Cindy’s earliest memories are associated with quilts as both of her grandmothers were prolific quilters. While in Junior High, Cindy convinced one grandmother to teach her the skill, and she now continues the family tradition. Cindy graduated from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Her one “fun” elective was in Textiles. Who knew that Cindy would later have the opportunity to combine her business knowledge with her love of sewing!
Cindy began managing a store for a Husqvarna Viking dealer in 1999 in Novi, Michigan. Her store was the top store of its type for several years, and she was recruited to work with VSM Sewing, which is now SVP Worldwide, in 2007, where she shared with dealers and managers methods to become more successful. If you find Cindy outside of work, she will likely be hiking with family in Arkansas (or getting ready for a trip), and her camera will be nearby as well!
Senior Registration Specialist
Kari is a Registration Specialist for Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, and has been sewing for many years. She graduated with a B.S. Degree in Fashion Merchandising and worked for several years in retail department stores. Kari sews dolls, stuffed animals, and clothes, and also enjoys weaving, cross-stitch, embroidery, scrapbooking, painting and drawing. She is involved with the local historical society and has been a girl scout leader for three years. Her other hobbies include riding horses, helping her daughter show her dog and rabbit, gardening, and playing games and cooking with her two children.
Senior Registration Specialist
Bonnie started sewing for her "high fashion" Barbies in the 3rd grade. She constantly had a sketch pad, designing "paper doll" clothing and shoes. She received an Associate Degree in Fashion Design from Chamberlayne Jr. College in Boston, Massachusetts. Bonnie had a small home-based alterations/home décor business in Milwaukee, Wisconsin until she relocated to Cleveland, where she stayed home raising 3 busy boys. Back in the work force, she is our Senior Registration Specialist and teaches sewing classes at Virginia Marti College of Art and Design. Bonnie enjoys apparel and home décor sewing and attempts to dabble in knitting. Her most recent venture is beading. She loves her family, fabric and shoes!
Liz grew up surrounded by excellent seamstresses. Her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother shared their love of all the needle arts with her, as well as a very talented 4-H teacher/leader. In first grade Liz began with a stamped cross-stitch sampler and developed into a seamstress specializing in bridal attire.
Liz came to us from Jo-Ann’s Fabric where she was an Education Coordinator and wrote sewing curriculum for national distribution. Prior to those opportunities she managed a Viking Sewing Gallery.
She is married to an architect with a high tolerance for fabric and who doesn’t mind sharing the dinner table with the sewing machine. Jim and Liz have one son who’s a musician working in Columbus, Ohio and another son, also a musician, who is married to a lovely Army Captain living Anchorage, Alaska.
Mark J. Ingraham
Senior Director of Sales and Planning
Mark Ingraham's career in the sewing and quilt industry began as a 6 year-old star attraction at his father's Singer store in Madison, WI. In this period Mark completed the world's longest buttonhole and later repaired sewing machines. Post high school Mark participated in various live events called Art Without Walls. After graduating from University of Pittsburgh, Mark worked with producers and directors to build audiences for Film Screenings, Off-Broadway and Broadway shows in New York City. On a break from his busy life in the city, Mark attended the newly established Expos in Reston, VA and Minneapolis, MN. Immediately, Mark recognized a place to share his talent, so he packed his suitcase and moved to Westlake, OH.
Creating a unique position on the Expo staff, Mark soon added a unique vision to the Expo. For more than fifteen years Mark has assisted hundreds of businesses and thousands of enthusiasts reach new plateaus. Mark has a refined aesthetic judgement and a contagious sense of enthusiasm. His organizational and management strengths continually move the Expos in new directions. Mark and his wife Tina are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters – Angelina and Amy. He enjoys playing all styles of music, working with his hands, playing golf and coaching soccer.
Senior Director of Marketing and Education
When her mother taught her to sew at the machine when she was 8 years old, neither had any idea where this hobby would lead so many years later. Marlene and her best friend both made royal blue poplin, sleeveless (with facings!), zip-up-the-back A-line dresses as their first projects – and they were hooked! By the time high school rolled around she and her friends would often cut out and sew a new dress after school to wear the following day – set-in sleeves and all.
Marlene sewed nearly all her clothes through high school, college and her working life. She attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison in the early 1970’s when Home Economics Education was still called just that, and has worked in the sewing industry ever since. Selling fabrics and sewing machines, eventually becoming one of the first female store managers for the Singer Company, she realized how attached to sewing – and the people who shared her interest in it – she had become.
A move to the Cleveland, Ohio area in the mid-80’s proved it, when she decided to work for an independent sewing machine dealer just so she could meet and talk to women who sewed! As usual, she gravitated to others who enjoyed sewing too, and to this day she counts among her closest friends those she met because of her sewing passions. Her personal and professional activities have always involved some aspect of sewing, and include unique projects like Kid-Sacks™, a week-long production-line public volunteer project set up for a week to sew sleeping bags for homeless children in the Cleveland area.
She was a founding member of the Professional Needle Guild, Inc., serving in many capacities as the organization grew, including as President. She and a friend offered small-group apparel sewing and serging classes for many years, during which time she also sold high-end fabrics to private clients. In 1993 she was hired as an educational consultant for a new public event being developed for sewing enthusiasts. When the company that owned the event decided after just two seasons to eliminate the division, she looked around and decided she could do it herself (along with Kathie Principe and a few others, of course), and Original Sewing & Quilt Expo was born.
