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 A Local (expires 2008)

Ravi Apte

I was introduced to origami in 1971 when I bought my first Harbin book. I re-discovered origami in 1997 through OrigamiUSA after coming to New York. Since then I have actively participated and taught at conventions in the US (New York, Charlotte, San Diego and Phoenix), India, Italy, Japan & UK.

I am a member of the British Origami Society. I am also the editor and member of the amateur publication about origami, Imagiro. I have served on the Board of OrigamiUSA for the past two years and am keenly interested in all aspects of origami including its history.

Currently my focus is on tessellations, particularly the work of Sensei Shuzo Fujimoto and new instructional paradigms with wider reach. Accordingly, I have created material on my website to teach some models, which would otherwise need classroom instruction. Using these instructions hundreds of folders around the world, young and old alike, have enjoyed folding these beautiful models.

Professionally, I have spent more than 35 years in the Information Technology field. As a technology management executive, I have managed technology teams in North and South America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Australia.

The various standing committees established by the Board and the numerous volunteers do most of OrigamiUSA's work. My management and information technology experience has allowed me to actively participate on and contribute to the finance and business committees of OrigamiUSA.

I look forward to serving on the Board of OrigamiUSA for the next term and thank you for your support.

Marc Kirschenbaum

It is a pleasure to offer my candidacy as an incumbent for the 2006 OrigamiUSA Board of Directors election. As a member since this organization's inception, it has been exciting to see its evolution, but even more exciting to have taken active part in it. I have played a significant role in the Publications Committee for over a decade, most recently as one of the managing editors. Together, we have been able to improve the quality of OrigamiUSA's flagship publication, the Annual Collection. We have also produced books by well-known creators, and are planning to add more titles in the future. Most recently, we have taken a major role in the facelift of our newsletter The Paper, by augmenting the number and quality of diagrams.

Looking towards the future, it has been exciting to be a part of the Web Presence Committee. We have been listening to our member's input, and we have vastly revamped the functionality of our site. Helping shape the way we are seen in the electronic age is sure to take OrigamiUSA's philosophy of sharing to a new level. It has been a pleasure to serve on the board during these past terms, and I hope to be reelected to help continue furthering the goals of OrigamiUSA.

June Sakamoto

I have been an active volunteer for OrigamiUSA ever since I joined this organization in 1991. My love of origami and the people who fold has brought me to many places in the world and given me opportunities to meet folders everywhere. I have been able to bridge the gap between the Japanese and the rest of the world. However, my efforts are not only for the benefit of the Japanese. For OrigamiUSA, I try to facilitate the visits by foreign guests who come from all over the world.

As exhibition chairperson, I have been responsible for the design and execution of the OrigamiUSA Holiday Tree which goes on display annually at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. This is a huge task but one that I've enjoyed over the years. However, thanks to the enthusiasm of Delrosa Marshall and Sok Song, I have turned over this responsibility and hope that you will give them your support.

At the tree lighting ceremony, OrigamiUSA distributes special pieces of origami, the Annual Gift models. I have begun the tradition of making the selection of the model part of a friendly competition where everyone can participate and send in their models based on the theme of the tree. This year, Kathryn Wagner has volunteered to be chairperson.

I have also been Origami By Children chairperson. Along with other committee members, we judge and display the winning entries and prepare them to become a part of a traveling exhibit.

Although family matters have limited my ability to be responsible for all my usual duties, I hope to continue to work behind the scenes as much as possible and serve on the OrigamiUSA board of directors as your representative.

Margaret Van Sicklen

Spreading the word of Origami – You may know me as the creator of the Origami Page-A-Day calendar. It was first published in 2000 and to date there have been almost a million calendars sold. None of that would have been possible without the encouragement and help of OrigamiUSA.

The success of the calendar has allowed me to contribute financially to OrigamiUSA but now I feel it is the right time to add my creative energy to the organization. Professionally I've spent many years in advertising and feel that my Marketing/PR skills would be useful to promote the organization on a national level. I would try to make folders in every corner of the country know who we are, what we are doing and most importantly what fun we have together.

As a board member I would try to further promote the idea of World Origami Day. This is a wonderful opportunity to share the gift of origami through school and library organizations on this day, and consequently throughout the year.

