Officers & Trustees



Naomi Geller Lipsky - President
Naomi Geller Lipsky received her PhD in Biochemistry from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and enjoyed a satisfying career in research for many years. At the same time, she continued to develop her skills in the fine and decorative arts. When these latter interests finally became more compelling, she made the decision to retire from science and become a full-time decorative artist. She is best known for her quilling, an antique art in which paper strips are rolled, shaped and formed into images.  She incorporates gilding into her work wherever possible!  Naomi is also accomplished in collage, faux finishes, and gouache, and does all her own matting and framing. Her award-winning work has been exhibited in a variety of museums and galleries, and published in books, magazines and calendars, and she gives quilling classes to all age groups.  She is a graduate of the Master Seamstress program at the URI, and has also taught home decor sewing.  Before becoming President of the SOG, she served for eight years as its Treasurer.  Her work can be seen at

Kate Brown - Vice President & Education Chair
Kate Brown is an East Coast-born Los Angeles-based gilder and artist. She learned from Society of Gilders teachers Jill London, Smith Coleman, Michael Gilbert, and Peter Miller. Until recently, she was in-house gilder at the Ota House frame shop in Los Angeles, serving museums, collectors, and artists, and working in close collaboration with conservators. She is now the owner of an independent gilding practice, Gilded Objects. As Education Chair Kate welcomes teachers and students, current and future, to be in touch. To see samples of her gilding work, or instagram: @gildedobjectsTo see work in other media,

Jean Spencer- Secretary
As a child Jean Spencer was hooked on painting when she received a paint-by-number set (hated the picture, loved the paints), and on gilding while studying illuminated manuscripts in an art history class. She has had an independent restoration studio since 1986, working primarily on paintings, gilded frames and other painted and gilded objects for art and antiques dealers. She enjoys dark chocolate (with or without gold flakes).

Ann Marie Spaeth - Treasurer
Elected December 11, 2017. Ann Marie is part of the W&B Gold Leaf team in Seboygan, WI. 


Barrie Lynn Bryant - Membership Development & Outreach
Barrie began designing and making picture frames for his wife's artworks in 1995 as a means to save money. When he discovered gilding in 1999, he broke open his piggy bank, spent all his savings on karat gold leaf and began gilding some of the frames for her art on his own. He has since shared much glory for his work by winning more than a hundred cash awards in juried art shows throughout the USA, winning three Individual Artist Professional Development Grants from Wyoming Arts Council for gilding, and maintaining a rigorous and diverse exhibition, touring and events schedule. He lives and works in Kirby, Wyoming. Find out more about Barrie at his WEBSITE.

Micki Cavanah - Publisher of The Gilder's Tip
Micki Cavanah is the owner of Reed's Gold Leaf Studios in Nashville TN. The company was founded by her mother Lou Reed in 1972 at a time when there was very limited sharing of information in the field. She passed along her knowledge and expertise to many students along the way as well as Micki and her husband Mitchell who now continue to provide the gilding and restoration services to their clients all around the southeast.  Micki teaches one-on-one classes by appointment only. Reed's Gold Leaf Studios offers gilding and restoration services, hand-made gilded frames as well as offering products for gilding and restoration. Their work can be seen all around the Southeastern United States in various galleries, museums, historic homes, universities and private collections. Included in their work are Athena Parthenos and The Schermerhorn Symphony Center, both in Nashville TN.

Colleen Donaldson
Colleen Donaldson established her gilding studio in the United Kingdom in 1997 following a seven-year training. Primarily trained as a furniture conservator and as an intern with Scottish National Museums and Galleries, she has worked extensively on national collections. Her client base ranges from the Royal Collections to the National Trust, and various members of the aristocracy.

Diane Killeen
New Orleans native Diane, of Diane Killeen Painting Studios, provides decorative restoration and artistic finishes in both historic and contemporary settings. Since 2000, she has worked on projects in the greater New Orleans area and the Southeast painting for her own clientele. Local restorations include the ceiling murals at Latter Library, the decorative plaster at the Roosevelt Hotel, gilded frames for The Historic New Orleans Collection, and all of the decorative restoration at the Robinson-Jordan House. Also, as a project manager for International Fine Arts Conservation Studios, she has traveled extensively restoring sites on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2009, she was the recipient of the Prince of Wales Foundation's educational grant at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans. Diane’s specialties include decorative faux finishes, traditional water gilding, Venetian plaster, custom stenciling, murals, decorative plaster restoration, sculpture and historic color analysis. A graduate from Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia with degrees in both studio art and psychology, Diane has since pursued a graduate certification in decorative painting and restoration through the City and Guilds of London's North American Program, a fellowship program with the historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

