This article first appeared in the June 2023 issue of Needle Arts. This version includes updates on the process for receiving your login information to our website.
For the first time in more than 40 years, all EGA members will have a voice in choosing our leaders for the upcoming term. The bylaws amendment to go from one vote per chapter to a system in which each member will vote electronically on the EGA website was approved on April 20, 2023. This will ensure that all members, including members at-large, will be able to vote. Here’s what will happen:
It’s time to elect a new Vice President, Secretary, and Director of Bylaws for a three-year term. The proposed slate of officers for the 2023-26 term are Trudy Pohawpatchoko, vice president; Christene Thurston, secretary; and Vicki Swerdlow, director of bylaws. Their brief biographies appear below.
Updated Login Instructions
Voting will open on July 17, 2023, and close on Aug. 21, 2023. All voting will be done online at egausa.org. Starting on July 17, 2023, once you are logged in, you will see a VOTE HERE button in the Members Only section of the navigation as well as in your Profile page. It will take you to the ballot.
To vote, click on the Members Only tab, and log in. If you haven’t logged in before, but you do receive our emails, you may enter your email address under Forgot Your Password on the Login Page. You will then receive an email with your login information. In the case that the email is missing a password, you may reply to that email or email firstname.lastname@example.org and let the team at EGA Headquarters know and they will assist you with your password.
What if you don’t have an email address and never use the computer? Ask a chapter member or a friend or relative to help you. First, go to an email provider (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.) and create an email address. Then send an email to email@example.com notifying us of your new email address. We will connect your email address to your account and send you an email with your login information. Then you will be able to log in and click on the VOTE HERE button and be on your way. As a last resort, call EGA headquarters: The staff can help you vote.
Reminder articles will appear in the EGA newsletter every month through August. Also, all members with email addresses on file—and if you receive periodic emails from EGA, your address is on file—will receive notices reminding them when the voting will open, telling them that the voting is open, and alerting them when the voting is about to close.
Now that the slate is published in Needle Arts, you will have a chance to propose an alternate candidate. The bylaws state that a petition to add a candidate, signed by at least 20 members, may be submitted to EGA headquarters. If you would like to do that, contact EGA headquarters by phone at (502) 589-6956 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will send you the petition form, a blank resume for the candidate to complete, and a statement the candidate must sign indicating willingness to serve. Any petition must be received by EGA headquarters no later than July 10, 2023, to allow the Nominating Committee time to verify eligibility and willingness to serve.
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. 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.
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.
The piece featured above is November Hike by Karen Schueler for our 2023 Fiber Forum. See the gallery!