Statements of the Candidates for OrigamiUSA Board of Directors

In 2014 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.


Marc Kirschenbaum

It is a pleasure to offer my candidacy as an incumbent for the 2014 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 both digitized and used electronic printing techniques to increase the availability of our publications and resurrecting out of print works. We are excited about securing The Origami Collection as the most desirable origami anthology. I am also active in helping shape our new governance. 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

Though I have been serving on the Board for six years, I fell like there is so much to accomplish and so much for me to learn. My commitment to OrigamiUSA is stronger than ever and after going through a training with BoardServeNYC, I learned more about the responsibilities of a board, and the discipline that would be required to bring OrigamiUSA to the next level, in support to our vision and mission. I will continue to actively volunteer in all activities in order to support the OrigamiUSA programs, as well as during the convention in NY. In addition, I will look forward to strengthen our board governance and participate in strategic planning discussions, be better positioned as a nonprofit organization, and expand our outreach beyond not just the origami artists, enthusiasts, but potentially to every child that can enjoy the beauty and pleasure of paper-folding, and more serious applications in education curricula, as therapy in hospitals, and of course in terms of science and mathematics. I am looking forward being able to contribute more to OrigamiUSA, its members, and potentially beyond.

Wendy Zeichner

As a Board member for the past fourteen years, it has been a joy to see the growth of our organization. My commitment to OrigamiUSA is stronger than ever. I believe in our mission and values and I see the potential for even more growth in the coming years. Helping OrigamiUSA to become a more professional and national organization remains my primary goal for our group.

In the past two years I have worked on a variety of projects. Most recently, I worked with the ad hoc committee created to revise our membership structure and create the online membership. This is an exciting step for us because it makes membership more affordable to folders no matter where they reside.

I was also thrilled to be involved with the work that resulted in making PDF's of The Origamians, back issues of The Newsletter and The Paper, and all of the Annual Collections available at The Source. This really speaks to the part of our mission that is "to preserve our history" in addition to making so many great articles and diagrams available to folders everywhere.

One of the most exciting efforts I was involved in last year, was working with the PCOC 2013 team to put together one of our best events ever. Creating and supporting conventions put together by local groups is so important for our community.

As we move forward, I would like to help OrigamiUSA develop educational programs which will provide access to good origami lessons for teachers and students at all levels and in many kinds of venues. I think this effort will be key to really fulfilling our mission to "share the joy of origami and nurture its growth."

In the past year, I have also worked to nurture our relationship with the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). We have been lucky to call the AMNH our home, and I have working more closely with them to build more origami into the museums programs.

It's no secret that my long-term hope for OrigamiUSA is to create an "American Museum of Origami." I know that will take a lot of work to get there, but I think we have taken some small steps in the right direction towards this goal.

In the past year, I have taken classes in non-profit management and fundraising which have given me additional skills required to do help our organization along the new path. Combined with my organizational, managerial and computer skills, as well as my commitment to OrigamiUSA, I believe I continue to be a good candidate for our Board.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to give to OrigamiUSA.


Patty Grodner

I'm from Albuquerque, New Mexico where I work part time as a teacher of the Deaf and hard of hearing. I have been folding since 1985, joined OrigamiUSA in May 1987 and attended my first NY convention the following June. Since that time, I have attended every NY convention and PCOC that has been offered. I was fortunate to attend the Tanteidan Convention and Korean Convention in 2012. Can you tell? I LOVE origami.

What qualifications and talents do I bring to the OrigamiUSA Board?

  • I love origami!
  • I respect the origami creators and masters that have brought a rich craft and art to the world.
  • I am a hard worker, have lots of energy and love to learn new things.
  • I am a good communicator and I follow through on commitments.
  • I like to listen to people ideas and help their voice become part of the solution to challenges. I feel getting membership investment into initiatives is the way to make be changes.
  • I am committed to helping OrigamiUSA thrive and become a strong national organization.
  • I am interested in improving support and services to the remote groups of the organization.
  • I was the lead local liaison for PCOC 2013.
  • I am a good teacher.

I am enthusiastic to continue my involvement in OrigamiUSA at a new level of service. I would appreciate the opportunity to serve you as a member of your board.

David Kandel

I began origami "late" in life, while teaching middle and high school mathematics. My only regret is that I didn't discover it earlier, when my brain worked better and I would have had another 30 years to actively and vigorously fold. Most of my friends and colleagues would say that I have been making up for lost time ever since, exhibiting an interest and passion in origami which, while far exceeds my folding skills, is always adventurous and appreciative.

