Meet the Region 1 Candidates for the MQG Board of Directors

We are happy to say that there are three candidates running for the MQG board of directors in Region 1. If you live in Region 1, you will get an email on August 8, 2023, with all the information you need to cast your ballot. Voting will be open until September 8, 2023.

We asked each candidate to send us a letter about why they want to be on the MQG Board of Directors and also had them answer a set of questions that all board members have to reply to. Read through, watch the videos, and then look for an email to cast your vote!

If you have any other questions you want to ask the candidates, email and we will pass it along!

A letter from Dr. Dianne Gates-Anderson:

Greetings fellow Modern Quilt Guild members,

My name is Dr. Dianne Gates-Anderson and I would love to become your Region 1 representative to the Modern Quilt Guild Board.

The role of the Region 1 representative is to serve as a liaison between the MQG members and the MQG leadership team and Board of Directors. A large part of this role is to keep a finger on the pulse of the organization and know what’s going on within the region. I am uniquely qualified for this role for many reasons including my: 1) love of modern quilting 2) professional engineering background 3) history as a community volunteer and 4) history of volunteer service with my local MQG chapter.

Modern quilter: I grew up watching both of my grandmothers make quilts and began quilting in earnest almost 10 years ago. I have had quilts accepted into both regional and national quilt shows including QuiltCon (2023) and AQS Paducah (2023). I also had a quilt accepted and displayed on the cover of Curated Quilts Magazine (Utility Issue, #20)
Professional background: I have multiple technical degrees, including a Ph.D. in Engineering (Chemical, Environmental) and retired in 2017 after spending over 30 years focusing on research and process development. My natural creativity and love of problem-solving were foundational to my career and I would love the opportunity to use these attributes to support the MQG.

Community volunteer: I was appointed to 2 four-year terms on the Union City, Ca (population 68,000) Human Relations Commission (HRC). In this role, I served as a liaison between the community at large and the City Council while striving to uphold the HRC’s mission of ensuring that all members of the community felt safe, respected, and included. During my tenure, which included three 1-year terms as chair, we worked on issues including ensuring all community members felt secure following 9/11, facilitating the City’s response to the Patriot Act, and responding to community outcry for a police review board. The conflict resolution and community engagement skills I developed during my tenure as an HRC commissioner align well with the role and responsibilities of a Regional Representative to the MQG board.

Local guild volunteer: I have been a member of the Silicon Valley Modern Quilt Guild (SVMQG) since 2018 and have participated in guild leadership in the following roles: co-Programs Vice President, 2020; Sr Vice President and Lead Programs co-Vice President, 2021. I am currently the Quilt Show coordinator and the leader of the Bag Making small group. As a result, I have significant experience in the organization and leadership of an MQG chapter and in working with and engaging guild members to fully participate.

In summary, I am a multifaceted person who is an introvert, but not shy; confident, but not arrogant; full of ideas that I’m more than willing to share, but also a thoughtful listener and learner. I feel that I am fully and uniquely qualified for the role as Region 1 MQG board representative and if you agree I would appreciate your vote.

Thank you,
Dianne Gates-Anderson

A letter from Rochelle Rosales

To All Region 1 Members:
I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, CA a long time ago. Growing up in Santa Barbara and going to school in Los Angeles, I have always enjoyed the laid-back southern California vibe. I moved up to Northern California in the 90s and worked as a program manager at a few different companies, from a non-profit to a startup, to a couple of the big technology companies. Currently, I live back in Santa Barbara, dreaming of retirement with my
lovable chocolate lab. I spend my days sewing and taking my dog on long walks at the beach or local hiking trails. I love living in a small town again, but being close enough to LA to visit my now-grown daughter there.

My grandmother was a maker, primarily a sewist. She hung wallpaper, baked pies, made clothing, and hand quilted. She taught me to crochet and sew and, most importantly, that you can make anything. I would show her something in a catalog and we would figure out how to make it.

