Our Team

Our Team

Jared Reynolds

I am the President at Making Matters NH and work on the Community and Economic Development team at UNH Cooperative Extension. I work with communities to improve quality of life, retain and grow local businesses, and revitalize downtowns. I became interested in creating livable communities and growing local economies while working in community health in rural Alaska and serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. I saw the challenges many cities and towns faced and the vital role of citizen participation and good public policy in creating successful communities. At Making Matters, NH my interest lies in entrepreneurship. I want to make the Concord region an innovative and vibrant economy and the best place to start and grow a business

Ron Merrill

I was introduced to MMNH through my daughter Joanna Puza, who, among many other qualities, is a gifted photographer and gardener. I am particularly taken by many of the concepts promoted at MMNH, as they align deeply with my core values and beliefs. Teaching trade/craft skills in varied media, community involvement with varied age groups of diverse backgrounds, and working together with other community resources to provide a fun, interesting, educational, useful, beneficial, worthwhile… ( need I go further? ) experience for our members.

As for myself, I am a woodworker who has been honing my skills for the last 50+ years, the last 10 in a beautiful shop that meets all of my needs. It is a self-perpetuating disease that I have… Always need to improve and always expect my next project to be my best, then working forward with that in mind.

I bring my energy to the Board with a commitment to wise management and responsible practice. Previous Board memberships have been with The Friend’s Program and with The Granite State Symphony.

Ben Braggins

I am a local maker, laser enthusiast, and chainmaille jeweler. Formally trained in mechanical engineering, I dabble a bit in many mediums and have a passion for our space infrastructure as well as making the space as inclusive as possible for folks of every skill level and background. Starting when I was young and taking everything in the house apart, much to my parent’s frustration when I took apart the VCR, my interests have shifted over the years to making new creations to improve everyday life. And mom, I’ve upped my reassembly success rate to around 80%!

Lydia West

I grew up as a “maker”. Our family motto was “why buy it if you can make it?” We designed and built our own farm buildings, grew and preserved our own food, made our clothes, knit sweaters, and generally figured out “how”. If we could imagine it, we could make it!

My career has spanned 40 years in the business community, from banking to my current position as the CFO of Goosebay Sawmill & Lumber in Chichester. I have
never lost my desire to create and love working in an environment that provides ample raw materials to makers of all walks.

I’m excited to bring both my creative passion and my business experience to the makerspace. Creation is an essential need in everyone’s life. Not everyone can
afford the equipment and space needed to fully nurture their spirit. I see the makerspace as an essential need in the community. I’m very excited to be part of growing the makerspace.

I’ve previously served on the NH 4H Advisory Council and was a 4H project leader for 15 years. I currently serve as Treasurer and on the Finance Committee of the Canterbury United Community Church.

Sandra May

I currently serve as board Treasurer and Secretary and am heavily involved with planning and resource allocation in our various shops. I’m also delighted to be using my writing skills for policies and secretary stuff instead of drafting settlement evaluation memos for insurance claims, which was my past life. I was riveted by the idea of the makerspace the moment I heard about the mission to bring one to Concord and hope to continue to document my own adventures in the various disciplines we host. I dabble in quilt and dressmaking, framing, and web pages. Personal projects currently include training for a half marathon in state #23, trying to wear out my two adventure-loving dogs, learning simple joining, and maybe making some more videos for the space.

Superpower: mudding drywall

Guilty pleasure: reading advice columns.

Andrew Heath

I am an artist raised in NH focusing on printmaking, photography, and sculpture. My work focuses on art’s ability to speak to others’ harder to describe emotions in the hope to encourage a bit of empathy. This branches out to my interest in fostering arts appreciation and education in the greater community that I find myself in.

I hope to bring my experience working in and with other similar makerspace and shop groups to help make Making Matters an exciting space to create, explore, and learn for the Greater Concord area. I see New Hampshire being an important place for creative people to make major works of importance, and I wish to be a part of that moment.

Erika Rydberg-Hall

I am an Educational Technologist based here in New Hampshire currently working for the University System of New Hampshire (USNH). I also teach part-time in the Computer Science and Communications departments at Plymouth State. My previous experiences include being on the team that started the Labs at DC (Washington, DC) Public Library a community Fabrication Lab, Media Lab, and Digital Preservation lab. I also was able to assist in starting Plymouth State University’s makerspace and designed and ran the initial onboarding sessions for that space in 2019. I ran the 3D printers on Plymouth State’s campus for 3+ years. I’m a Raspberry Pi trained educator and a graduate of the STEM Guitar Institute. I designed laser-cut coasters and signs for my wedding at the Concord Makerspace. I enjoy learning, getting creative, and using technological tools to do both. Visit me on the internet!

