Maine magazine is partnering with Maine Development Foundation to present a series of panel discussions around the state on how to practice inclusivity in the workplace. The moderated panels will provide attendees with key takeaways on how to approach these topics in their own businesses, and encourage business leaders to continue these discussions well beyond the end of each session. The first session, New Mainers in the Workplace, was held at the Portland of Museum of Art in September.

Recent session: Gender in the Workplace

Join us on January 23 at the Portland Museum of Art as we hear from a panel of experts and learn about the issues related to gender in the workplace. 

Thursday January 23 // Portland Museum of Art
Arrival + Coffee 12:00 p.m.–12:20 p.m.
Panel Discussion 12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m.
Lunch 1:30 p.m.

Meet the Panelists

Reza Jalali | Moderator | Special Advisor to President on Diversity, the University of Southern Maine

Reza Jalali is a writer, educator, and community activist who has taught at the Bangor Theological Seminary and the University of Southern Maine. Reza, a former refugee from Iran, was recognized as one of the distinguished immigrants in Making it in America: A Sourcebook on Eminent Ethnic Americans and, in 2016, was named to Maine magazine’s annual list of 50 Mainers. His children’s book, Moon Watchers, received a Skipping Stones Honor Award for Multicultural Book. He has been a storyteller on National Public Radio’s The Moth Radio Hour, and is the special advisor on diversity and community affairs to the president at University of Southern Maine.

Shane Diamond | Communications Director at EqualityMaine

Shane Diamond is the communications director at EqualityMaine, Maine’s largest LGBTQ+ education and advocacy organization. Prior to that, he spent eight years as the founder and executive director of Speak About It, a Portland nonprofit that offers theater-based consent education and sexual assault prevention for high school and college students across the country. Originally from New Mexico, Shane moved to Maine to play women’s ice hockey at Bowdoin College and is thrilled to have planted roots here afterward. He lives in Portland with his pup, Harvey, and when he’s not creating graphics for the EQME Instagram, Shane enjoys delicious food, strong coffee, good-looking pants, and a well-timed joke.

Shana Cook Mueller | Senior Shareholder at Bernstein Shur

Shana Cook Mueller is a senior shareholder in the Municipal and Governmental Services Practice Group at Bernstein Shur. Her practice is focused on economic development and tax increment financing, public finance, and general municipal law. Shana is AV-Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell and holds the highest peer review rating in the areas of municipal law, public finance and zoning, planning, and land use. Shana is also the co-chair of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion committee, a ten-year old program designed to foster and encourage diversity, respect, and collegiality at Bernstein Shur. Finally, she is a former elite ultimate frisbee player, a current parent of two elementary school–aged daughters, and she serves on the board of the Multiracial Adoptive Families Collaborative.

Amy Sneirson | Executive Director at the Maine Human Rights Commission

Amy Sneirson has been the Maine Human Rights Commission’s executive director since late 2011. Prior to that, Amy practiced law with a focus on employment, education, and civil rights issues in private firm, nonprofit agency, and state attorney general settings in both Maine and Missouri. Originally from Massachusetts, Amy received her undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester in New York and her law degree from the School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis.

Margo Peffer| Vice President of Human Resources at Hannaford

Margo Peffer began her career as a retail associate at Hannaford Supermarkets nearly 20 years ago. Today she serves as the company’s vice president of human resources and is responsible for advancing strategies to impact leadership development, associate engagement, diversity and inclusion, internal communications, and progressive policies for the company’s 26,000 associates. Margo directed the work stream that introduced an industry-leading parental leave policy in 2019. She is a contributing member of multiple global committees focused on diversity and inclusion, and purpose-driven leadership at Ahold Delhaize, Hannaford’s Netherlands-based parent company. She is a former board member of EqualityMaine.

Mufalo Chitam | Executive Director of Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition

At an early age Mufalo Chitam was taught by her father and mother to value and uphold faith, family, education, and humanity. After receiving her BA in public administration from the University of Zambia, Mufalo worked for Child Fund International, an American-based nonprofit organization in the outskirts of Lusaka that provides health, educational, and nutritional support for about 500 families with children ranging from ages 2–18 years old. Since coming to America in 2000, Mufalo has worked for the University of Southern Maine, United Way of Greater Portland, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Kidney Foundation, Easterseals Maine, American Red Cross, and Granite Bay Care. She is the new executive director of the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition. A member of Emmanuel Assemblies of God Church, Mufalo and her husband live in South Portland, and they have a daughter who is studying at American University in Washington, D.C.

This event wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our sponsors

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