Gina Foltz is the daughter of Ned Foltz and stepdaughter to Gwen Foltz. She lives in West Reading and in her spare time loves going to the gym, walking her beagle, singing, and playing the guitar in her church worship ministry. She loves organizing and loves people. It’s because of her love for people that’s led her to be the Assistant Director of Social Services at Conestoga View Nursing Home and Rehab for over 20 years. She has a wonderful collection of her father’s work dating back to the hand-dug pottery of the 1970’s and even some of her own hand-turned pieces and sgraffito wares she made as a child.
Her passion is to continue the legacy of father’s and Gwen’s love of redware and other folkware collections. She believes the Foltz Folklife Foundation will accomplish this continuing their legacy. Just as her father & Gwen have shown their love, joy, art, and hospitality, she also wants to share her gift of service to others and help her Father in these later years of his life. Her personal mission is to stand by him and see that the works he and Gwen had created are preserved and their tradition of folk art and folklife is translated to the next generation.
Justin Hulshizer resides in Wernersville, PA with his wife Louise and their two children. He is a Drug & Alcohol Licensing Specialist, working for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania conducting annual licensure inspections of drug and alcohol treatment facilities in the eastern part of the state. However, if you have ever attended a Foltz Pottery show you are more likely to recognize Justin as the person who runs the cash register in the back of the shop. He also is a grower of heirloom saffron which has been featured in various food publications.
Before Justin began helping at the Foltz Pottery shop, he volunteered at the Historic Ephrata Cloister giving tours. Justin became part of the Foltz Pottery family after meeting his wife Louise who was close friends with Ned’s daughter, Gina. Justin and the whole Hulshizer family are often around the Foltz Pottery shop, helping prepare for shows or just spending quality time with the family.
It’s been over 15 years since Justin first began helping at the Foltz Pottery Shop. His continued passion for the traditions of folk art and folklife is what has driven him to be a part of the Foltz Folklife Foundation. Ned & Gwen have had a profound, positive impact in his life, the life of his family, and the entire Foltz Folk community. He wants to ensure that Ned & Gwen’s legacy of generosity, hospitality, and their passion and joy permeates the lives of the next generation.
Lisa Y. Ochs was brought up in Reamstown, PA and currently lives in Adamstown, PA. For the past eleven years she has worked as an insurance agent for Encompass Insurance which is part Allstate Insurance. Prior to being an insurance agent, she worked in the banking industry as a financial specialist. She also spent eight years teaching elementary children and English as a Second Language overseas in private schools in Colombia and Romania. She has visited over 35 countries and during her travels took an interest in folk art and life of the cultures she experienced. She has always had an interest in pottery and has collected pottery as well as folk art from other countries.
After returning home from living overseas, her parents shared their love for Foltz redware, Lisa started attending shows at Foltz Pottery and fell in love with collecting Foltz pottery. Not only does she enjoy collecting pottery, she collects baskets, wood carvings and textiles. She has taken numerous classes to learn about different folk art (basket weaving, rug hooking, tole painting, scherenschnitte, etc.) to better understand the design and thought that goes into the pieces of art she has in her collection. Her interest in folk art lead her to pursue a Certificate in Folk Art Studies from the Pennsylvania School of Art and Design and the Lancaster Heritage Center.
Over the years Lisa became close with Ned and Gwen and spent hours listening to stories of Ned and Gwen’s adventures. Lisa enjoyed cooking with Gwen and sharing recipes with her and through this gained a deeper appreciation for the joy and hospitality Gwen always extended during shows and meals. She also enjoyed listening to Ned’s thought processes behind his creations and understands the value of the story of each piece.
Lisa’s interest in the arts led her to pursue conversations about starting her own business to provide a place for people to convene and attend classes taught by herself and other artists. She shared her dreams with Sam Shoemaker, and it was during these conversations that Sam shared his dream of the Foundation. Ideas started flowing for the collaboration and the creation of the Foltz Folklife Foundation. Lisa is looking forward to using her project management skills to plan exciting events for Foltz Folk. She is excited to be part of this unique organization and getting to know the future Foltz Folk.
