The Weavers Guild of Minnesota Board elections are May 2021.

Read up on your WGM Board nominees before the Annual Meeting vote opens. The nominees provided a bit of information about themselves, and what skills, interests, and experience they bring to the Board if elected. 

The nominees for Board officers are presented first, followed by the Nominees for Member at Large in reverse alphabetical order. OR, Download a PDF of the Board bios.

Beáta Rydeen, MA, nominee for President elect

Beáta currently works as a life coach, group facilitator and retreat leader, offering her services to women on issues related to mid-life, third age and eldering transitions.  Her clients work to visualize and create an exciting yet realistic future based on personal values, gifts, dreams and passions.

Experience

  • 15+ years life coaching expertise
  • Volunteer life coach and coach mentor at One to One, Women Coaching Women, a global, virtual non-profit offering pro-bono coaching to women in transition and to women who are caregivers to wounded veterans
  • 5 years on the leadership team at One to One
  • 2 years as executive on loan to Women Venture, St Paul, MN, a non-profit economic development agency in St Paul MN
  • 25 years working in corporate Consumer Research at General Mills

Education and Training

  • Certified Hudson Institute Coach
  • Licensed Third Age Coach
  • MA Human Development, St Mary’s University of MN
  • BA Business & Humanities, Metropolitan State University
  • Qualified to administer:
    • Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
    • Strengths Finder (Empathy, Connectedness, Maximizer, Input, Ideation)
    • Values in Action

Personal Interests

Weaving, knitting, crafting; travel, reading, gardening, family celebrations and cats


Matthew (Matt) Schutz, nominee for Treasurer (re-election)

Five years ago when my wife and I moved to Minnesota we had set short term goals to visit family more, grow professionally, and get involved with our new community. Being just a “stone’s throw” from our parents in Rochester and both starting new jobs downtown, the first two goals were easily obtainable, though, community involvement was something that was still missing. We are passionate about art; we are observers, consumers, and makers, so it wasn’t long before we found the Weavers Guild of Minnesota. After visiting, the benefits just seemed to snowball.  We were able to become members, sign up for beginner weaving classes, learn about Guild history, purchase amazing products, and also checkout a few educational books from the on-site library. This then led to the opportunity to both be board members which only happened by chance for me. One evening while not eavesdropping, I happened to overhear my wife on the phone with the Guild saying she didn’t think she could be the Guild treasurer, but was interested in serving on the board. With a subtlest of “ahems” I just smiled brightly and then shouted “I’ll do it! I’ll be their treasurer!” And that’s how it happened. Now after serving for the past 2 years, I can absolutely say we have achieved all of our goals and beyond.

All throughout my career and personal life I have continued to challenge myself. From passing the difficult CPA exam immediately after college to helping my wife build and construct her looms, I’ve never strayed away from a challenge. I complete the circle by always committing time to help develop others around me. It is with this ongoing passion for learning and teaching that I would be extremely honored to continue to serve for the Guild as Treasurer.


Lisa Black, nominee for Secretary

I have been a member of the Weavers Guild of Minnesota since 2018.  After watching someone weave while I was travelling, I decided that I wanted to try it myself.  In searching for a way to do that, I was so excited to learn that we have our very own weaving guild right here in Minnesota!  I took my first class using a Rigid Heddle loom and I fell in love.  I immediately signed up for a second class and have been weaving ever since.   I recently acquired a Mighty Wolf loom and I am so grateful to have access to this community of talented individuals as I continue to grow my skills and weaving knowledge.

Professionally, I have a chemistry degree and over 20 years of experience as a project manager in the pharmaceutical industry.  Because the guild has been so important to me, I want to take an active role to help our community remain strong.  I believe that I can use my professional experience and leadership skills to that end.  

The pandemic has forced the entire world to make changes in how we live our daily lives and has transformed how we interact as a guild.  I look forward to the challenge of embracing the positive changes we have made through technology based outreach and balancing that with finding ways that we can safely come back together in person for that connection that we so dearly miss.


Members at Large:

  • For the fiscal year starting on September 1, 2021, the WGM Board has 7 Members at Large positions open. 
  • Members may vote for up to 7 nominees from the following list of 7 candidates. Members may provide a write-in candidate (1 write-in/position) in lieu of the candidates. 

Beth Varro, nominee for Member at Large, re-election

I started my fiber life at the age of 8, when my grandmother taught me to crochet. Decades later, I happened to see a drop spindle demonstration and dragged myself away, telling myself that I didn’t need yet another hobby. But when one of my colleagues brought her drop spindle to the office years later, I immediately fell back in love, and knew where the extra income from my recent promotion would be spent! 

