The 2013 Board is a wonderful mix of old and new faces. Here are the results of the 2013 call for nominations.

Since the positions were uncontested, there was no need for a runoff this year and we did not hold elections. The submitted running platforms are being posted as introductions to the new officers.

Bahia Simons-Lane, President
Bahia is continuing on as President for another term, and we are very lucky to have her!  Here is her introduction:

Originally from Washington, DC, I was a JET in Gunma prefecture from 2005 – 2007, where I taught at an all girls’ high school deep in the mountains.  I held the position of ALT Advisor for the Gunma Board of Education from 2007 – 2008 and planned the prefectural Mid-Year Seminar for JET/non-JET ALTs and JTEs, provided support for Gunma JETs and worked closely with the Prefectural Advisor (JET CIR), and taught at a variety of special needs schools that otherwise would not have a native English speaking teacher (including the blind school, deaf school, physically/mentally handicapped schools, and hospital schools).  I am currently pursuing a Master’s in International and Intercultural Education at FIU.

I believe that Florida JETAA can play a more active role in bringing alumni across the state together, as well as provide support for JET at the national level of JETAA and locally. Florida JETAA faces some unique challenges in becoming a vibrant alumni association; primarily that Florida is a large state and our alumni are very spread out. During my tenure as president, I have helped increase involvement in our virtual community through our website, Yahoo Groups list server, Facebook group, and our Twitter account. I have maintained Florida JETAA’s connections with the Japanese Consulate in Miami, and established relationships with the Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese and the Asian Studies Department at Florida International University. I have worked hard to make sure the two hubs of JET alumni in Miami and Tampa are regularly communicating and supporting each other’s activities as much as the distance provides, as well as tried to provide support to our regional representatives throughout the states. Along with the other officers, I have also incorporated Florida JETAA as a non-profit corporation in the state of Florida and revised and improved our chapter by-laws. At the annual JETAAUSA National Conferences I have benefited from seminars, workshops, and advice from the other 18 chapters across the USA and have brought that knowledge back to share with Florida JETAA’s officers and members.

Allan Mordetsky, Vice President

Allan is in the middle of his term as Vice-President.  Here is Allan’s introduction:
My name is Allan and it’s a pleasure to meet you. I was a JET ALT in Saitama from 2005 to 2007 and then stayed in Japan until late 2010. Since returning to the US I’ve tried to get involved with Japanese culture related activities here in South Florida to continue my study of Japan (and still studying Japanese but I’m getting rusty haha.). I’ve volunteered at events at the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, for the Consulate-General of Japan in Miami, and at various Japanese and Asian festivals.
I ran for office because I feel JETAA is a great way to remember and honor the places we called home while on the JET Program. By being active in various events we can maintain our ties to Japan and help spread the culture we learned, as well as creating new ties with the Japanese community here in Florida.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to another year JETAA. Take care!

Tom Gregorich, Treasurer

We are so happy to have Tom back on the Board. Our one-time Vice President brings a lot of experience to the table.  Here is his introduction:

I lived 2 years in the most beautiful prefecture in Japan, Tokushima-ken, in 2001-03 where I worked as an ALT at a public high school in rural Anabuki-cho along the Yoshino river. After returning to the states I took up a career in the TV industry blending my love of Japan and fondness for the game of golf and am currently an associate producer at Golf Channel Japan. I have an MBA from UCF an BS in biochemistry from Indiana University. I took on the role of chapter treasurer last year from Gerard Batista and look forward to continuing to help build our Florida chapter.

Jennifer Garcia, Secretary

Jennifer is a new face on the Board.  Here is a little bit out her in her own words:

My name is Jennifer Garcia and on Bahia’s recommendation, I’m putting forth my own nomination to become the new secretary. I’ve only just returned from a two year post in Tamba-shi, Hyogo-ken as a high school JET. I’m originally from Miami and did my undergraduate and graduate schooling in Asian Studies at Florida International University. I’ve loved Japan for most of my life and even after returning from living over there, I’d like to be involved in its continued promotion, and of course, to continue the JET experience that helped me achieve my dream.

Barbara Barrett, Information Officer

Barbara is also a new face on the Board. Here is her introduction:

I did jet 2008-10 in Shikoku and now reach ESL at University of Miami. She recommended me for the info officer position. I love using Facebook and blogging so I think I would be a good fit for the position.

David Shaw, Webmaster

David continues on in his position as webmaster. Here is his introduction:

As Webmaster of Florida JETAA, I help maintain our website and promote fun events for returning JETS, current JETs, and also to introduce people to Japanese culture. I am also involved in planning events in the Miami area. One idea I would like to do is some type of movie screening or Japanese film festival at O-Cinema or another similar location. Also karaoke in the Miami, South Beach, or Ft. Lauderdale regions. I would also like to help out with any other events and I have a relatively flexible schedule to accommodate others ideas.

