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Meet Our Newest NUA Board Members at Large

Elected October of 2020 for the term of 2021-2022



Andrew Bodjanac

Andrew Bodjanac is the General Manager of Fabric Showcase located in Cleveland, OH as well as Creative Custom Upholstery in Oakland, NJ. Both companies share a workroom and common goal of “Restoring yesterday's furniture for today's world” and to create beautiful soft furnishings and pieces for those who seek quality materials and have a custom design. He has been in the upholstery trade since he was 13. Having grown up in his father's upholstery shop, the furniture industry and those experiences have taught him some very important life lessons. The standards of a strong work ethic, high attention to detail, and desire to please each client give perspective on what it takes to be successful in the upholstery industry. A graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Cohort 16 and heading multiple large scale projects and workrooms he continually seeks out challenges to learn as much as possible about the many facets of his trade. These leadership skills have led to continual business growth over that past 15 years in an ever changing economy and workforce. While not at work he enjoys time with his wife of 13 years and 3 kids, being involved with the youth at his local church, and outdoor activities.






Grace Reff

Grace Reff is the Development Director at Peters Valley School of Craft, a national center for fine craft education in New Jersey. She has 10 years of experience in arts nonprofit development roles, including at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC); the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (NC); and Penland School of Craft (NC). She holds a Masters in Decorative Arts, Material Culture, and Design History from Bard, where she completed her thesis on a butaque chair design. 

Grace is currently a bright-eyed student of upholstery; she took her first class with Mike Mascelli in early 2020. She is enthusiastic about thinking through how we can support and advance the future of the upholstery field in the United States through education, advocacy, and building community.




Harmony Maraldo

Harmony Maraldo is the owner and upholsterer at Tack & Tuft. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and is also employed as the Pricing Strategist for a Fortune 500 company. Over the course of her career, she's held several positions in operations, management, finance, sales, and marketing, mostly in analytical roles. Her corporate expertise is in process improvement and B2B pricing strategy.

Harmony values her community and has a lengthy history of volunteerism. In addition to being a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, she's spearheaded various corporate volunteer events, worked as a poll worker, served on the Steering Committee during the establishment of her town's Agriculture Commission, volunteered as a business consultant for a small CSA farm, and served six years as a "Big" in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She is currently a volunteer on the Volunteer Coordination Committee for the NUA.

In search for a creative outlet geared toward those with a technical mindset, Harmony first found her passion in textiles and needle-craft. She is an accomplished knitter and an adequate crocheter, quilter, and weaver, and her knit pieces have been sold in juried art shows. She began her journey into upholstery in 2018, attending workshops at the Furniture Institute of Massachusetts. Frustrated with the lack of formal upholstery education in her area, she sought out every book, blog, post, and video on the topic, eventually finding her way to the National Upholstery Association. Her focus is traditional upholstery, although she's learning modern upholstery methods in tandem.

Harmony is a California native but currently resides in New Hampshire with her husband, a period furniture maker and educator.




Lewis Mabon

After college, Lewis had the opportunity to apprentice under a Master Upholsterer, traditionally trained in Germany.  He quickly progressed and eventually managed the upholstery department.  He then apprenticed in the area’s oldest auto upholstery company, learning auto upholstery and designing custom interiors for show cars.

The next chapter was performing over 1,000 upholstery repairs a year while working for the largest furniture retailer in the country.  This job included working closely with the Engineering Departments of furniture manufacturers to improve their products.  It was during this period that he joined both the National Guild of Master Upholsterers and the National Association of Professional Upholsterers; and wrote articles for both of their publications.

Lewis then started to work for the manufacturers of upholstered furniture in various positions of product development engineering, management and furniture design, while along the way inventing and receiving patents.  Following a life-long pursuit of knowledge, he has amassed a furniture library of over 3,000 books and probably the best collection on upholstery.



Current Board of Directors 




Rachel Fletcher
President

Rachel Fletcher, Owner of Knox Upholstery in Knoxville, Tennessee, is globally respected in the upholstery trade. She is an instructor at the Custom Workroom Conference and administrator of the Professional Upholsterer’s Network, a global group of over 2,800 professional upholsterers. In January 2019, she joined a mini-think tank to help build what is now known as the National Upholstery Association (NUA). In May 2019 Rachel was elected President of the NUA, unanimously, by her peers. Under her leadership, the NUA has grown to 200+ members and provides robust educational offerings.  

With a bachelor's degree in communications from Millikin University, her career before upholstery included marketing, advertising and promotional events. Rachel learned how to upholster while working as a theatrical Props Assistant at University of Tennessee - Knoxville.  After falling in love with the trade she began her upholstery business out of her home in 2010. 

You can find Rachel on: 

Facebook

Instagram  

Linkedin



Audrey Lonsway
Vice President

Audrey owns Sewing Den LLC in Ashburn, Virginia. Providing both upholstery and workroom services, she enjoys the variety in her shop. Audrey has a degree in Music Education from Shepherd College and spent ten years as a National Park Ranger (complete with the Smokey the Bear hat!) at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts as well as two other DC area National Parks. She’s a mother of two young boys and wife to a tall Ranger husband.

