northern Light Health and volunteers as a Tutor Trainer for the Literacy Volunteers of Bangor. She currently serves on the Boards of the Good Shepherd Food Bank, Maine Multicultural Center, and the Auxiliary of the Penobscot Medical Society. She is also the Chairwoman of the Bangor School Committee, for which she is serving her second term. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, jogging, and taking boxing classes. 

10:00 am 10:00 am – 10:15 am:  Break/Visit with Sponsors

10:15 am – 11:15 am: Block 1
Considerations and Strategies for Employing People with Visual Impairments
This session is focused on providing information on best practices for employment of individuals with visual impairments. Attendees will learn about services available through the Maine Department of Labor for employers, learn about the major types of visual impairments, and learn about accommodations, supportive strategies and resources for retaining their employees.
Presenter: Sharisse Roberts, COMS, Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Maine Department of Labor

MTCMA Certification – 1 point Human Resources and Leadership categories

Common Wage and Hour Violations and How to Avoid Them: Key Compliance Tips for Public Sector Employers
Correctly calculating overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) regular rate principles and properly designating employees as exempt or non-exempt can, at times, be complicated.  The session will discuss these and other FLSA compliance topics, including a review of summer youth employment restrictions and how Maine’s labor laws interact with the FLSA.  The presentation will be followed by a Q&A period, and compliance assistance resources will be made available to attendees.
Presenters: Brian Cleasby, Community Outreach and Resource Planning Specialist, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor; and Scott Cotnoir, Director, Wage and Hour Division, Maine Department of Labor

MTCMA Certification – 1 point Finance/Budget and Human Resources categories

11:15 am – 11:30 am: Break/Visit with Sponsors

11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Block 2
Developing or Revamping Your Safety Program
This session will provide important foundational knowledge to help participants understand what a comprehensive safety program is, and the steps needed to implement one in their workplace. It will be ideal for any human resources professionals and managers looking to improve or develop a comprehensive safety plan. Participants will also gain familiarity with resources and toolkits to assist in the process.
Presenters: Dan Whittier, Loss Control Supervisor, and Jason Johnson, Loss Control Consultant, MMA Risk Management Services
MTCMA Certification – 1 point Finance/Budget and Human Resources categories

How to Conduct a Workplace Investigation
Workplace investigations can be one of the most challenging aspects of a supervisor’s job. Municipal and Employment Law attorney, Alyssa Tibbetts, will walk us through the process and provide advice and guidelines for handling these situations in the public sector appropriately and fairly.
Presenter: Alyssa Tibbetts, Attorney, and Paige Eggleston, Attorney, Jensen Baird

MTCMA Certification – 1 point Human Resources and Legal categories

12:30 – 1:30 pm: Lunch/ Networking

1:30 – 1:45 pm: Dessert, Coffee and Visit with Sponsors

1:45 – 2:45 pm: Block 3
De-Escalation: Conflict Resolution in the Workplace
De-Escalation is a crucial skill for a wide range of positions across many job sectors, as it helps to reduce productivity loss and create a positive work environment. This session will focus on the key concepts and techniques of conflict resolution, including recognizing and controlling aggressive behavior, using crisis intervention techniques and effective communication in conjunction with an understanding of attitudes, emotions, and behavior.
Presenter: Abbe Chabot, Instructor, Dirigo RMS Risk Management Solutions
MTCMA Certification – 1 point Human Resources and Leadership categories

You’re Hiring a New Employee – Now What?: What a Successful Municipal Onboarding Process Looks Like
In this session, you’ll learn: the difference between orientation and onboarding; why job descriptions are important; how to manage probationary periods; tips to keep track of everything; and consider the questions, “whose responsibility is it anyway?” and “when does it end?”.
Presenter: Betsy Oulton, Founder & President, HR Maine Consulting

MTCMA Certification – 1 point Human Resources and Leadership categories

2:45 – 3:00 pm: Break/Visit with Sponsors

3:00 – 4:00 pm: Block 4
Making Municipal Jobs Accessible and Appealing to a New Generation of Workers
In this panel discussion, participants will hear from practitioners who will share perspectives and best practices to make municipal jobs and careers in Maine more accessible and attractive to early-career professionals and members of marginalized populations. We'll explore strategies for modernizing employment practices and recruitment efforts to better engage and retain employees from these backgrounds. This informative discussion will help participants gain practical insights on how to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce in their own community and leave them with actionable steps for creating positive change.
Panelists: Nate Rudy, Town Manager, Town of Gray; Mouhamadou Diagne, Associate Vice President for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Saint Joseph’s College; John Kenneally, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Saint Joseph’s College; Melissa Hue, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, City of Lewiston; Yanina Nickless, Special Projects Manager and HR Administrator, Town of Kennebunkport
MTCMA Certification – 1 point Ethics, Human Resources and Leadership categories

Mental Health – An Introduction

This session will discuss how mental health impacts all of us and how mental health challenges can be recognized and responded to in your home, community, and workplace.
Presenter: Abby DiPasquale, MPH, MCHES, Health Promotion Coordinator, Maine Municipal Employees Health Trust
MTCMA Certification – 1 point Human Resources and Leadership categories


2023 Supporters