Reyna Isabel Pretzantzin Chipix (President)
Reyna is passionate about bringing opportunities to indigenous artisans in Guatemala. She brings over eight year’s experience from the business and non-profit sectors in Guatemala, working to connect artisans with local and international markets through Fair Trade and product development. Reyna worked closely with Mary Anne Wise in the development of a rug hooking and teacher training curriculum for women with little or no formal education. She has been instrumental in overseeing the establishment and growth of Multicolores in Guatemala. Reyna is currently pursuing licensure in Business Administration at the Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala. She speaks English, Spanish and Kaqchikel fluently.
Mary Anne Wise (Vice-President)
Mary Anne Wise has over thirty years experience as a textile artist, writer and teacher. She is President and co-founder of Cultural Cloth LLC, a socially responsible business which works with artists from developing countries. In 2009, she gave her first rug hooking workshop in Guatemala to eighteen students from six communities; a life changing experience. It was during this time that she caught her first glimpse of, ‘the Maya women’s extraordinary artistic potential which was almost in direct proportion to their poverty.’ With her continued support the Rug Hooking Project has thrived and grown, with the artists receiving international recognition through exhibitions, and participation in the International Folk Art Market. Mary Anne has been featured in numerous magazines and publications, including Fiber Arts and American Craft.
Yolanda Sebastiana Calgua Morales (Treasurer)
Yolanda has helped many women in her community and beyond to realize their potential. She believes strongly in the power of women to bring about positive social change in Guatemala. Yolanda is a natural leader and community organizer, everyone who has met her has been struck by her energy, vitality, and motivation, she is truly an inspiring woman. Alongside being a rug hooking teacher, Yolanda has been an ambassador for Multicolores and the Rug Hooking Project, she was the artist representative at the International Folk Art Market in 2014 and has spoken on Guatemala national television about the Association. Yolanda speaks Quiche and Spanish.
Glendy Emiliana Muj García (Secretary)
In 2012, Glendy was one of seven rug hooking students selected to receive teacher training. In 2013, she founded her own rug hooking group, which has now grown to eight women. Glendy loves being a rug hooking teacher, and her students have benefitted from her patience, enthusiasm and can do attitude. Through the rug hooking project Glendy has enjoyed meeting women from other communities in Guatemala and beyond, and sharing their experiences.
Ramona Kirschenman (Vocal)
Ramona has over fifteen years of professional management experience in for profit and non-profit grass roots organizations. She has been a cooperative business owner on two occasions and has extensive experience in financial management and strategic planning. Ramona has spent ten years working in Guatemala on capacity building with marginalized communities. She has been an advocate and supporter of the Rug Hooking Project since 2009, when, as Executive Director of a women’s empowerment organization, she had the vision to host Mary Anne Wise’s first and subsequent rug hooking workshops. Ramona has a B.A. in Democracy and Cultural Pluralism from the New School University, New York, and certified training in non-profit management from Marymount College, NY.
Jody Slocum (Vocal)
Jody worked as a textile artist for over fifteen years, she studied weaving and dyeing in Japan. She co-founded Cultural Cloth with Mary Anne Wise in 2009. Jody has extensive knowledge of the Maya people and their textiles, and traveling in Guatemala. She has led annual tours to Guatemala on behalf of Farmer to Farmer, a non-profit based in Menomonie, Wisconsin since 2004, and Multicolores Rug Hooking Tours since 2012. Anyone who meets and travels with Jody appreciates her energy, patience and cultural insights. Jody has assisted Mary Anne in all of the rug hooking workshops , they have been friends and cohorts in many adventures since 1978.
Cheryl Conway (Vocal)
After working for eighteen years in academic research with a focus on gender and equality, Cheryl travelled to Guatemala in 2009, committed to working with grassroots organisations focused on women’s empowerment. After three months studying Spanish, she spent the next five years partnering with local NGOs whose core mission was to transform women’s lives through access to economic opportunity and developing their leadership skills. Cheryl is experienced in all aspects of project management from writing proposals to administering grants, financial monitoring and liaising with donors. She has been involved with the rug hooking project since 2011. She has a degree in economics and a masters degree in macroeconomics.
Reyna Isabel Pretzantzin Chipix – Director of Operations and Production
Cheryl Conway – Director of Development
Virginia Morales Macario