Leading in the Nonprofit Sector: A Panel Discussion


As young professionals in the nonprofit sector, we often wonder where our careers might take us. With varied interests, skills, and experience, it can be difficult to determine what our next steps should be. Join us for an evening discussion with four of Maine's nonprofit leaders to learn about how they got where they are:

Mark Swann of Preble Street

Amy Halsted of Maine People's Alliance

Carolyn Nishon of Portland Symphony Orchestra

Nici Carbone of Kids First Center

Led by a moderator and your questions, the panelists will discuss what leadership is and what it means to them, personally. The panel will be followed by a reception with snacks and a cash bar, to continue the discussion among participants. Suggestion donation: $5.


Our Panelists:

Mark Swann has been the Executive Director of Preble Street since 1991 and has overseen significant growth and expansion of the agency and its mission in that time: from a small soup kitchen with two employees in the basement of an old church to a multi-site, comprehensive social service agency for homeless and low-income individuals and families. Besides the original Resource Center, Preble Street now operates the Joe Kreisler Teen Shelter, the Teen Center, Logan Place, Florence House, Maine Hunger Initiative, PS Anti-Trafficking Coalition, and Veterans Housing Services with offices in Portland, Bangor and Lewiston, operating with 250 employees and 6000 volunteers annually. Mark has a BA from Bowdoin College (1984) and a Master’s of Science in Public Affairs from UMASS Boston (1989).

Amy Halsted is the Associate Director of Maine People’s Alliance, where she has worked for the past 15 years. She graduated from Bates College in 2000, with a degree in Economics. Her tenure at Maine People’s Alliance (MPA) has included providing leadership to the design and execution of the organization’s organizing, communications and fundraising programs. In addition to her role on the senior management team at MPA, she also served in 2015/2016 as the Mainers for Fair Wages Campaign Manager, overseeing a successful statewide campaign to place an increase in Maine’s minimum wage on the 2016 ballot, which passed with 56% support in November. The campaign garnered more “yes” votes than any citizen initiative in Maine’s history, and also set a national precedent by eliminating the subminimum wage for tipped workers.

Carolyn Nishon joined the PSO in 2008, and has served as its artistic administrator and orchestra manager, director of artistic operations, interim executive director and general manager. While at the PSO, she has led the organization through two successful contract negotiations, coordinated processes for the hiring of an assistant conductor, education and community engagement manager, and other key positions. In partnership with the PSO management team, board members and community stakeholders, Nishon helped to develop the PSO strategic plan. In addition, she has managed $2M of the organization’s operating budget, leading to seven consecutive seasons operating in the black and has overseen the operations of seven seasons of concert production. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Psychology from the University of Michigan, where she served as Publicity Director and Executive Director for the University of Michigan Pops Orchestra.

Nici Carbone is the Executive Director of the Kids First Center in Portland. She joined Kids First this past spring, after spending five years with the Maine Judicial Branch in roles as a manager and a volunteer coordinator for the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program. Prior to this she spent five years at the American Heart Association in fundraising and marketing. Nici has worked in domestic violence/rape crisis centers and batterer intervention groups, as a teacher in K-12 public and private schools and college, and in child protection as a GAL. She has degrees in law, marriage and family therapy, and education which all assist her in her new role at Kids First.


Thank you to our Event Partners!

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March 06, 2017 at 5pm - 7pm
One Longfellow Square
181 State St
Portland, ME 04101
United States
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