Patricia Grodner

I would like to offer my candidacy as an incumbent for the 2016 OrigamiUSA Board of Directors election. Even though I have been a member for almost 30 years, I have learned a lot about our organization in the last 2 years. I think I have proven that you don’t need to live in New York City to be involved and active in the organization. I have enjoyed being part of several, new, and exciting initiatives as well as some established ones:

  • Ramping up our appreciation of our volunteers
  • Developing and implementing an automated system for Community Origami Groups to list and update their club information
  • Developing and implementing Origami Connect, OrigamiUSA’s affordable, live, interactive online events.
  • Pacific Coast OrigamiUSA Conference to help support and grow OrigamiUSA’s outreach beyond New York City.

There are many ways our organization can grow. I hope to see it continue to embrace folders from all over the United States and the world. I will continue to serve as chair of the Community Origami Groups committee, Origami Connect, PCOC, and Volunteer Recognition to help make that goal happen.

I would like encourage more remote members like myself take on active leadership roles, yet still respecting the huge role local NYC volunteers play in the ground operations at the Home Office.

I have been extremely grateful to be able to give back to the OrigamiUSA and have felt I have gotten back more than I have given. I am still committed and excited to play a part in OrigamiUSA’s continued growth and progress.

David Kandel

I am nearing the end of my first term on the board, and would like to be considered for a second term. I have a strong background as a mathematics educator, and in that context have developed courses in middle and high school focusing on origami. I have also given numerous workshops for kindergarten through graduate school over the years to teach either very general origami folding or highly specific forms, such as modulars, tessellations, and corrugations.

I also have many decades experience in the general advocacy and non-profit world, specifically with fundraising, volunteer coordination, leadership and board development, strategic planning, and organizational culture.

Origami USA has a terrific board of directors which is leading the organization in new and exciting directions and I hope to be a part of this leadership in the years to come.

Marc Kirschenbaum

It is a pleasure to offer my candidacy as an incumbent for the 2016 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 two decades, and I am one of the managing editors. We plan on continuing to increase the availability of our publications through digital and electronic printing techniques. I have been increasingly active in helping shape our new governance. We are faced with critical decisions in the way our organization is shaped, so we can best create and address big picture needs, while still not losing sight of our past. 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.

Michael Montebello

I've been a member of OrigamiUSA for more than fifteen years and am an avid convention-goer albeit as a volunteer. I can “simple” fold but would say I’m a non-folder for all practical purposes. In addition to my convention volunteering, where I would categorize myself as “I can do anything so let me”, I have assisted with foreign travelers to Convention, and help keep up with and fix problems. I also try to address the changing logistics plans for each Convention along with our new venues.

In my professional life I am an engineer with more than 35 years experience for South Carolina’s environmental agency (DHEC). Over the years, as some background on my own interests, I have been a Girl Scout brownie troop co-leader, a Board member on a non-profit Montessori Middle School, an AP science teacher for a high school home school, a member of the DHEC Disaster Recovery Team and volunteer as Show Chairman for the non-profit Columbia Gem & Mineral Society. I can comprehend and write contracts and regulations, am adept at budget and financial issues, manage people and work with real world events. I deal with things not going as planned and realize the need for sometimes taking risks.

Why would a non-folding engineer/volunteer type want to be an OrigamiUSA Board member? I would like to expand my efforts beyond the Annual Convention to endeavor to keep OrigamiUSA relevant and important to its many members, to support expansion and innovation throughout the organization, to inspire potential new and existing members (regardless of their folding abilities) by expanding outreach (including exploring additional options for non-folders or “new folders”) to join and contribute their time and talents and expand volunteer activities wherever possible. I might provide a different perspective or alternative thought process on decisions that affect every member. I would appreciate your vote in this year's election.

Charlene Morrow

I have been folding paper for about 30 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 summer program that I directed for many years. For a long time I had no idea there was a folding community. In 1998 a friend 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 three-dimensional object, whether a box, a butterfly, or a polyhedron.

I joined the OrigamiUSA Board of Directors in 2013, and I am still finding it an exciting and stimulating opportunity to help maintain the excellence of our organization while facilitating new opportunities so that we will keep our organization vibrant and growing for new generations of folders. Especially because I do not live in New York City, I am interested in helping increase opportunities for folders on the local level, whether through Community Origami Groups or another means.

Here is a sampling of my board activities and accomplishments:

  • I led the design of the 2015 survey that you (hopefully) filled out a few months ago. I have already written up results for the Board. and we have been busy figuring out how these results can help guide and inspire us. Very soon you will see the first of a 3 part report on the results for members. Look for a link soon on the homepage!
  • At the 2015 NYC Convention I led the fundraising effort for Origami Connect, our new and very popular series of real-time, online classes. Subsequently I became chair of the Fundraising Committee, and have designed a strategic plan for fundraising going forward. We are in the first stages of enacting this plan.
  • I have been the managing director of the Education Committee, though this work has taken a back seat to the survey and to fundraising for the moment. I am, however, committed to education, having dedicated almost my whole working life to teaching in many different settings. So much of what goes on in the origami world has an element of teaching; I look forward to working more actively on our education and teaching efforts.

In addition, I started and continue to organize a Community Origami Group, and I regularly teach origami in a wide variety of settings from schools to museums to festivals to conventions. I have also displayed my origami at juried math/art exhibitions and conferences, and I have published several papers on math and origami.

I am passionate about making sure that the excellence and importance of OrigamiUSA is maintained as we and the origami community at large grows. At the same time, I appreciate the history and passion that has inspired so many amazing folders and has made for such an extended and close international community. I will work to ensure that our feeling of family and community continues, as does our creativity.

Marcio Noguchi

I have been part of the development of the board for the past few years, as well as the maturity of the organization. We have now changed the board chair from the president and CEO as a way to separate the strategic from the operational functions, as one of the steps. The board meeting topics are gradually converging towards strategic planning subjects. And on the program front, we had been able to embrace even more our slogan "Origami is for anyone, anywhere, any time!", and successfully implement online classes, making Origami Connect a reality. Today, the convention classes, exhibition tours are now possible though the platform. And anyone (from anywhere) can be part of the Origami Connect community featuring artists and their works. I look forward being able to contributing even more to OrigamiUSA and membership, on its board governance in creating a strong organizational culture, as well as outreach to the general public who are interested in Origami as fine art, craft, hobby, education, mathematics, science, and more!