After reading the biographies of the candidates, please choose three (only 3) you would like to be Foothills Craft Guild Board of Directors

I have had the privilege of serving on the Foothills Craft Guild Board the past three years, and I am excited about the future. I think we are making progress toward the goal I stated when I ran in 2015 of making the Guild and its artists household names in the East TN area and the “go to” artists for special gifts, collectibles, and wearable art for residents and visitors in East TN. We have expanded our marketing presence by adding a spring show targeted to a new audience, which we would like to make an annual event. We are also expanding our advertising for both the spring and the fall shows to attract residents and visitors throughout the area who love beautiful hand-crafted items.

I would like us to have multiple opportunities for shows and other sales venues by our artists throughout the year in various communities around Tennessee. There is a national trend by consumers to buy artisan items rather than mass-produced goods, and the FCG Board is actively exploring ways to connect our artists with those consumers. I think the success of the spring show we did last year shows that we are heading in the right direction. We would like to see the FCG Artisan Market (i.e., the spring show) become an annual event targeted to urban dwellers, who are often totally new customers for the Guild. Once we have achieved our goals with the spring show, we are considering hosting a summer show that changes locations each year or two. This gives us the opportunity to showcase our artists in various communities throughout Tennessee, with the goal of attracting many new customers. We also have not given up on finding a way that members can offer their art on a year-round basis. In addition, the current Board is actively exploring a variety of ideas to help us reach out to younger artists and customers to keep our organization vibrant. I would really like to see FCG be the leader and top seller in the region for high quality, hand-crafted items.

I am currently completing a three-year term on the FCG Board, where I have served Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee all three years and also as Vice President this year. I served on the Board of the Art Market Gallery from January 2010 through December 2013, and was President during 2012. I helped to organize the East TN Precious Metal Clay Guild and served as its President from June 2010 through June 2012. I served on the Session (the “governing” board/body) of New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville two times, with the second term ending in 2013. I also served on the Session of Westminster Presbyterian Church prior to moving to Maryville. I also currently serve on various church committees and advocacy teams.

I retired from TVA after 30 years of service. At the time I retired, I was the Vice President of Investor Relations, which involved working with investment bankers to market and sell bonds to investors around the world, and working with rating agencies (e.g., Moody’s) to retain TVA’s AAA rating. Prior to my time in Investor Relations, I led TVA’s Strategic Planning Team to determine how TVA would respond to a deregulated industry. I also have extensive experience in communications and human resources.

I would like to seek ways to share the skills and creativity of FCG members with communities in Tennessee beyond the annual show and new show in March. These are wonderful opportunities for exposure for our members, but the shows are just the starting point. In concert with this, I will work to raise awareness of the Guild and of the quality of its members’ work.

In five years, I would envision a productive community of artists, ranging from those just beginning to the very experienced, a community that has a reputation as the highest quality craft organization in Tennessee. Our community would be working to raise awareness of the value of art at a personal level and at a community level.

I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and graduated from Carson Newman College. My business career was with BellSouth (now AT&T), where I worked in operations, strategic planning, new business development, and completed my thirty-year career in human resources. I became interested in photography in the mid-1970s but did not seriously pursue the art of photography until retiring. I began to study–reading and learning from professionals like Bill Lea, Tony Sweet, Willard Clay, Les Saucier, and the late Nancy Rotenberg. I consider myself a ‘technical’ person and have used those skills as a foundation for my creative eye to shoot, process, and develop vivid and natural images. After moving to Townsend, I became involved in the Townsend Artisan Guild where I have served on the Board and most recently as the President. We provide a space for a community of artists to learn and grow and to exhibit and sell their artwork. I continue to explore the arts from both the technical and artistic aspects but also as an element of well-being that enhances my quality of life.

Currently, there’s a shift in the way art is being viewed and consumed, and I’d like to help FCG to transition into the new era. Arts and crafts in past tense have always been separate, apart, away from the mainstream world. The Guild needs to be more accessible to people who don’t know about the Guild and what we do.

