Making waves: Meet the Portland Global Shapers
Alyssa has roots in Saco, where she graduated from Thornton Academy before attending Connecticut College to take advantage of a liberal arts study while pursuing a degree in Secondary Music Education. After graduating and returning to Maine she found it difficult to find a teaching job, so her career quickly moved toward business and hospitality while working with her mentor Kim Swan. She is currently a broker with The Swan Agency Sotheby’s International Realty, focusing on both Greater Portland residential transactions and statewide Inn/B&B commercial brokerage. In addition to her work in real estate, Alyssa serves as Operations Manager for the Swan Hospitality Group, overseeing boutique hotels in Portland, Rockland, and Manchester, allowing her to spend time traveling all over the beautiful state of Maine. She balances her weeks out with a good dose of yoga, reading, and time with friends and family.
Meg directs programming for Maine Campus Compact and presently works with over 30 higher education institutions in the New England area overseeing environmental stewardship programs, civic engagement efforts and faculty/student professional development. Meg also takes on freelance work overseeing operations, special projects and product & business development, basically making local companies and nonprofits even more awesome. Before Maine, Meg wandered the country trying to find her sense of place. She uncovered her passion for foraging, dramatic landscapes and storytelling while on the Lummi reservation in Washington. There, she helped to establish the Institute of Indigenous Foods & Traditions at Northwest Indian College and worked with 26 tribes in an effort to revitalize native food systems and strengthen community resilience. Meg has lived in Portland for over 3 years and is much saltier now, but still holds an affinity for nature and silliness. She oscillates between bouncing around Portland with a pocketful of ideas and self-effacing monologues and solitude in the woods, playing with plants and sleeping in hammocks.
Hub Vice Curator
Chanel is a millennial. What does that mean exactly? She's not 100% certain, but she knows what it means to her. Being a millennial, especially in one of the country's oldest states, means that she is passionate about the work she engages in. She prefers the smarter not harder routes to solving problems, and likes to think big and start small. Chanel is most passionate about three things: education, equity, and community, and these three passions tend to show up in her work. As a Program Coordinator for Educate Maine's Project>Login initiative, Chanel works with students, educators, businesses, and other community members to provide learning opportunities that extend beyond the classrooms particularly for computing and Information Technology fields for all students. As a community member, she provides opportunities for people to gather and discuss and learn about topics such as equity, inclusion, race, sex and gender, climate change, etc. Her initiative, A Seat at the Table, is a partnership with Treehouse Institute that seeks to bridge the gaps in our community by promoting "radical listening" as a way to build and strengthen empathy, compassion, understanding and action to make our communities more equitable and inclusive. Outside of work and community engagement, she enjoys photography and hiking. For Chanel, nothing is better than a great walk in the woods with her DSLR. Chanel loves living in the Greater Portland area, and is committed to its growth.
Hub Director of Communications
Emma is a digital strategy consultant for political campaigns and nonprofits. Born in Maine, she attended McGill University in Montreal and post-college moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. After moving back to Maine, Emma has reconnected with the community she loves here, both in her hometown of Springvale, her adopted home of Long Island, and now in Portland. Emma's passion lies in using digital tools to foster civic engagement. She's an advocate for open government and open data practices and, in her free time, likes learning about digital mapmaking, programming, UX design, and automation. Emma's also an avid outdoor adventurer. She spent a summer working on the Appalachian Trail and now enjoys canoeing, kayaking, hiking, biking, tree and plant identification, and learning random survival skills. She's also an active home cook and woodworker who seems to have developed a large collection of knives. Emma would probably fare well in an apocalypse scenario.
Hub Director of Development
Nathan grew up in Portland, ME (Casco Bay High School Class of 2010) and is a 2014 graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, ME, where he majored in Politics and minored in Chinese Language & Culture. He currently works as a Business Account Manager at Wayfair in Brunswick, Maine. His personal passions are playing rugby, manning the smoker to make BBQ for family and friends and enjoying all that Portland has to offer. At Casco Bay High School He learned that perseverance, teamwork and laughter can change the world. He believes that as Global Shapers we are working together to be and embody the change we want to see (and smiling while we do it).
Kate’s endeavors with start-ups and small businesses have taken her from Italy, where she lived for six years, to England to Portland. Her work with the Women’s Business Center at CEI includes the development of a comprehensive program of services designed to support and advance women entrepreneurs looking to start, grow or finance a business. Kate is a member of the Maine Start-up & Create Week Executive Committee, and actively involved in a number of collaborative initiatives to help foster growth, opportunity and community in Maine. She enjoys fishing, travel, and all things Italian. Kate earned a B.A. in International Business and Political Science from John Cabot University in Rome, Italy.
Kristina is a food justice advocate, yoga teacher, book lover, and tea enthusiast. She is passionate about building community and fostering meaningful relationships between people, food, and the land. She earned BAs in Anthropology, Sociology, and International Studies from Elmira College and a MA in International Development and Social Change from Clark University. After graduate school, she moved to the island of Nantucket. There she grew organic produce, created value-added products from wild harvested goods, and worked as an artisan chocolatier. She came to Portland in January of 2017 and is currently spending her time serving the Somali Bantu Community Association of Lewiston/Auburn by assisting with their farming program.