I would also like to explore ways to promote our on-line store The Source as not only the place to go for our origami needs but also the place for everyone's origami needs. This would not only help spread the word about OrigamiUSA, but it could also be a more important revenue source.

OrigamiUSA is a wonderful organization and inviting more people to the folding party would only make it more exciting for all.

Wendy Zeichner

The past two years on the board of OrigamiUSA have been busy ones for me. My main focus has been The Paper. When our editor quit, I took on the roll of Acting Editor. I think that The Paper is better than ever in terms of content—lots of color, great diagrams, interesting articles and themed issues. Recently, our graphic artist quit which was another major set-back for the spotty delivery of The Paper, but I am determined to get it back on track without forfeiting the wonderful improvements that we have made so far. I am already working towards this with our new editor/designer.

In 2005, I became one of the Convention coordinators. This is a natural extension of my years of involvement with the NYC Convention, which has included everything from measuring the space and planning where each area will go, to my usual ticketing and signage.

Special Sessions has also been a long time OrigamiUSA activity for me. It has gone through many format changes, and in 2006, we tried yet another variation with Special Sessions Festival Style. I plan to continue to work on Special Sessions. It is a great fundraiser for OrigamiUSA and even for those members who cannot attend, it provides lots of teaching ideas for local groups.

Aside from my work with OrigamiUSA, I have a full time job on Wall Street and bring to the board over 20 years of professional experience including: management, problem solving, analysis, and computer skills including databases, spreadsheets and word processing.

I love to fold modulars, geometrics and action models that I can teach to kids. I believe in the "peace of paper" and share Michael Shall's dream to have all the world fold paper. I look forward to continuing my work with OrigamiUSA.

Class A Remote (expires 2008)

Rob Hudson

I'm Rob Hudson, and I'm almost square. I am 5 millimeters shy of perfect alignment, the raw edge that sticks out of the left wing of your crane, the blemish in the otherwise perfect origami model. You could "tuck me under" another flap and pretend that I don't exist, but you'll know better.

Origami USA is a slightly imperfect folded sailboat, crafted by the energy of volunteers and leaders – Michael Shall, Lillian Oppenheimer, Alice Gray – and shaped by those very people into an organizational model that has been floating for decades. Today, we need to upgrade the Origami USA ship, refit the rigging, and sail it powerfully into the seas of art, craft, and education.

I've been both a passive "passenger" and a crew member since I joined Origami USA. I volunteered my technical and composition skills in both the Paper and other ventures -- including the initial web site. I have worked with Robert Lang on the Archives project. Throughout this service, I have asked some difficult, even uncomfortable questions in an effort to improve the organization. As a Board Member, I can donate both time and project leadership in important areas, including member services. Specifically, I will work to identify and solve bottlenecks with the Paper, improve the usability of the website, and create a more open and direct communication with the membership. My mailbox, at info [at], is always open to you.

Voting for me is like touching a 9-volt battery to your tongue--after some initial discomfort you'll feel the positive energy of change.

Thomas C Hull

I have been on the Board of Directors since 1995. I am a math professor in the Boston area as well as a published origami author. One of my main reasons for wanting to remain on the Board of OrigamiUSA is to provide perspective on the academic, research, and educational aspects of origami. For over 12 years I've been working professionally as an active researcher in the mathematics of origami as well as a proponent of using paper folding to teach math at all levels. And you know what? It's catching on. Such topics are becoming more and more popular in the educational and research communities. If re-elected to the Board I will strive to continue functioning as a bridge between the academic, educational, artistic, and recreational sides of origami.

Janet M. Yelle

I've been practicing origami for over 17 years and a member of Origami USA for almost as long. I've attended the Origami USA convention every year and contributed at most of them as a teacher and/or an 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 teaching and sharing, creating new models, and discovering and folding models created by others. I'm a founding member of Imagiro, a bi-monthly publication of, by, and for origami enthusiasts now in its thirteenth year of publication and I have contributed to every issue. I want to promote origami and spread its wonderful spirit to both children and adults, particularly to those who haven't had the chance to experience it.

As an IT professional for more than twenty years, I've developed abilities such as strong written and verbal communication skills, 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 Origami USA, but I know I have more to offer the organization and hope the membership will give me the opportunity to serve. Thanks for your consideration.