Statements of the Candidates for OrigamiUSA Board of Directors

In 2013 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.

Jean Baden-Gillette

My commitment to the organization is observable by the hours of volunteer time I have given. I served on the Board of Directors from 1984 – 2002 as Treasurer and President. I helped transition the organization from The Friends of The Origami Center of America to OrigamiUSA.

I have been a member of OrigamiUSA for over 30 years. 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, and people of vision. I believe I can help.

During the past four years I have been back on the board I have continued my commitment by serving on the Convention Committee and Fundraising committee and as Treasurer. From time to time I have also taken on oversight of time limited projects such as the Annual Holiday Gift we distribute at the American Museum of Natural History Holiday Tree lighting and the special gifts we give the Museum Trustees as a thank-you for hosting OrigamiUSA.

Of course, I have continued to promote OrigamiUSA by my active involvement in teaching at events for the organization and as a private origami specialist. I consider myself very privileged to have known all of our Founders. I think that provides me with a unique perspective to help ensure Michael Shalls' vision of "origami for anyone, anywhere, anytime" while moving towards our new vision for the future. Let us never forget the magic in a piece of paper as we also promote Peace with Paper.

Bernie Peyton

I am Bernie Peyton, and I would like to continue to serve on the board of OrigamiUSA. I have been a board member for less than a year, but the experience has convinced me that I have something to offer in three areas. The first is raising funds. As you are aware, OrigamiUSA has big plans that will require significant sums and more opportunities for its members to be involved. I have experience raising capital for an organization devoted to preserving and managing bear populations worldwide. The second is program development to include a population of folders that is not adequately supported. For the past three years I have spent most of my Thursdays teaching origami to patients at Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland. This is a very different experience from teaching children at conventions. Privacy concerns, the rising prevalence of drug resistant germs, hospital protocol and training, and the limited motion of patients are just some of the things that are challenging. I would like to see what synergism can be developed between OrigamiUSA and a program I am putting together for hospitals in the United States. Lastly, I can empathize with remote OrigamiUSA members who feel less supported than those living in and around the greater New York area. I feel strongly about not suggesting changes that would hurt core functions of OrigamiUSA. However, I would like to do more for those of us who sigh when they receive notices of all the fun stuff going on in New York. This would include more support for regional groups and their activities.

Lisa Bellan-Boyer

My name is Lisa Bellan-Boyer, and I have been an active member of Origami USA since 2007. I am not a life-long folder, having begun folding at about the same time I became a member of the organization, and I am still inspired 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 deeply appreciate the connections between science and spirituality that can be expressed through origami. Origami is a regular part of my own contemplative practice.

At prior Conventions, 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, history, and cultural practices of Buddhism and Shinto. I have also presented a version of this paper at the International Shinto Foundation Center in New York, and for the Arts Program at Trinity Wall Street Episcopal Parish.

I have been included in Convention exhibitions, and have been an active promoter of Origami USA in my teaching (I am a member of the Humanities Faculty at Hudson County Community College); and through the seminary community (One Spirit Interfaith Seminary and Union Theological Seminary in New York); and have taught origami for two annual, multi-generational Summer Camp programs at the Chuang Yen Buddhist Monastery in Carmel, NY.

I am currently in a program of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education), training toward certification as a Chaplain with the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP) using origami as a modality for working with a mixed population, including people who are homeless, mentally ill, or suffering from situations like long-term unemployment, or surviving significant trauma.

Because of their origami exhibits, I have helped build bridges and relationships between Origami USA and the Tribute WTC September 11th Visitor's Center, and with Trinity Church, Charlotte's Place Community Center, and St. Paul's Chapel in Lower Manhattan. This year, that has included helping to coordinate a teaching table at the first annual 5K Run and Family Day presented by the National September 11th Memorial. I am hoping that these places in Lower Manhattan can be long-term partners with Origami USA and that I can be helpful in building those relationships.

My background in museums and fine arts would be useful to the organization's efforts to further public outreach and education, and to facilitate planning for Origami USA's exciting new potential projects in this area. Continuing for another term as a local member on the Board would facilitate the effectiveness and timeliness of these efforts. My first year was a great orientation – now I look forward to the opportunity for building on that. Thank you for your consideration,

Rev. Lisa Bellan-Boyer

Jason Ku

I have served as a remote Board Member for OrigamiUSA for the past two years. During this time I have tried to expand the reach of many OrigamiUSA programs. To give some specific examples: as editor of OrigamiUSA's online magazine, The Fold, I helped the Online Presence Committee put in place an online submission system to streamline the submission process for all OrigamiUSA publications; I helped the Local Area Group Committee implement a survey of US local area groups to identify areas in which OrigamiUSA as a national organization could serve them better; and during many trips to the home office in NY, I completely reorganized our archives and storage in order to bring a selection of rare books to convention for members to browse as part of a Mobile Library.

Additionally, I have been active in trying to further the new OrigamiUSA vision for an expanded organization, but it can take a long time to effect change. Some directions we're already looking into are: changes to the OrigamiUSA membership structure (perhaps an online-only membership), expansions to our online resources (like remote, live online classes and workshops), and new program developments to provide new services, while at the same time identifying possible additional revenue streams for the organization (new publications, more local conventions, more traveling curated exhibits, and educational curriculum development). In order to facilitate some of these projects that are already being discussed, I have decided to run for another term.

I feel that during my time as a board member, I have been able to bridge some of the communication gaps that have kept the organization from moving forward in the past, but there is much more work to be done. I promise to continue to keep an open ear to the desires of the entire membership, and work on behalf of the membership to make things happen. I would very much appreciate your vote in this year's election.

Laura Rozenberg

My interest in joining the Board is to continue contributing to the new vision of OrigamiUSA. I am excited by the possibility of having a permanent place for our institution (like a museum). As an OrigamiUSA member who is also working on a related project—a museum/workshop in Uruguay—I think I can really help contribute to our vision. Here is the link to the project in Uruguay for those who are interested: I think it would be wonderful if one day OrigamiUSA can be part of an international origami museum exchange which would include traveling exhibitions, artists in residence and more.

I have been the Managing Editor of our magazine, The Paper for the past three and half years and plan to continue with this effort and to make improvements. I would also like to see OrigamiUSA develop more publications. Besides the online magazine and the print magazine, we could develop booklets about the history of Origami, the life of great contributors to this movement, and even compile stories in an illustrated book. We have to start looking beyond diagrams and conventions. There are a whole lot of stories waiting to be told, that we don't want to miss. It's our history, and it should be at the very foundation of the new vision.

Besides working on whatever is needed within my own capacities, I am also open to helping with new opportunities as they arise.

Jim Weir

No statement submitted.