At the center of my origami interest has always been OrigamiUSA. For my first few years, I was a lone folder picking up crease patterns from books, or occasional workshops at mathematics conventions. And then one day, as I was discovering the Internet, I began to find all the amazing work people were doing, and somehow OrigamiUSA was the coordinating or command central point for me. After my very first convention, I think seven years ago, countless Special Sessions workshops, teaching and local workshops, etc, I have "arrived."

And I would like to give back to OrigamiUSA. Is interest and passion enough? Perhaps it is at the early stages of organizational development. It also helps an organization to have people with institutional skills relevant to its mission in terms of organization growth.

I have two backgrounds which I think might help make me useful to OrigamiUSA. First, I am trained professionally as a Social Worker, not the clinical type, but as a community organizer. I have spent countless years working with nonprofits, helping them develop fundraising plans, developing working boards of directions, making meetings work effectively, volunteer coordination, thinking through strategic plans, etc. I have spent years working on these areas, and also serving on countless boards, and consulting to a wide variety of organizations.

Most of this work has been focused around my main interests – given that I come out of the 1960s – which are peace and justice, social and civil rights, etc. Those organizations overwhelmingly have big, huge missions, but budgets, resources and volunteers that are too few to match the scope and breadth of the vision. While OrigamiUSA is not this kind of organization, almost all "small" scale non-profits have more in common in terms of these issues than substantive differences.

I am also a middle and high school mathematics teacher. I originally taught middle school at the Waldorf School in Baltimore, in which the school's emphasis on the arts pushed me to discover origami and work it into sixth, seventh, and eight grade curriculums. I have been teaching for eight years at an alternative public charter arts school in Baltimore, from algebra through calculus.

In the last few years, I have developed a Math Arts course, in which I teach students both compass design and construction and paper folding, five days a week, for an hour and a half a day for a full semester. We are the only school, public or private in Maryland, with such a course, and maybe the country. It has been an on going source of inspiration and excitement to me and my students. So I also have a real interest in mathematics pedagogy and what role origami can play in that, and have been developing middle and high school curriculums to incorporate these ideas.

Charlene Morrow

I have been folding paper for over 20 years --- ever since I saw Tomoko Fuse's Unit Origami book on the shelf in a local bookstore. I was so inspired by the geometric and colorful models shown on the cover that I felt compelled to buy the book and learn to fold all of the models. I thought that these models were very mathematical in nature so I designed and taught a 2 week Origami and Geometry workshop for the SummerMath Program at Mount Holyoke College, which I directed from 1986-2010. For a long time I was a lone folder --- I had no idea there was a folding community. In 1998 a friend from the math side said she noticed a whole convention devoted to origami in New York and suggested we attend together. I was amazed to see what paperfolders were doing!! I have learned so much, felt so inspired, and made so many friends by being a part of the origami community. I love to see the look on the face of someone who has just discovered the magic of cleverly transforming paper into a beautiful 3 dimensional object, whether a box, a butterfly, or business card polyhedron.

Here is a sampling of my origami-related activities since then: organizer of a local folding group; origami and mathematics teacher workshops at conventions and in schools; origami classes at museums, schools, festivals, and OrigamiUSA Conventions; individual lessons; origami for groups of homeschool students; participation and presentation of origami classes and conferences in the US, Canada, the UK, Spain, Portugal, India, Japan, and Australia; display of origami at juried math/art exhibitions and conferences with related presentations; publication of several papers on origami, math, art, and education.

I have experience in a variety of fields (psychology, mathematics, education, program direction, grant writing) that could contribute to creative thinking about new programs and new directions for OrigamiUSA. Since I have become the Managing Director of the Education Committee, we have started to work on strategies to tie our education and teaching efforts more closely with the overall mission of OrigamiUSA.

In 2013 I was asked to fill the one-year unexpired portion of a vacant Board position. I have really enjoyed serving the origami community and I am especially interested in making sure that the excellence and importance of OrigamiUSA is recognized as the origami community at large grows by leaps and bounds. At the same time, I appreciate the history and passion that has inspired so many amazing folders and that has made for such an extended and close international community, and I will work to ensure that our feeling of family and community is maintained. I would be very excited to help OrigamiUSA build on our history and continue to take a leadership role.