Member Spotlight – Ilverin Matriam

 

It’s time for our next spotlight! This time featuring the talented multi-tasker, Ilverin Matriam. Ilverin is an Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah; she is currently serving as the Director of Research and Records, a Tower Gatekeeper, writing for the Tar Valon Times, and creating for the Graphics Development Team. Let’s learn more about this accomplished member of our community.
 

Ilverin and her husband live in a small Bulgarian city, where they have put down roots by recently buying their first apartment. They are both in the field of web development, and work remotely for the same company. Ilverin and her husband are the proud parents of three fur children — cats with lots of personality and attitude, as seen here:
 

  

 
It turns out that Ilverin is just as active off the site as on. When I asked about other hobbies or interests, she said, “I really like to learn new things and try out new craft-related hobbies. On the side, I dabble a little bit with digital painting, and I like sketching with just pencil and paper. I like graphic and web design, which also helps me with my web developer job. I also like to do yoga, and go to the gym.”

 
As for TarValon.Net, she became hooked on the Wheel of Time as soon as she started reading it. She wanted to find a group to discuss the series. Or as she calls it, her “mild obsession.” Ilverin said that she didn’t do much discussion of the books on the forums, but stayed because she enjoyed the community, and the friends she’s made.

 
Ilverin was raised Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah in 2007. She says Gray has changed and evolved over the years, but she likes how that has worked out and where things are now. After a break from the site, she returned in 2017, and decided that the best way to stay active was to serve in a position. She started applying and working in areas she felt comfortable with. One thing led to another, and at one point (recently!) she was on a total of eight teams or positions held, all at the same time! One of the teams she served on was editing the Library, and it really sparked her interest. Ilverin began to look toward the Director of Research and Records position to see if this would be a good fit for her talents and skill set. She has served in a lot of different roles, trying to learn something from each one along the way. (On a personal note, I have to say she’s truly a joy to work with!)

 
What does she hope to accomplish in her Director role? “My goals (as I believe every other Director’s before me) are to make our Library a great source of WoT information, especially with the coming of the TV show. I want more and more people to come and check it out and use it as reference. If possible I would like to reach a wider audience … and possibly translating articles in other languages.”

 
If you’re interested in learning more about the Library, wiki-editing, or just chatting with Ilverin in general, she’s just a PM or Discord message away.

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Member Spotlight – Alora Sionn

 

To close the month of April, we bring you the latest in our series of Member Spotlights — featuring “Mama Wolf” herself, Alora Sionn, Gaidin of the Val’Cueran Company (VC). Alora has recently taken on the job of leading VC as Company Commander, and I am excited to share a little more about her with all of you.
 

In real life, Alora is married to Lok Sionn, Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah. They have a house in the woods, which they share with her dad, a 15 year old pomeranian, and a three year old cat. A lover of animals, Alora works for a local veterinarian office. “My favorite part of the job is when we get exotic pets in, I love the snakes, lizards, birds and other odd pets!”

 

  

 
Alora and Lok are also the loving parents of David, their son who passed away last year after he was born prematurely, and went through a tough fight for his life in Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU). In honor of him, they started David’s Night Lights, collecting donations to make gift bags for local NICU families a couple of times a year.

 
 

 
Alora’s hobbies include several artistic endeavors, like singing, painting/drawing, and writing; as well as outdoor activities like gardening and fishing. She is planning to start beekeeping by getting a hive started next spring.
 

Alora found TarValon.Net while looking for shawl making tutorials, and there was a reference to our site on a blog post. She joined up, and started interacting with people, including the unofficial group the “Brandsworn.” Alora began her journey through the Tower, and was originally raised as Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah. She bonded with a Gaidin of VC, where she got to know the members of the Pack. When Integration passed, she made the tough decision to demote and explore a new path. VC’s core values, particularly of loyalty, really spoke to her and she knew that she had found her home.

 
I bet many of you are wondering, where did she earn the nickname “Mama Wolf?” Alora recently spent time serving on the City Council, and among other things, helped coordinate free week activities. The Citizen group was having trouble coming up with a theme, and VC “adopted” the Citizens as wolf cubs. And so, Alora became our Mama Wolf and the name stuck. (Author’s note, this was one of my favorite free weeks as a Citizen!)
 

Now that Mama Wolf is the Leader of the Pack, what does she have planned during her tenure?
 
“I’d always wanted to serve the pack in that way and this time around I was finally able to take it on. Revamping the awards we have, and getting us some sweet wolf swag are just a couple things on my list. I’m also happy to do all the behind the scenes admin stuff like facilitating guesting; and recently my favorite was being able to welcome our newest aspirant Dar (Dar’Jen Ab Owain) to the Pack!!”
 

One thing’s for sure, there’s never a dull moment with the VC Wolves around, and we wish Alora Gaidin all the best during her time in leadership!
 

We’ll close with her final thought: “I guess if I had to give a closing statement here it would be to say no matter what happens in life, to never give up because you have survived 100% of your worst days so far. That’s a pretty good record so keep it up. 🙂 “

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Merit Badges – April 2021

 

Welcome readers to a new series that will run each quarter, highlighting our TarValon.Net Merit Badges!
 

What are Merit Badges? First introduced in 2011, Merit Badges (i.e. “Merits”) are a way to acknowledge the time and effort that our members put into the Community. The program has expanded over the years, and we have Merits for a variety of categories. From time spent as an active Member, volunteering at an official event, mentoring Junior Members, taking or teaching classes, or serving in a staff position. These are just a few of our Merit Badge categories. Merits are listed in each member’s profile in the Library, and some of them will earn you “perks” like discounts for Official Events.
 

