Board of Directors
Clicking on each picture below will let you see a biography and a form to contact each member of the Executive Commitee.
Karen has served EGA in all chapter officer positions since joining the Greater Dallas Chapter in 1987.
Karen Hamilton - President
Since joining the Greater Dallas Chapter in 1987, Karen Hamilton has served in all chapter officer positions. At the region level, she honed her EGA experience by serving as treasurer, assistant director, and director, as well as chairing two South Central Region seminars (in 2006 and 2016).
Hamilton assumed the role of EGA’s national Director of Membership & Marketing in September 2015. During her term, she led the effort to rebrand EGA, which resulted in the current logo and branding platform, as well as launching the online promotional presence for the organization. She also implemented the Festival Program for chapter membership recruitment efforts and participated in developing the long-range planning strategies for EGA.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Biology from the University of Texas at Austin and has completed many courses in grant writing, fundraising, and nonprofit management. Following ten years of client service work in the advertising field, Hamilton spent thirty-four years in nonprofit management before retiring in late 2020. As Associate Vice President for Advancement & Administration for the Dallas Zoo, she was responsible for membership, marketing and communications, crisis communications management, advertising, development and fundraising, volunteers, and special events. She also was a member of the senior management staff for the organization, which included long-range planning, budgeting, crisis management, and board relations duties.
Trudy joined the Santa Fe Trail Chapter in the Heartland Region in 1992 and has served EGA in many officer positions.
Trudy Pohawpatchoko - Vice President
After Trudy Pohawpatchoko joined the Kansas City, KS-based Santa Fe Trail Chapter in Heartland Region in 1992, she volunteered to fill the empty secretary position on the board.
After moving to Colorado in 1994, she immediately connected with Rocky Mountain Region’s (RMR’s) Colorado Chapter and attended the Saturday Group, eventually rotating in as the program chair.
At the region level, Pohawpatchoko was the faculty chair for the 2015 Inaugural Region Retreat. Being a volunteer, she again stepped into an empty position, assistant region director, in 2016, and moved in as region director on the next election in 2019.
During the pandemic, Pohawpatchoko led the region in using new technology for virtual board meetings, and organized Zoom subscriptions for multiple chapters to keep the membership connected. She also conducted “Trudy Talks” to interview teachers across the country and organized “RMR Road Trips” to virtually tour needlework shops in the region. She is currently serving as the region nominating chair.
At the national level, Pohawpatchoko served on both the 2012 National Seminar Committee and the 2018 National Seminar Committee as the signs/certificates chair. She fulfilled her responsibilities as RMR region director, with three years on the national board (2019-2021).
She is currently the assistant chair and juror chair on the 22nd Through The Needle’s Eye Committee and is a member of the National Nominating Committee.
Pohawpatchoko holds a bachelor of science degree in business/computer science from Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, OK, and a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and computer resource management from Webster University, Webster Groves, MO. She has earned Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI), and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications. With 20 years of project management experience, she is currently a program manager at Cognizant. She manages software upgrades and implementations for healthcare clients, diverse resource teams, budgets that range from $50,000 to $20 million, and the coordination of delivery schedules.
When not stitching, she has rung English handbells for 30-plus years, starting in Kansas City. She joined Rocky Mountain Ringers (1996-2006) after moving to Colorado, which led to directing the handbell choir at her church (2001-2023) and attending several International Handbell Symposiums. She currently rings with Denver Bronze (2007-2023), an auditioned handbell ensemble.
Christene Thurston has been a member of EGA for over 20 years.
Christene Thurston - Secretary
Christene Thurston has been a member of EGA for over 20 years. Since childhood, she has been sewing, embroidering, knitting, and crocheting. She has held various board positions within the New York Capital District Chapter and is currently serving her second term as the Metropolitan Region secretary. At the national level, Thurston was the assistant registrar for the 2022 National Seminar, Broadway Bound, and currently serves on a national seminar discussion panel with other registrars.
Thurston has served on executive committees with many boards in her community, where her commitment to their mission statements helped bring their long-range goals to fruition. In 2020, she retired from a career of more than 34 years in business management.
Thurston is passionate about traditional Japanese embroidery and has begun Phase X studies toward her certification. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, Bruce, and their kitty, Sweetiekillmouskie.
