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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!