Statements of the Candidates for OrigamiUSA Board of Directors

In 2011 the candidates were permitted to prepare statements, which are presented below. The candidates were encouraged to address any or all of several points, as follows:

In order to for the voting membership to know more about the candidates, their qualifications, their vision for the organization, we request that you provide a statement.The candidate statements will be available on the website. Please limit the statement to 400-500 words.

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 past candidate 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 responses follow.

Remote Members (3 positions open, 3 candidates)

Jason Ku

I have been a member of OrigamiUSA for the vast majority of my life. OrigamiUSA conventions and local group gatherings inspired me to start designing my own origami models, and, more recently, pursue folding related research as a graduate student at MIT. Origami is wonderful in that it brings together many people of different backgrounds. While it holds vastly different scope and meaning for many different folders, origami continues to have far reaching applications in science and engineering. It is my hope that OrigamiUSA will be able to supplement its current activities by embracing a curiosity in a more mathematical and academic understanding of our art.

Last year, I helped co-found OrigamiUSA's new online magazine, The Fold. This online magazine seeks to deliver original content to members on a more frequent basis than we were previously able to deliver in print with The Paper due to financial restrictions. Since its inception in November 2010, we have already published over 40 articles, about half being previously unpublished diagrams, with the other half ranging from book reviews and exhibit summaries to crease pattern design tips and purely mathematical analyses: truly something for everyone! We have consistently posted one or two new articles per week for the past six months: a trend we hope to continue.

In my experience, while most OrigamiUSA membership interaction happens around OrigamiUSA conventions, it is my opinion that longer-term relationships can be shared among members throughout the year via online interaction. As a board member, I hope to make The Fold a place where individual OrigamiUSA members can teach, learn from, and share with each other throughout the year; not just at convention time. In addition, becoming an OrigamiUSA board member would greatly facilitate my ability to represent the interests of OrigamiUSA members and The Fold when collaborating with other OrigamiUSA publications, as well as other international origami publications.

I hope to make The Fold a forum for OrigamiUSA members to share content with each other in a way that supplements the folding experience using interactive media such as video, discussion boards, and web applications. As a board member, I hope to continue the consistency and success of The Fold in providing existing members with highly sought after content, in addition to inspiring potential new members to join our growing organization.

Robert J. Lang

This next year will be my tenth year as an OrigamiUSA (remote) Board member. I've been an OrigamiUSA member since 1981 and have contributed as a volunteer by teaching, helping with conventions, contributing to publications and fund-raising, and, since 2002, contributing as a Board volunteer.

My primary focus as a non-New-York-based Board member is on services that benefit our far-flung membership. While I chair several committees that address matters of copyright and policies and serve as Remote Vice President, most of my energies in recent years have gone into the website, leading the team that built the new site in 2007 and that continues to maintain and grow it.

Two years ago I stood up at Convention and promised that we'd get members-only content, including original diagrams, on the website. That was, perhaps, a bit risky, since accomplishing something that major requires a lot of work from many people besides myself. But we managed to do so, with the help of many dedicated volunteers, notably Jason Ku stepping up to take on the job of Managing Editor for the new online magazine. The Fold, rolled out last November, has now published over 40 original articles, with many more in the pipeline.

I still feel that the website offers enormous untapped potential for OrigamiUSA to support all of our membership, no matter where they live, and beyond them, the worldwide origami community. We have several initiatives in progress to bring new content and services onto the website. Accomplishing anything new like that requires two things: first, dedicated volunteers, of which we have a great team (please visit the PUBLICATIONS>Website link to meet the crew!), and we'd love to have more! But just as important is a presence on the Board, to recognize opportunities when they arise in Board discussions and to push for support for our initiatives, and to explain to fellow Board members what's possible, how it might get done, and what would be needed to accomplish it. I serve both of those roles at times, volunteering many hours to build, add to, and (on occasion) troubleshoot the website, and as an advocate for all things web-related in Board meetings. It's a role I hope to continue in the coming year, continuing to contribute in the ways just described and to provide information to our members about our plans and activities, and therefore would greatly appreciate receiving your vote.

Anne LaVin

It has been my pleasure to serve as a remote Board Member for OrigamiUSA for the past two years. I've been a member of OrigamiUSA since 1991 and am an avid convention-goer. In addition to convention volunteering, where among other things I chair the "Hospitality" sub-committee for Convention, arranging translation support and assistance for foreign travelers to Convention, my other primary contribution to the organization is as a technical member of the Online Presence Committee.

Under Robert Lang's leadership (with the help of many volunteers - and we always have room for more!) we have continued to expand OrigamiUSA's online presence, and I look forward to continuing to participate in its design and evolution.

As a Remote Board Member and an IT professional with over 20 years of experience in using technology to bring information to people and allow teams to work together effectively, I have endeavored to bring both a regular-member perspective to any issue before the Board, as well as champion technological solutions to help us move forward. I remain particularly interested in working to keep OrigamiUSA relevant and important to its many remote members, to support open communication throughout the organization, and continue to use technology to expand our volunteer projects wherever possible.

I would very much appreciate your vote again in this year's election.

Local Members (4 positions open, 1 candidate)

Jean Baden-Gillette

I have been a member of OrigamiUSA since 1983. I have watched the organization grow from 370 members when I joined to over 2500 members today. I helped transition the organization from The Friends of The Origami Center of America to OrigamiUSA. Sometimes the growing was painful but it has been worthwhile.

I love to fold paper, we all do or we wouldn't be members of OrigamiUSA, however, a love paperfolding is not sufficient qualifications for being a board member. Board members should be leaders, decision makers, people who see a need and fill it either themselves or through recruitment or donations. Board members should help to give or get goods and services that will benefit the organization.

In my professional life I was a manager, a trainer, and an administrator. The organizational skills and problem solving skills that I utilized in that part of my life have transferred well as skills needed on the board of directors.

During the past two years I have been back on the board I have continued fulfilling my commitment to by serving on the Convention Committee and Fundraising committee. As Treasurer I am also on the Finance Committee. From time to time I have also taken on oversight of time limited projects such as Cranes for 9/11, which you can find out more about on our website.

Of course, I have continued to promote OrigamiUSA by my active involvement in teaching at events for the organization and as a private consultant. I want to work to continue Michael Shall's vision of people folding paper anywhere, anytime. Let us promote Peace with Paper.