Here are the Merit Badges awarded this quarter with a little explanation of what they are for:
 

Membership Merit

This Merit is awarded for “time served” as a community member. Members earn a Gold Merit for every five years of membership, and a Silver Merit for 2.5 years. (Spoiler alert, we will start seeing members earn their fourth Gold Merit this year!)
 

Staff Merit

Many of our staff positions qualify for the Staff Merit, which again is awarded for a certain amount of time served. These are cumulative across departments, not just time spent in one position. Five years earns a Gold Merit, while 2.5 years earns a Silver Merit.
 

Reporter Merit

These Merits are earned by submitting content to the Tar Valon Times. A Silver Merit is earned after publishing 20 pieces, while a Gold Merit is earned for 50 pieces.
 

Events – Leadership Merits

Our official and local events are planned many months up to a year in advance. We have a series of Merits to recognize the people who serve in leadership positions, in appreciation for their time spent planning and coordinating everything from host sites, to accommodations, to food and activities.
 

Events – Attendance Merits

These Merits are awarded for event attendance, with a Silver Merit awarded after 10 and a Gold Merit after 20. A Gold Merit for Event Attendance added to a series of other Gold Merits can earn a member discounts toward future events.
 

Keeper Award Merit

Keeper Awards are awarded annually by our Keeper of the Chronicles, in recognition for outstanding service during the year. Keeper Awards are awarded in both Admin and Staff categories, and are shown as a Gold Merit on the member’s Library profile.
 

You can see the list of the April 2021 Merit awardees here. Thanks to everyone for your membership and service to the TarValon.Net community!

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Member Spotlight: Idine Espanyas

MemberSpotlight_Idine

 

Welcome readers to our next Member Spotlight, all about Idine Espanyas, Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah. Idine was recently appointed as Head of the Yellow Ajah (HoA), so this reporter wanted to learn more about the new First Weaver.
 

Idine lives in Pennsylvania, USA, with her parents and sister. She used to work in sustainable agriculture, and now she is in the field of environmental protection. Idine enjoys a variety of hobbies, from hiking and biking, to gardening, cross stitch, embroidery, and quilting.
 

  

 

Idine is also very musically inclined, having played the violin for many years. Most recently she has begun to learn the mandolin.
 

 

Idine found The Wheel of Time while perusing in a local bookstore. The cover of Eye of the World intrigued her, so she took it home and the rest is history. She found TarValon.Net from an ad in From the Two Rivers, and joined our community in the fall of 2008.
 

What attracted Idine to the Yellow Ajah? “There was just something special about Yellow! The mission of the Ajah fit in with my goals and the way I want to live my life. The Aes Sedai and Warders were/are awesome, and I felt a strong desire to contribute and belong. It’s my home and I think I knew it as soon as I started guesting, and I still can’t see myself anywhere else.”
 

Since her raising in 2012, Idine has served her Ajah in many positions, including her most recent stint as both Heart and Tea Brewer. She felt like she had the experience to serve as HoA, and that led her to apply. What would she like to see happen during her time as HoA? “I would love to encourage more activity on the forums and in Discord during my tenure. I also hope to organize some future video chats for our Ajah members, and it would be great to hold open video chats so site members can get to know us better.”
 

Idine summed up her interview with these words of wisdom: “Don’t open the Purple Canister— at least, not without Yellow supervision.” Thank you for the warning, and we look forward to seeing how Yellow flourishes under your leadership!

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Member Spotlight: Ne’Mireth Delvar

MemberSpotlight_Nemireth

 

Greetings and salutations! This month, I am pleased to bring you our next Member Spotlight featuring our new Social Media Manager, Ne’Mireth ni Simoua t’Delvar. “Mira” is an Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah, married to Toral Delvar. They live in Michigan, and are the parents of two children, plus two cats – Gkhar and Londo. Mira says they are a fun family, which you can tell by the photos below! They like to play games, watch a lot of anime, and travel.
 

Mira 1 Mira 2

 

Mira 3

 

Mira grew up in the Ukraine, and her family was able to move to the United States in 1992. She is a business owner, having created her own line of spice blends and sauces called Cheeky Spices. Mira is also a bootcamp fitness instructor — “It lets me unleash the inner Russian on poor unsuspecting people.”
 

Mira 4

 

Mira found TarValon.Net when she was reading the series and came across something that didn’t make sense. “I swear I saw the site in the back of the book under references but I’m told that couldn’t have been true.” (TarValon.Net is referenced in the WoT Companion.) Mira stuck around as she started getting to know people, bonded her warder Jaim al’Bearach, and met/married Toral. There is also a large group of members who live in Michigan and are close to each other. Affectionately known as the Mitten Crew.
 

Mira 5

 

I asked Mira how she decided that the Green Ajah was for her, she said:
“I actually thought I was a yellow. Then blue. And then was told by Toral that I am a blatant green and to stop being dumb and go aspire (this was before guesting). I loved greens instantly, as soon as I aspired and saw them in their own forums. I had never felt more at home as I did in Green. Most of my friends from the site are also Greens. They are a fun and honest bunch. Love them.”

 

Mira holds a Masters of Business Administration, and is an experienced digital marketer. This background has helped her grow her business, and also has greatly benefited our site, now for the second time. Mira held the position of Social Marketing Manager at TarValon.Net from 2015-2017. Now updated to Social Media Manager, Mira has taken up the mantle again.

 

When asked why she wanted to serve in the position again, Mira said, “When my Warder Jaim passed away from a brief but vicious struggle with cancer, I was devastated. I still am. It’s been two years and I ugly cried … on his death day. But he did so much for this site, and I felt that to honor him I have to come back to serve.”

 

Mira has already hit the ground running in the past few weeks. She’s so full of energy, funny to chat with, and clearly wants the best for our community. I look forward to seeing where she leads her team during her tenure!

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