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2023 Board Members

Cara Voss, Board President

Cara Voss has sewing woven into her entire life. As a child she spent time watching her great-grandmother quilt and learned how to sew from her mother. She took her love of sewing into her career with a degree in Textile & Apparel Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is currently employed at Children International, a local Kansas City non-profit. At Children International, Cara works with the fundraising and donor service teams to create the best experience for their supporters. Her twelve years of sales and customer service experience includes Macy’s and Beauty Brands. During her career, Cara has held various leadership positions with responsibilities of driving the education and culture within the organizations.

An inspiration for Cara is a quote by Gandhi "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Nancy Petersen, Vice President

Nancy Petersen, Board President, is the Chief Operating Officer with Sacred Stitches.  Nancy is also a Master Instructor, for Industrial and Entrepreneurial Programs.  Nancy brings 40+ years working in the apparel industry with small to large companies.  Her experience includes product design, line development and engineering, production patternmaking and grading, production management, sales, and merchandising management, as well as consulting.  She has sewing business ownership experience in short-run manufacturing and custom ladies’ apparel, including tailoring, bridal/special occasion, and alterations.  Nancy is an expert seamstress and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Clothing and Textiles.

Kris Smither, Secretary

Kris Smither, Board Member and Curriculum Development (volunteer) is a retired art teacher with 30+ years’ experience in teaching the arts and recipient of Missouri teacher of the year.

Barbara Hadley, Treasurer

Barbara Hadley, Board Member - 30+ years’ experience as a CPA; as an entrepreneur, created and sold a business that remains a leader in its market.

Jacqueline Shrum - Board Member

Jacqueline Shrum-
Jacqueline Shrum, board member, has 20+ years of experience in aspects of retail including wholesale apparel design, sale and distribution, retail merchandise and assortment planning, specialty and national brand store management and retail center property management. Her passion for people and for strategic planning are coactive in helping create positive impact to bottom line with well-being and growth of people involved as non-negotiable.
Jacqueline has long believed that small things build to big things and that bringing each other along for them is the best way to progress. She is proud to be included in the The Sewing Labs mission and impassioned to aid in provision of tools and opportunities that inspire ability and hope for our Kansas City Community.

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