2023-2025 Officers

President: Margaret Briggs president@mafafiber.org
Vice-President: Patty Chrisman vp@mafafiber.org
Treasurer: Joanna Brandt treasurer@mafafiber.org
Secretary: Valerie Clark Bolton secretary@mafafiber.org

2021-2023 Officers

President: Margaret Briggs
First Vice-President/Communications: Communications Committee
Second Vice-President/Conference: Conference Committee
Treasurer: Marla Campbell
Secretary: Patty Chrisman

2023-2025 Proposed Slate of Officers

President: Margaret Briggs (current President)
Vice-President: Patty Chrisman (current Secretary)
Treasurer: Joanna Brandt (Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore)
Secretary: Valerie Clark Bolton (Philadelphia Guild of Handweavers)

Margaret Briggs, President

Like many of you, Margaret enjoys a wide variety of fiber art and craft activities – knitting, spinning, weaving, beading/jewelry, and now circular sock machine and flat bed knitting – and has the stashes to prove it! Margaret lives in Charlottesville, Virginia with her husband and fiber-friendly kitties. After a career in architecture and construction management, she has for the past 23 years worked with her husband performing business valuations for employee-owned companies.

Fortunately the family business has a flexible schedule, as she loves to travel to workshops and conferences, particularly to the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina for weaving workshops. Margaret shares her love of fiber arts and uses her project manager skills volunteering with various fiber arts groups. She is past-president and founder of the Central Virginia Fiberarts Guild, created by merging three guilds into one new dynamic guild.

Since Fall 2021, Margaret has served as MAFA President, and previously as Second Vice-President/2021 Conference Chair, including pivoting the conference to a fully virtual event.  She has also served as Membership Chair, and as Volunteer Coordinator for the 2019 Conference.

Patty Chrisman, Vice President

It all began with the discovery of a little spinning wheel in her grandmother’s attic when she was a young girl, and a brief episode at a loom during Camp Fire Girl Camp in the 1970s. The spinning wheel is now in her possession. The location of the bookmark, woven in a small overshot pattern, is a mystery—it was pink and purple.

Although she learned to spin in her 20s, Patty really began her focus on spinning and the fiber world when her kids were in grade school. Following her recent retirement she was able to fulfill a long time goal of learning to weave. Patty maintains an active interest in all things historic—from buildings to textiles, and is involved with her local historic house museum, where she has been known to demonstrate spinning on her Great Wheel.

Patty believes in the benefits of belonging to a guild (or several) and she is a member of Frances Irwin Handweavers, North Country Spinners, Essex County Hand Spinners, and the New York Guild of Handweavers. She attended her first MAFA Conference in 2017 as a Rep for North Country Spinners, and was so impressed with the organization and the many ways it supports its members, through grants and scholarships, and its efforts in connecting guilds within the larger region.

Patty has served as MAFA Secretary since 2018, and most recently served as Events Coordinator for MAFA 2023.

Joanna Brandt, Treasurer

Joanna has been intrigued by fiber for years and has dabbled in crochet, needlework and sewing. She never considered creating cloth herself until 2016 when she took a beginning weaving course through the Weaver’s Guild of Greater Baltimore. Since then, she has been fascinated by the infinite possibilities in color and structure that weaving offers. She has attended the last three in-person MAFA Conferences and found the workshops and comradery to be wonderful.

Joanna is semi-retired from a career in medicine as a general and forensic psychiatrist. She remains an active member of several boards and committees related to psychiatry. In addition to weaving, Joanna enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, traveling and gardening.

Joanna served as Treasurer for the Weaver’s Guild of Greater Baltimore for four years from 2019 to 2023. She looks forward to becoming more involved with MAFA.

Valerie Clark Bolton, Secretary

While primarily a sewist, Valerie loves almost anything related to the craft of fiber and textiles and is always exploring new fiber crafts. 

She is quasi-retired from a 25 year career in the legal industry which has given her a love and appreciation for rules, structure and documentation. 

She is a member of the Philadelphia Guild of Hand Weavers and recently served for two years as their vice-president.

Helena Valentine, Past-President

The first seed was planted when Helena saw looms in the basement of a playmate’s home. Twenty years later she made a back strap loom in a YWCA class. While working in Philadelphia she heard about the guild and her learning took off. She attended her first MAFA conference in 1987 and still looks forward to the opportunity to learn, laugh and grow with fellow fiberholics.

Helena’s mom taught her to knit as a child. She has added weaving, spinning, dyeing and machine knitting to her list of excuses for acquiring fiber. While living back in New York City, she studied draping and pattern making at FIT. Her current focus is designing handwoven garments with knitted accents.

Helena was a reading specialist and principal in Philadelphia for 30 years. She hopes her skills in teaching, professional development and collaborative leadership will be assets to MAFA. She will work to expand the connections between MAFA and its member guilds.

Helena lives in New Jersey. She is the proud mother of one son and grandmother to two wonderful children. She loves travel, learning and meeting new people. She is a member of the Harmony Weaver’s Guild, the New York Guild of Handweavers, and the Philadelphia Guild of Handweavers.