The Board


The Furniture Society Board of Trustees consists of up to 22 members at any given time, as provided in the organization's charter. Trustees serve for a term of 3 years, and may serve two consecutive terms. Candidates for openings on the board are considered by the Nominating Committee, and voted on by the full board. Trustees who have completed their term(s) usually continue to serve by invitation on the Advisory Board.

Officers of the board are elected by the full board and include President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary. These officeholders form the Executive Committee. Retiring Presidents are invited to serve one additional active year on the board in the position of Past President.

Any member of The Furniture Society is eligible to be considered for nomination as a Trustee.

The Board of Trustees is composed of member volunteers who give their time and experience to guide the Society in the fulfillment of its mission. Meetings of the full Board occur twice during the year.




Officers are elected annually and constitute the organization's Executive Committee. Date in parenthesis shows when Trustee joined the Board.

Bart Niswonger

Worthington, MA (2013)

Board President

Bart Niswonger is a furniture maker in western Massachusetts. His work explores complex surface pattern and texture, employing techniques from hand carving to computer controlled routing as well as a broad range of materials. He received the John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship in 2011, and has been a member of The Furniture Society since 2004.

Maggie Sasso

Milwaukee, WI (2014)

Board Vice-president,

Maggie Sasso received her BFA in woodworking and metalsmithing from Murray State University in 2006. During this time she served as Student Representative on the Board of Trustees for the Furniture Society. In 2010 she received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin - Madison where she made many bodies of work, including the Mobile Museum of Material Culture, a collaborative grant funded project featured in a documentary. In Fall 2010 she taught at the Oregon College of Art and Craft for one semester in the woodworking department, and worked as a visiting artist. In 2011 she moved to Milwaukee, WI where she received a Mary L. Nohl Fellowship and works at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design where she is the Sewing Lab Technician and teaches adjunct in the foundations, new studio practice and industrial design departments.

Sarah Marriage

Baltimore, MD (2015)

Board Secretary

Sarah Marriage is a maker of fine furniture and other wooden objects. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Sarah studied architecture at Princeton University and fine woodworking at The College of the Redwoods. She is the 2015 recipient of the John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship, through The Society of Arts and Crafts and the Mineck Foundation in Boston, and will use her Mineck funding to support the creation of “A Workshop of Their Own,” a space where women furniture makers can come together in a supportive environment.  She is a co-founder and co-editor of Works & Days Quarterly, an online quarterly of arts, letters, and no small amount of craft ( Sarah is currently making work as a studio fellow at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine.

Kathy Sharp

Nashville, TN (2015)

Board Treasurer

Kathy Sharp is owner of Keystone Professional Solutions and a longtime volunteer with the Furniture Society. She is married to Alf Sharp, a furniture maker, former board member, and past president. Many will know Kathy from her activities organizing the Silent Auction at conferences.


Trustees are elected for three-year terms and may be re-elected to a second three-year term. Date in parenthesis shows when Trustee joined the Board.

Hayami Arakawa

West Newton, MA (2013)

Trustee - Exhibitions

Hayami Arakawa is a furniture maker and educator at MIT in Cambridge, MA.

Michael Jean Cooper

Sebastapol, CA (2018)

Michael Jean Cooper was born in Richmond, California in 1943 and grew up in Lodi, California. Mike holds a B.A. in Commercial Art and M.A. in Sculpture from San Jose State College, as well as a M.F.A in Sculpture from U.C. Berkeley. He taught Furniture Design, Sculpture, and 3D Design as an Instructor of Art for 34 years at Foothill-DeAnza College in Cupertino, CA, retiring in 2004.

During his professional career Michael has been honored with numerous awards and fellowships. Michael has participated in multiple one-man and group shows and is represented in various publications as well as private and public collections. He currently lives in Sebastopol, California where he works daily in his studio adjacent to his home. He typically works in wood and metal or a combination of both, combining organic and geometric forms with kinetic elements.

Forest Dickey

San Francisco, CA (2011)

Past President

Forest Dickey initially came to the Board as the Student Representative, and also served as the Vice President of the Board.

Karen Ernst

Edinboro, PA (2018)

Karen Ernst is a Professor in the Art Department at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where she has been teaching woodworking and furniture design since 2004. Originally from East Aurora, NY, she received a B.A. in Studio Art from SUNY Geneseo, and her M.F.A in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. She maintains an active studio practice, exhibiting the furniture and sculptural objects she makes across the U.S. She has been a member of the Furniture Society since 2002.