Michael Kramer - Past President
Michael Kramer is the founder and president of The Gilders' Studio, Inc., an award-winning firm with prestigious projects across the United States and overseas. Formed in 1985, the studio works on monumental sculpture, state capitols, government buildings, churches and private homes. These include the redecoration of the Great Cupola of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the gilding restoration at Lincoln Tomb Historic Site, gilding at the Library of Congress, the exterior gilding restoration of the Georgia State Capitol and the gilding conservation in the Washington Monument. Listed in Who's Who in American Art, Michael is a member of American Institute for Conservation and Association for Preservation Technology. Since 1987 he has taught gilding and decorative painting at the Smithsonian, for the Society of Gilders and other venues. He has also written several articles on gilding and related fields, which have been published in Traditional Building Magazine and other periodicals. His chapter titled "Exterior Architectural Gilding" features in the book, Gilded Metals: History, Conservation and Technology from Archetype Press.

Annie Lemarie
Annie started playing around with gold leaf when she was a teenager, trying to figure out, on her own, how water-gilding worked. She received formal fine arts training at the Maryland Institute College of Art, funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation. She has worked as a museum archivist (works on paper), paper conservator, frame shop manager, museum exhibit designer and graphic designer.  In 1988, Annie began providing high-end decorative design and decoration to designers and architects in the metro Washington D.C. region, as Main Street Arts LLC.  A lifetime of living in old and historic buildings brought about an extension of the business to restoration and conservation of painted and gilded surfaces, with clients including the National Park Service and several National Trust for Historic Preservation properties. Annie now works mostly in her studio doing design work and restoration work on frames, furniture and architectural elements. She also teaches gilding specialty finishing classes through IDAL and independently in her studio. She is a former board member of the International Decorative Artisans League (IDAL) and a former president of Habitat for Humanity of Washington County (Maryland).

Francis Lestingi
While in elementary school in Queens, NY, Francis taught himself pen calligraphy and brush lettering. By the time he attended high school in Brooklyn, he had learned how to gild with genuine gold leaf and was hand lettering paper signs for storefronts and shops. After high school, Francis entered the religious teaching order of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (The De La Salle Christian Brothers) where he received degrees in physics from The Catholic University of America and under a National Science Foundation Fellowship from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Later, he taught physics, chemistry, mathematics, and theology at high schools in Rhode Island, Brooklyn, Long Island, and Queens where he developed physics graphics and demonstrations for use on overhead projectors. Harvard University noted this work and invited Francis to design transparency graphics for a high school physics course, Harvard Project Physics, it was developing for the National Science Foundation. Eventually, he designed six volumes of physics graphics that were used in classrooms throughout the country. After Francis left the Order, he earned a PhD on a US Office of Education Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He then taught physics and history of science at the State University College at Buffalo where he continued designing graphics, now in relativity and astronomy, and branched out into computer animation and filmmaking. Several of his short films on the Periodic Table and on Hiroshima received national and international awards. The State University of New York honored Francis with the President’s and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1994, Francis started Signs of Gold, Inc. with his master woodworker son Stephen. As a “recovering college professor,” Francis has garnered ten First Place Awards from the USSC Sign Design Competition and the International Sign Association. He has published over 18 articles on carving, gilding, and his hand crafted techniques in five North American sign industry journals. Francis's lifelong intrigue with calligraphy and lettering as artform has led him to design five original digital typeface fonts which are commercially available on the Web.

Alternate Trustees

Dan Dipert
Dan Dipert purchased a small travel agency in Arlington, TX in 1972 and built it into a multi-million dollar travel and tour business that is now the largest independent operator of motor coach tours in Texas and the surrounding five states and is amongst the safest and most respected motor coach charter operators in the nation. In 2013, The National Tour Association awarded Dan the NTA Pioneer Award, an award which honors individuals whose accomplishments have resulted in a significant change in the travel industry. Dan holds a bachelors degree from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and a Master of Religious Education degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. Gilding is a hobby for Dan and he's taken many gilding classes at SOG conferences and volunteered on community projects. Dan (and wife Linda) was instrumental in bringing the June 5-10, 2017 SOG conference to Arlington, TX.

