Every Vote Counts: EGA Members Voting for 4 Officers Starts July 1

Embroidered Suffragist was designed by EGA Stitch-a-Long Admin Helena Whyte as the March 2023 stitch-a-long project on Facebook.

This article first appeared in the June 2024 issue of Needle Arts.

In the June 2023 issue of Needle Arts(page 30), the article “One member, One vote” appeared, authored by then-Director of Bylaws Kathy Weigel. She described how every EGA member would now be able to vote directly for national officers and bylaws changes using an Internet-based process. And in July 2023, 1,668 members cast ballots for the national offices of Vice President, Secretary, and Director of Bylaws, electing three of their peers to serve three-year terms.

As with any major change, of course, there were some challenges in that first election. Some members found the technology confusing. Others were puzzled as to why they had to vote for the entire slate presented by the National Nominating Committee or why they couldn’t enter a write-in candidate. But overall, the process was a success.

This year, electronic voting for four offices—President, Treasurer, Director of Education, and Director of Membership and Marketing—will open on July 1, 2024 and close on July 31, 2024. Below you will find the biographies of four talented candidates who have been put forward by the Nominating Committee. Each has pledged to give all she can of her talents, expertise, and heart to serving EGA for the next three years. Now it’s up to us, the membership, to cast our votes and give them the opportunity to lead EGA forward.

Here are some frequently asked questions, or FAQs, we’ve had about the 2024 voting process:

1. How will I know when I can vote?
You will receive a series of emails, starting in mid-June, announcing the vote and urging your participation. The July 1 email will announce that voting is open, and the July 31 email will announce the close of voting.

2. How will I cast my vote?
The July 1 email will have a link taking you directly to the page on the EGA website where you may cast your vote. Alternatively, you may log into your member account anytime during July, and you will see a “Vote Now” link on your member profile page.

3. Must I have a member login on the EGA website to vote?
Yes! It costs nothing for members to have a login, which gives you access to a wealth of stitching-related information, in addition to the opportunity to vote.

4. How do I get a member login?
If you haven’t logged in before, but you do receive EGA emails, you may enter your email address under “Lost Your Password?” on the login page at egausa.org/login. You will receive a link to create a new password via email. If you need additional assistance, you may email egahq@egausa.org and the EGA Headquarters team will assist you with your password. Read more about logging in here.

5. Will I be able to vote for each office separately? What about Write-in Candidates?
Yes. For each office, you may vote for the candidate recommended by the Nominating Committee or you may type in the name of a write-in candidate.

6. Will there be any other issues on the ballot?
Yes. There will be proposed revisions to the national bylaws, which will implement our new electronic dues payment system and clean up some other language. You will receive a separate email explaining these updates.

7. How will I know whether my ballot was successfully cast?
Right after voting, you will receive an automatic email from headquarters confirming receipt of your ballot.

8. I always have trouble with technology. Is there someone I can call to get help?
Absolutely! Call Rand, Tonya, or Lilly at EGA headquarters: 502-589-6956. They will get you sorted out.

Many celebrated leaders have opined on the importance of voting, but I find this quote from Sharon Salzberg to be the most compelling: “Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country,
and this world.”

Substitute “this organization” for “this country,” and you have the essence of why I believe that every member of EGA will want to participate in this year’s election. EGA is your organization and our organization. Let’s ensure it has the best national leadership as it continues to grow and evolve.

Lea Peacock, President Nominee

Lea Peacock is a lifetime member of EGA, joining Colorado’s Pikes Peak Chapter in 1985. She served as the founding president of the Tip of Texas Chapter in 1995. She has held many positions in both her chapter and the South Central Region.

On the national level, Peacock served as chair of the 2008 Through the Needle’s Eye (TNE) and currently serves as faculty chair for Needlework Faire Seminar 2025. She designed and donated a needlepoint piece, Charmed Heart, to EGA for a fund raiser benefitting the American Heart Association. During her tenure on the national board, she developed and implemented the My EGA (MEGA) giving program, raising more than $40,000 for EGA.
Peacock has also served as president of her local Rotary Club; Ronald McDonald House of the Rio Grande Valley; and Friends of the Laguna Vista Library. She is active in her community and church.

Peacock retired after serving 23 years as the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas. During that time, the council grew from four to 24 counties and membership increased to more than 18,000 girls and adults. She managed five service centers, two camps, and 30 staff. She was responsible for the long-range planning, financial oversight of the council, fundraising, and implementation of the Girl Scout program.

Peacock holds certificates in non-profit management from Wharton Business School, Texas A&M, and Case Western Reserve University. In addition, she studied business at Southwest Texas State University, University of Houston, and University of Colorado. She lives in South Texas with her husband, Bill. Together, they have five adult children and nine grandchildren.

Sherri Hagar, Treasurer Nominee

Sherri Hagar has been active in EGA for over 20 years. She has served in many chapter officer positions, including president and treasurer. At the region level, Hagar served as treasurer for the South Central Region (SCR); she is currently serving as treasurer for SCR Seminar 2025.

Hagar attended the University of Texas at Arlington and is a certified public accountant (CPA). She spent 19 years at a CPA firm in tax and accounting. During that time, Hagar worked with several nonprofit organizations, as well as commercial corporations. In addition to stitching, Hagar enjoys reading and motorcycling. She lives in Arlington, TX, with her husband, Bob, and their cat, Gracie.

Deb Berger, Director of Education Nominee

Deb Berger joined EGA in 1998 as a member at-large. When she moved to Georgia in 2015, she became a member of the Dogwood Chapter, one of the larger chapters in the Tennessee Valley Region. She immediately volunteered to serve the chapter and has held the positions of president and VP of programs for two terms each. At a national level, she is currently serving as dean of faculty for EGA National Seminar 2024 and previously served as committee chair for the Secure Our Future EGA National Events Team.

As a retail store owner of The Stampin’ Post, 2003-2015, and subsequent online store of A Needleworker’s Shoppe, 2015-present, Berger is well versed in understanding the wants and needs of needle art patrons. She has a proven track record of leadership, team development, customer service and assistance, customer satisfaction, and communication. She shares her love of needle art with others through teaching, mentoring, and coordinating opportunities for others to experience this diverse discipline.

Berger holds a degree in business administration and management, as well as a variety of leadership certifications. She has served on other needlework and craft-oriented boards, including the Craft & Hobby Association and The National Needlework Association (TNNA). These organizations have presented her various awards for her outstanding service to their communities. Berger is passionate about EGA and its mission statement focusing on education. She has a strong desire to promote all forms of needlework to help ensure EGA’s future.

Ina Gibson, Director of Membership and Marketing Nominee

At one of the commercial stitching events in the early 1990s, Ina Gibson learned of EGA. After her first meeting she joined the Muchas Manos de San Diego (CA) Chapter and spent many years with those lovely ladies. She has held most chapter officer positions, made great friendships, and enjoyed many learning opportunities. Gibson is currently a member of the Escondido, CA-based Threaded Needle Chapter and is serving as VP of programs. She also worked to support her region holding positions of secretary, assistant director, and region director.

Gibson is the mother of three grown sons, for whom she spent years volunteering in schools and in other youth activities, including Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout Troop and leading boys at three National Jamborees. She is a member of the California State Bar but found more job satisfaction as a librarian in public libraries. Recently retired after 16 years in the library, she is now indulging in her passion for needlework, reading, volunteering, and spending time with her granddaughter.

– Vicki Swerdlow, Director of Bylaws


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