Lindsay Saenz grew up in Ephrata, PA and currently lives in Manheim, PA with her husband, Eli. She is a supervisor and Certified Public Accountant at Maher Duessel CPAs, where she has worked since 2012. At Maher Duessel CPAs, Lindsay audits government and nonprofit organizations. She also prepares financial statements and other required filings for her clients. This background has given her a solid understanding of nonprofit accounting and reporting requirements. In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys playing tennis, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Linda Shoemaker lives in Reinholds, PA with her husband, Drew, and is the sister-in-law and next-door neighbor to Ned Foltz (Drew was Gwen’s brother). Linda & Drew have three grown children who reside in Lancaster County (including Foltz Folklife President, Sam Shoemaker), and all three are still regular faces at the Foltz Pottery shows. Linda works for the Lancaster County Weeklies in Ephrata, PA in Customer Service and Business Development.
For over 35 years Linda has been a major part of the lives of Ned and Gwen and the Foltz Pottery story. She worked beside Gwen through countless hours and in every way possible, and she continues to help Ned with shows and tasks around the shop. She has a passion for history, folk art, and folklife that is rooted in her relationship with the pottery, the people, and the traditions permeate all life around the Shoemaker/Foltz households. Along with Ned, Gwen, and her husband, Linda raised her three children in the art, life, joy, and hospitality of the Foltz Pottery Shop.
Linda’s firsthand experience of life inside the pottery shop is what drives her desire to see the traditions of Ned & Gwen continue for many years, but for her, it’s not just about preserving their wares or collection. It’s about preserving all the love and energy, joy and hospitality that Ned & Gwen invested into the lives of everyone in their community.
Sam Shoemaker grew up in Reinholds, PA next to his aunt and uncle, Ned & Gwen Foltz. He lives in Akron, PA with his wonderful wife Megan and their two greyhounds, Rudy Toot Too and Phoenix Fire. In addition to being president of Foltz Folklife, he is the Digital Strategist and Creative Director at an online marketing agency in Lancaster called Improve & Grow and part-time potter under his own name, Shoemaker Pottery. At Improve & Grow, Sam works with for-profit companies in various industries throughout the US, but he also works with a large number of non-profit organizations.
His background in brand development and marketing strategy give him a very useful set of tools that most organizations have to seek from outside partners or services. That said, his skills are only made useful by the many collective talents that are brought to the table by the entire Board of Directors.
Growing up in the Shoemaker and Foltz households meant Sam has literally lived and breathed the arts and craft world. As a kid, he spent countless hours covered in clay from the studio or sneaking one (or two) too many pieces of Moravian sugar cake at the food table during one of the many open houses. Not only was he surrounded by the many talents of Ned & Gwen, but both of his parents inspired him with their skills. His mother and father, Linda & Drew, are both very creative people and have spent time producing beeswax candles, red clay tiles, wood & clay ornaments, furniture, and more. In addition to his family, Sam was blessed to grow up with the many amazingly talented Foltz Pottery friends that have inspired his passion for painting, carving, metal working, tin-smithing, furniture making, drawing, potting, wool-working, paper-macheing, print-making, and beyond.
While Sam grew up in the pottery shop and among these wonderfully talented people, it would take him 25 years to really realize the uniqueness of his upbringing, and that not everyone knows what it’s like to be part of such a special community of people. In 2011 Sam began helping Ned & Gwen around the pottery shop. Though he played around with clay and maybe made little figures or decorations, he never dedicated much time to the potters’ wheel. In the spring of 2011 that changed when Sam began teaching himself to throw on Ned’s old portable potter’s wheel. With the help of many great youtube.com videos and 25 years of watching his uncle Ned, Sam picked up the craft quickly. He began doing shows and spent 2 years working full time as a potter before stepping into his career in marketing.