Who We Are

Staff & Board

Kathleen Marsh

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Executive Director

Staff

Kathleen Marsh joined Knitting4Peace in June 2018 as Executive Director. Kathleen feels grateful to be a part of the K4P journey which began in 2006 with an idea to bring hope, healing and peace to the others in need through the creativity and compassion of crocheters, knitters, quilters, and weavers.

Kathleen brings to Knitting4Peace her own experiences working with a variety of communities: she has worked as a music teacher, youth director, caregiver for adults with developmental disabilities, and a camp counselor in the Rocky Mountains. Kathleen also enjoys working as a music therapist with children and adults. In her free time, she crochets and loves spending time outdoors with her husband, Evan, and their dog, Cris.

In this new chapter of Knitting4Peace, Kathleen hopes to infuse a sense of joy, energy, and creativity in the K4P community. She seeks to help K4P connect with diverse and vibrant communities who can enter into a relationship of giving and receiving.

Tammy Williamson

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Administrative Manager

Staff

Tammy has worked for Knitting4Peace for 3 years as the Assistant to the Executive Director, and now Administrative Manager. She also is the Office Administrator at Park Hill Congregational Church for the last 4 years. Originally from Nebraska, Tammy went to college at Bellevue College near Omaha, and Aurora Community College in Denver. She was an Executive Assistant for over 20 years supporting senior level executive management at several organizations. She has also been the Office Administrator at Impact Christian Church in Woodland Park and Sonrise United Methodist Church in Pueblo. Her work at Knitting4Peace includes inventory tracking, website updates, correspondence, scheduling volunteers, helping to maintain our database, etc. “I love Knitting4Peace for many reasons including its unique niche in helping people locally and all over the world with items that bring warmth, comfort and healing. The network of people that make this all work is astonishing. I’m beyond blessed to be a part of this amazing team.”

Tammy and her husband Jan have 3 dogs and 1 cat and love to spend time outdoors hiking & walking with their furry family, doing archery, reading, BBQing and college football. Tammy also enjoys cooking and swimming.

Mary Ellen Garrett

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Knitting4peace Assistant

Staff

Mary Ellen is a musician and music educator, working with young students in Denver schools through the Arts Across Cultures and Community Resources programs. She also teaches marimba and mbira classes at her music studio, Free Range Music. She is a certified leader in Dances of Universal Peace, an inter-faith practice using songs and movements to honor multi-cultural spiritual traditions and build harmony and resilience.

A Denver native, she has a BA in Environmental Policy from Antioch University, and spent the early part of her career as a lobbyist, community organizer, and in outdoor education in Colorado, Alaska, and Seattle.

Mary Ellen got involved with Knitting4Peace 8 years ago, knitting and donating items. Today she handles quality control, storage, shipments and deliveries from Denver, and helps support new Peace Pods.

She says: “I love being part of this wonderful project. I get to see and touch all the incredible items that people send in, make items myself, and send them out into the world. The beauty, creativity, and generosity that flows through our programs is a heartwarming and tangible way of being in beloved community.” One of the schools where Mary Ellen teaches, less than 1 mile from K4P’s offices, is a new Community Purls partner. Peace pals are helping children there cope with traumas such as deaths of family members, and are given to graduating seniors as they launch into the world. “Seeing the joy as a child picks their Peace Pal is a mutual joy, a moment of pure grace.”

Mary Ellen loves to hike, bike, sing, garden, knit, cross-country ski, and enjoy life with her husband Paul and chocolate lab, Laddie.

Arna Caplan

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Director of Craft

Board of Directors

Arna taught in Jefferson County elementary schools for 23 years. She has a lifelong commitment to volunteer work that includes founding and directing a school garden and farmers market in an inner city Denver neighborhood, visiting schools and hospitals with her registered Therapy Dog, and serving on the board of the Colorado Organic Producers Association. Over the last five years she has traveled to Nairobi Kenya with her husband where they train teachers at Shining Hope for Communities’ two schools for girls. She has taken an active role at her synagogue, serving as Secretary of the council and chair of the Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) committee.

