Next Up for Gwen

Filed in Out of Our Head by on April 28, 2016 1 Comment

The saying, “timing is everything” has never felt more appropriate than this past week.

Whats next for Gwen

As Kellie and I have been thinking about what is next for us both as business partners and as individuals, a variety of new thoughts, considerations, and opportunities have presented themselves. In some cases the opportunities seemed good, yet didn’t quite feel right. In other scenarios ideas that started with a rush of enthusiasm quickly died on the vine. But less than a week ago, the right opportunity at the right time appeared.

For the past few years I have been working to relaunch my business/professional consulting career in parallel with my existing knitting instruction business. If you have kept abreast of this adventure via, you know that this has been a series of fits and starts. As I have worked to discern my calling, I have struggled with where my skills and experience can come together with my interests to provide true benefit and value to others.

With the help of many wise friends and associates I have begun to hone in on a focus that addresses all of the issues above, leading through change.

On Friday (less than a week ago), I was asked to consider taking an interim position as the Executive Director for TNNA. By mid-day Tuesday the deal was done. A number of changes have been happening with the organization including our current Executive Director being offered her dream job (which she took). As a member of the TNNA board, I brought continuity; many of my skills fall into line with the job requirements, then add to that the transitional nature of our industry and it seemed like the perfect opportunity – particularly given my new focus.

As an interim position, I will work on a consulting basis, allowing me to continue to fulfill my teaching obligations throughout the year (something I would only give up under serious duress). But interestingly, my teaching schedule was a bit lighter for the next few months than what has historically been the case. I will also be able to work remotely much of the time, so the amount of travel required won’t be much different than that to which Arlis and I are already accustomed.

But timing truly is everything!

I am not sure I would have even considered it if Kellie and I hadn’t already decided to move to the next adventure. If my teaching schedule had been super full, it wouldn’t have made sense. If I had not spent time on the board of TNNA I probably would not feel as able to step into the role, let alone even be considered.

So my next few months will be filled with a new adventure, combining both my love and interest in the needle arts with my desire to work with volunteers leading through change. I couldn’t ask for anything better!

In the meantime I will continue to offer weekly insights and encouragement through the Weekly Course of Action. It is free, so check it out here. You can also find me on Twitter tweeting about leadership and occasionally on Instagram showing pictures of my garden via @GwenBortner. Of course, you can always learn Entrelac from me or How to Teach any hand-craft on Craftsy (those are both discount links). Because I don’t know how long the other addresses will be available, if you want to email me, just drop me a note at

Thanks for being part of this adventure!

I hope I will continue to see many of you in my classes, at events, or via some online connection. You have made the past few years not just a career, but an enjoyable journey with friends.

Here’s to whatever is next!!

Big hugs….


PS – If you are worried about getting your knitting teacher “fix”, you might consider signing up for a couple of our teacher friends’ newsletters: