By Kim Hegeman
To celebrate 75 years of CPED, we’re publishing 75 Stories about our community. Maura Packham is Vice President of Corporate Communications at Quad and was a member of the first cohort to earn the Professional Certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Maura Packham is a Boston native. She earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Massachusetts in Boston and a Master of Business Administration from Suffolk University in Massachusetts.
She started her career in finance and accounting but over the years transitioned into sales administration, marketing, and eventually corporate communications. In 2010, Quad acquired the company where Maura was working, and she has been employed with Quad since, currently serving in the role of Vice President of Corporate Communications.
Maura also co-runs Quad’s diversity, equity, and inclusion task force with two other coworkers, including CPED instructor Artell Smith.
“I really enjoy working with people, helping them, and learning from them. The DEI work has been so rewarding from this perspective. It’s really been a wonderful journey.”
Maura and her family moved to Brookfield, Wis., when she became a Quad employee. Outside of work she loves to travel, bake, and pursue a healthy lifestyle through wellness, meditation, and running. She is also on the board of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and helps with its EDI task force as well.
“We can all contribute to a more inclusive world regardless of role. Get involved.”Maura Packham
It was a string of events that introduced Maura to CPED. Through one of Quad’s business resource groups, she had the opportunity to meet Deanna Singh, who is one of the instructors for CPED’s diversity, equity, and inclusion programming. Soon after, Deanna and her husband Justin Ponder gave a DEI presentation in Maura’s sons’ school district. After seeing an ad in the local newspaper, Maura and her husband attended Uplifting Impact’s How to Be an Ally Virtual Summit. That is where she learned about CPED’s Professional Certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
“DEI has always been a passion of mine. This was a life-changing event for me from the perspective of building my confidence in DEI work. All of us possess the power to create a more inclusive environment. The CPED programs changed my trajectory.”
In addition to what Maura learned personally through the programs, she also learned about connecting DEI to building strategy in the organization.
“DEI is not a separate thing. It’s connected to what you’re already doing. It’s connected to company values and business outcomes.”
Connection was a thread that tied all the programs together for Maura. The practice exercises during the CPED programs brought the lessons down to a granular level, she says. And the work and lessons from the classroom were able to be immediately applied to her work environment.
After earning her Professional Certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Maura had many great memories to share. Learning from and working with instructors Deanna Singh and Justin Ponder as well as the connections and friendships she made were at the top of her list.
“Justin and Deanna are amazing. Their storytelling is very effective. They contribute a lot to the success of the program. And I think of all the people I interacted with in such an intimate way. Meeting people in a virtual world and each week being welcomed into each other’s homes. I know I can pick up the phone and call any one of them, and they will be there for me.”
Maura’s advice to everyone reading this article:
“Take the certificate programs if you haven’t. The tools that you’ll get will be applicable to any role in any organization. We can all contribute to a more inclusive world regardless of role. Get involved.”
The Professional Certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is designed to equip you with the tools you need to create and commit to organizational DEI priorities such as mitigating bias in hiring and performance reviews and building diverse relationships.
Find more stories from the CPED community in the 75th Anniversary section of our blog.