Board Nominee Profiles
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 bios for the officers are presented first, followed by the Member at Large nominees.
You may also download a pdf of the nominee statements
The online ballot opens June 16 and closes June 27, 2023. If you are a current Weavers Guild member, you will receive an email reminding you to vote. You may also download and mail in a ballot: download a ballot to print and mail.
Kip Beardsley, nominee for President
About a year ago, after a career of over 25 years of public health, Kip took up handweaving and hasn’t looked back since. Since then, he has taken numerous virtual and in-person classes, interned with Kelly Marshall at Custom Woven Interiors, and recently completed a drawloom class at Vavstuga during which he wove over 6 yards of damask. He established The Gentleman Weaver, and currently does commissioned design and weaving work.
Kip brings significant organizational and leadership skills to the Board and is considered a global expert in strategic planning, implementation, and evaluation, organizational management, budgeting, and intercultural program design. Additionally, Kip has served on the boards of multiple community and arts non-profit organizations, and has provided technical assistance to numerous nonprofit boards and organizational leadership teams around the world.
Kip is privileged to consider weaving his full-time vocation and is excited to join a community with such rich indigenous and immigrant fiber art traditions. Being new to handweaving, Kip brings an appreciation of the barriers and opportunities that new weavers face and he looks forward to exploring ways that the Guild can support the expansion of artists, patrons, and approaches to weaving, spinning, and dyeing.
Aimee S. Gillespie (she/her/hers), nominee for Treasurer
-From Eau Claire, WI. Living in Minneapolis for two years, looking forward to staying for many more.
-Graduated from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs (University of Minnesota) with a Masters of Public Policy in May 2023. Focus in program evaluation, public and non-profit leadership and management.
-Currently employed as an Associate Auditor at the Metropolitan Council in the Program Evaluation and Auditing Department.
-started knitting and doing embroidery around age 5.
-Beginning weaver- Started weaving in May 2022 and became a Guild member around that time.
-taken multiple classes from the Guild, including pick-up patterns for rigid heddle loom, beginning floor loom, bound weave bags, and a blanket class.
-The Weavers Guild is one of my happy places, and I want to be a part of making fiber arts accessible to new crafters and artists.
-other hobbies include reading and biking.
Deb Streets Jensen, nominee for Secretary (re-election)
Hello! My name is Deb Streets Jensen, and I am running for Secretary of WGM. I volunteered for the role a bit more than a year ago to fill a vacancy. I have enjoyed seeing how the Guild runs ‘behind the curtain,’ and the experience has given me a greater appreciation for the work that the Guild accomplishes.
I’ve been a Guild member since 2019, when I took my first rigid heddle class. One weekend, and I was hooked! With two Schacht rigid heddle looms and an inkle loom, I make mostly wearables and household goods – curtains are next on the list.
I spent part of my first year as Secretary working to reorganize the Guild’s Google Drive, and I’ve also worked with the Archive Committee to begin getting all of the old issues of The Draft scanned and safely stored in the database at the Minnesota Historical Society. I look forward to continuing work on both of these projects.
Before I retired in 2019, I worked for a local government agency for 15 years doing financial analysis of several grant programs and in various roles in Information Technology there for eight years before that.I also served as Secretary, board member, and negotiating team member of my AFSCME union for several years. I paid some of my cosmic rent as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem in both family and juvenile court in Ramsey County for several years, and I consider this to be the most important and valuable work of my life.
I am greatly looking forward to continuing to work with the Guild, especially as it moves forward with more activities the build in Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion principles into its daily work.
Beáta Rydeen, MA, Nominee for Member at Large
Beáta currently works as a life coach, spiritual guide, group facilitator and retreat leader, offering her services to women on issues related to mid-life, third age exploration and eldering transitions. Her clients work to visualize and create an exciting yet realistic future based on personal values, gifts, dreams and passions.
- 20+ 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 (www.onetoonewomen.org)
- 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
Weaving, knitting, crafting; travel, reading, gardening, family celebrations and my cats.
Pam Friedland, nominee for Member at Large
I am hoping by joining the board of WGM, I can meet more people with similar interests and learn more about how the Guild functions. I realize how fortunate we are to have this organization accessible to us all, and feel it is important to support it to the best of my abilities.
My weaving experience has been off and on and I still call myself a “weaver wanna-be.” The instructors at the Guild have been so patient, kind, and terrific when I have been able to take classes at the Guild. Despite my absences from weaving, I am always eager to begin again, immersing myself in a craft I love so much.
As a long-time docent at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, I have a strong appreciation for the history of all types of art, realizing art can bring alive cultures of long ago. Weaving and other textiles are no exception. Not only have I absorbed and taught this important history but have gained a tremendous appreciation of color and design bringing vitality to any piece created.
Other than enjoying my time at Mia as a docent, I have been strongly involved with the Friends of the Institute. This organization supports Mia in their mission, both financially with acquisitions and educational opportunities for the community, as well as providing its members unique experiences. I have held several positions on their board, including chair of the annual Art in Bloom as well as Friends president for two years. Alongside my work at Mia, I also have volunteered at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum as an educator and event assistant.
I would like to think with my extensive volunteer work, I recognize my skills of working with other volunteers, while attempting to achieve our common goals. My aim is to bring my curiosity and enthusiasm to WGM while learning how I can become a more involved member.
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, then added a Kromski Minstrel spinning wheel. 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 I just picked up my first pin loom at Shepherd’s Harvest. 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, including 4 years as Director of the department. My projects at the museum included customer service, membership strategy and marketing, and database implementation and usage. For the last 5 years, I’ve worked at American Public Media, developing relationships with and selling programming to public radio stations around the country. It’s been a heck of a 4 years on the Weaver’s Guild board so far, between the pandemic and the recent move. I’m excited to see what the next 2 years brings us.
Joseph (Joe) Rubin, nominee for Member at Large, re-election
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 eight years and have taken fifteen 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 five of my eight looms.
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 have taken zoom courses in weaving and was pleased that in person courses have resumed at the Guild. I was lucky to be able to take Robyn Spady’s course recently which was excellent. I like the idea of having both in person and zoom courses for those who are unable to be in the Twin Cities for an entire course. I foresee this being a model for the future.
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 and have enjoyed being on the Board and the Education Committee of the Board these past two years.
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, dyeing, 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.
Amanda Anderson, nominee for Member at Large and the Nominating Committee
(previously served as President role September 1, 2020-August 31, 2023)
These past three years serving first as president-elect, then president and now past-president, I remain humbled to work alongside such wonderful folks. The Guild has dedicated, smart, funny and caring members and staff. The thought of moving on makes my heart heavy. Thus, I’m asking membership to consider voting for me for both (or either) an at-large board position and the Nominating Committee. In these capacities, I can continue to help fulfill the Guild’s mission.
In addition to my service to the Guild, I bring over 30 years of experience building processes, technologies and managing financials. Trained to be curious through a BS from the University of Minnesota and to be a leader through an MBA from Yale University, my skills include listening to the needs of others and then helping create paths forward that balance those varying needs.
Previous board experience includes positions at the Northern Clay Center, Rotary Club No. 9, and the Minneapolis Rotary Foundation. My career has been in financial services where I have focused on building systems that help connect people. In my “spare” time, I am a prolific spinner of wool from the Three Rivers Fibershed. Mind you, I don’t actually do much with the yarn I spin. It is just accumulating in my house. I tell myself that I will eventually use it to weave upholstery fabric on one of the several looms I have purchased from members via the Guild’s wonderful classified listings 🙂