Chomba comes from Zambia and has a very strong background in community and youth empowerment. He is a Resilience Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, and Success Coach. He has taught in American colleges and recently co-founded Success Zone Integration, an organization that provides professional success coaching as well as social and cultural integration services. He is also an experienced international traveller with experience working with communities and youth in Latin America and Zambia. His work is recognized by many organizations including the Rotary International where he is named a Paul Harris Fellow. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Bates College and Master of Arts in Conflict Transformation from SIT Graduate Institute. He is currently an Optimist (Lead Playmaker) at Life Is Good Kid’s Foundation in Boston and Haiti. When not working on projects, Chomba loves hiking, snowboarding, sailing, biking, playing soccer and basketball.
Nick is a freelance consultant with a background in sociology and urbanism, and a passion for building community around DIY city-making and "civic hacking”. He enjoys connecting people and telling stories through writing and radio. He helped start the monthly "Civic Makers' Night" out of Mechanic's Library in Portland, and hosts a community radio show about music and cities on WMPG.
Anna grew up in Maine, and after living abroad and telling everyone how wonderful Portland is, took her own advice and moved back in 2014. Anna has worked on anti-corruption policy with Transparency International in Slovakia, researched South Asian politics with the Chatham House think tank in London, and has written about land reform and power-sharing in Tajikistan for several publications. She has a BA in political science from Yale, and a Masters in Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics. In Portland, Anna has worked on refugee resettlement, and currently is the Program Director for Maine Citizens for Clean Elections. In 2016, Anna ran for the Maine House of Representatives. When she is not working on politics and social justice, she enjoys figure skating, swimming in the ocean, and trying to learn old-time fiddle.
Olivier has a B.S. in Economics and is interested in entrepreneurship and social inclusion. He worked for private sector in Burundi. His focus here in Maine is to study and help African community here integrate more through opportunities.
Rachel grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, outside of Washington, DC, but has lived in Portland, Maine for the last five years. She first came to Maine in 2008 to attend Bowdoin College and has never looked back. After graduating from Bowdoin with a degree in Visual Arts and Art History, Rachel worked at a variety of area arts organizations including the Portland Museum of Art, SPACE Gallery, and Common Street Arts. Most recently Rachel served as the Gallery Director of the Maine Media Workshops + College galleries: Maine Media Gallery in Rockport, Maine and PhoPa Gallery in Portland, where she helped to grow the galleries and carry out their mission of showing innovative work by emerging Maine-based artists. Rachel has recently taken on a new position as the Assistant Editor at Taproot Magazine, an ad-free, print publication focused on farm, craft, food, and family. In this new post Rachel looks forward to furthering her work with creatives and communities in Maine and beyond. In her spare time Rachel can be found working on her own paintings, indulging in espresso drinks at one of Portland's many local coffeeshops, doing the New York Times crossword, or exploring a nearby beach, park or trail.
Max is originally from Auburn, Maine, though his “lost period” included a long stint in New York City as well as time in Haiti and Europe. He is the owner and creative director of Maine Creative, a design agency based in Portland. In addition to the Portland Global Shapers, he also spends his time as a founding organizer of Make Music Portland, part of the international Fête de la Musique, which brings free concerts to dozens of locations all around Portland each year on the summer solstice. His company is proud to work with many local non-profits and community organizations (as well as businesses) to help their messaging, branding, and outreach through thoughtful and funky design. If he isn't in the office, he's probably out on a hike, longboarding on Western Prom, or is craning his neck over a piece of artwork.
Chris is a Bujumbura Hub transplant. He's currently a Digital Strategy Consultant at the New Mainers Resource Center, and the (remote) Vice-Executive Director of Sacodé, a community health and development non-profit he co-founded in Burundi. Chris loves figuring out how and why things work, listening to and sharing stories, afternoon naps, late night walks, cheese and milkshakes.
Kelsey is an adventurer, a lover of early mornings, an optimist and an artist. She loves to travel and learn about new places and people, but her roots and her heart will always be in Maine. Kelsey is a graphic designer, a graduate of Maine College of Art, and currently works in the tech industry at CashStar where she's a Front-End Engineer. She’s passionate about the environment and sustainability practices, and while she doesn't claim to be an expert by any means, she hopes to bring about, inspire, and be a part of positive changes in the community. In between work, Kelsey can be found hiking in the White Mountains, kayaking, and baking.
Amalia (Molly) Siegel
Molly is a lifelong resident of Maine and a recent graduate of Dartmouth College, where she studied Environmental Science and Studio Art. Her passions include bookmaking, slacklining, music, cooking, juggling, and all things outdoors. She currently fills her time with running a study center in Kennedy Park through the Portland Housing Authority, learning Arabic, and attending Facebook events. On the weekends she can be found skiing and running up mountains, and other forms of Type II fun. She enjoys finding creative ways to bring fun and educational programming to kids and helping students to think creatively about how they can become agents of positive change in their communities.
“We're all born naked and the rest is drag.” - RuPaul
Hub Founding Curator
Adam is a serial community builder and innovator. He is the founder of Treehouse Institute - an interdisciplinary nonprofit focused on social innovation. Treehouse connects people, places, and ideas to fuel innovations that foster more resilient and prosperous communities. Their work includes TEDxDirigo dedicated to Maine ideas worth spreading; Design Thinking is for Everyone (in partnership with Yona Belfort of Vital Innovation); #CreateYourCity; and more. Treehouse has also consulted for IDEXX, Island Institute, and Lift360, providing expertise in storytelling, event design, and culture change. Adam has a knack and passion for working with people to accomplish things they have never done before. Recently, in addition to founding Treehouse Institute, he has led teams to open Portland’s first public charter school - Baxter Academy for Technology and Science; seed and grow 12 Farm to School programs; and develop Maine’s most successful conference for innovation and creativity - TEDxDirigo. His favorite accomplishment is becoming a dad.