Jody Adams

1997 NAN Lifetime Achievement Awardee

Jody Adams was one of the early founders/directors of NAN, back when the organization was still operating under the auspices of The Valentine Museum in Richmond, VA. She received her Teacher Certification in Canvaswork in 1975, and worked as a counselor for a few years.

In 1980 she succeeded the legendary Louise Downing as Director of Education for the Valentine needlearts program and served a two- year term in that position. Because Jody taught extensively at needlework seminars and for chapters all over the country she was able to recruit potential certification candidates from around the United States and Canada. Her enthusiasm and charming Southern personality enticed talented stitchers to try their wings in designing and teaching, and to earn their Valentine certifications.

In addition to her personal designing and teaching as well as directing the Valentine certification programs, Jody also was Director of the Callaway School of Needlearts. She selected the teachers for the Callaway seminar, took care of correspondence with the teachers, and otherwise served in an advisory capacity regarding the Callaway students. She also made all the speeches at the banquets, etc, while managing the needlearts end of the program.

In 1985 the Valentine cut ties with its needlearts program and the then-current directors established The National Academy of Needlearts. NAN picked up right where it had left off with Valentine, and indeed was perhaps more robust than ever. Jody was still very active on the NAN Board of Directors. After a couple of years NAN realized it would need a different venue for its Assembly and Jody recommended The Greenbrier in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia. NAN spent ten wonderful years at the Greenbrier before moving on to the Homestead in Hot Springs Virginia, were Jody also had contacts.

Meanwhile, Jody was still administering the program at Callaway. In addition, she continued to design wildly popular pieces such as The Christmas House, The Jester, several seasonal porches, and the Stitching Angel.

Jody taught at numerous seminars, for both EGA and ANG, and also for most of the regional EGA seminars. She was, of course, a regular instructor at Callaway and at NAN Assembly, and she also taught for the Embroiderers’ Association of Canada at its national seminar.

Jody grew up in Nashville, TN, and attended art school after finishing high school. She had two sons with her first husband and later married John Adams. She and John lived in Stuart, FL and then moved to Virginia for John’s business. After his passing Jody moved back to her beloved Florida.