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.
2019 Board of Directors
From Left to Right
Barbara Hadley - Board President
Kriss Miller - Board Member
Kris Smither - Secretary
Nancy Petersen - Treasurer
Eileen Bobowski - Executive Director
Kelly Wilson - Board Member
Barbara Hadley, Board Member and Board President - 30+ years’ experience as a CPA; as an entrepreneur, created and sold a business that remains a leader in its market.
Kriss Miller - Board Member and Artist, brings extensive experience in coordinating intergenerational arts experiences, with significant fibers experience in knitting, felting, quilting, dyeing, sewing and design. Selected as a contributing artist for the 2018 Art in the Loop grant.
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.
Nancy Petersen - Board Member - Industrial Program Instructor with 40 + years’ experience in the apparel industry. She is a professional designer, patternmaker, and expert seamstress. She holds a Bachelor of Science in clothing and Textiles.
Kelly Wilson - Board Member and Entrepreneur brings 30+ years of experience in leading, teaching, and growing entrepreneurial endeavors. Kelly is a class of 2016 Women Who Mean Business member.
We have exciting news at The Sewing Labs! The Board of Directors of The Sewing Labs is pleased to announce the appointment of Eileen Bobowski, BFA, as the organization’s new Executive Director, effective May 1, 2019.
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.
We are impressed by Eileen’s wealth of leadership and fundraising experience, as well as her humble and passionate love of service to others. We are thrilled to have found a Director who in addition to her executive skill set has a life-long enthusiasm for sewing and is excited about serving The Sewing Labs’ mission to teach the legacy of sewing toward employment.
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.
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
Cali Roberta Cox - Classroom Instructor - Industrial - Production Manager.
Cali Roberta for many years has worked as an independent accessory and fashion designer as owner of Cherokee Punk Designs. She specialize 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.
Master Instructor - Industrial Programs
Nancy has over forty years of experience in the apparel industry. Her hands-on manufacturing experience spans product concept thru production to finishing. She is a professional designer, patternmaker and expert seamstress. She is also highly skilled in garment fit and alteration techniques. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Clothing and Textiles.