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Guild Board of Directors

The Guild is run by a dedicated group of volunteers who plan events, monitor the Guild’s activities and keep you networked with others who share a passion for rug hooking.

We meet via Zoom, which means members can live anywhere and still attend meetings without driving!

November 18, 2023, new Board members were elected.

We are grateful to Suzanna Brown, who served for 4 years as President, and Biffie Gallant, our long time treasurer.  Sharon stepped down from Program Chair to be our next President, and Belinda Whipple Worth, will fill out her term as Program Chair. Barb Ackemann has done the newsletter for the last 5 years, but, while remaining the Communications Chair, will pass on Newsletter duties to new board member Hilary Farquhar.  At our meeting on November 18, 2023, we also recognized Sue Girrouard who served as Education Chair for many years.  She passed the “torch” to Sandy Grant, via membership meeting via zoom. in 2022.

Have an interest in joining us?  Or a suggestion of someone who would — there are board positions open EVERY YEAR.

NOTE:   We include contact info for Board Members in our quarterly newsletters, but NOT on the web as it would lead to much spam and we’re all busy people and would rather be hooking than dealing with spam!  See newsletter archive (available to members only),

Sharon O’Neill, President

I think that it was in 1998 I took a rug hooking class in Fairfax, Vermont.  Each week for several weeks we met for instruction, wine, cheese and friendship.  I was already a weaver and rag rug maker and I was looking for something that would let me combine my love of fiber with my other talents in drawing and design.  I was instantly “hooked”!
Although I have only been a member of the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild since 2015, I am a long time attendee of the amazing rug hooking shows curated by the Guild.  In January of 2019, I stepped up to be the Program Chair, and in January 2024 I’ll start a two year term as President. Since joining the Guild and then the Board I have enjoyed meeting amazing artists who have become inspiration for my artwork and friends in my heart.
Let me know your ideas for future programs!

Jennifer Davey – Vice President / Show Chair

I started hooking in 1999 when I took a beginner’s class with Ann Winterling at the Green Mountain Hooked Rug School in Randolph. Since I retired I have been on the GMRHG Board as a Member-at-Large, Secretary and President. I am now back on the Board acting as Vice President to give the Board some “institutional memory” so they do not have to reinvent the wheel!

I look forward to seeing what the next chapter brings. Change is necessary and natural. I love helping with the rug show and that is in real flux right now. We will be trying hard to find a way to have it and make it sustainable.

Contact me at if you want to help or want info.

Fern Strong, Secretary

I have been a rug hooker since 1985 and teaching rug hooking since 1995. The first rugs made were wide-cut primitives and they remain my favorites. I like to explore many types of rug hooking and incorporating different fibers and even fiber sculpture.

I first joined the GMRHG in the 1980’s and have been a member on and off through out the years. Since moving to Vermont I have been an active participant in the rug shows and am happy to have been elected secretary in 2021.

Currently, I have a studio in the White River Craft Center in Randolph VT.


Biffie Gallant, Membership Chair

In 2011 I joined a group of hookers meeting in North Hero to learn the art. I have to admit, my main reason to join the group was to spend time with a wonderful group of women.

My first project left much to be desired but I was “hooked” like so many others. I have moved on to hook almost 80 projects and develop a stash like most others.

The guild was a way to meet even more wonderful artists. Now that I am fully retired, hooking is my go-to activity.

Contact Biffie at:



Deb Campbell,  Treasurer

Deb CampbellLike so many members of the GMRHG, I love all types of creative endeavors.  Some of my favorite activities, depending on the season, are knitting, rug hooking, gardening, water color painting, and quilting.  On my list of things to learn are basket weaving and rushing antique chairs seats.

My spouse’s family is from Northfield, VT and we have always known we would move from Connecticut to Vermont once we retired.  Growing up on a beef cattle farm, I’ve always loved the beautiful farms and forests in the state.  In 2019, our dream became a reality and we moved to Brookfield.  One of the first things I did upon arriving was become a member of the Guild.  My reason in doing so was to get involved with creative people, learn new techniques, and make some friends.

I look forward to meeting many of the Guild’s members at the events happening throughout the year and hear about the projects they are working on.

Sandra Grant, Education

I am an artist and teaching background. I found Rug Hooking as a medium about 10 years ago and enjoy designing my projects, dyeing my wool and finding unique textures to enhance my pieces.
I love to create birds with feathers. I have done a series of shore birds and owls.
I am a juried member of the League of NH Craftsmen in NH.
My piece “Bucky the Blue Heron” was chosen in 2019 to be the brochure cover for the Sunapee Show. It also was chosen to be printed on the show tee shirts that raise money for the show.


