Statements of the Candidates for OrigamiUSA Board of Directors

The candidates were permitted to prepare statements of up to 250 words, which are presented below. The candidates were encouraged to address any or all of: the strengths they bring to the board and the organization; contributions they have made to the growth of the organization and where they see the organization's future going.

Class B Local (expires 2007)

Tony Cheng

I am constantly amazed at the ability of origami to break down barriers and to bring people together. Whether it is on the subway or at the doctor's office, a simple piece of paper can facilitate communication. OrigamiUSA has a mission to spread the joy and fun of origami as widely as possible. I am proud that I have been a member for nearly twenty years. I have seen it grow from a small group of folders getting together in Lillian Oppenheimer's loft to an organization that hosts an annual convention which draws up to 700 attendees. I have been privileged to have been a member of the Board of Directors, helping to nurture its growth and expand its horizons.

Over the years, I have been an active contributor to various committees, among them the Business, Publications, Election, Convention, Volunteer Recognition, and Library committees. We have accomplished a lot but much remains to be done. I would like to see our membership base increase. Without a diverse, dynamic, and involved membership, the organization would stagnate. We have many exciting ideas for introducing origami to a broader audience. We have also responded to the needs of our members and continue to finds ways to improve our services. I have been an advocate for bringing changes to our magazine The Paper, and I am excited to see more diagrams and the addition of colour.

If elected, I am committed to, and will work hard for the continued growth of this wonderful organization.

Jan Polish

In the Fall of 1985 a friend taught me my first origami. Soon the inspiration of Lillian Oppenheimer, Michael Shall and Alice Gray completed my connection to origami and to their young organization. Fascinated by the people I met, dazzled by the beauty and variety of the art I saw, and amazed by my discovery that volunteering, and being part of a constructive team, could be fun, I soon joined the Board.

Over the years the organization has changed and matured, and so has my involvement with it. I am the Treasurer, coordinate our annual convention and help with remote conventions, and am on several other committees, including Archives, Business, Legal, Copyright, Development, and Finance. I also work with our computers, maintain our databases, and am involved in the day-to-day operations of the Home-Office.

The volunteer lawyer who helped incorporate us commented ten years later that of all the non-profits he had helped, we were the only one to survive. Small non-profits can rarely live on membership income alone, and I am proud that many of my activities (convention, commercial, business) contribute to the fiscal health of OrigamiUSA.

My activities on the behalf of OrigamiUSA are all based on this strong belief: that origami is a valuable educational and therapeutic tool, a fulfilling craft and an astonishing art. The magic to be found in a single sheet of paper continues to inspire me.

Maria Velazquez

My first volunteer experience with origami began with Alice Gray and Michael Shall. They have both instilled a sense of commitment and sharing the art of origami throughout the world.

I have been a member of OrigamiUSA for more than fifteen years in various capacities. During the early years, as a volunteer I have been involved in activities such as the Origami tree, teaching tables and special events. My strength is a strong commitment to OrigamiUSA and to sharing and spreading origami. I am a member of committees such as the Business, Library, and Special Sessions and also have contributed to committees such as Publications.

OrigamiUSA has grown considerably throughout the years and will continue to do so. Origami has no barriers which impede it from connecting with different customs and cultures. Through origami, we can bridge cultures and customs together. One of my projects is spreading origami in schools and libraries. I would like origami to have more of a presence in the schools and libraries where there are young children.

As a board member of OrigamiUSA, I will continue to promote the goals of OrigamiUSA's mission to share and spread origami.

Class B Remote (expires 2007)

V'Ann Cornelius

OrigamiUSA makes a great contribution to the origami community through its ability to enable origami people to connect with each other and share ideas. Through the effort of committed volunteers, whom I greatly respect, the organization plans conventions, conferences, folding festivals, and ways for members to learn more about origami. It has been my privilege to be part of the organizing groups for some of these member opportunities.

This last term I co-chaired the Pacific Coast OrigamiUSA Conference in San Diego. We are currently planning the Pacific Coast OrigamiUSA Conference in Phoenix for October 2005. Also I worked to connect OrigamiUSA with Mingei International Museum to present the Origami Masterworks Exhibition which was on display from August 2003 to May 2005.

In the next term I anticipate being able to give more attention to fundraising for special OrigamiUSA projects.

I ask to continue as a board member to assist in the development of focused events to enable members to meet members and for members to continue their support of OrigamiUSA. Please vote for V'Ann Cornelius for Board of Directors, 2005.

Robert Lang

This new year will be my fourth year as an OrigamiUSA (remote) Board member. I've been a member of the organization for about 25 years and have contributed as a volunteer in various ways: teaching, helping with conventions, and in the last three years, on the Board.

At present, I chair three committees. As Finance Committee chair, I work with our Treasurer to develop a budget and monitor our fiscal health during the year. The Archives Committee has brought diagrams and pictures from the archives to the members via The Paper, and we are currently focusing on scanning diagrams to expand this project. The Copyright Committee is developing an updated description of our policy and the law with respect to copyright. In addition to the committee work, like the other Board members I weigh in on (and vote) on general issues of policy and planning within the bounds set by our Bylaws.

A new project I am most excited about is the 4th International Conference on Origami in Mathematics, Science, and Education, which we are planning for fall of 2006. I've been involved in both the logistical and programmatic organization of this conference, and it is shaping up to be very exciting!

I hope to see these projects through to fruition over the coming months (and years). If you've got ideas for these or other projects (or would like to help out), drop me a note. Meanwhile, I would appreciate very much receiving your vote for me for the Board!

Janet Yelle

I've been practicing origami for over 16 years and been a member of Origami USA for almost as long. I've attended the OrigamiUSA convention every year and contributed at most of them as a teacher and/or exhibitor. I volunteer locally, teaching and exhibiting origami at schools and libraries, including organizing a monthly group meeting open to the public. I have a passion for all aspects of origami, including creating new models, discovering and folding models by others, teaching, and sharing. I want to promote origami and spread its wonderful spirit to both children and adults, particularly to those who may not have had an opportunity to be exposed to it previously.

I am a founding member of Imagiro, a bi-monthly publication of, by, and for origami enthusiasts now in its twelfth year of publication and I have contributed to every issue. I have worked as an IT professional for almost twenty years, which requires many abilities including strong communication skills (both written and verbal), problem solving, and team building. I frequently have to find creative solutions to challenges. I would bring all of these qualities to the board if elected.

I truly enjoy being a member of OrigamiUSA, but I know I have more I could offer to the organization and I hope I will be given the opportunity to serve. Thank you for your consideration.