Candidate statements are posted here as they come in.

David Kandel

I am nearing the end of my fourth term on the board, and would like to be considered for another 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 have extensive experience teaching origami at the Baltimore Waldorf School, Maryland Institute of Art College, Common Grounds summer arts festival, Baltimore County afterschool arts programs, and many other places and opportunities of all ages and levels of experience.

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. I hope to be a part of this leadership in the years to come.

Patty Grodner

I would like to offer my candidacy as a incumbent for the 2022 OrigamiUSA Board of Directors. I have been a member for over 30 years. I was a founding member of the Origami Connect committee 7 years ago which I feel helped us in our transition to online content during the COVID pandemic. I am also the chairperson for the Pacific Coast OrigamiUSA Convention Committee (PCOC). I have enjoyed learning more about the organization by being on the board and I hope that I can continue to make positive contribution to the organization.

Marc Kirschenbaum

It is a pleasure to offer my candidacy as an incumbent for the 2022 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. The COVID pandemic has shown us the importance of having more inclusive programs, and increasing the availability of our publications through digital and electronic printing techniques furthers this goal. I will advocate a hybrid approach of continuing (and hopefully expanding) our in-person programs while embracing virtual offerings.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.

Mike Montebello

I've been a member of OrigamiUSA for more than twenty 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.

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. As the current Board Treasurer, I am adept at budget and financial issues, manage people and work with real world events.

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. I retain a different perspective or alternative thought process on decisions that affect every member. I would consider maintaining my role as Treasurer, as well as helping with the 2022 “live” Convention. I would appreciate your vote in this year's election.

Mel Sawyer

I’ve been an origami enthusiast since geometry class in 8th grade when we watched Between the Folds while we had a substitute teacher. I was a member of the “Boulder Folders” (out of Boulder, CO) until I moved away for college. While in college, I started an origami coalition and organized spontaneous folding events, taught innumerable classmates how to fold simple modulars to keep them busy during our tedious engineering lectures, and did my senior project on 3D modeling of my favorite origami structures. Since graduating college in 2020, I’ve spent a slightly horrifying amount of time folding paper & convincing coworkers that it can be fun and not stressful.

Although I don’t have previous experience serving on the board, I have a wealth of experience in similar positions. I was the director of Columbia’s hackathon, which required a truly unbelievable amount of coordinating, begging sponsors for money, responding to countless emails, and developing a strict budget. I was the (first female) president of Columbia’s computer science club and worked hard to encourage those on the outskirts of the computer science community to feel welcome and continue coming to events while also building out our programming for “advanced” members.

In “real life”, I’m a software engineer at Etsy. I would love to contribute to the website development committee and any other area that could benefit from my technical skills. I’ve built and maintained a couple of websites for non-profits, and enjoy the collaboration and unique challenges such endeavors present.

Above all, I’m enthusiastic & eager to contribute to the OrigamiUSA community. I would love the opportunity to be a representative on the board.