Meet Your New Board Members

Each year 5 seats open on the ABANA Board of Directors. This election cycle saw exactly 5 candidates take up the challenge; therefore, all candidates are automatically seated for a 3-year term. Meet your new Board members!

Frank Annighofer

I have worked on several Committees including Publications, Communication/Marketing, and Education since joining the board in 2021. Last November the Board elected me as President and together we achieved a lot in the last three years. We revamped our social media presence, launched a new website, hired two new editors, and boosted our Curriculum Education. I am proud that I was part of these developments, but there is so much more to do. Therefore, I decided to run for another term on the Board. ABANA is in the process of redefining its relationship with its Affiliates; we want to make ABANA more attractive for young smiths, and our Curriculum has long ways to go. A few words about myself: I retired from running an international engineering company 20 years ago. I finally got into my father’s trade and started an architectural blacksmithing business, Wood & Iron Works in Montana where I still live. I am one of ABANA’s inaugural National Curriculum Instructors. pe to have the opportunity to serve the national community. 

Elizabeth Belz

I have been a full-time blacksmith, artist, and educator since 2016. Currently, As the Blacksmithing and Metals Coordinator at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, I work with over 52 smithing instructors and over 1000 visitors and students passing through the studio every year. I worked as an Apprentice at the Metal Museum in Memphis, TN, and have traveled internationally and nationally to teach, work, learn, and compete in blacksmithing. My passion is for expanding access to education and creating opportunities for the smithing community. With over fifteen years of experience working with art non-profits, I will bring expertise in fundraising, grants, scholarships, and DEIA work to the board. 

David “Avi” Goodman

I am a full-time instructor at Iron Rhino Forge Blacksmithing School in Tempe, AZ. I started my journey as a hobbyist 12 years ago with an interest in all things sharp and shiny. Over time I discovered a passion for joinery and traditional skills. In the school, we partner with teachers to cover a broad range of blacksmithing and knifemaking skills. My passion is for large-scale joinery projects, and working with students who have unique learning needs.  

Serving the community has been a long-standing principle for me. As the second VP of the Arizona Artist-Blacksmith Association, I serve our community by hosting fundraisers for our scholarship fund, education, and other administrative tasks. I firmly believe that thoughtful, forward-thinking leadership and real-world action are key to cultivating the future to which we aspire. One of my favorite ways to help the community is to support the growth of hobbyists into professionals. I hope to have the opportunity to serve the national community. 

Scott Montes

I am excited to run for the Board of directors. My journey in blacksmithing began in Las Vegas, NV. After relocating back to Illinois I started ABANA’s national curriculum courses to further develop my skills. These have been pivotal for me, and I am working towards achieving Level II proficiency. I have also cultivated a successful career in finance, and as a licensed CPA and controller for the business unit of a publicly traded company, I manage financial operations for a multi-state operation. This dual expertise in finance and blacksmithing equips me with a distinctive skill-set that would be beneficial to ABANA. I look forward to using my skills to assist with our continued growth and financial sustainability. By ensuring robust financial practices and forward-looking strategies, I aim to help ABANA thrive and expand its reach. I am eager to bring my dedication and experience to support our mission. I look forward to contributing to the organization’s success. 

Rusty Osborne

I was honored to be appointed to the Board of Directors last year, and chaired the Affiliate Committee, the Member Services Committee, and served as Secretary. It’s been a pleasure to meet and work with other Board members and other new and long-time members. My objective is to continue fostering the relationship between the ABANA organization and the Affiliates that are the heart of our craft. I find the most enjoyment in meeting other members and prospective members. By listening to the viewpoints of other smiths and members, I have gained a lot of insight into the story of ABANA from many perspectives. I have started an initiative to form a “Youth Advisory Council” of younger smiths, and provide a direct connection between them and the Board.  I am a newcomer to blacksmithing, but I look forward to continuing to help shape ABANA’s future.