John Cassel

A year ago, I was spending a Saturday in the makerspace (for a change). Later that evening I realized how much fun I had had and how good it felt to have spent that time doing my favorite thing: solving problems. In my first job after school as the lone third shift electronics technician at a major food manufacturer, if I couldn’t figure it out, there could be $10,000 an hour losses. That pressure forced a focus that I still rely on today.

The arena has changed for me as Director of Product Engineering for a large multi-national company, but the need to solve problems has not. (Although I am much less likely to get covered head to toe in some filth) I also spend a lot of my time helping team members develop new and improve existing skills and I work with other teams to ensure joint outcomes. Taking those skills and applying them to a stuttering table saw or a locked up industrial sewing machine, I really enjoy the journey and measure success with the results.

I believe deeply in the mission of the makerspace and in mentoring; it’s why I feel able to step into each fresh session of the classes I teach and not feel burnt out. In my board work, I try to bring in the perspective of a maker and the talents of a project manager with decades of experience in all kinds of efforts, some very technical and others as simple as putting a post in the ground.

Jen Cook

I am a Concord resident with a 35-year tenure in the NH Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury Service System, including 12 years as a Case Management Supervisor, then as Director of Vocational Services for the Community Bridges Area Agency. My knowledge includes community organizing, resource development, organizational behavior, and project management.

Although I currently am self-employed as an NH Department of Education Office of Vocational Rehabilitation-contracted Job Developer helping people with an array of disabilities find, secure, and maintain employment, I am also a trainer on a variety of business topics such as Lean Process Improvement and Employment as well as a contracted Case Manager for several individuals experiencing disability.

I am interested in community organizing which involves developing scholarship opportunities for area residents as well as general promotional prospects. I believe in the Making Matters philosophy!

Bill Yacopucci

Like many, my maker life began with Legos. I would follow the instructions to learn but would soon “off-road” and make my own stuff. I’ve been doing so ever since. From general home repairs and improvements to building a Murphy bed from scratch, I’m not afraid to dive in. If something of mine stops working, I like to take it apart and see if I can fix it.

With inadequate opportunities in education for many NH communities, I became interested in makerspaces as a means of leveling the playing field. If everyone had the same opportunities to create and learn we could solve the world’s problems. Makerspaces can have life-changing implications for young and old alike. I look forward to my continued involvement with Making Matters NH My board experience includes the Boston Chapter of the American Society of Industrial Security. Locally, I was on the Juvenile Diversion Board for Merrimack County and the board of the Franklin Opera House. I am a current member of the Franklin Outing Club’s board.

Ryan Shirlla

Hello, my name is Ryan Shirilla. I’m a Midwesterner by birth but I’ve been settled in New Hampshire for the past 12 years or so.  Since leaving my hometown I skipped around from coast to coast and lived in six or seven other states and many cities and towns along the way. In each of the places I’ve lived, building a sense of community has always been an extremely important part of my life. I never actually had much interest in tinkering, fixing, or making things until I became a homeowner here in NH and my father and my father-in-law encouraged me and taught me how to tackle some home projects, both small and large.

Having some basic tools, guidance and know-how have served as a tremendous source of pride for me. And it has saved me a ton of money! But more than all of that, tapping into the understanding that an average person like myself can accomplish cool projects has ignited some curiosity, passion, and motivation to take on other creative pursuits. Since being here in NH, I have enjoyed learning some basic woodworking and furniture building skills with both hand and power tools. And lately, my creative outlet has been in the realm of “green woodworking” – primarily the practice of hand-carving wooden spoons and bowls using basic edge tools such as ax and knife.

I was very excited to join the makerspace as it has the potential to build community and foster creative outlets for those of us in the Capital Region. And the idea of learning how to use laser and 3D printers, as well as metal milling machines, just seems cool.

I hold a graduate degree in Social Work and I’ve worked as a clinical social worker since 2008. I primarily work with adolescents and young adults providing mental healthcare services. A big part of the social work ethos includes the values of service and honoring the importance of human relationships. As a board member, I think my training experiences in these areas help advance the mission of this wonderful organization. 

This could be you!