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 four teenage boys, or serving on the Lewiston Planning Board and YMCA  Board with energy and vision, Shanna gets it done.

Brian Pickard

Vice President of Finance and Operations

"Mission driven work makes each day life changing for the people we work with."

Brian Pickard serves as the Vice President of Finance + Operations at the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce, overseeing finance, operations, grant management, and Strengthen LA. With over a decade of non-profit leadership experience, Brian brings a focus on fiscal management, strategic planning, and operational improvement. He has built his career in mission-driven work, including affordable housing development, rural public transportation, day treatment education, childcare finance, and workforce development.

Known for his relaxed and supportive demeanor, Brian is a trusted leader who keeps team spirits high with his humor and willingness to lend a helping hand. With a background in Accounting and Business Administration, Brian is committed to continuous improvement and believes in the transformative power of mission-driven work. Outside of the office, he enjoys disc golf, tabletop/board games, and traveling.

Virginia Keel

Employment Opportunity Manager, Strengthen LA

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

Virginia Keel serves as the Employment Opportunity Manager at the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce, where she focuses on managing information, guiding program participants through community services, and aiding individuals in creating plans for their career success toward economic stability. With a comprehensive blend of leadership, innovation, and a collaborative spirit, Virginia excels at developing partnerships and fostering workplace cultures that enhance efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction.

Known for her ability to unravel challenges and find solutions, Virginia brings joy to problem-solving and a passion for learning new things. Her coworkers describe her as easy to talk to, reliable, and fun, reflecting her goal of making a positive impact in others’ lives. With a background in Human Resources, Paralegal studies and ongoing education in Public Administration, Virginia possesses a diverse skill set tailored to successfully matching candidates to employers based on aptitude and company culture. Outside of work, Virginia enjoys spending time with her family and friends, engaging in DIY home improvement projects, and indulging in hobbies like 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.

Hodan Ali

Employment Opportunity Coach, Strengthen LA

Hodan serves as Strengthen LA’s Employment Opportunity Coach at the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce, where her role involves removing barriers related to employment, transportation, childcare, and connecting community members to resources. With a longstanding commitment and experience in working with community members towards wellness, Hodan tends to health in mental, physical, and spiritual ways, caring for the whole person.

As a highly trusted and connected member of the community, Hodan brings a diverse skill set to the team. She holds a BA in Mental Health and Human Services from the University of Maine at Augusta and is a first-generation college graduate in her family.

Outside of the office, Hodan enjoys attending community events and planning trips with her sisters and friends, further enriching her connections within the community and fostering personal growth.

Christina Ramsdell

Network Coordinator, Strengthen LA

"Everything happens for a reason."

Christina Ramsdell serves as the Strengthen LA Network Coordinator at the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce, where she acts as the primary point of contact for Strengthen LA, ensuring the collective partnership remains connected. Christina excels at completing agendas and guiding working groups towards achieving Strengthen LA’s strategic goals. She engages with employers and service providers, advocating for partnerships with Strengthen LA and highlighting the benefits they can receive.

As a positive and caring individual, Christina brings a genuine desire to support her colleagues in various capacities. Her strength lies in working with people, listening to their needs, and collaboratively determining appropriate solutions. Known for her straightforward and honest approach, Christina fosters positive working relationships and enjoys interacting with others to find solutions.

With a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs, a Paralegal certificate, and ongoing education towards becoming a Certified Financial Planner, Christina brings a diverse skill set to her role.

Jackie Blatt

Marketing Manager

“Work hard, stay humble, be kind always."

Jackie Blatt serves as the Marketing Manager at the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce, overseeing all promotional activities including e-newsletters, press releases, social media marketing, and event promotion. With a “type A” personality and keen attention to detail, Jackie excels at graphic design, writing, and editing. While initially quiet, she quickly becomes a dynamic presence once she feels comfortable in her environment.

With a background in Public Health, specializing in Behavioral Community Health Sciences, Jackie brings a unique perspective to her role. She believes in the importance of community immersion and has engaged in hands-on community development work, including rebuilding efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Outside of work, Jackie enjoys watching her daughter play sports, playing tennis, photography, traveling, and spending time with friends and family, especially by the ocean, her happy place.

Ronnie Lowell First 4 ME

Ronnie Lowell

First4ME-LA Community Coordinator

"Change Happens at the Speed of Trust"

Ronnie Lowell serves as the First4ME-LA Community Coordinator at the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce, where she supports F4ME Childcare Providers (CCPs) in achieving their goals and ensures consistency between a child’s home and provider location. With a dedication to collaborative work, Ronnie plans agendas, shares data, and actively participates in the F4ME Coalition, spearheading the committees essential to supporting F4ME initiatives.

Ronnie brings a wealth of skills and expertise to the LA Metro team. She is a keen collaborator, and proficient at working with diverse teams in evolving environments. Her encouraging demeanor fosters a positive and uplifting atmosphere, promoting individual and collective growth. Ronnie excels at meeting others where they are at, demonstrating an ability to fulfilling commitments, and achieving meeting deadlines and shared goals. With her dedication to community service and her diverse skill set, Ronnie Lowell is a valuable asset to the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce team.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Ronnie enjoys spending time with her family, indulging in outdoor activities like motorcycling and snowmobiling, and relaxing with spa days. She has a passion for photography and drawing, enjoys reading, and seeks thrills through activities like skydiving.

Ashley Pulkkinen

First4ME Family Advocate

"Your purpose is not the thing you do. It is the thing that happens in others when you do what you do."

Ashley Pulkkinen serves as the First4ME Family Advocate at the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce, where she collaborates with childcare providers and families to create authentic partnerships. Through these partnerships, Ashley supports families in setting and achieving their goals with their children using a holistic approach that supports all areas of their child’s development. With a background in Social Work and certification as a Family Visitor, Ashley excels at truly meeting people where they are at and getting parents excited about their child’s development.

Caring, compassionate, and creative, Ashley is known for her attentive listening skills and her dedication to building relationships with families. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences and is certified as a Family Visitor with an emphasis on child development and positive attachment. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys spending time with her family, participating in outdoor activities like swimming and hiking, and supporting her kids in their sporting events. With her commitment to prevention and creating happy, healthy families, Ashley Pulkkinen is a valuable asset to the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce team.