MOUNT DESERT — Alyne Cistone, who started a consulting business a year and a half ago and moved into a new office in Northeast Harbor in January, is now co-hosting a weekly TV show and is preparing to launch a podcast.
Her business, Global Tides Consulting, provides a variety of services to help companies and organizations better serve the needs of their employees.
“I do community on-boarding, small business support, international business consulting, local PR consulting and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) strategic consulting,” Cistone said.
Cistone explained what she means by “community on-boarding.”
“Many organizations have a good, robust orientation program for new employees; they are introduced to the policies and procedures and are initiated into the culture of the organization,” she said.
“The piece that most organizations don’t have is the capacity to help new employees who are coming from elsewhere to get integrated into their new community and put down roots. That’s where I come in. My services really complement the internal onboarding process.”
One of Cistone’s clients is The Jackson Laboratory.
“I work closely with some of their employees, helping them navigate access to essential services, things like housing, transportation, social services, legal services and financial services,” she said.
“Some employees are coming from other countries, so they are not familiar with, for example, how the credit system works in this country. So, I try to demystify it for them. I give them an introduction to the process and then hand them over to experts. I can quickly assess their needs and point them in the right direction.”
Cistone, who is originally from Kenya, can relate to the challenges faced by people who are coming here from other places, particularly other countries. She and her husband and two children have lived on Mount Desert Island for 10 years.
As a one-person business, Cistone can’t do everything herself. So, she partners with other firms or organizations to provide specific services.
In April, she became the co-host of a new TV series on Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) called “Elevating Voices,” which it describes as “celebrating diverse businesses and their importance to Maine’s economy.”
The first season of the six-week series began April 29, and the last episode will air Thursday, June 3, at 8 p.m.
Over those six weeks, MPBN said, “A dozen business owners will be featured in heartwarming, inspiring and provocative stories that shine a light on the value of diversity and its positive impact on our communities, culture and economy.”
Gov. Janet Mills, speaking before the TV series began, noted that in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, Maine people have been tested as never before.
“But Mainers have risen to the challenge with the resolve and resilience that is at the heart of our character,” she said. “That character and resilience is also embodied in the twelve small business owners you will learn about in the ‘Elevating Voices’ series.”
Through a partnership with Healthy Acadia, Cistone has received a $5,000 grant from the Maine Justice Foundation to create a podcast called Downeast Diversity. It is to start running in June.
“The podcast will document the stories of the BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color) community in Washington and Hancock counties,” Cistone said.
According to the Downeast Diversity website, “The podcast provides a platform for the BIPOC community to tell their stories…which will serve a record of (their) contributions to Maine culture for generations to come.”