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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

Linnca Stevens, Co Founder & Operation/Program Manager

Linnca has been Involved in the fabric and sewing industries for over 40 years, and brings hands on knowledge and skill of the industry. Her experience in fabric retail; ranges from mom & pop and corporate operations, merchandising and the customer experience including the development of classroom curriculum for a nationwide sewing program. In addition she has been a designer in the garment & quilt industry . Designing for companies such as Need L' Love & Peppermint Pig. Linnca's love for anything fabric & mixed media drives her to share the legacy of sewing and to allow others to understand the self-enrichment that it brings. The tradition of sewing has been passed down thru her family for multiple generations and is what drives her.

Eileen Bobowski, Development & Outreach Manager

Originally from Chicago, Eileen came to Kansas City to direct an area in the Creative Division at Hallmark. After successfully leading her team through growth and innovation, Eileen entered the nonprofit sector serving greater Kansas City. The past several years has seen Eileen working as a Brand Services Director with the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, working with the prisoner re-entry “Turn Around” program at Catholic Charities of KC-St. Joseph, and as the Director of Development and Communications with Camp Fire National Headquarters. Most recently, Eileen was the Area Director for Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska with the Pinky Swear Foundation.
Eileen brings a wealth of leadership and fundraising experience, as well as her humble and passionate love of service to others. In addition to her executive skill set, Eileen has a life-long enthusiasm for sewing and is excited about serving The Sewing Labs’ mission to teach the legacy of sewing toward employment & entrepreneurship.

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.

Cali Roberta Cox, Classroom Instructor & Production Manager

Cali Roberta for many years has worked as an independent accessory and fashion designer as owner of Cherokee Punk Designs. She specializes in leather goods and intimate apparel but, would call herself a "jack-of-all-sewing". Cali Roberta creative experiences include intimate apparel, leather accessories, bridal fashions, pattern drafting, and quilting as well as painting and other needle arts. She prides herself as a survivalist and has a love for vintage & re-purposed items. Cali Roberta is passionate and kind and continues to share her vast knowledge of sewing with others to build them up.

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