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Welcome Incoming Board Vice President Karen Ernst

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As a long­time member of The Furni­ture Society, Karen is opti­mistic about the poten­tial TFS has to expand our reach and better connect, inspire, and serve all of the facets of our member­ship and our communities.

Karen Ernst Headshot

I am so honored and excited to take on the role of Vice Pres­i­dent of the Furni­ture Society’s Board of Trustees! I attended my first FS confer­ence in 2006 and left feeling inspired and moti­vated with new ideas to imple­ment in my studio prac­tice and class­room – I knew I had found my people”. I have been a regular at confer­ences ever since and even­tu­ally joined the board in 2018, wanting to give more to this orga­ni­za­tion that I care so much about. 

Though it was disap­point­ing to not be able to have this year’s confer­ence in Asheville, I think as an orga­ni­za­tion the Furni­ture Society was pushed to take new approaches to creat­ing program­ming and engag­ing with our member­ship. Since initi­at­ing FS Connects back in March, we have added signif­i­cantly to the virtual content offered on our website and social media, featur­ing the sketches and artwork of our members, as well as interviews/​studio visits with a wide variety of makers. We have been working to foster commu­ni­ca­tion and collab­o­ra­tion between educa­tors in our field, as furni­ture programs all strug­gle to find ways to continue to engage with students. Craft for a Greater Good keeps growing in momen­tum, provid­ing a chance to use our skills and creativ­ity to inter­act with and make a posi­tive change in the cities where we hold our confer­ences. With several other excit­ing new initia­tives in the works, I am opti­mistic about the poten­tial the FS has to expand our reach and better connect, inspire, and serve all of the facets of our member­ship and our communities.

Together with our newly expanded Board of Trustees, Pres­i­dent Adam Manley, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Monica Hampton, Direc­tor of Educa­tion Pam Robin­son, and our dedi­cated group of volun­teers, I feel confi­dent about our ability to continue to move forward and adapt to what­ever the future has in store for us. I am step­ping into this role with the (para­phrased) words of a wise woman (former VP Maggie Sasso) in my head – An orga­ni­za­tion is/​should be a reflec­tion of its member­ship.” I am commit­ted to doing what I can to be sensi­tive and respon­sive to the needs of our current and future members. I look forward to working with you!

Karen Ernst is a Profes­sor in the Art Depart­ment at Edin­boro Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia, teach­ing Woodworking/​Furniture Design. She holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has over twenty years of wood­work­ing and design expe­ri­ence. Her work has been exhib­ited across the US and is included in many private collections.