The Weavers Guild of Minnesota Board elections are June 2022.
Read up on your WGM Board nominees before the Annual Meeting on June 13. 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. You may also download a pdf, here.
The online ballot opens June 10 and closes June 18, 2022. If you are a current Weavers Guild member, you will receive an email reminding you to vote.
Orton Tofte, nominee for President elect
Several years ago, knowing nothing, I attempted to weave a Navajo rug. I bought a bunch of books, built a loom, made tools, ordered materials from suppliers in the Southwest. Without a Grandmother to guide me, failure was inevitable. My daughter Solveig is a weaver who studied in Norway. She introduced me to band weaving after taking a class at the Weavers Guild. A rigid heddle loom soon followed and this past winter I assembled a small eight shaft floor loom. Along the way I wandered into the Guild and met my new grandmothers, Karin and Betsy.
I come to you after a lifetime of making things. After ten years teaching elementary school in a small town on the North Shore, we moved to the cities. I entered the printing trades in 1980 after training at Dunwoody. Starting in the letterpress department, I worked my way through the crafts and ended up in production management. I was fortunate to work for large, growing companies. I have been involved in complex, multi-year expansion projects in my positions as plant manager, general manager and VP of operations. I also handled the national accounts of several non-profits including PETA and Bread for the World. I have also been a furniture designer and builder for 40 years.
I believe there is something redemptive in craft. Thanks to years of creative, dedicated leadership the Guild is in a unique position to offer a path to anyone seeking entry into the centuries-old traditions of weaving, spinning and dyeing. I offer excellent strategic planning skills, a respect for the gifts of others and a love of craft. I am honored to be considered for the position of President Elect.
Linda Soranno, nominee for Member at Large, re-election (previously served as President September 1, 2019-August 31, 2022)
For the past 3 years I have been a member of the Guild’s Executive Committee as an incoming, current and past president. This experience has been truly rewarding and I would like to continue to serve the Guild as a board member.
I look forward to continuing the important work of the board including leading the Guild through its 2025 Strategic Plan, supporting our talented staff and serving our members. This organization is special to me. With each passing year I become more immersed in and passionate about this truly diverse and complex craft. I am equally interested in the technical side of weaving as the artistic. The infinite possibilities presented to a weaver is a wonderful puzzle to be explored.
In addition to bringing my passion to bear in support of the Guild’s mission, I can contribute to the Board as a 34-year practicing lawyer (at General Mills) with extensive non-profit board experience including chairing the board of St. Thomas’ Center for Ethical Cultures. My skills can support the Guild in managing the myriad of issues facing nonprofits today – including governance, strategic planning, fiscal discipline, and member engagement. In addition, I pride myself on my ability to bring people together to leverage a team’s talents, passion and gifts in tackling opportunities. Over the years, I’ve worked in various environments faced with diverging stakeholder interests and have helped groups get aligned in the spirit of a common purpose. I would like to continue to deploy these skills in support of WGM’s Mission and would consider it a privilege to continue to serve on the Board to further the Guild’s legacy.
Neal Goman, nominee for Member at-large, re-election for 2nd term
I am a retired Electrical Engineer with an emphasis in computers. My recent task for the guild involved helping bring together the different email lists into a single umbrella group under Groups.IO. I have been involved with spinning since around 1993 but exposed to weaving and fiber arts going back to my childhood. I had relatives that helped set up the HGA COE process and wrote books, traveled, and taught spinning and weaving. And whenever they would come through town they’d bring tools for me to play with like a lucet, temari balls, or kumihimo bobbins. I’ve been a member of the guild since the late 1990’s and am always impressed with the kindness and creativity of our members.
Barb Daiker, nominee for Member at Large, re-election for 2nd term
I am a life-long crafty person. I’ve been sewing and knitting since I was a child, learning from my grandmothers. With an interest in yarn, I took my first spinning class in 2000. It was love at first sight. Armed with spindles and a Louet S1, I happily spun for many years. In 2011, my mother gave me a floor loom she had picked up secondhand following a class at the Weavers Guild. Taking a basic class at the guild was all it took! I keep building my skills, turning to the guild for learning, inspiration and comradery.
I am an extrovert, and enjoy sharing my passion. I find joy in volunteering and demonstrating at events where I can connect with the public and introduce them to spinning and weaving. Spinning and weaving are my outlet for artistic expression, but also my stress management and a source of pure joy. I want others to discover how these crafts may enhance their lives, too.
In my professional life, I am the administrator of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Minnesota. With a license in nursing, a master’s degree in educational psychology, and a Ph.D. in organization and management, I interlace the idea of fiber into mentoring and coaching my team members. I have experience in serving on boards of directors, including serving as the president of three medical practice professional organizations. As a board member for the Weavers Guild, I have brought an understanding of learning strategies, strategic direction and a focus on alignment of operations. I would be honored to serve another term.