Of her commitment to Knitting4Peace, Arna says: “I am a lifelong knitter and was invited to knit with a newly formed Interfaith Peace Pod. After one session I was totally committed to the mission of the organization. I soon became a Delivery Agent, have shared knitted items with children and families in my own community and in several countries, including every student at the Kibera and Mathare Schools for Girls in Nairobi, Kenya. As an educator, I see great potential for Knitting4Peace to involve children in learning about the places we deliver to, and how they can help to fulfill the mission. As a knitter I appreciate the healing and calming effect of knitting in community with others.”

Arna’s role on the Board of Craft is dealing with issues related to the creation of items that meet the requirements of those we deliver to.

Julie Meyers

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Director of Community Purls

Board of Directors

Julie is a life long knitter. She started knitting prayer shawls for K4P from Providence RI, shortly after K4P began. Four years ago she moved to Denver with her husband and realized she could meet Susan McKee, K4P’s founder, in person. She began knitting with a local Denver Peace Pod, then began volunteering to help with inventory and recently joined the board.

A retired primary care pediatrician, Julie has found ways to be active in many social justice causes in Denver. K4P is a perfect fit as it ties two of Julie’s passions – knitting and trying to make the world a better place.

“I’m thrilled to have found K4P all those years ago and even more thrilled that it’s become such an important part of my life. There is nothing I like better than to knit for others. To help other knitters find that joy is wonderful. Bringing joy and hope to the recipients of what we knit is the greatest gift of all.”

Susanne Bryan

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Director of Personnel

Board of Directors

Susanne's passion for knitting began over 40 years ago when she was a foreign exchange student. There was plenty of time on the sheep and cattle farm in New South Wales, Australia to learn to knit. Her "Mum" was very patient and helped pick up dropped stitches and check her gauge for three months.... after all the farm chores had been completed. Watching the sheep shearing gave her a huge appreciation for PURE wool (and all the labor that goes into caring for the sheep every day as they grow their wool)!

Attending University of Denver's Masters in Social Work program brought her to Colorado full time back in the 1980's.

She has been knitting hats, scarves, sweaters for charity and for family and friends ever since. She enjoys teaching knitting to all ages... kindergartners to ninety year olds. For six years she has taught knitting at several retirement communities in Denver. Like riding a bike, the skill would come right back for seniors who hadn't knit for years. And seeing the joy knitting brought them, Susanne was found excitement in delivering their hats to local hospitals and shelters.

Susanne joined the Knitting4Peace board in 2018 and serves as the Director of Personnel.

Pam Leder-board Member

Pam Leder-Board Member

Pam has been involved with Knitting4Peace for 7 years, beginning with the formation of a Peace Pod at First Universalist Church of Denver where she was the Connection Coordinator and creator of StitchN’W(h)ine. Pam started StitchN’W(h)ine after seeing the community that knitting and crocheting created with members of The Gathering Place while she was employed as the Card Project Coordinator. She firmly believes that so much goodwill can be created by creative people sitting around a table and exchanging ideas. In addition, Pam has made monthly deliveries for Knitting4Peace to the University of Colorado Hospital Anschutz NICU for the past several years. Originally from Decatur, Illinois, Pam has been a Coloradan for the past 40 years volunteering with various nonprofits, including Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver and most recently with Dry Bones Denver. Pam is the mother of three daughters and the proud grandmother of three and looks forward to working in outreach for Knitting4Peace.

Angela Bakas, Board Member

Angela Bakas, Board Member

Angela is a Colorado native and a lifelong crafter. She graduated with a degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising San Francisco and has since had a successful ten-year (and counting) career in apparel and textile product development. She currently works at a Denver based startup whose mission is to inspire and teach makers/crafters through online content and eCommerce. As an avid traveler for both work and pleasure, she has visited sixteen countries on six continents and has climbed two of the seven summits before the age of 30. Her favorite trips have included visiting a tobacco farm in Cuba with her mom and summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania after raising nearly $10,000 on behalf of another Denver based non-profit. Angela believes travel is a privilege, an invaluable educational experience and is dedicated to helping people locally and abroad. She lives by the notion that if you are losing hope in this world, you are not doing enough. Angela hopes her business sense, appreciation for the maker community and genuine desire to help people will contribute to the K4P team.

5align

Consultants

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You can contact 5align and learn more about the Website Custodian service by visiting 5align.com.

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