That was back in 2013. I spun exclusively on drop spindles for about 2 years. Once it was clear that this hobby wasn’t a flash in the pan, I added a Kromski Minstrel spinning wheel, an upright or “castle” model in a beautiful mahogany finish. I love the tactile experience of spinning. The textures, colors, and the process of feeling the twist are meditative for me, and producing a physical object is a relief after staring at screens all day at work. My other primary fiber activities are crocheting and knitting, and doing spinning demonstrations is one of my absolute favorite things. 

My career has been spent in nonprofits, in roles varying from secretary/receptionist, to basic customer service, to managing staff and directing programs. I worked at the Science Museum of Minnesota in the Membership department for nearly 14 years, serving as Membership Director for the last four of those. My projects at the museum included customer service, membership strategy and marketing, and database implementation and usage. I believe my nonprofit management, database, and membership experience would be helpful to the Guild. I am eager to contribute to this unique organization, and to learn more about nonprofit management at a different level. 


Dawn Severson, nominee for Member at-large 

I have been a member off and on of the guild for the last 8 years. My life in fiber started in junior high Home EC. I have been a sewer, knitter, crocheted, briefly tried spinning on an antique spinning wheel and then got into weaving. My first weaving experience was at Holden Village Retreat Village in the mountains of eastern  Washington. That was on a table top loom. I finally purchased a rigid heddle loom and  started with towels. Kala learned I had started to weave and introduced me to 8 shaft weaving on her Baby Wolf. (Connection through my daughter). I was hooked. Started taking classes and purchasing looms, tools and stash. My workload infringed on weaving, so weaving was done mainly through guild classes. I even brought my  husband down for rug weaving – twice! I now look forward to expanding my weaving  knowledge and exploring new creative projects. I have loved being part of the guild  and taking classes and meeting all the wonderful people.

I retired last year and feel I have time I can give to being on the board. My professional  life: I worked for Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation for just shy of 24 years. Starting as  a financial analyst and completing my last 10 years as the Corporate Controller. My  strengths were developing my staff and connecting the strategic plan with the budget  process. I have the ability to see the bigger picture and connect that to “the devil  is in the details” of the numbers and the resources available. My CFO and CEO asked  me to bring the “reality and the truth forward”.

I live in rural Cambridge MN, and feel being a member at-large on the board is the best  place for me to start. 


Joseph Rubin, nominee for Member at Large

I have a long interest in and passion for fiber arts.  I have a collection of ikats from Indonesia and suzanis from Uzbekistan.  After retiring from Mayo Clinic, I began weaving. I have been a member of the Guild for five years and have taken twelve courses and workshops through WGM. After my first course in 2015 my interest in weaving increased such that I converted my living room to a weaving studio for three of my six looms.  I entered several pieces in the 2019 State Fair and was pleased to receive a first and a third place and the Guild’s First Time Winner Award. I have diversified my weaving and remain strongly committed to the craft.

During my 44 year career as a medical oncologist at Mayo Clinic I had numerous leadership roles which I believe qualify me to serve on the WGM Board of Directors.  My leadership roles included Chair of Education for Medical Oncology, Chair of the Division of Medical Oncology, Chair of an Institutional Review Board Committee which reviews experimental protocols for ethics and patient safety.  In the community I served as President of the Rochester Art Center.

Because of the COVID pandemic there have been fewer activities at the Guild.  I took one course by zoom through the Tucson Guild and it was very successful.  As the pandemic subsides, I would like to see activity return to our Guild and hope that in person classes will resume.  Zoom classes could be utilized to attract weavers who cannot travel to Minneapolis.  Perhaps a mix of these two types of classes could be considered.

I live in Rochester but would attend meetings in person.  In the event of poor weather I could attend by zoom.  I look forward to participating in more activities at the Guild.


Mary M.  Mateer, nominee for Member At Large, re-election

I’ve enjoyed my time as a board member and learned a lot.  Having served on many non-profit boards over the years, I can say that WGM is the best run non-profit I’ve ever been involved in.  The dedication of its members and Karin and Betsy make it an outstanding organization with a huge heart.   I would love to serve another term as a WGM board member and be a part of moving it forward.  The pandemic paused many of our plans and important work.  The pandemic also caused my job to spiral out of control and there hasn’t been much time to do anything but work.  Now that things are starting to normalize a bit, it is my hope that I will have more time to contribute to WGM.

