Guild Development Retreat

HGA's Guild Development Retreat is a one-day virtual learning experience to educate, motivate, and inspire fiber art guilds. Through panels and discussions, we hope to strengthen guild leadership, unite organizations, and provide a platform for the sharing of ideas. We want participants to end the day feeling motivated in their effort to build and grow their guilds so that all guilds can thrive.


SAVE THE DATE: Our next Guild Development Retreat will be Saturday, January 25, 2025.

Useful Links:

Logging in to the event (Video)

Setting up a profile (Video)




Saturday, January 27, 2024 (All times are Eastern Time)

Panels will cover a variety of topics addressing the needs of local guilds and similar organizations that bring together and support fiber artists. In between each panel we will have organized discussion rooms to discuss the topics covered in the panels as well as others.  Learn about our panelists.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET

Welcome (5-10 minutes) & Discussion Rooms Open

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET    

Panel: Developing Your Board

Panelists: Anne Choi, Laura DiSano, Karen Greene

We are living in a world where one of the most valuable components is time. How do you turn your members into volunteers then board members and finally officers? What makes a good board member? Does your guild have a succession plan? Learn from our panelists about the policies and procedures they put in place to ease the succession of leadership and to plan for the future.

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM ET

Panel: Diversity & Inclusion

Panelists: Karen Baker, Allie Dudley, Bill Green

It’s never been more essential to build a supportive and inclusive environment within our guilds. HGA defines diversity as a measure of difference in identity; such as gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, ability, geographic location, economic status, education, religion, or fiber art experience. Inclusion is a respect for and appreciation of these differences – the deliberate act of welcoming and valuing diversity. Our panelists will share some tips and action items to help guilds build on their existing efforts or develop new ones for the first time.

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM ET  

Panel: Keeping Up and Staying Relevant in a Technological World

Panelists: Noelani Jones, Molly Koehn, Amber Rose Ostaszewski

TikTok, Snapchat, Telegram, X, Threads, Meetup, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Venmo, Zelle, Cash App, Adobe, Canva… Gone are the days when an organization just needed a website and a dedicated phone line. Technology is changing so quickly that it can be difficult to keep up. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Do you need a website? How do you use social media to engage your guild when you don’t know where to start or which platform to use? By utilizing social media and simple and free technology tools and apps, you can deepen the connection between guild members and grow your membership.

5:15 PM - 6:15 PM ET

Panel: Hosting a Guild Sale

Panelists: Barbara Keller, Suanne Pasquarella, Mary Underwood

Sales not only raise funds for guilds and members, but they are also a form of community outreach. If your guild is thinking about hosting a sale, this panel will get you started. If your guild already holds an annual sale, then this panel will inspire ideas to encourage volunteer support, streamline procedures, and grow your event.


Local and regional guilds who hold an active Guild membership with HGA can register up to 4 (four) attendees for free. All other active HGA members may register for $20 per attendee. Registration for those who do not hold an HGA membership is $50. You registration fees helps to cover staffing and technology expenses associated with producing this program.

$  0 - Affiliate Guild Members (up to 4 registrants)
$20 - All other HGA Members
$50 - Non-HGA Members
Members, when registering, you must first login to My Account or you will not receive the Member rate.
Guilds holding a Guild Membership, you must login to your Guild account to register your complimentary attendees.
Not a member? Join Today. For assistance please call (678) 730-0010 Monday-Thursday, 10 AM - 5 PM ET.

Meet Our Panelists

Karen Baker

Panel: Diversity & Inclusion

As Founder of Fiber With A Cause and Ethnographic Fiber Artist + Documentarian, Karen has been weaving and knitting for ten years. She designs ethnically handcrafted textiles, accessories, and rugs using natural and organic fibers and materials. Under the Doctor of Design program at NCSU, Karen is researching the weaving patterns, techniques, and processes of enslaved and free African American weavers between 1846 and 1909 to fiber and textile design, manufacturing, and production. She received the 2024 Center for Craft Research Grant and the 2023 DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship. Karen is producing a documentary on this history and the narratives of African American weavers before the Great Migration. Her work has been presented in galleries online and in person over the last six years. Karen sits on the Surface Design Association Board of Directors and the Equity, Access, and Integration Committee and is a member of the Textile Society of America, Craft Industry Alliance, Costume Society of America, and Nest Co-Op.

Anne Choi

Panel: Developing Your Board

Anne Choi is a fiber artist raising a small flock of Shetland sheep in Bedminster, New Jersey. She teaches spinning, weaving, and dyeing, while exploring the relationship between craft and imagination. She is the founder and executive director of New Jersey Fibershed, an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting local fiber production and use. She is a past board member of the Garden State Sheepbreeders Association and the North American Shetland Sheepbreeders Association. She is the newsletter editor for Jockey Hollow Weavers Guild, and serves on the steering committee of Melanated Makers, a new fiber arts guild in development.

Laura DiSano

Panel: Developing Your Board

Currently serving on Handweavers Guild of America's Board of Directors, Laura has dedicated her life to advancing communities through extensive involvement in educational policy, the arts, leadership, economic development, and various boards. With a background in the public and private sectors, she has elevated nonprofit organizations through strategic planning, program execution, and board development. Laura, holding roles such as Board Chair, Vice President, and President, brings a wealth of experience to HGA. As the center director of the Small Business Development Center at USC Aiken, she is passionate about the preservation of arts and functional art, drawing inspiration from her family's roots as the last surviving stoneware potters in America. Laura is committed to HGA's mission of developing and preserving weaving, spinning, and dyeing, recognizing the significance of these traditional skills. She is committed in her service, innovative thinking, and passion for preserving artistic heritage.

