Meet the Team


Shanna Cox

President + CEO

“Learn what people want and deliver it.”

As President and CEO, Shanna oversees daily operations, plans events, and develops strategies to support the Chamber, its members, and the LA community. She promotes a culture that’s encouraging and inspirational and uses her strategic thinking abilities to strengthen her connections and relationships to meet the mission of the Chamber.

Positive and passionate, empowering and empathetic, Shanna brings 110% to everything she does. An exceptional public speaker, she’s honest and approachable and is ready to hear any and all ideas that will benefit the community.

Whether she’s renovating her 1912 Craftsman Bungalow, cooking with her three teenage boys, or serving on the Lewiston Planning Board and Maine Equal Justice Board with energy and vision, Shanna gets it done.

Brian Pickard

Vice President of Finance and Operations

As the Vice President of Finance and Operations, Brian helps the team run smoothly. He oversees the grant and donor relationships with Strengthen LA, the Chamber, the Foundation, and our fiscal sponsored funds. He is always looking for strategic efficiencies and ways to support the capacity and mission of the chamber. 

Brian was born and raised in Northern Maine but has come to the Chamber from Vermont.  Brian brings his experience in affordable housing development, non-profit public transportation, and collaborative work to his role.  With degrees in Business Administration and Accounting as well as a focus on operational improvement and process, Brian brings a diverse skill set to the Chamber and Strengthen LA’s mission.

Outside of Strengthen LA, Brian enjoys time with friends and family enjoying all that Maine has to offer.  Whether spending time near a lake, playing disc golf with his sons and friends, or just spending an evening around a game table, Brian appreciates what it means to have returned to his Maine roots.

Director of Community Workforce Partnerships for Strengthen LA, Brian provides backbone support to the growing, community collaborative.  Works closely with community leaders who employ local career seekers, provide education and training, and individual support to those living and working the Lewiston Auburn area.

Virginia Keel

Employment Opportunity Manager, Strengthen LA

"Forgiveness cleanses the soul, enriches the heart and strengthens character."

As Strengthen LA’s Employment Opportunity Manager, Virginia supports the coordination of community resources used to remove barriers for individuals looking to have a successful career, and works hard to connect community members and business partners to community resources. 

Always looking to make a positive impact in someone’s life, Virginia’s HR background and aptitude for finding and applying solutions makes her a great fit for successfully matching candidates to new careers with local employers.  Her expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion makes her easy to talk to and accessible to her team members and career seekers.

Outside of the chamber, you can find Virginia working on DIY home projects, spending time with family and friends, crocheting, and crafting.

Katie Palmer

Director of Events

“A personal touch goes a long way.”

As Director of Events, Katie is the superstar behind planning, organizing, and orchestrating all Chamber events including trainings, seminars, monthly Breakfasts, and Chamber After Hours. If you’ve attended any of these events, odds are Katie was there to offer a warm welcome.

Katie is described as “the glue that holds our team together.” She executes all the little things that culminate in the big picture. Being a stickler for the details—people’s faces, names, their preferences—makes every Chamber member feel involved and essential. Katie has 15 years of experience in customer service with 12 of those years in event management. You may remember her as general manager of the former Lewiston-based restaurant, Fuel.

When she’s not conceptualizing and coordinating events, she’s spending quality time with her two sons, family and friends. You may spot her at a community theater event or frequenting the many diverse and delicious dining options in the LA Region.

Dawn Kulish

Operations Manager

“Work smarter, not harder.”

As Operations Manager, Dawn is part of the support system for the Chamber team and all of its members. She’s exceptionally good at multi-tasking and creative problem solving all while keeping an upbeat, can-do attitude.

With a B.S. in history and experience in archival research, Dawn is the one to look to for information and new ideas. She’s not afraid to comb through any and all resources to find answers or inspiration—it’s actually her happy place. Her friendly nature and willingness to learn are invaluable to her team and the community.

When she’s not digging into research or assisting at a Chamber function, you can find her reading, spending time with her family, flexing her photography skills, or getting really into Genealogy.

Angie D’Amours

Director of Engagement

“Establishing relationships is the path to business success”

As Director of Engagement, Angie uses her marketing and relationship building skills to collaborate with local businesses to meet and exceed their goals through their Chamber membership. Networking and promotion is critical to the success of the Chamber and its members, and Angie strives to establish strong connections with and among our members and community. Angie brings a wealth of customer service, management and networking experience from over 30 years of work in both the hospitality and senior living industries.

When she’s not visiting with members or attending an event, you can most often find Angie in her garden, reading, or baking at her home in Lisbon. She is also Chair of the Lisbon Development Committee, and serves on the Lisbon Recreation and Moxie Festival committees. Angie loves spending time with her friends and family (including an adult daughter), and enjoys taking road trips throughout the great state of Maine.

Nicole Poulin

Leadership Assistant

“You can’t fill from an empty cup, taking breaks and resting is vital!”

As Leadership Assistant, Nicole supports the communications, scheduling and planning of the Chamber’s leadership, including the President + CEO and the Board and Committees of the Chamber. Nicole is our social media maven, supporting the Director of Engagement in promoting our region and members. Nicole spent four years previously in the Chamber industry and brings more than a decade of customer service and office administration experience to the LA Metro Chamber team and membership.

During work you can find Nicole on various social media sites or with multiple browsers open coordinating calendars. When away from the office, you will find Nicole planning her next Disney trip, weight training and running, or supporting local breweries and distilleries. She takes on all these activities with her husband and young daughter in their Windham home.