Statements of the Candidates for OrigamiUSA Board of Directors

In 2012 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?
  • What ideas do you have for increasing membership involvement and donations?

The nominated candidates and their responses follow.

Lisa Bellan-Boyer

My name is Lisa Bellan-Boyer, and I have been an active member of OrigamiUSA since 2007. I am not a life-long folder, having begun folding at about the same time I became a member of the organization, filled with beginner's enthusiasm. Though I did not begin folding till I was an adult, I have always been aware of origami as an art form, and of the role of the origami crane as a symbol of peace around the world.

I am an ordained interfaith minister, and I am fascinated by the nexus of science and spirituality that can be expressed through origami. Origami is a regular part of my own contemplative practice.

I have presented two papers on Convention Mondays: one on origami in the post-September 11th disaster response, in which I served as a volunteer chaplain; and the second on origami in the spiritual traditions and cultural practices of Buddhism and Shinto.

I have been included in the Convention exhibition each of the past three years and volunteered there, and have been an active promoter of OrigamiUSA in my teaching (I am a member of the Humanities Faculty at Hudson County Community College); and through my Seminary (an origami dress was designed by Rev. Lainie Love Dalby and created by the Class of 2011. It was worn by Rev. Dalby at Riverside Church last year for the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary Commencement service, and was exhibited at the 2011 Convention, two weeks later).

Because of their origami exhibits, I have helped build bridges and relationships between OrigamiUSA and the Tribute WTC September 11th Visitor's Center, and with Trinity Church and St. Paul's Chapel in Lower Manhattan. My background in museums and fine arts would be helpful to open exhibition opportunities for the organization and to do further public outreach and education. Membership on the Board would facilitate the effectiveness and timeliness of these efforts. I am seeking a seat as a Local member of the Board.

Thank you for your consideration.

Ruthanne Bessman

My interest in origami began 25 years ago while spending the summer in NYC. I had the great fortune of connecting with OrigamiUSA, becoming an instant member, volunteering at the home office several times a week, meeting origami enthusiasts, learning origami from both Alice Gray and Michael Shall, and spending time with Lillian Oppenheimer. After returning to Madison, Wisconsin, I tried to get back to New York when possible to be with origami friends. 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.

Five 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 Fundraising Committee, Origami by Children, World Origami Days, and Awards. I also coordinate the Exhibition Site at the OrigamiUSA Convention.

In Madison, WI, I recently started an origami group called The Mad-City Area Folders. Many of the members will be attending the OUSA Convention in June. Over the years I have designed and produced community origami murals. A year and a half ago I taught 250 participants to fold 2,577 models that were included in a permanent installation at a public library in the Madison area. This generated much public enthusiasm for origami. It also brought in new members to OrigamiUSA.

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

Marc Kirschenbaum

No statement received.

Anne LaVin

No statement received.

Marcio Noguchi

I joined OrigamiUSA in 2007 and the board a year after. Since then I learned quite a lot about the organizational structure and the various activities that OrigamiUSA is involved with. I also had the great opportunity to contribute as a volunteer at conventions, with exhibition and World Origami Days committees, and OrigamiUSA volunteering at the home office at the Museum or American History.

Also, I was fortunate to participate in various foreign conventions around the world, in particular in Japan, Korea in Asia, or Brazil, Colombia in South America and at some european events. That helped me understand better the different structures in place, and establish key contacts that facilitates the information exchange among a broader community.

I would like to contribute to strengthen OrigamiUSA local group structure, as part of the Local Area Groups committee, and assist moving towards a more stronger national organization. And on the other hand, work even closer with other international groups so that we can promote more information sharing, and collaboration. In this way we can offer more to our members spreading the joy of folding.

I find equally important to create a board with solid executive strategies and good vision. As such, I would like to contribute with my nonprofit organization board training, and advocate for a sound governance and structure model aligned with OrigamiUSA member base.

So, in order to continue creating more benefits for members with a stronger national structure and international contacts, as well as to contribute to the board governance and strategic planning discussions, I would greatly appreciate receiving your vote.

Jim Weir

No statement received.

Wendy Zeichner

Though I have been serving on the Board for twelve years, my commitment to OrigamiUSA is stronger than ever and has been growing. I was recently very inspired by the Board Retreat where we had the opportunity to discuss our future plans. I see the future of OrigamiUSA as being very bright; there is an opportunity for us to become more professional and national, and I would like to be part of that.

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 helping to create the personal logon ID's that control access to members-only content.

The highlight of the members-only content is The Fold, and though I don't work directly on it I have been part of the editorial team that discusses all our publications. I am back working on The Paper team, this time in an advisory capacity. My goal was to help the new team develop a process to create issues of The Paper and I am happy to see the wonderful issues they've produced.

I also had the chance to join the PCOC Committee for the 2011 event in Bellevue and will also be working on the PCOC 2013 event in Albuquerque. I am so glad OrigamiUSA is able to create smaller conventions in a variety of places. It is an opportunity to spread the joy of origami and is a great experience for the local group organizers as well as the attendees.

Recently, I have joined the Fundraising Committee and looking ahead I hope to put more energy into that area. In order for OrigamiUSA to realize its potential we will need to raise more funds, and I think that will be doable in a way that will allow those who give to be part of something big.

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.