Allie Dudley

Panel: Diversity & Inclusion

Allie Dudley (they/them) is a textile artist working primarily in weaving and stitching. Their work originates in historical textiles, drawing on Appalachian coverlets and antique stitching samplers. Allie works as the Textiles and Natural Fibers Coordinator at John C. Campbell Folk School and is currently living and weaving on Tsalagi (Cherokee) land in western North Carolina.

Photo credit: Robert Alan Grand

Bill Green

Panel: Diversity & Inclusion

Bill Green is the Hart Prins Fund Accessibility & Inclusion Manager at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. He uses his experience from working in the disability community to foster accessibility and inclusion in all environments where people engage with the zoo, working with many departments and community partners. Personal experience also informs Bill’s work and mission. Since birth, he has been low vision. He has also been a lifelong enthusiast of zoos and museums and the diverse ways people interact with these spaces. Over the years, Bill has been an accessibility consultant for more than 30 cultural institutions in Chicago. This includes serving as an inaugural member on The Second City’s Accessibility Board. Bill has managed programming at Blind Service Association and taught in the English department at Northeastern Illinois University.

Karen Greene

Panel: Developing Your Board

Karen is the President of Orlando Distaff Day, Secretary for Indiana's Greencastle Wool Show, and Technology Chair for the Florida Tropical Weavers Guild. Karen plays an integral role in succession planning of her guilds, advocating for, and setting up technology solutions to help ease the transition of board members. As a licensed attorney, Karen uses her experience with probate work to inform how she approaches succession planning for the organizations on which she volunteers. Karen lives in central Florida and is the author of the fiber arts blog Through The Yarny Curtain.

Noelani Jones

Panel: Keeping Up and Staying Relevant in a Technological World

Born and raised on the island of O’ahu, Noelani Jones, meaning “heavenly mist,” (she/they) is a community-building Fiber Artist passionate about strengthening communities and individuals with art and an appreciation for the natural world. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in 2017 with her BFA in Craft and Material Studies with a concentration in Fibers. Jones also spends time each week as a Director of Social Media at the Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore, bringing weavers, spinners, and the community together since 1948.

Barbara Keller

Panel: Hosting a Guild Sale

After a multi-faceted career of raising children, teaching high school math, designing landscapes, and teaching biology and ecology to business majors, Barbara Keller embarked on the fascinating, challenging world of weaving. She joined the Weavers’ Guild of Boston, met wonderful people, and wound up being Chair of their 2023 Annual Sale Committee.

Molly Koehn

Panel: Keeping Up and Staying Relevant in a Technological World

Molly Koehn is an artist and designer who utilizes textile practices to explore the built environment and idealizations of nature. She received an MFA with an emphasis in fibers from Arizona State University and BFA in drawing from Fort Hays State University. In addition to keeping a studio practice, Molly teaches workshops regularly and is actively involved in the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston and Contemporary Handweavers of Texas, serving as Webmaster and President, respectively.

Amber Rose Ostaszewski

Panel: Keeping Up and Staying Relevant in a Technological World

Amber Rose Ostaszewski is an artist, educator, and author who has been fascinated with textiles since childhood. She draws on her heritage to inspire her creative practice and is passionate about regenerative, natural materials, including processing and spinning fiber, natural dyes, and the creation of mindful, intentional textile work. She is the President of the Weavers Guild of Greater Cincinnati and a board member of the Rust Belt Fibershed.

Suanne Pasquarella

Panel: Hosting a Guild Sale

Suanne Pasquarella, a fiber enthusiast since childhood, found her passion for weaving in the early 1980s. Active in various guilds, she combined her management skills with volunteer work in the fiber community. Serving as president and conference coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association (MAFA), she revised its by-laws and facilitated its Back to Basics conference in 2005.Suanne, an HGA member since the mid-1980s, contributed as a Learning Exchange participant, coordinator, and HGA representative in western New York. Suanne served on the HGA board from 2008-2018 including a 3 year term as President. With a diverse career at the U.S. Customs Service spanning 31 years, she also engaged in overseas training, connecting with fiber enthusiasts globally.

Mary Underwood

Panel: Hosting a Guild Sale

Mary Underwood weaves and makes yarns in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Textile research, lectures, teaching and leading a Complex Weavers study group round out each year. As often as possible she escapes to Mongolia and Quebec for textile exploration and a little adventure.


With more than 175 affiliate memberships, we anticipate more than 680 fiber enthusiasts will attend HGA’s Guild Development Retreat either in real time or by viewing recordings. 

All Guild Development Retreat Sponsors will receive the following recognition in addition to the items listed in the packages:

  • Name recognition on HGA’s webpage as Sponsor and logo and link to your website
  • Logo and name recognition in approximately *4,000 copies of Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot magazine
  • E-Blast sent to HGA’s mailing list of nearly 10,000 promoting your sponsorship
  • Post recognizing your sponsorship on HGA’s Facebook page (10,800+ followers)
  • Post recognizing your sponsorship on HGA’s Instagram account (4,900+ followers)
  • Continued publicity for 90 days after the week is over through recorded viewings of each event


*Listing in Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot and its estimated reach to readers will be based on the date of the signed agreement.
Late sponsorships may have less impact in reaching audiences.


These vendors are showcasing their businesses and the work of their organization. Please make time to review their pages and let them know you saw them at HGA's Guild Development Retreat. Their participation has made this retreat possible.

Click here to advertise your organization or business. Advertising Rates are $25 for HGA Professional Members and $50 for Non-Members.

Please Note: This listing is paid for by the advertiser and is not an endorsement of any individual or organization listed. The information was provided by the organization or its representative. HGA does not warrant the accuracy or validity of the information, and hereby disclaims any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions.

For more information call (678) 730-0010 or email