Patricia Grodner

For many years, I was a member of OrigamiUSA and attended OrigamiUSA conventions. Living in a more remote part of the United States, far from New York, I was hungry for all that OrigamiUSA and conventions could offer me. OrigamiUSA did satisfy my origami hunger for many years and now I am fortunate to be at a point I can give back.

I have served as a Board Member of OrigamiUSA for the past four years. I’m a board member with a ‘just do it’ philosophy because I believe in not just suggesting ideas but coming up with a way those ideas can happen.

For three years, I provided hand folded thank you cards to the many New York folders who volunteer at the museum and home office. Thanking volunteers is one of the most important jobs in a volunteer organization and it was an honor for me to thank many New York volunteers whose longevity and dedication to the organization are unparalleled.

I am chair of Origami Connect, PCOC and a member of the Fundraising Committee, Community Origami Groups and Awards Committee. It is the combined efforts of every committee member that makes it possible for OrigamiUSA to provide programs not only to member but non-members as well and I’m extremely lucky to work with amazing groups of people strongly committed to all these efforts.

The most recent addition to my volunteer work has been to be involved with scholarships to bring young folders to OrigamiUSA sponsored conventions such as PCOC (Pacific Coast Origami Conference) and the Annual Convention. The Scholarship Program has been very rewarding and inspiring work. It has been a thrill to get to know 30+ young folders through the eyes of their local mentors. With this program, we brought 2 young folders to PCOC and will bring 2 more to the June 2018 Annual Convention. You can’t help but feel chills meeting these talented, origami-obsessed young people. I hope with this program of bringing some of these young talents to convention we can not only nurture them but develop a new group of leaders for OrigamiUSA.

As a board member I love hearing your ideas and concerns. I value constructive ideas about how we can continue and improve our service not only to our members but to the origami community at large. It has been an honor to serve in the past and I respectfully volunteer to continue my service for the next 2 years.

David Kandel

I am nearing the end of my second term on the board, and would like to be considered for a third 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 2018 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.

Edith Kort

I am interested in serving on the Board of OrigamiUSA because I am passionate about origami and it’s importance in education and in the broader community. Origami engages multiple senses and offers positive experiences to students who may have learning styles not addressed in traditional approaches to education. I am interested in working to develop curriculum for origami in education. While mathematics education is my background and has a clear connection to origami, I think there are a variety of other curricular areas that can be addressed. Books have been written on origami and art, origami and story telling as well as other subjects. Connections can be made and materials developed not only for classroom use of origami, but also for community groups like Scouts and 4-H, libraries, as well as recreational activities for a variety of special needs and community groups.

I have been folding (intermittently) since I was 9. James Sakoda (Modern Origami , Origami Flowers) was a colleague of my father. When the Sakoda family came over for dinner, Jim would always bring my mother a beautiful origami piece as a gift. This inspired me to learn more about origami.

While I have spent most of my life in the northeastern US, I now spend most of the year in the northwest. I continue to share my love of paper folding and other paper arts in classrooms and through community activities . When I lived in Rochester NY, I integrated origami into a variety of educational settings and co-founded the Rochester Origami Club.

The community of folders has always been welcoming to everyone with whom I have interacted. I would like to take on a more active role in this community and share my enjoyment of this activity with a broader community.

Thank you.

Michael Montebello

I've been a member of OrigamiUSA for more than eighteen years and am an avid convention-goer albeit as a staff volunteer. I have enjoyed my time as a OUSA Board member and believe that I have accomplished a great deal in terms of becoming more familiar with the overall operations of OUSA. I have focused on things like budgeting and expanding non-folder outreach which were my primary goals. I have worked with the PCOC committee and attended (as staff) my first PCOC convention in 2017.

For those that do not know who I am; 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. I 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. Locally I have worked with my wife and daughter (both folders) to expand the OrigamiUSA world beyond our conventional borders and conventional origami activities. Places where origami may never have been seen or discussed before.

I would like to continue my efforts to keep OrigamiUSA relevant and important to its many members by supporting expansion and innovation throughout the organization. The goal would be to inspire potential new and existing members (regardless of their folding abilities) with expanded outreach to join and contribute their time and talents and expand volunteer activities wherever possible. I retain 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 two-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 was elected Board Chair in August 2017. I find my participation on the board, and now leading the board, 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 live in Massachusetts), I want to help increase opportunities for folders on the local level, whether through Community Origami Groups or another means.

Here is a sampling of my recent board activities and accomplishments:

  • Board Chair since August 2017
  • I led the design of the 2015 Survey and designed the recent Convention Survey, and in fact have become the survey expert. I believe it is important to continue to get member input (through surveys and other means) and shape our organization around what members want.
  • I have chaired the Fundraising Committee and have led two very successful fundraising campaigns that have helped OrigamiUSA fund new initiatives, such as our new convention scholarships for youth.
  • I am 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.

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 designed and taught a college level origami and mathematics course.

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.