Making It Work is a live interactive series that brings together executives and entrepreneurs offering insight and advice to Maine’s business community.

Hospitality managers are seeing record-breaking bookings for this summer, but persistent workforce shortages have them worried. Industry veterans share long- and short-term strategies to find and keep workers, including tapping an underused state program to offset the impact of those $300 unemployment bonuses.

On the panel:

Tina Hewett-Gordon, general manager, Nonantum Resort, Kennebunkport

Tina Hewett Gordon is the General Manager at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport and has held that position for the past 29 years. She is an active member in the hospitality community serving on various local and state boards. She currently sits on the board of directors for Maine Tourism Association, Hospitality Maine, Kennebunkport Beach Improvement Association and is a trustee at South Congregational Church. She is the past President of the Maine Restaurant Association, past President of the Kennebunk Kennebunkport Arundel Chamber of commerce and remains active in both associations. She has received numerous awards for service, two of the most notable being the State of Maine Governor’s Award for Excellence in Tourism and the Joel Stevens Community Spirit Award.

Kathryn Ference, director of workforce development, Maine Tourism Association

Kathryn Ference is the Director of Workforce Development for the Maine Tourism Association. Since August of 2019, she has spearheaded the founding of a new tourism-focused staffing service for members of MTA called Maine Tourism Staffing Solutions. She is passionate about connecting tourism professionals throughout the United States with great work opportunities here in Maine. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the George Washington University. Prior to her work with the Maine Tourism Association, Kathryn was a recruiter in central and midcoast Maine.


Vanessa Santarelli, founder, Your Maine Concierge

As the Founder of Your Maine Concierge, (Maine’s first statewide and personalized concierge service for lodging, dining, and activities), Vanessa creates more memorable experiences for visitors and Mainers alike by customizing itineraries to each individual’s specific interests, desires, and overall travel goals.  Vanessa’s partnerships and personal relationships with the diverse and talented leaders in Maine’s tourism and hospitality industry give her clients rare, exclusive, and unique opportunities that enhance their visits.




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