Statements of the Candidates for OrigamiUSA Board of Directors

In 2010 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 several points, as follows:

Your statement may address any issues which you feel are relevant to our organization. As a general guideline, you may choose from among of the following;

  • What would you hope to accomplish as a Board member that you couldn’t accomplish as a volunteer OrigamiUSA member?
  • If you are running for re-election, how have you delivered on the promises you made in your pastcandidate statement(s)?
  • Where do you see the organization growing in the next 5 years and how will you help us to get there?
  • What do you expect to do to help increase our membership?
  • What would you expect to do to expand membership benefits to those outside the New York Tri-State area?
  • What other qualifications and talents do you bring to the OrigamiUSA board?
  • What contributions have you made to the mission of OrigamiUSA?
The nominated candidates and their statements follow.

Local Candidates (4 positions open):

Marc Kirschenbaum

It is a pleasure to offer my candidacy as an incumbent for the 2010 OrigamiUSA Board of Directors election. As a member since this organizations 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, and enabling some of our classic publications to be archived and reprinted. I am also working with other Board members to plan for additional membership benefits. The popularity of origami is growing in America, and I see OrigamiUSA as the place to go to keep our community connected. 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.

Marcio Noguchi

I had the opportunity to learn a lot during my first two years serving at the USA board. But, I feel like there are so much more for me to learn on how this organization runs. Some areas had impressed me quite a lot. Like the efforts that some committee members put in place for the convention, not only in New York, but also in the Pacific Coast, OSME or the support for events in Hawaii, Ohio, and so on. Also, there are tremendous good work by many members put in place for the OUSA website ensuring a decent online presence.

There are several areas where I will contiue to contribute as a volunteer of the organization. Such as assisting with the conventions so that they can be as successful as they can be, or providing information and content for the website, The Paper magazine and so on.

In addition, I now see also the tricky balance between retaining current membership and motivating new ones. We need to provide the existing members with valuable resources, information, materials, and discussion forums. But, on the other side, we would like also to reach out to those who are yet to understand the joy of the Origami as art, sharing with them the appreciation of paperfolding, and bringing people together to encourage community between paperfolders and paperfolders-to-be.

That is described in the mission statement: "to share the joy and appreciation of paperfolding" As a boardmember, I would like to see more in that area. We can explore and expand even more the sharing among Origami organizations and their members. Both those local to the US as well as international ones. With sharing, we can strengthen the capability of each group, and redistribute better the information and resources. It looks like sharing promotes growth of Origami. It results from the various collaborations initiatives and midia, like conventions, magazines, books, and many other projects. The sharing of the joy of paperfolding started with Master Yoshizawa visiting the "west", and the various activities by Lillian Oppenheimer, and I see our duty to continue with this legacy.

Wendy Zeichner

I have been a member of OrigamiUSA for over twenty years and have served on the board for the past ten. I am deeply committed to the success and growth of our organization. In the past two years I have worked on a variety of projects. I have especially enjoyed working with the On-line Presence Committee to continue to update and improve our website. This includes the updates for Convention and Special Sessions as well as working with our administrator to move our membership database on-line. This is the first step towards our being able to provide member-only content via our website. I believe that this will be a very important path for our future growth and allow us to live up to our goal of being a truly national organization.

This past October, I functioned as the liaison with PBS helping to arrange screenings and teaching tables all over the country before the airdate of Between the Folds. I was glad to be a part of this project because I felt that this film served our mission of spreading the wonder of origami. It gave us publicity and attracted people to OrigamiUSA. In the future, I would like to help OrigamiUSA develop relationships with organizations that will help us to serve our mission.

I have also worked to ensure that OrigamiUSA remains financially solvent. I enjoy working with the Finance Committee and our Treasurer to make sure that all is in order and to help promote ways to make the money we need to support our membership activities. As I look ahead, I hope to work on projects that will improve and expand membership benefits.

I remain inspired by Michael Shall’s words that paperfolding is for “anyone, anywhere, anytime.” I was so pleased to have the opportunity to work on our new brochure where these words are so prominently displayed. Michael was also a big proponent of volunteering and I believe that it is an important part of the culture of OrigamiUSA. I would like our organization to continue to nurture and cultivate our volunteers and find more ways to encourage volunteering from our membership.

I feel that my organizational, managerial and computer skills as well as my commitment to OrigamiUSA continue to make me a good candidate for our Board. I am grateful to have the opportunity to give to OrigamiUSA.

Remote Candidates (2 positions open):

Ruthanne Bessman

My interest in origami began 23 years ago. I learned there was an organization in NYC where I planned to spend the summer. That was in 1987. After becoming an instant member, I was at the home office several times a week meeting origami enthusiasts, volunteering and learning origami from both Alice Gray and Michael Shall.

Returning to Madison, Wisconsin, I tried to get back to New York when possible to connect with origami friends and the organization. Every time Michael would have a number of volunteer projects waiting for me to do. He stressed that the importance of volunteering was essential to fulfill the vision of our founder Lillian Oppenheimer through sharing the joy of origami, preserving its history and nurturing its growth.

Since then I have helped with the OrigamiUSA convention preparations in addition to teaching and welcoming foreign guests/visitors. When I am able to attend an origami convention or event overseas (Japan, England, Israel) I come prepared to volunteer and teach. I have had several solo exhibitions in the state of Wisconsin; been a representative of Wisconsin to the sister-state program in Chiba, Japan where I taught Japanese students origami. I have been a recipient of private and public grant awards to teach at a children’s hospital and at community events, and I have been a guest lecturer for different local organizations.

Three years ago I ran for the Board – it was the right time to take on more responsibilities and give back to an organization that I dearly love. As a Remote Board Member I currently serve on several committees, including the Convention Committee, Fundraising Committee, Origami by Children, World Origami Days and Awards. Some of my duties: overseeing the Exhibition Site at the OrigamiUSA Convention, co-spearheading a successful fundraising campaign, and a member of the hiring committee for the OrigamiUSA Administrator. I represented OrigamiUSA at the Wisconsin Film Festival for the screening of the origami documentary “Between the Folds” by Vanessa Gould where I introduced the film and led workshops.

If elected to a new term, I would like to focus on fundraising to ensure the future of OrigamiUSA and work on ways to encourage new members so we continue our mission to share the joy of origami. I would appreciate your support and opportunity to serve once more.