You can find Audrey on:

Facebook



Jamie Facciola
Secretary

Jamie learned the craft of upholstery at the City College of San Francisco. She worked as an upholstery assistant for a small upcycle shop and also worked at one of the largest upholstery shops on the West Coast, as their Director of Impact. She created a waste collection and diversion program, helped the shop adopt lean manufacturing principles with the help of outside consultants and gave presentations on the value of local circular economies.

Prior to upholstery, Jamie worked in corporate sustainability doing greenhouse gas accounting and verification, corporate sustainability reporting, and marketing and business development. She left the corporate path 5 years ago to start her own business, Repair Revolution, a repair salon that co-located vetted, independent repair shops to make it easy to fix what you love while supporting skilled labor, nurturing the local economy, reducing waste and creating community. Jamie's current project is Furniture.cycle a Solutions Lab dedicated to exploring furniture waste from the bottom up.

You can also find Jamie on

Instagram

Website

Linkedin



Terry Knollenberg
Treasurer

Terry is married to Joy Knollenberg, owner and sole employee of Springlake Upholstery, Manito, IL. Formerly Joy’s Upholstery.  Joy has been doing upholstery since 1973 with Terry being her do everything but upholstery assistant.

Terry grew up on a farm near Easton, IL  learning his work ethic from the hard work required of farming.  He graduated from Easton Community High School in 1965 and hired into Caterpillar Tractor Company immediately after graduation.  In 1966 Terry joined the United States Marine Corps and served on active duty for three years, serving one year in Vietnam in an 81MM Mortar platoon and then the remaining time as a reconciliation clerk in the fiscal office at Camp Pendleton, CA.

Terry returned to Caterpillar upon discharge from the service and worked on his education while working full time.  He received his bachelor’s degree in management from University of Illinois, Springfield, IL in 1982.  In 2009 Terry retired from Caterpillar, Inc. after 44+ years of service.

Terry has served in many capacities for his local Lions Club as well as at the state level and national level including being chairman of the state Finance Committee for several years.  He has served on the Finance Committee for Trinity Lutheran Church and is the current President of the church, has been the treasurer for the Peoria Sportsmen’s Club for the past four years, is a trustee for VFW Post 1232, Pekin, IL.

Terry took over as Treasurer for the National Upholstery Association in December 2019.


Cynthia Bleskachek
Board Member at Large

Cynthia, owner of The Funky Little Chair, began her upholstery education as a child in her mother’s basement workroom. After graduating college, she turned her casual upholstery experience into a serious career.  

In 2016, Cynthia turned her facebook page, “The Funky Little Chair” into a physical business, focusing on hands-on education for serious hobbyists and aspiring professionals. Now, a nationally recognized resource for modern upholstery training, The Funky Little Chair welcomes dedicated students from all across the country.

In addition to teaching, Cynthia is the workroom manager for Grahn’s Upholstery (Minneapolis) and a Technical Consultant for Design Industry by Grant Trick (Birmingham).

You can also find Cynthia on:

Facebook

Instagram

Youtube




Carla Pyle
Board Member at Large

Carla owns Natural Upholstery based in Livingston, Montana. An obsessive explorer, she has worked as a wildlife biologist, textile artist, and upholsterer. She and her woodworker husband developed a line of mid-century style accent chairs before turning to restoration of existing furniture. Taking a cue from the generosity of her upholstery mentor, Carla teaches beginner workshops, and educates all levels in the use of natural & organic foundation materials in the modern method. In her mind, the trade stands as a captivating testament to our cultural history and holds infinite potential as a medium for artistic expression. 

You can also find Carla on:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

YouTube

Pinterest

LinkedIn



Kim Newell
Board Member at Large

Kim has owned and operated Kim's Upholstery Shop in her home town of W. Lafayette, Indiana since 1999.  After graduating from the Defense Language Institute and serving in the US Army, she returned to Indiana to live and work. Taught by her grandmother to fashion custom slipcovers, she loved hearing the stories behind people's furniture and why the individual chair or sofa meant so much to them. It motivated her to help people make their family heirlooms beautiful to use by expanding into the field of furniture upholstery. It turned out to be a vocation she really loved, and which had the added benefit of allowing her to be with her 4 children at home while working to support them.  

As her business grew, she moved the workshop to a building just 2 miles from the house she grew up in, and has been successfully in operation at that location for 16 years. Her main focus is on residential upholstery, slipcovers, and commercial seating.

Kim taught cushion construction for Slipcover America from 2006 to 2009. Seeing a need for further peer support in the field of upholstery, she organized the Upholstery Fair in 2010, a 3-day conference with classes taught by prominent upholsterers and soft furnishers, and attended by tradespeople from around the US and Canada.

You can also find Kim at

website

facebook

Instagram



Michelle Minner
Board Member at Large


Michelle Minner is the owner and upholsterer at Blue Roof Cabin located in Shelton Washington. She specializes in custom furniture upholstery and loves helping her clients bring their visions to life. She fell into the Upholstery trade by accident. As a DIY blogger looking for a project she decided to try her hand at re-upholstering an old chair and fell in love with the transformation process. She never looked back, sharing her journey on Social Media along the way, self-taught, Michelle is passionate about sharing knowledge and supporting fellow upholsterers. 


You can also find Michelle at:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube


NUA is pursuing 501(c)6 non-profit status.

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