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!
January 28, 2023, new Board members were elected. Have an interest in joining us? Or a suggestion of someone who would — there are board positions open EVERY YEAR. Our Nominating Committee will put together a slate for the FALL 2023 meeting. Please in touch with Kathy Sweeten or Kathy O’Donnell.
Suzanna Brown, President
On April 15, 2020, the board accepted Gina’s resignation and appointed Suzanna to be our new President.
In Feb 2018 I took a rug hooking class. I enjoyed it and soon joined a local group, The Champlain Islands Fiber Bees, to hook with once a week. I soon joined the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild and in 2020 was elected president of the Guild. I like to design rugs, as well as hook them.
A longer profile of Suzanna was included in the May 2020 newsletter.
Access for members and non-members.
Jennifer Davey – Vice President
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 email@example.com 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, Treasurer AND Membership
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
She’s very excited that Deb Campbell is learning the guild’s bookkeeping to step into the treasurer role.
Sharon O’Neill, Program Chair
Sandra Grant, Education
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.
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, help other board members with our Membership Site at Wild Apricot, and I compile and send out the newsletters.
Help me out by sending me news, photos, and ideas for the website and newsletter! Or volunteer to help with editing, prepping photos, or being on a website committee! email barb
Belinda Whipple Worth, At-large Director
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.
Deb Campbell, At Large Director
Like 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.
Kris McDermet – At Large Director
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!
Lucille Festa – At Large Director
(Bio, as submitted to Sauder Village) Nationally recognized Rug Hooking Teacher, known for her original designs and eye for color. From the start she wanted to provide a primitive rug-hooking program in which students could learn to hook country rugs using hand dyed wool in old country colors. Today she travels the country teaching and lecturing about Primitive Rug Hooking
Lucille holds a degree in American History and Graduate studies in American Studies. She is an avid History Buff specializing in the American Civil War and American Studies. Early American Life Magazine repeatedly selects Lucille’s work for its “Directory of Traditional American Crafts.” Her work has been featured in Country Home Magazine, A Featured Teacher in The Cottage Journal Magazine, and affiliated with The American Folk Art museum in NYC. She was an ATHA Region One Rep for four years and Vice President on the National Board for four years.