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The Sewing Labs Staff

Our staff has a strong commitment to enriching the lives of our community’s residents while sharing their passion for the sewing arts and teaching job skills.  

Robyn Kerkaert - Executive Director

Robyn Kerkaert, SPHR, CCEP, SHRM-SCP, CHPC joined The Sewing Labs as Executive
Director in February 2023 and will manage all administrative and operational activities
for TSL. As Executive Director, she will provide overall leadership and direction for all
employees, students, and volunteers ensuring lasting and ongoing access for all who wish to
learn the skill of sewing, whether for pleasure or for professional opportunities. She will also
work closely with the Board to fulfill the mission statement of TSL: To be an inclusive and
welcoming community teaching the legacy of sewing for employment, entrepreneurship, and

Prior to joining The Sewing Labs, Ms. Kerkaert served as CEO of Heartland Community Health
Center in Lawrence, Kansas. Ms. Kerkaert also served as the Chief Administrative Officer for
Variety Care, Inc. in Oklahoma. She has also held VP and Director level positions in the areas of
Human Resources, Quality, Compliance, and Operations in various industries.
Robyn holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and is
currently pursuing her Master of Public Health from Oklahoma State University.
She has completed the requirements for certification as a senior human resources executive, a
compliance and ethics professional as well as being certified in healthcare privacy.
Robyn has served on non-profit boards and other community service roles in Oklahoma City and
Kansas and looks forward to connecting with and serving the greater Kansas City Metropolitan

Robert Lackie, Classroom Instructor & Creative Art Therapist

For more than 20 years, Robert has worked as a licensed professional mental health psychotherapist and registered art therapist. He holds a Master of Arts in Counseling and Marriage & Family Therapy, as well as a Master of Science in Art Therapy. He is actively involved in many aspects of charity fundraising, design, artisan soapmaking and delivery of goods and services to people in his community. Robert is an outspoken disabilities advocate and a national spokesperson for art therapy in the schools. He was chosen by the Kansas Board Of Education as the 2010 Educator of the Year for Arts and Disabilities. That same year, he was named the Clinician of the Year by American Art Therapy Association for his outstanding work with children and adolescents.
Robert’s artistic repertoire also includes interior and event design, making jewelry, custom sewing, painting and ceramic arts, and blending new and different essential oils and fragrances for his products.
His substantial resourcefulness and talent is only surpassed by his warmth and genuine friendliness, compassion, and generosity to share his knowledge and wisdom with others.

Lindsey Ryan, Industrial Sewing Instructor

Lindsey Ryan is a Legacy Student from The Sewing Labs, where she honed her skills in the art of sewing and manufacturing. With valuable experience working under the guidance of industry expert Nancy Peterson, she has a strong foundation in garment manufacturing. She has also had the pleasure of running her own micro factory, Bee2Bee Sewing, specializing in small business sewing contract services. In addition to her professional pursuits, she passionate about quilting, crafting, and creating handcrafted dog toys in her free time.

Drew Daly, Industrial Sewing Instructor

Drew excitedly joined The Sewing Labs in the Fall of 2023 as an instructor for a variety of classes. Prior to The Sewing Labs, he graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Industrial Design and a minor in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design. While at Iowa State, Drew taught as a teaching assistant for the Apparel Assembly Process class for all of the students pursuing a career in fashion and presented a fashion collection at The Fashion Show. Even though Drew loves to sew and design any and all apparel and soft goods, he loves everything about Industrial Design. From design research, sketching, model making, and connecting with end users, he makes it his mission to always try to help the people of his target audience.

When Drew is not designing or sewing, he can be found painting, drawing, exploring local shops, reading, drinking way too much coffee, and most importantly, dancing! If you have an idea about a class, project, or want to talk to someone about anything, go talk to Drew (especially if you love celery)!

Heather Anacker, Sewing Instructor

Heather Anacker is from a long line of seamstresses. She learned how to sew at age 5 from her mother and grandmother, and has over 30 years of sewing experience. She has a BFA in Fiber art from California State University Long Beach, and works as a professional costume maker and sewing instructor in Kansas City.

Jennifer Thompson, Longarm Quilting Instructor

Jennifer is a quilter, designer and artist with a background in dance and choreograpy.

Her interest in the arts started in Montessori School as a child. She attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas. After that she received a BFA in dance from Stephens College. She has worked with several artists and dancers in Chicago including Rachel Thorne Germond Dance Company from 2005-2014.

Although she is new-ish to sewing, there has always been a strong interest her entire life from learning the basics from her grandmother. The part of quilting she loves the most is playing with color contrast, and incorporating bugs, animals, trees with a splash of oddities in her design.

She began refining her sewing technique here at The Sewing Labs in 2020. She completed the Sewing Salon Program and Industrial Sewing, and has been a longarm training instructor at TSL on the Gammill Machines, and training on custom quilting as well.

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