Gregory Dixon
Gregory’s work as a gilder began in the early 1980’s, doing exterior gilding on San Franciscan Victorians. He gradually started dong interior work, which included ceilings and architectural mouldings. He got some very good training in Paris, where he learned more about fast and efficient technique. He had the opportunity to do quite a bit of silver gilding, again on ceilings and mouldings. He has appreciated several of the SOG classes over the years, especially the toning class. He does a range of other decorative techniques and finishes. And in the last decade he’s done more work on the repair, restoration and touch up of decorative finishes including gilded finishes. See his website at

Leah Beth Fishman
Trained by master gilders of world renown, Leah Beth Fishman’s work can be seen on two covers of Architectural Digest, in the Oval Office, Rockefeller Plaza, churches, businesses and residences across the globe.  Past projects have included everything from tops of skyscrapers to door and window signage, traditional gilded frames and restorations, ceilings, molding, lighting fixtures, furniture, guitar and automotive detailing and much more.  She creates hand made mirrors and decorative gilded glass/verre églomisé artwork on a large and small scale including pieces on hand for sale as well as individual commissions. For the full scope of work please see

Michael Gilbert
Michael Gilbert is a gilder, carver, and frame maker with nearly forty years experience. The American frame designs of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are the inspiration for most of his work.  Michael has been a teacher since the late 1970’s, with sixteen years at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and with the Society of Gilders since 2001.

Jorge Jimenez
Jorge Jimenez is a Los Angeles, California-based painting and wood finishing contractor whose company Jimenez Custom Painting Inc. serves the high end residential market,  providing quality painting services and fine wood finishing for architects, home builders, interior designers and homeowners in Southern California’s most exclusive communities. Jorge, his brothers and crew members are skilled and accomplished in fine architectural wood finishing, decorative plastering, architectural gilding, faux finishing, furniture finishing, furniture gilding and polished lacquer finishes. Jorge is especially fond of the gilding arts and is committed to the SOG mission of preserving the traditional gilding skills and techniques for future generations.

Brian Koelz
Brian lives in St. Louis, MO with his family of four. He comes from a background in oil painting and printmaking. After earning an M.F.A. in studio arts from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Brian spent the next four years working on reconstructions of Dutch Golden Age and Italian Baroque masterworks at Northern Light Studio in St. Louis. He went on to teach painting technique privately and in the galleries of the Saint Louis Art Museum practicing the act of “copying” masterworks from the originals. In more recent years, Brian has been working for the Saint Louis Art Museum repairing historic and reproduction frames in the museum’s collection as a conservation technician. Brian was taught water gilding by The Rijksmuseum’s Hubert Baija and continues to expand his toolbox. His enthusiasm for historic techniques and materials drives his deep appreciation for the plastic arts.

Carol Lenington
Carol is a Minneapolis based gilder with a degree in Design/Art History.  Her main focus is frame restoration. Previous experience includes projects with institutions and individuals, through Caplow Custom Frame & Restoration.  She also has worked with Minnesota Museum of American Art's museum collection framing for exhibitions.

Amy Ouradnik
Amy is a Minneapolis based gilder and decorative artist/designer. She has a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in Fine Art/Printmaking and an AAS in Interior Design from Century College. After two years traveling Europe and Asia, she worked in art installation at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Weisman Art Museum, as well as other local galleries. In 1993, she founded Aurora Decorative Finishes LLC, a decorative painting company working both residential and commercial spaces around the US and Middle East. Amy trained with instructors at the NA School of Decorative Art, Chicago, learned Moroccan plaster techniques in France, has taken IDAL workshops, and since 2013 has been honing her gilding and verre églomisé skills. She has taken classes instructed by Miriam Ellner, Sandra Spannan and Lynne Rutter. In 2016, She had the honor to work with Jensen Conservation re-gilding the Quadriga sculpture at the Minnesota State Capitol during a major restoration project. She fully enjoys being a member of the Society of Gilders and is extremely honored to be an alternate trustee at large. She loves traveling and can't wait to gild the next available dome in Abu Dhabi.... or Kansas. View her work at or on Facebook and Instagram..

Sandra Spannan
A native of Germany who has lived in New York City since 1993, Sandra is a gilder and decorative artist who has worked on noteworthy private interiors of journalist Anderson Cooper, businessmen Noam Gottesman, Ira Rennert, and Leon Hess, actor Tom Hanks, and musician Billy Corgan to name a few. Sandra founded her Harlem-based company see. gold in 1994 to specialize in verre églomisé, hand painted and gilded signage, architectural glass gilding and reverse painting on glass panels for walls, doors, ceilings, and kitchen backsplashes as well as architectural gilding and restoration/preservation. Her company won a New York Landmarks Conservancy's "Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award" for her preservation in gilding and painting for the Williamsburgh Savings Bank in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Besides catering to the local and national gilding needs, Sandra and her crew travel all over the world glass gilding for clients such as the French perfumery Le Labo, Tiffany and Co., and Balthazar. Sandra has been a very grateful member of The Society Of Gilders since 2004 and was honored to teach the glass gilding workshop during the past two SOG conferences. See some press on Sandra at the following links: The New York Times & Studio visit and interview with The Architectural League