Belinda Whipple Worth, Program Chair

 I am a recently retired psychotherapist and have been engaged in fiber and other art making since I was a child learning from my Gran. I’m a self-taught hooker and have been hooking since 2011. I love the entire process of this traditional art and craft: designing, dying and hooking. I usually work in an 8 cut and use mostly wool, but use whatever will give the effect the piece may need. I take pleasure in Hooking with and learning from the Sharon Hooking group, which has more than a century of experience.


Barb Ackemann, Communications

I grew up with my grandmother’s hooked rugs in the house, but never saw her make one.  In school, I made a hooked mat in 4th or 5th grade  (yarn and burlap stretched (sort of) on corrugated cardboard).   Fast forward many years to a trip to Nova Scotia where everywhere I looked there were hooked rugs and stores with wools and hooks, and I thought I’d give it a try.

Then I was surprised to learn there was a local hooking group and a guild!  How exciting!

I handle this website, and help other board members with our Membership Site at Wild Apricot.  I have built the two Virtual Shows:  Rugshow2020 and

Help me out by sending me news, photos, and ideas for the website. Or volunteer to help with editing, prepping photos, or being on a website committee!  email barb

Hilary Farquhar  – At Large Director / Newsletter Editor

I learned to hook from Kris McDermet. Kris taught me and a friend how to braid and I was off and running, braiding rugs for myself and my sisters and a close friend. Kris kept telling me she thought I would really enjoy hooking, and I finally took a class with her here in Brattleboro, learning to make a chair pad with one of her patterns. Kris was right – I love hooking, especially making my own designs, which I never imagined I would do. Rug hooking has introduced me to a wonderful community of people whose rugs both inspire and humble me.

I live and work in Brattleboro, after growing up in New Jersey on the Delaware River and attending Middlebury College, my first introduction to Vermont. My mom inspired my love of needlecrafts (and gardening, my other passion); she’s an incredible quilter, knitter, embroiderer — about the only thing she didn’t do was hooking! Watching her always have a project going rubbed off on me, I guess.

Kris McDermet  – At Large Director / Scholarship Coordinator

I have been Rug Braiding and Rug Hooking since 1979 and love combining the two art forms. Along with many others now, I like adding different textures and fabrics including internal lighting thanks to my brother Tim Mathiesen.

I enjoy teaching and being a student and encouraging others to try braiding and hooking.

I’m happy to be returning to the GMRHG board and see what is next for this wonderful group of creative artists.

Suzanne Dirmaier – At Large Director

I began rug hooking in 1985 with a six flower sampler rug that took me three years to finish.  I got faster and better over the years thanks to many groups and teachers I have hooked with.  My style has evolved as most  rug artists experience so that the best way to describe my work is eclectic.

I joined the guild in the days when we met at the Woodstock Inn and fondly remember many of our founders who are no longer with us.  Helen Woffel “encouraged me” to be president which turned into two terms and later I came back as vice president for another two terms.  I have always loved the guild and the enduring friendships which have come with my involvement.  I am happy to be back as a member at large!

Patty Pirog  – At Large Director

I grew up in a family of six sisters, where we learned early on the value of creating something beautiful with our hands. I stitched my first outfit at age 8, knitted scarves for Christmas gifts at 10, and was one of the first macrame groupies back when it was “cool” in the 70’s! I’ve been quilting for over 40 years, and even dabbled in stained glass for a bit. 

I moved to Vermont three years ago, and became “obsessed”  with rug hooking. Every piece that we design, hook, weave, or embellish is a unique expression of ourselves and our stories.

I take immense joy in the story behind the art that is created –  Who designed and created it? Who is it for? Where was it created? What was the inspiration? 

I look forward to bringing another voice to GMRHG.


Stephanie Allen-Krauss  – At Large Director

Though my life has taken many twists and turns, rug hooking has always been the constant theme and is certainly a way of life for me now. I’m a fourth generation rug hooker and I learned the technique of rug hooking at age six from my mother. During my teenage years my mom taught me about dyeing wool fabric, and then later she taught me to repair antique hooked rugs. In 1999 I opened a retail shop in Montpelier, Vermont- Green Mountain Hooked Rugs- where I sell supplies for rug hookers, teach classes and offer rug repair. This business has expanded over the years and now several family members work with me as well. During my career I’ve held offices in the local, national, and international rug hooking guilds, and in 2010 I was honored with the Governor’s Heritage Award as best folk artist in the state of Vermont. My rugs have received numerous awards and have been featured in several national publications.

I’m pleased to join the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild again.

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