 My grandmother taught me how to knit when I was 7 years old.  I still have the leather finger protector she gave me because my stitches were too tight!  Now I’m using it for winding bobbins so the thread doesn’t cut my finger.   My Mom and brother introduced me to a love of art and color.  What a great combination – fiber and color!  After taking classes from another Weavers Guild member, I was hooked.  I’ve been weaving, dying, fixing looms and exploring the history of weaving ever since. 

I share studio space with several other Guild members and love to weave linen, silk and wool.   Most items I weave are donated to various non-profits for silent auctions. I never give up an opportunity to crawl under a loom and figure out how to fix things.  

 I’m looking forward to retiring in the near future so I can weave, dye and volunteer at WGM to my heart’s content.


Cass Markovich, nominee for Member At Large

In 1970 I was introduced to weaving by a friend. Moving to St. Paul in 1973 I decided to look at weaving and found a beginning class at the Y and bought a 24” Beka Loom. I took the class and became hooked on weaving. In this class I made a lovely poncho which I wear to this day, 50 yrs. later! Because of life circumstances and needing to support 2 young children I returned to teaching full time and put my Beka away. In 2006 I took a job overseas, Shanghai, China,  to help start the first international school for special needs students. My husband and I sold our belongings and donated my looms, yarns and books to the Mn. Weavers Guild. 

Moving back to Mn. in 2017 to be close to family and friends, I decided to revisit weaving. The first place to Google was the Mn. Weavers Guild. I took a beginning class from Connie Le Tendresse, it had been over 25 years since I had touched a loom. Buying a used Beka from the Guild felt so familiar. Weaving has become an important part of my life. It has been a life saver during this Pandemic since our children are in Washington D.C, Madison Wisc. and St. Paul Mn. The study groups and online classes have helped me to produce lovely pieces (and not so lovely pieces) in a safe environment to explore, create and make lots of mistakes. I have seven grandchildren so I am excited to reconnect and give missed hugs but will always keep weaving in my life. I would like to be on the board to support this wonderful organization that has provided so much to the community and to me. Thank you.


Barbara Heath, nominee for Member at Large, re-election

Serving on the Board of Directors of the WGM for me is an honor and something that all members should consider. I have served on the board in the late 80’s as secretary and president. Being a rather newer member, at the time, my participation gave me the opportunity to really get to know our guild, our members and how unique our guild is. I have served as Fiber Fair chairman and been a committee member. I have also demonstrated at the State Fair and entered weavings over the years. I am currently serving on the member sale–Plied, Dyed & Woven–committee.

I spent the last 17 years of my working career as Administration/Human Resources Manager for a manufacturing company. I enjoy working with people. 

I taught weaving at Depth of Field on the West Bank of Minneapolis for 20 years until their closing this past fall. Teaching is an opportunity to learn new techniques as students sometimes choose those that I have not yet tried. Nine students who have been students over the years and I are renting a studio space in the Seward neighborhood. We packed up the DOF looms and equipment and moved! Think we are all having fun learning from each other and sharing project ideas. Many of these students have become members of the guild and one even served as president. I have also taught a class or two at the guild. Learning that the Textile Center is seriously thinking about a move brings new challenges to us. With a strong board and members we can face them.

I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and a volunteering mode at THE guild. 


Dawn Gillette-Kircher, nominee for Member at Large, re-election

Hello Members of the Weavers Guild. I am Dawn Gillette-Kircher. I would like to volunteer to serve on the Board of Directors. I have immensely enjoyed the weaving classes I have taken as well as the staff and classmates I have met. I am excited to be more involved. It has always been one of my goals in life to participate in the community of any organization that I join such as being on committees, boards, or task groups. 

I have gathered many career skills that would be of value to the Guild. I am a small business owner with a booth at the MN Renaissance Festival. I have spent many years in retail sales and management. I was an instructor in a vocational college. In my church, I chaired one major board for many years and took a turn as Vice Moderator and Moderator of the church. My current job is that of product management and customer service in a distribution company. In my career paths I have learned some wonderful craft skills: wood working, furniture building, leatherworking, chain maille, a little silversmithing, beading and miniature painting. 

My love has always been working/playing with fiber and color. My fiber skills include sewing, upholstery, knitting, macramé, tatting, needlepoint, cross stitch, and now weaving. I look forward to greater participation within the Guild. Thank-you for considering me as a member to the Board of Directors.