Our incoming and continuing officers’ contact information is available on the Florida JETAA Board and Regional Representative Pages! We also have openings for Regional Representatives for Tallahassee, and Treasure Coast. Please email if interested.

Thanks to the outgoing officers and regional representatives for all their hard work and dedication! Welcome to the incoming JETAA officers! This will be another spectacular year!

University of South Florida


The Office of International Services (OIS) Student Programs Coordinator is responsible for developing and facilitating programs to help international students integrate into campus and community life, and to promote interaction between international and domestic students. The Coordinator increases the visibility of OIS through marketing efforts and increasing the involvement of domestic students and community members in the mission of OIS.


This position reports to the Office of International Services Director. The Coordinator is charged with providing opportunities for international students, scholars, and staff to share their culture on camps and in the community and promote the increase of intercultural and global awareness. The Coordinator coordinates with university units to prioritize and allocates tasks to meet the needs of international students; organize administrative and academic areas to resources; and complies with university, campus, and departmental policies and procedures. The position supervises student workers, interns, and volunteers in support of program and activities.


  • Plan and organize traditional campus programming events for international students including New Student Information Sessions, Document Check, Welcome Party, Week of Welcome, Orientation, Homecoming Parade, International Festival, International Education Week, iBuddy and Graduating Sash Ceremonies. Establish the annual master calendar of OIS and produce monthly calendar of programs, activities, and workshops. Coordinate workshops and training programs for international students and scholars on topics such as US taxes, Navigating Life in the US, Using University Resources, Wellness, Getting Around Tampa Bay, Special Immigration Topics, and Life after Graduation. Arrange speakers, book rooms and serve as leader of sessions/workshops. Use social media to inform and market to students and scholars.
  • Collaborate with community organizations and seek new opportunities for OIS to be actively involved in community events and provide effective programs of volunteer service for international students. Manage partnerships to deliver basic services such as airport pick-ups, shopping trips, obtaining furniture, and holiday celebrations. Work with Fulbright local groups on programming for past and current Fulbright students and scholars.
  • Build new programs to meet the needs of new and continuing students, scholars, and their families. Establish programs such as International Coffee Hour, International Friends (Mentor) Program, English Conversation Class, International Speaker Series, Global Cafe, Women’s Group, and Spouse Programs. Work with other offices on short term and summer programs.
  • Plan events to develop ties with future alumni, build up alumni database, and work with university partners outside the US. Assist with fundraising efforts.
  • Maintains wide knowledge of university and community resources available to students and scholars. Conduct research and assist director with developing policies and procedures to guide the delivery of international student services.

QUALIFICATIONS (Education & Experience):

Minimum Qualifications:

This position requires a Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate area of specialization with at least one year of experience coordinating programs for students or scholars. Work experience may not be substituted for the Bachelor’s degree requirement for this position.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A Master’s degree in Higher Education, College Student Personnel, or other appropriate area of specialization preferred.
  • Experience planning activities and events, promoting interaction between international and domestic students, and ability to work with diverse populations.
  • Experience working with students in a college or university setting.
  • Exposure to international education as demonstrated by living in a different country, working or studying in a different country, or working with an international student population.
  • Experience developing and implementing marketing strategies.
  • Excellent written, oral, and organizational skills as well as desktop publishing and computer skill.
  • Ability to recruit, supervise and develop student workers/interns and volunteers.
  • Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently.

This position is subject to a criminal background check.

Job Opening Number: 3788

Posting Date: 02/28/2014

Posting End Date: 03/12/2014


To apply go to

See below for details. As always the job and organization is not officially vetted by Florida JETAA. Please contact Gustavo directly if interested.


Dear JETAA of Florida,

This is Gustavo from TransPerfect Translations. I was referred to your association by the CLAIR office in New York . We’re contacting you as we have an exciting work translation opportunity starting this week and ongoing for the rest of the month.

We will be receiving 1000s of files covering a variety of general, legal and technical material to be translated from Japanese into English so there is regular work available for the next month.  If your organization has any qualified individuals in its membership base that would be interested and available to work with us on this project it would be greatly appreciated if could let me know.

More details about the project the project can also be provided with the signing of a Non-Disclosure Agreement that I can gladly send your way.

We hope JETAA of the Florida may be interested in this exciting opportunity and look forward to hearing from you.






Gustavo Acosta

Vendor Manager

TransPerfect | New York


3 Park Ave., 20th Floor

New York, NY 10016

+1 212.400.8840 x3039

TransPerfect is ISO 9001:2008 and EN 15038:2006 certified.