Pam Coller has served in many chapter and region positions since joining EGA member in the early 1980s.
Pam Coller - Treasurer
Pam Coller has been an EGA member since the early 1980s. She has served in many chapter and region officer positions in the South Central Region and Greater Pacific Region. She also has been on several region seminar committees as well as the 2013 national seminar committee. She previously served as EGA Treasurer (2015–2018) and currently is serving as National Seminar Committee Treasurer.
Coller attended Eastern Michigan University and is an enrolled agent (federally licensed tax practitioner). Before retiring in 2016, she was self-employed as a tax practitioner for twenty years. Prior to that time, Coller worked as an accountant at several CPA firms. She has worked with several nonprofit organizations and has a thorough understanding of nonprofit accounting and tax regulations.
Vicki was introduced to EGA through a Southern Maine (SOME) Chapter exhibit in 1998.
Vicki Swerdlow - Director of Bylaws
Vicki Swerdlow was introduced to EGA through a Southern Maine (SOME) Chapter exhibit in 1998. She was entranced and asked her mother (who taught her to embroider) for a gift membership. As a mother of three children who also worked full-time, Swerdlow’s active involvement with EGA was limited, but she served as SOME’s treasurer and/or auditor from 2002 until her retirement in 2018.
With her time freed up, she was then able to take on more leadership roles with SOME chapter, finally rising to the position of co-president in 2021. On the region level, Swerdlow sits on the New England Region (NER) board as website manager.
It was through the “Securing Our Future” efforts that Swerdlow became actively involved in EGA at the national level. She has worked on the Membership & Marketing initiatives, focusing on technology. Through this work, she became acutely aware of the importance of accurate and accessible policies and procedures to support the EGA organization at all levels.
Swerdlow completed her bachelor of arts degree in anthropology at Harvard and her MBA in nonprofit management at Yale.
Professionally, she worked at museums, libraries, and social agencies, and retired from the United Way of York County as director of administration and finance. She is actively involved in her hometown of Falmouth, ME, and currently sits on the boards of four community organizations outside of EGA.
Val is a founding member of the El Segundo Blue Chapter and has held many chapter board positions over the past thirty years.
Val Reece - Director of Education
Val Reece is a founding member of the El Segundo Blue Chapter and has held numerous chapter board positions over the past thirty years. She served on two EGA National Seminar Committees sponsored by the Pacific Southwestern Region.
As EGA Group Correspondence Course Chair, Reece had an opportunity to observe firsthand the work performed by the EGA Director of Education. She has also held several volunteer positions in many other organizations.
Reece retired nine years ago as senior software engineer for Northrop Grumman. Other work included teaching high school math and being a game show contestant.
Wendy has served EGA in a variety of local, regional and national positions since joining 25 years ago.
Wendy Lynn - Director of Membership and Marketing
An EGA member for twenty-five years, Wendy Lynn has served in a variety of local, region, and national positions, including assistant region director and, currently, as Region Director of the Great Lakes Region. On the EGA Board, Lynn serves on the Personnel Committee and as Youth Membership Chair. Lynn’s focus is trying to make EGA structure and function relevant to both existing and prospective members at the local, region, and national levels.
She graduated from St. Xavier University in Chicago with a B.A. in Organizational Design and from the University of Illinois Chicago with an MBA in Accounting and Finance. Lynn spent thirty-eight years in corporate positions, primarily in human resources. She retired in 2008 as a vice president of CNA Insurance to become president of an all-girls Catholic school in an underserved community in Chicago. Later, she worked for Shedd Aquarium until her final retirement in 2017.
A Chicago native, Lynn and her husband, Art, retired to Wisconsin and are currently living on Washington Island.
North Carolina, South Carolina, parts of Virginia and Georgia.
Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and parts of Illinois and Wisconsin.
Great Lakes Region
Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Hawaii, Northern Nevada, and British Columbia.
Greater Pacific Region
Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota and parts of Illinois and Wisconsin.
Parts of Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Delaware, DC, Maryland, and parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and parts of Connecticut.
New England Region
Arizona, Southern California, and areas of Nevada.
Pacific Southwestern Region
Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, El Paso, TX and parts of Nevada.
Rocky Mountain Region
Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
South Central Region
The entire state of Florida and Bermuda.
Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and parts of Virginia and West Virginia.
Tennessee Valley Region