Sewing & Stitchery Expo, Part 2 – Meet the Leadership and Clothing & Textile Advisors

Sew Expo Leadership: Janet McLoughlin, Joanne Ross, Ann Sagawa

Leadership: Janet McLoughlin, Joanne Ross, Ann Sagawa


Janet McLoughlin: As a Conference Manager for the Washington State Conference Center, Janet works on Sew Expo year round, but she also manages other conferences for the University. As the Show Manager, her role revolves around the logistics. This is everything from securing the dates with the fairgrounds, signing contracts, ordering wheelchairs and overseeing the printing of the brochure and at door newspaper.

She works with exhibitors, putting together the vendor location puzzle. She oversees move-in and move-out of the booths, decorator set-up of the show floor and making sure everything goes smoothly.

Come December and January, Janet is attached to her computer. Between getting the brochure to the printer and then working to get everything uploaded to the website, ordering the actual tickets and then … making sure the on-line registration system is working! (Many hours are spent trying to “break” the software so that no one runs into trouble when ordering tickets.)

Ann Sagawa: As the Education Manager, Ann is technically the only full-time paid employee of the Sewing and Stitchery Expo. Her job is all about the classes, workshops and seminars. She also coordinates the CTA program and their involvement in the Sew Expo. At the planning meeting, Ann brings the numbers from the previous year, and they review the feedback from attendees. They discuss who’s coming back, who’s taking a break, and what new products or teachers should be invited to the next show. Ann sends out the correspondence with teachers, accepts their applications for classes or events, and presents this information so the final choices are made. She edits every class description, helps put together the show brochure, and uploads the information to the website. Sew Expo also does two special evening events during the show. 2017 Friday Night LIVE featured Martha Pullen. And the Saturday Quilter’s Night Out featured Kym Goldup-Graham and Ann Duncan all the way from Australia.

Sew Expo Clothing & Textile Advisors

Clothing & Textile Advisors (CTA) Volunteers

Clothing & Textile Advisors:

The Clothing and Textile Advisors (CTA) volunteer program was started in 1983 by Joanne Ross. It was a copy-cat of the infamous Master Gardener Program, a nationwide program also started in Pierce County Extension office. The idea was to provide volunteers with in-depth sewing and textile education in return for their volunteer time to teach others sewing and textile skills during the year. The program blossomed into a statewide program in about 12 counties. These volunteers give countless hours and many are well-known experts, even published.

CTA’s teach all year round including 4-H sewing, several summer sewing camps for children 8-14 years old living in low-income areas, adult sewing lessons at different community sites and sometimes they teach workshops to enhance their own skills. They now have approximately 250 members statewide.

Joanne says, “The CTA’s are the heart and soul of Sew Expo. They serve as hostesses during the show, and each seminar room has a CTA in charge for every seminar or workshop. But they do much more than that. During the week before Christmas, 30 CTA’s spend a morning getting the brochures sent out to stores and businesses and individuals not on the mailing list. This year more than 40,000 brochures will be mailed out and another30,000 will be hand delivered to local stores.”

Check out next week’s blog for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how the CTA’s contribute to the Sewing & Stitchery Expo, consider two specific areas: the Ticket Office and the Free Stage.

Next week, Part 3:  Sew Expo Ticket Office and Daily Free Style Shows on the Main Stage