Thomas Hucker

Hoboken, NJ  (2018)

Thomas Hucker began his illustrious career by undergoing a rigorous apprenticeship with German master cabinetmaker Leonard Hilger and then continued his training under master-craftsman Jere Osgood at Boston University’s Program in Artisanry. The strong artistic and technical base Osgood’s and Hilger’s instructions provided paved the way for Hucker’s provocative and conceptually engaging work that was to come.

Over the many years Hucker has been active in the furniture field, he received grants from The Fragrance Foundation in New York; from Fulbright-Hays in Industrial Design at Domus Academy in Milan, Italy; and two National Endowment for the Arts awards. Hucker is a five-times awardee by I.D. Magazine’s Annual Design Review. He has taught at the Pratt Institute, the New York School of Design, California College of the Arts, and the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Tennessee. Hucker’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Arts & Design and the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York; the Detroit Museum of Art, MI; the Los Angeles County Museum, CA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; and The Smithsonian Institution of American Art, Washington, DC .

Hucker received the Furniture Society’s Award of Distinction in 2016 and has most recently been made an American Craft Council Fellow (October 2018).


Adam Manley

San Diego, CA (2018)

Adam John Manley was born and raised in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York. His Father was a carpenter and boat builder, and his mother a weaver. After attending SUNY New Paltz, in New York’s Hudson Valley, where he received a BA in International Relations and Political Science, Adam fell in love with woodworking and furniture making. After college, he and a small group of craft-based artists started a small gallery and cooperative studio, in Kingston New York called “the Firehouse”. Adam Received his MFA in Furniture and Woodworking from San Diego State University in 2012, where he focused his work on sculptural objects using furniture as a point of departure. The work explores the relationship between people, places, and objects. Since receiving his MFA, Adam has exhibited nationally from San Diego to Maine, including shows at Space Gallery in Portland Maine, The Hunterdon Museum in Clinton New Jersey, The Oceanside Museum in Oceanside California, UW Madison’s galleries, and the Kipp Gallery in Indiana Pennsylvania. 


Heath Matysek-Snyder

Richmond, VA (2017)

Trustee - Regional Events

Heath Matysek-Snyder is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts (VCUarts). He teaches in the Department of Craft/Material Studies, where he is the Wood/Furniture Design Area Head. He earned his BFA from VCUarts in 2000 and his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004. Heath has been an Artist-in- Residence at San Diego State University and Designed Objects Tasmania, in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Additionally, Heath has been a participating artist at Emma International Collaboration, in Ness Creek, Saskatchewan.

Jennifer-Navva Milliken

New York and Tel Aviv (2017)

Trustee - Exhibitions

Jennifer-Navva Milliken is a curator and writer whose work is inspired by the objects with which we live and the hands, tools, and ideas that shape them. Her exhibitions have been presented in museums, art fairs, galleries, and unconventional spaces, and her writings have appeared in exhibition catalogues, anthologies, and publications that investigate and critique the intersecting fields of art, craft, and design. With a uniquely global perspective, honed through a life split between two continents, she is driven by the extraordinary power of the arts to challenge preconceptions and bridge divides.

Cory Robinson

Indianapolis, IN (2018)


Cory Robinson earned a BFA in furniture design at the Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis, IN, and an MFA in applied design at San Diego State University with an emphasis on furniture. Robinson served as the co-chair for the 2006 annual Furniture Society conference in Indianapolis. In addition to having a furniture making studio practice, Robinson teaches furniture design at the Herron School of Art, since 2003, and is currently the Chair of the Fine Arts department at the school. He is a past president of The Furniture Society.




Advisory Board

The Furniture Society Advisory Board provides advice and counsel to the Board of Trustees.

Ronald Abramson
Glenn Adamson
Mark Bench
Sylvia Bennett
Bonnie Bishoff
Scott Braun
Martha Connell
Edward S. Cooke. Jr.
Paula Cooperrider
Stephen B. Crump
Deborah Levin Daniell
Linda Sue Eastman
Dennis FitzGerald, Past President
David Fleming
Amy Forsyth
Michael Fortune
Gail Fredell
Rachel Fuld, Past President
Brian Gladwell, Past President
Andy Glantz, Past President
Miguel Gomez-Ibanez, Past President
Marc Grainer
Peter Handler
Michael Hosaluk
Ursula Ilse-Neuman
Bebe Pritam Johnson
Janet Kardon
Jack Larimore
Po Shun Leong
Kern Maass
Wendy Maruyama
Craig Nutt
Aimee Pickett
Andy Pitts
Mike Podmaniczky
Richard Prisco
Gabriel Romeu, Past President
Rosanne Somerson
Bernice Wollman