Namta Connect Virtual Schedule
Namta Connect keeps Members in touch with Supplier Demos, Business Presentations, and Member Meetings
- all on the ZOOM platform.

Session Times are listed in Eastern Time

3 pm Eastern =
2 pm Central  = 1 pm Mountain  = 12 noon Pacific

Have you missed some Namta Connect Sessions?



Visit Namta Connect The Studio to see recordings of past sessions

Tuesday, February 7, 3 PM ET


What's Happening with STEAM? Arts Education and Advocacy in Your Community

Speakers: David Pyle with Edouard Andre-Hessig, Lucinda Presley, and Shelley Mathews

What happens to our future business if education is all STEM and no STEAM?  Educators are exploring how best to include the arts and craft as an essential ingredient in schooling – but what role does the creative products community have in keeping art and craft (and our products) as an essential part of learning? How can we advocate for STEAM-focused education in our communities? How do we develop products that can help students explore and learn? How do we support community needs in education and arts education? In this panel we’ll dive into the trends with STEAM education and how you can be a growth driver in your business and larger community.

Edouard André-Hessig, CEO and founder of ArtVenture - During 25 years of traveling in over 50 countries, Edouard had the chance to work with inspiring individuals and companies to design and launch unique products in office stationery and art material markets. Rich with this broad experience in manufacturing and marketing and a constant desire to create innovative, fun, and functional products, he decided to pursue this wonderful adventure with a primary focus on sustainable, educational products inspiring creativity with hands-on experience.

Lucinda Presley has worked at the STEAM intersections for over 25 years. She is founder, Chair, and Executive Director of the Washington, DC-based Innovation Collaborative. The Collaborative is a coalition of national arts, STEM, and higher education institutions that, through research, is providing a strong foundation for the growing STEAM movement. As Executive Director of ICEE Success Foundation, she also works with partners in Texas, nationally, and internationally, developing K-12 and out-of-school-time programming, writing curriculum, and training teachers. She also has led STEAM education initiatives and teacher/artist training for a science museum, an art museum, and a national arts provider. She has taught in the art department at a large community college for over 20 years, where she was recently named Professor of the Year. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Shelley Mathews, CEO and Founder of FullCircle26 Inc. - Shelley Mathews is a lifetime entrepreneur, specialist in bringing products to market and future thinker. As a professional in sales, marketing and business creation, her company FullCircle26 Inc. offers a platform for access to education, food, and enterprise. Shelley started her destiny in entrepreneurship as a child with a lemon-aide stand and side hustles through-out adulthood to support her education and life-long dreams. Her journey from sales representative to vice president of sales for top brands including Memorex, Rubbermaid, Crayola, McGraw-Hill Children’s Publishing and Dixon Ticonderoga solidified a track-record of success and confidence to leave corporate life and start her company FullCircle26 Inc. (FC26I) in January 2017.
 FullCircle26 Inc. today has represented top brand names including Armadillo Art & Craft, Bob Ross, Dixon Ticonderoga and currently ArtVenture LLC, Chibitronics and OPCOM. In 2019, FC26I became the North American distributor for OPCOM Hydroponic systems. The company’s portfolio continues to grow with Agtech and STEM/STEAM products for various channels of trade including education, art, consumer, and ecommerce. Shelley is a life-long learner with an undergraduate degree in Business from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and master’s degree in Marketing Communication from Roosevelt University. Her interest includes ancient history, cooking, gardening, and songwriting to maintain a life of learning, health, and creativity.

Kizer & BenderThursday, February 9, 3 PM ET
What Should Your Store Look Like? Pro-Active Planning to Make Your Sales Floor More Profitable

Tuesday, February 14, 2023 3 PM ET


The Influencer Relationship Panel

Speakers: David Pyle with Danny Gregory, Ann Butler, and A.V. Perkins

Are influencers today’s most powerful sales drivers of creative products? For brands and retailers, how can you balance your marketing resources across your needs for branding, product advertising, social media placement, and ‘relationship visibility’ with influencers? How do you cultivate strong influencer and creator relationships? What are effective strategies around influencer marketing? For influencers, what are tactics to develop partnerships to grow your following? In this panel, we’ll talk to influencers and creators in the arts space to dive deep into the ins and outs of what a symbiotic influencer relationship looks like.
Key takeaways for brands and retailers:
•    How to find the right influencer for your brand
•    Creating a long term influencer strategy
•    Agreements, contracts, and expectations
•    What to do and not do when working with influencers
Key takeaways for creators, influencers, and designers:
•    How to find a brand that fits your creative goals
•    Creating long term partnership strategies
•    Agreements, contracts, and expectations
•    What to do and not do when working with brands