I would love to serve as a regional ambassador from the FCG to the people in Knoxville and Nashville and beyond. I want us to be part of the daily life of our community. I’d like the Guild to be more a part of the common conversation, a natural part of the community members’ thoughts and actions. I want us to be more part of the community. I think that the Dogwood Arts Festival can be one model for us to use in carving out a place that is more than just one or two shows a year.

I am currently filling a vacancy on the FCG Board so I have a realistic notion of what I am getting myself into. I am a professional jeweler living in Knoxville, and my work is currently displayed in galleries throughout the Eastern United States and has been sold in numerous countries around the world. I got my BFA in sculpture from the University of Tennessee in 2011. Since then, I’ve been increasingly involved in the Knoxville art community. I helped start Host, a downtown gallery, and I have been part of the weekly Market Square Farmers Market for the last 5 years. I have taught an undergraduate sculpture class at UT and a class at Arrowmont.

I love the Foothills Craft Guild—everything about it! I would like to see us maintain the great quality of craft items that are offered by our artists at our shows and First Fridays. I love my fellow crafters, who I find to be interesting, talented, and all-around good people, and I appreciate that we provide a venue for such excellent crafters to get their work out. It’s a high quality organization full of high quality folks.​

Within the next 5 years, I would like to see the Guild move from one and a half major shows to at least two major shows per year.

I have served on the FCG Standards Committee several times, and I supervised the lounge for Guild members at our November shows for at least 4 years. If elected, I will bring to the Board a passion for my craft and my love for the Guild, which can translate into my being an active and motivated Board participant.

I would like to see new and exciting partnerships formed with art-related businesses and organizations that will give our FCG artists more opportunities for recognition and exposure. I also would like to see more young talent join our forces.

I hope to have our organization recognized throughout the southeast as a premiere organization of its kind. I would love to see talented artists from across the state of Tennessee want to join our Guild.

I majored in Studio Art in college, and although I was not able to pursue that as a career, I always used my art throughout the years. In business, I was an Account Executive for a national hotel chain, which required negotiation and project management skills with my customers as well as meeting financial obligations for my employer. In my personal life, I was the Newsletter Editor for The Atlanta Bonsai Society, which required organizational and deadline management skills. I also was the Volunteer Coordinator and Trainer for the Volunteer Animal Education staff at Zoo Atlanta. This required managing volunteers and interfacing with the paid staff to be sure the mission of the zoo was carried out. In addition, I was responsible for seeing that all animal education staff were presenting their programs with the proper education and conservation message.

Since I am new to the Foothills Craft Guild, I have a limited idea of what has been accomplished and might in future be accomplished by our Board of Directors. If elected, I would be drawing from my prior experience as a consumer of items created by Guild craftspeople, and so I would focus my efforts on continuing and expanding the organization’s reputation and influence in the local arts community. I respect and admire the skills found in this group, and I would work to ensure that membership in the Foothills Craft Guild remains a hallmark of ability and quality.

In the next 5 years, I would like to see the Guild continue to grow in reputation and exposure in our region. For instance, I would like to eventually see us move our shows to the Knoxville Convention Center to be closer to downtown. I envision the Guild partnering with the city to promote arts in our region by spearheading an Arts Week or Month in Knoxville with events that would appeal to a widely diverse group of people.

I am a member of the East Tennessee Precious Metal Clay Guild and am certified as a Metal Clay Instructor through Art Clay World. I have a background in computers (an MS in Computer Science from UT and 20 years experience in the field), 12 years experience as a bookkeeper for non-profits, and 5 years experience as a full-time artist—though I have always been involved in some form of craft or creation throughout my life. I have been everything from member-at-large to chair of a number of organizations in Knoxville, including Unity of Knoxville (a local, New Thought church), One Spirit New Thought Community, the Beaumont Elementary PTO, and the Knoxville More To Life Steering Committee.

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