She founded MS. Productions, Inc. in 1995 and has enjoyed every minute – and every challenge – along the way. Perhaps her husband said it best when he encouraged her by adding: “You need a complex project like this to hold your interest.” And although it is complex, growing from just two other staff members in 1995 to ten office and nine on-site staff members today, she still thinks the best part is the chance to meet, share and make friends with all those thousands of sewing enthusiasts that come together in eight cities each year.
Director of Operations
Monica maintains the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo website, designs much of the Expo's collateral materials and coordinates many of the projects you see at the Expo. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, she received a B.S. degree in Visual Communication Technology and Marketing, and was the webmaster for her Delta Zeta Sorority. She previously worked at The Electric Quilt Company, where she was a graphic designer and trade show manager.
Alex began sewing at a wee age, due to her mother, Linda Lee, being in the industry her whole life. She would travel to her mothers shows and take her classes, however, love for sewing was not cultivated until a much later age...her mother even claims that Alex vowed to, “Never sew like her mother did.”
Alex then received her undergraduate degree from Manhattan Christian College in Kansas in Family Ministry with an emphasis in Pre-Counseling, while also taking a variety of fashion and textile courses from Kansas State University’s program. Upon graduation, she worked at Bernina Sewing Centers in Kansas City, growing in knowledge and skill in sewing and Bernina machines. She also enrolled in and completed a Fashion Design and Entrepreneurship degree program at Johnson County Community College in Kansas City. Through these experiences, she began to enjoy the art of sewing, and developed a vision ‘infusing’ both her love of sewing and helping people, and in turn, had an opportunity to travel to Uganda, Africa to work for an economic development program called Project Lydia, teaching widows and abandoned wives how to sew.
Other fun facts about Alex include (in no particular order): She loves to sail, play volleyball, and eat chocolate.
Beginning in 1970, after graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Stan was entrenched in the sewing machine business. First with Singer retail store and district management for ten years, then continuing as national sales manager of wholesale distribution with VSM Sewing Inc. Stan ended his corporate career in February of 2009, just shy of 40 years in sales and marketing management culminating with Executive Vice President of Husqvarna Viking, Pfaff and Singer business and induction into the Sewing and Vacuum Hall of Fame. Helping independent dealers build profitable businesses while leading a national sales force, and creating new marketing programs was Stan’s mission for all of those years in the industry. Joining the family business was a natural move, although his wife, son and an extremely professional and knowledgeable staff have developed the very best consumer sewing and quilting expos in the country. In the future Stan will help guide the company forward to meet new challenges and explore new opportunities in the sewing and quilting industry.
Our team members from around the country:
On-Site Registration Specialist
Tammie grew up in Canfield, Ohio and moved to Florida in 1973 with her family. In 1975, the family moved to Put-In-Bay, Ohio. While living on the island, Tammie did quite a bit of quilting and sewing and enjoyed doing many different crafts. Tammie's love of beading started around 2000 when she and her husband were living at the Dry Tortugas National Park. They were lucky to have a woman there that shared her talent and her beads with the staff, and Tammie has been in love with beads ever since. As she moved on to The Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee and then on to Lake Roosevelt in the state of Washington, Tammie took many classes and tried many forms of beading. In 2010 Tammie's husband retired from the National Park Service and they moved back home to Ohio. Tammie has two beautiful granddaughters that she enjoys as often as she can.
On-Site Registration Specialist
Loretto started sewing at an early age with the help of her mother and grandmother. She sewed clothing for herself and two children when they were young, and now sews for her granddaughters and grandson. Loretto also loves to quilt and take quilting classes. Before joining us as an On-site Registration Specialist, Loretto was an Expo Ambassador. She works and teaches at her local quilt shop in Crofton, MD. Loretto and her husband live nearby in Bowie, MD.
On-Site Registration Specialist
Cynthia is rather new to sewing, and has been working on home décor projects for the last 5 years. As an avid camper, she heads west to visit her son in Montana and east to visit her daughter and grandkids. Cynthia is the proud owner of two Kerry Blue Terrier show dogs, one of which is her third American Kennel Club champion dog. Cynthia is known as Grammy "Tutu" to her 3 grandchildren. (Tutu is the Hawaiian word for grandmother.)
Model / On-site Registration Specialist
Rhonda works at each event as a model in our New Designers Fashion Show and at the Registration Desk. She began sewing in her 8th grade Home Ec class, which led to her future job as a Home Ec teacher. Garments being her favorite type of sewing project, her most challenging accomplishment was a tailored suit. Rhonda works at a women’s boutique specializing in special occasion wear. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and traveling. Her favorite trip was a cruise to the Caribbean.
On-site Registration Manager
Susan was a volunteer for the first Expo in Reston, VA in 1994, and now works as the On-site Registration Manager. She began sewing in 6th grade, and has enjoyed taking classes and becoming a certified instructor from well-known educators. She has made many garments for her three children who have given her eight grandchildren to sew for. Her sewing interests run the gamut from garments, quilts, and heirloom to collecting fabrics and machines. Her greatest achievement has been a beautiful Martha Pullen christening gown with lots of lace and machine embroidery. In addition to traveling with her husband to places like England, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Italy, France and Hawaii, Susan works and teaches part time at her local Husqvarna Viking dealer, Tomorrow’s Treasures, in Crofton, MD.