Institute for Family-Owned Business | Leading into the next phase: How Maine leaders are navigating ongoing shifts in workplace trends and supporting equality for employees


Institute for Family-Owned Business | Leading into the next phase: How Maine leaders are navigating ongoing shifts in workplace trends and supporting equality for employees

DATE: 16 NOV 2022
TIME: 4:00 - 6:00 PM
LOCATION: Bernstein Shur – Conference Room 5 IB + Zoom option
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If you missed this event, or want a copy of the presentation, you can access it through the link HERE.

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Join the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) for a panel discussion with Maine business leaders on leading employees through an unprecedented pandemic and how they are navigating the ongoing shifts in workplace trends. With new phrases like “The Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting,” today’s leaders are focused on how to retain talent by encouraging and inspiring engagement, morale, productivity, and equality—a topic of especially pressing concern given the negative impacts from the pandemic on people within gender differences and across other demographics.

We’ll discuss the unique challenges facing businesses and employees today, including how the ongoing shifts in workplace trends are impacting work-life blend, equality, and dynamics among employees, especially across demographics and within gender differences, and how the panelists are navigating into the new “normal.” Panelists will speak to the strategies they have implemented to support employees while steering their company towards a successful future, and will open up the conversation to the audience on common challenges and triumphs encountered throughout the pandemic.

This conversation follows a successful 2020 panel discussion program on how the pandemic impacted the gender gap. We’ll share light snacks and beverages for those in person.


Colleen McCracken – CLMC, LLC
Colleen McCracken is a Strategic Business Advisor with over thirty-five years of successful business and senior leadership experience. Colleen has held numerous positions in Finance, Operations and senior leadership throughout her career with large multi-national companies including WR Grace and G.H. Bass as well as several family businesses here in Maine. Colleen was the CEO and CFO for Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers, as well as the CEO for Planet Dog. In 2018, Colleen led the successful sale of Planet Dog. Colleen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Bentley University and an Executive MBA from Boston University. Colleen also currently serves as the Chair of Junior Achievement of Maine.


Erin Clymer Lessard –  Chief Strategy Officer and Principal Consultant, Lapin International

Erin is an executive coach and business consultant who builds leadership capacity through authentic self-discovery and enables cultural change through leadership and team development. She has coached clients on three continents and consulted in some of the US’s largest multi-nationals in industries as diverse as Financial Services, Hospitality, Materials Science, and Startups.

She is the author of Decision Flow: The Authentic Leader’s Guide to Making the Right Decision When the Stakes are High. Erin is a Professional Certified Coach (International Coaching Federation) as well as a Certified Professional Co-active coach (CPCC) and is a certified coach and facilitator for Lead by Greatness, StrengthsFinder and DiSC. Erin holds an MBA from Duquesne University. Erin loves the outdoors and can often be found enjoying all of the seasons where she lives and plays in southern Maine.

Sarah Halpin CFP®  – Partner, Back Cove Financial
Sarah is skilled at cutting through complexity and helping people effect change in their financial lives. She arrived in the USA over 30 years ago with under $200 in her pocket and her journey to becoming a wealth advisor has had its share of challenges. Sarah has had a 20+ year career at large investment firms and she is now a Partner and family business member at Back Cove Financial.  Back Cove Financial is an independent financial planning and wealth management company in Falmouth. Back Cove Financial manages investment assets over $500 million and provides wealth and retirement plan consulting services.

Sarah has served at the CFP Board Ambassador for Maine and is a sought-after speaker due to her wealth of knowledge and “down to earth” approach to money. Sarah is appointed by the Governor to the Chair of the Advisory Board for New Ventures Maine, which provides tuition free training for Mainers starting small businesses and achieving career and financial goals.  Sarah is a two time full Ironman finisher and avid cyclist.

Kevan Lee Deckelmann – Shareholder, Bernstein Shur

Kevan is a nationally-ranked strategic legal advisor and negotiator, shareholder, and member of the Board of Directors at Bernstein Shur, a New England-based law firm with 125+ award-winning attorneys and professionals who advise clients across the U.S. and around the world. Kevan co-chairs the Corporate Governance and Mergers & Acquisitions practice groups and leads the Media & Marketing practice. Her special expertise with limited liability companies earned her a place on the Maine Bar Association committee charged with revising Maine’s LLC statute, which focuses on freedom of contract.

Through her positions of leadership at Bernstein Shur, Kevan believes in furthering the firm’s culture of being progressive while paying attention to work-life balance. She co-led the initiative at Bernstein Shur to implement a 16-week paid parental leave policy to all full-time employees, associates, and shareholders. In her own time, Kevan is an advocate for cardiovascular disease prevention in women and volunteers with the Maine American Heart Association chapter as a member of the Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Team. Kevan is a graduate of Bowdoin College (B.A.) and graduated cum laude from University of Maine School of Law (J.D.)

Dayton Benway – Managing Partner, Baker Newman Noyes

Dayton provides leadership to the firm as the managing principal and director of the healthcare advisory group. Dayton joined Baker Newman Noyes (BNN) in 2000 as a staff member in the healthcare consulting practice. Throughout his career at the firm he has led business development efforts to grow the practice into one of the premier healthcare advisory groups in the Northeast.

Dayton earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Southern Maine. He is also is an alumnus of the Institute for Civic Leadership, Maine. The Institute enhances Greater Portland’s civic capacity by training and supporting a network of skilled leaders, building cross-sector relationships and providing ongoing resources and facilitative leadership.


For more information, contact Catherine Wygant Fossett at: or 207.798.2667

Register HERE.