Statements of the Candidates for OrigamiUSA Board of Directors
In 2008 the candidates were permitted to prepare statements of up to 400 words, which are presented below. The candidates were encouraged to address any or all of the following points:
- Thinking ahead for the next 10 years, where do you see the organization's future growth?
- What ideas do you have for increasing membership?
- If elected, what would you recommend to extend membership benefits to those outside the New York Tri-State area?
- What strengths do you bring to the board and the organization, such as, but not limited to: fund-raising and grants, event planning, volunteer recruitment and coordination, and/or organizational leadership.
- How can communication between OrigamiUSA administration and its members be improved?
- What contributions you have made to the growth of the organization?
In addition to their 400-word statement that was mailed to every member, candidates were allowed to submit an extended statement that would appear only on the web. Both statements for all candidates are given below.
Candidates have also been encouraged to the post to the OrigamiUSA mailing list. If you are not a member of the list all you have to do is to send an email to ousa-members-subscribe [at] yahoogroups.com and include your OrigamiUSA ID number. Yahoo Groups will then notify the list administrator who will then approve (or disapprove) your request. If you have just joined OrigamiUSA and don't yet have an ID number, then just put the word "new" in your request.
Class A Local (expires 2010)
Shrikant IyerNo statement submitted.
It is a pleasure to offer my candidacy as an incumbent for the 2008 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, and I am one of the managing editors. Most recently we have worked towards utilizing electronic printing techniques to improve quality and reduce valuable inventory space. We are excited about securing The Origami Collection as the most desirable origami anthology. The popularity of origami is growing in America, and I see OrigamiUSA as the place to go to keep our community connected. Adding new outlets to listen to member's input, in particular via our web page, 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.
I was born and brought up in Brazil and as most of the traditional Japanese immigrant families; I was still very young when I learned the first Origami models. My parents taught me the traditional crane and the samurai helmet, but it was later on when I got a book that I learned several other models, including the Sonobe modular Triambic Icosahedron. It was quite a challenge for me, since there was no one that could teach me how to make such a model.
Then, as I went to high school and college, I forgot everything about Origami. I finished my Engineering course, and decided to use my technical skills in an investment bank, as computer analyst. My job offered me an opportunity to transfer to Japan. Since work kept me rather busy, I did not fold a single model during my 9 years I lived in Tokyo.
And finally, in 2000, my job allowed me to transfer to New York office. In the US, for the first time I learned the rewards of making a difference with volunteering and philanthropic work. Since then, I serve as a member of planning committee to help plan and organize events such as the New York City FIRST Robotics, which promotes the recognition of science and technology among students. Then, it was in 2006, participating as a volunteer for my company's Asian Heritage month celebrations, that I had been asked to be responsible for the Origami table. As I researched the Internet, I was amazed with the development of the art, so I immediately joined OrigamiUSA. Since then, I participated in several Folding Sunday meetings, Special Folding Sessions, and many local meeting. I also started teaching and volunteering whenever possible, including helping with the Holiday Tree.
In the same way that OUSA had inspired me, I would like to somehow help others to discover the art of Origami, in particular with the young. With the international interchange, the art had grown tremendously. Although I am relatively new to the Origami community, I believe that I can contribute to explore synergies and partnership among all the organizations. It will be a pleasure to contribute where needed to promote even more the art and science of Origami.
The past two years on the board of OrigamiUSA have been busy ones for me. I continued my work as a co-chair of the Convention Committee and of Special Sessions. The biggest change for me in 2007 was becoming the Treasurer of OrigamiUSA. This turned out to be a huge (and time consuming) responsibility. I feel that I really "stepped up to the plate" as there were no other board members who were eligible, willing and able to do the job. I am now in the midst of preparing our books for the 2007 Audit and we are in good shape. I can think of many ways to volunteer for OrigamiUSA that are more fun but I know that the finances of our organization are important and I take this duty very seriously.
I had to resign as Editor of The Paper when I realized that my other responsibilities had intruded on my ability to produce issues on a timely basis. I am proud of the really beautiful issues of The Paper that my team produced during my tenure, and I'm sure that the new editors will be more punctual.
I have, however, joined the On-Line Presence Committee (OLP), and have been involved in the content and testing of the new website. I joined the OLP because I think that our website is crucial to the future of OrigamiUSA. As we move forward, the website will become the main way that we communicate with our members and with the world. In some ways, the website is a newsletter now that The Paper is a magazine. Both are useful, even necessary, but the members of OrigamiUSA need a website that can be more timely and accessible than a paper publication can be. If you haven't seen the re-designed website, please take a look, and let me know you think about it!
And I continue to fold paper; my love for it is undiminished. Right now, my desk is covered with snowflakes, spring-into-actions, puffy stars and lots of tiny cranes folded from gum wrappers.
As for the future beyond the website, my hope for OrigamiUSA is for it to keep taking forward steps, so we can add to what we already have and continue the mission that Michael Shall started us on: to show the world that folding paper is for anyone, any where, any time!
Class A Remote (expires 2010)
I've been practicing origami since 1988, joined Origami USA a year later, and have been a member ever since. I've attended the Origami USA 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 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 fourteenth year of publication and I have contributed to every issue.
I've worked as an IT professional for over 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. Having served one term on the board, I can build on my initial experiences. Communication is a key element of our future success. I feel we are moving in the right direction with the recent survey, board notes available online, and improved email afforded by the new website. The sharing of ideas and suggestions is integral to our future success.
Being a member of the online presence committee, it was exciting to see the development and implementation of the new website. I feel that technology will play an increasing role in the future of the organization. The Origami USA website redesign and the upgraded technology behind it position us to create new offerings. Some possibilities include members-only benefits like video classes and more diagrams. It could allow us to provide more content from events like the yearly convention or the American Museum of Natural History holiday tree so that all members, regardless of location, can experience more of it online. Improving communication helps us reach out to more members and brings us closer together.
I truly enjoy being a member of Origami USA, and I've learned a lot in my first term on the board. I'm looking forward to building on that knowledge and using it to improve the organization if reelected. Thank you for your consideration.