I started my sewing journey making clothing when I was 10 years old. I made many outfits, a few formal dresses, and even my sister’s wedding dress. I dabbled in quilting and my grandmother taught me the basics of piecing and quilting, including some strict rules that I still struggle to break, even bend. I found using templates and cutting out shapes a little tedious and I only made a couple of patchwork tops which were left unquilted for a long time. I revisited quilting a little over ten years ago and found that the new tools and methods made it easier and more enjoyable for me.

I joined the MQG in 2014 as an Individual Member in an effort to learn more about modern quilting and to go to QuiltCon. I lived in Silicon Valley at the time and quickly learned that there was a local guild near me, which I joined to socialize with other quilters. I have gained so much from my time in the MQG, learning about new techniques, products, and fabric lines, and I have been continually inspired by seeing what others are doing. The MQG has really encouraged me to push my own boundaries and explore what I enjoy about quilting.

For all that I have learned, I have tried to give back at least as much as I have received. I was initially involved with my local guild by attending workshops and sew days, and by chairing programs, like our QuiltCon Charity quilt. I also took on projects like finding a long-term free community space for meetings. I served as Guild President for 2 years and introduced a structure to the meetings both in the cadence of the programming and the
flow of the meeting itself. I worked to increase our membership and we doubled in size. After my time as president, I served as VP of programming for another 2 years, running meeting content and workshops. I then served as VP of Fundraising for 2 years where I introduced all-new money-making opportunities and raised the fundraising goal each year. I have found that my program management experience has helped me to implement and manage projects and to be able to back up my ideas with execution.

I am always trying to think of new ways to do things or to try something fun and different. When the guild made the decision to cancel our in-person retreat that was about to happen, I didn’t want to give up this annual tradition. I proposed moving to an online format and then volunteered to make it all happen in around 2 ½ weeks: making goodie bags, planning hand delivery to doorsteps, and mapping out all activities and the overall agenda. It was such a huge success and money-maker for the guild that we continue to have a virtual retreat each year.

I believe we should all share our experiences with others to make our overall organization stronger. I always make an effort to share what I’ve learned as best practices to help out the larger community. I served on the MQG Leadership Task Force, “Running a Guild” to help build a playbook for other guild leaders. I was delighted to participate in the Quiltcon “Secrets of High Performing Guilds” as a panelist.

I would love to bring all of my enthusiasm and commitment to the role of Region 1 rep. If elected, I would try to help each guild get the most out of the MQG, and help the MQG benefit from your individual feedback and ideas.

Thank you for your consideration,
Rochelle Rosales

A Letter from Gigi Thorsen

 Hello MQG Region 1 members! 

I’m Gigi Thorsen, a quilter, MQG national and local member, and I’d be honored and privileged to serve as the Region 1 representative to the MQG Board of Advisors. 

I’m a long-time resident of Salt Lake City where I live with my husband and standard poodle Max. I’ve expressed my creativity in several ways over the years, and since 2016 that’s been modern quilting. Soon after my first modern quilting adventure of the “100 Days 100 Blocks” challenge, I joined the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild and have enjoyed it ever since. 

I’ve served in different roles in the SLMQG — currently membership and the monthly newsletter – both of which I am happy to perform. Our guild has grown by leaps and bounds this year and our monthly meeting attendance has more than doubled. 

In my next volunteer role within the MQG world, I would be thrilled to represent Region 1 and bring my enthusiasm, encouragement of others, skills as a writer and communicator, as well as my interest in bringing modern quilters together for good, and for fun. My first QuiltCon was in Pasadena in 2018 and I’ve been to every in-person QuiltCon since. It’s an amazing, complex event that can always be tweaked and improved, as can the MQG itself, as both grow with the times and the evolution of modern quilting. I’d love to be a part and have an impact! 

Answers to the MQG questionnaire will cover topics you may want to know about me and my point of view. 

Thank you for your time and for your consideration. 

Gigi Thorsen