2017-2019 MAFA Officer Bios

MAFA Board 2017-2019


Karen Miller, President

Karen learned to weave in Finland in the 90s….where weaving was almost always a social activity. She was very happy when she finally found her first guild when she got back to Virginia — and she’s been an active guild member ever since. She currently belongs to the Foothills Spinners & Weavers Guild, the Fiber Guild of the Blue Ridge, and the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild. She finds the MAFA conferences incredibly inspiring — Don’t we all? — and is happy to lend her efforts to keeping them going. She remains primarily a weaver — while dabbling in basketry and other fiber arts from time to time.

Prior to retirement, Karen worked in the information technology field — as a teacher of both adults and students K-12, as a systems analyst, and as a project and program manager of software development projects for Federal Government clients. This means she has spent a lot of time “herding cats,” which she has found to be a useful skill in the non-profit world as well.

Having served as the Association’s secretary since 2014, Karen hopes to build on recent efforts to improve the processes and documentation of board activities, to bring additional membership benefits to the guilds, and to grow the number of members actively engaged with MAFA both at and outside of the conference.


Charlene Marietti, First Vice-President\Communications

At the beginning, there was a vegetable-dyed Navajo rug. It was the catalyst for Charlene Marietti to start spinning…and weaving…and dyeing. That was in the late 1960’s. Later, while living in London, she was accepted into the City and Guilds of London Institute two-year program and graduated with a Certificate in Creative Studies and Textiles/Distinction and London Metropolitan University College Certificate in Creative Crafts: Textiles/Distinction with focus on weaving and kumihimo.

She focuses primarily on weaving, knitting and braiding techniques and prefers an integrated approach to fiber art disciplines, which translates as ‘doing what works’ for a given project.’ She has attended MAFA conferences since the first one in 1981 and is a member of the South Jersey Guild of Spinners and Handweavers and the New York Guild of Handweavers.

Proud parent of three and grandparent of six awesome people, she is particularly thrilled to share a love of fiber with her daughter, who raises sheep and is an expert spinner and knitter.

With a background in healthcare and technology, she spent the last 20 years of her professional career in the publishing industry where, as editorial director and chief content officer, she developed and aggressively implemented digital publishing and social media strategies for business publications and events. Since leaving full-time employment, she has focused on helping nonprofit organizations communicate their mission and build communities through online platforms.

Donna Mentzer, Second Vice-President\Conference

Donna is currently serving as the Coordinator for the MAFA 2017 Conference and was the Vendor Coordinator of the MAFA 2015 Conference.

She is a huge proponent of guilds and their mission to provide instruction, social opportunities and inspiration to all those interested in fiber. To that end, she is a member and Past President of the Lancaster Spinners and Weavers Guild and a member and Past President of the Central Pennsylvania Guild of Handweavers. It is why she thinks MAFA and the biennial conference it supports are so important to our guilds.

In her “real” life she was a teacher and a coach from her graduation in 1970 until 1989, when her husband began his own landscape design firm and asked her to join him. Though she loved teaching, she recognized it was time for a change. Horticulture classes at Longwood through the University of Delaware enabled her to become a knowledgeable plants woman and an avid gardener. She’s “grateful every day to be in a job I love with the man I love.”

Her involvement in local guilds and MAFA has provided a similar opportunity, allowing her to grow in fiber knowledge, meet and work with incredible people and do what she loves.

Marla Campbell, Treasurer

Marla fell in love with crafting as a child but did not begin her fiber exploits until 2005, when she discovered spinning. Her first wheel was a sweet folding DT Lendrum and her little stable of wheels has grown to six with her most recent acquisition of her dream wheel – the Lendrum Saxony. She particularly loves spinning Cormo (or any soft and fluffy fiber) and her yarn sees its way to friends, family, weaving, and even some sales. Weaving came along soon after with a rigid heddle, then a triangle loom, and now an 8-harness floor loom.

She enjoys membership in The Foothills Spinners and Weavers Guild, where she was treasurer for six years, the Albemarle Weaver’s Guild, where she is the current treasurer and the Whirling Whorls spinning group. Throughout her guild years, having the opportunity to participate in demonstrations at fiber festivals, arts and craft days, and school events has shown her that sharing what she knows about the world of fiber is incredibly rewarding, especially when children are involved – they are so enthralled with the process and very enthusiastic about giving it a go!

Her work background includes being a buyer and merchandiser for 14 years and a data analyst and geographic information system mapping analyst for another 12 years.

MAFA’s mission of promoting fiber arts education is important to Marla and she chooses to support that mission by volunteering in this capacity.

Joan Martin, Secretary

Joan has been weaving off and on since the early 70s. She still has her first loom, a 4H LeClerc Fanny…as well as its receipt for $270. She also has an 8H Schacht and a 4H direct tie-up Dix loom. There are also tapestry and inkle, looms, sewing machines, and all the equipment and tools to go with. She also quilts and gardens and shovels snow, weather permitting.

MAFA was one of her first conferences, when it was held at Bucknell. She’s learned there is an excitement and an exhaustion at each one that she looks forward to. She’s always had great classes and fantastic instructors and has gotten to know fellow attendees over the years.

Joan has been working with MAFA’s social media group this past year as manager of the Pinterest account. She tells us she must need more to do…secretary is one guild job she’s avoided….until now.