Ann Butler is a licensed artist, social media influencer, instructor and consultant for the creative industries. Her designs appear in multi-authored books, magazines, booklets, manufacturer trade show booths and websites. She has been teaching workshops and conducting seminars locally and internationally for the past 20+ years. She regularly is a guest artist on TV and web TV shows.
She is the CEO, founder, and editor of Bella Crafts Publishing which produces Bella Crafts, a FREE downloadable digital craft magazine as well as craft eBooks that are available in both digital and print on demand formats. Additionally, Ann has a patented line of rubber stamps and licensed products with Rhinestone Genie, Earth Safe Finishes, Emerald Creek,  Unity Stamp Company, StencilGirl and ArtFoamies. She also has her own branded Paper Line and Rubber Stamps. You can see projects using her product lines on the Bella blog and her Ann Butler Designs blog.

Danny Gregory is the internationally best-selling author of a dozen books on art and creativity. He is the founder of Sketchbook Skool with tens of thousands of students worldwide.
Danny has shown zillions of people how to ignite their inner artists, embrace their creativity and tell the stories of their lives. From Boston to Beijing, people who haven’t drawn since grade school have picked up the creative habit and have gone on to publish books of their own and show and sell their artwork. Danny is the founder of Sketchbook Skool, an online art school designed to bring artists back to their creativity. Taught by the world’s best illustrators, artists, and educators, Sketchbook Skool encourages its global community of over 50,000 students to draw in a sketchbook, regardless of skill level. Danny has been writing online since 2003, first on his blog and now in a weekly newsletter. 100,000 subscribers tune into his weekly video essays on YouTube. Danny spent three decades as one of New York’s leading advertising creative directors and has created award-winning, global campaigns for clients like Chase, JPMorgan, American Express, IBM, Burger King, Ford, Chevron, and many others. Danny was born in London, grew up in Pakistan, Australia, and Israel, and graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University. He now lives in Phoenix, AZ.

A.V. Perkins - if Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg had a baby it would be A.V.
A.V. Perkins is a DIY expert, media personality and co-founder of University of Dope, a disrespectful party game for hip hop lovers. Currently available in Target stores, nationwide.
Credits include HGTV, HGTV Handmade, Apartment Therapy and The Drew Barrymore Show. A.V. is determined to help fun loving millennials realize “Life is better when you Do-It-Yourself!

Tuesday, February 16, 1 PM ET


Retail Roundtable- Let's Talk about Creativation by NAMTA 2023

Thursday, February 23, 3 PM ET


Special Event with Temple Grandin:
Visual Thinking and What it Means for the Creative Products Industry and STEAM-Focused Education a collaborative event hosted by NAMTA and Colorado State University Arts Management

Speakers: David Pyle with Temple Grandin

Visual thinking is a powerful tool that leads to essential skills in today's economy. Yet the skills that cultivate and refine visual thinking - drawing, sewing, and other hands-on activities - are increasingly underfunded and undervalued in schools and the workplace. In her most recent book, Visual Thinking, The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions, Dr. Temple Grandin proposes that valuing visual thinking leads to deeper learning, increased innovative and creative output, and stronger collaboration. Join us for what is certain to be a lively conversation around how educating and cultivating visual thinking can impact the art-making and crafting industry, STEAM-focused education, and today's workforce.

Tuesday, February 28
3 pm ET

Meet James Lancel McElhinney - Author of Sketchbook Traveler Southwest


Keeping visual journals has been popular for centuries among artist-travelers as topographical drawings were essential to knowing what destinations looked like so voyagers would know when they arrived. Carrying this concept to the next level, Sketchbook Traveler Southwest expands plein-air painting beyond the range of easels and backpacks, providing educators with instructional concepts, giving professional artists new (and old) ways to hone mobile sketching skills.

Inviting readers to explore their surroundings through drawing and writing, Sketchbook Traveler Southwest is a field guide to mindful engagement with personal experience in ways that make every day an adventure.

Many Namta members are mentioned in Chapter Six, Into the Field. Join James Lancel McElhinney as he discusses his latest book.           

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Ryan Newell is the President and CEO of Spinrite