• FLORIDA JETAA BOARD

President: Gigi Ross

Vice President: Allan Mordetsky

Treasurer: Sean Beckwith

Secretary: Danae Hill

Webmaster: Lisa Play

Information Officer: Hartley Haft

Officer Bios

Gigi Ross

President: Gigi Ross

Hello! My name is Geri Ross, but most call me GiGi (like the cat in Kiki’s Delivery Service, as I used to tell my students). I was a municipal ALT from 2017-2018 in the tiny Kyoto town of Ujitawara-cho, the birthplace of green tea. My hobbies include traveling and singing karaoke.

Prior to JET, I was an Asian Studies major at Florida International University. I now work at Walt Disney World as an Assistant Manager for Food and Beverage. I hope to one day go back to school and study International Business, but until then, JETAA is my only tie to Japan and I am very passionate about the Florida chapter.

Vice President: Allan Mordetsky

Our VP was in Saitama prefecture and Tokyo from 2005-2010. During his time on the JET Programme he was appointed to Kuki City where he worked at Kuki’s 4 junior high schools, 11 elementary schools, the only city run kindergarten, volunteered for numerous international festivals and local matsuri, served on the advisory board for sister city relations, and participated in the city run Japanese classes for foreigners where he tutored fellow students. He then went on to work for other public and private companies for his remaining time in Japan.

The VP also took advantage of the culinary opportunities present while in Japan and worked as a cooking teacher at a school in Urawa, assisting in teaching foreign students Washoku and Yoshoku, and apprenticed at a ryokan in Tokyo where he studied Kaiseki.

Presently the VP is involved with a local elementary school where he teaches, volunteers for events, and tutors students. He also tutors for a local education company, grades K through 12 and some adult learners, and is sitting secretary on the Scholarship Board.

Treasurer: Sean Beckwith

I served as a JET in Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture for two years from 2005-2007. I worked at a very large junior high school and was quite active with club activities (Bukatsu) through participation in soccer practices and events. Additionally, I worked as an instructor at private language corporations in Japan both before and after my time as a JET. I lived in Japan for a total of 6 years, and I visit whenever possible- most recently in 2014. My wife is Japanese and we try to find an opportunity for her to return home once a year. I am currently completing a Master’s in Oceanography at USF’s College of Marine Science. I have worked with a budget to secure funding for my research and I also work with the college’s webmaster to post photos and information to the college’s Facebook page.

Secretary: Danae Hill

I had the unique experience of spending my middle school years living in Yokohama, Japan as a military brat. Years later, I served as an ALT in Wakayama Prefecture from 1999-2000. Since my return to America, I’ve had a variety of professional experiences in dual-language education and  international marketing and sales. I currently reside in Saint Cloud, Florida with my husband and three children.
As a JET Alumni Officer, I aim to strengthen relationships among JETs, JET Alumni, and the Consulate General of Japan in Miami. I’m hopeful that our common interests, experiences, and bonds will increase awareness of, and participation in the JET Program as we connect to our local communities.

Webmaster: Lisa Play

Information Officer: Hartley Haft

Board Descriptions

The JETAA board of officers are elected at the beginning of every year on a semi-alternating basis. All elected positions carry a 2- year term. Our officers come from all across the state of Florida, and as a result the meetings typically take place electronically and, occasionally, in a central meeting location such as Orlando.

Elections take place in February, and the new board is announced in March. The new officers will begin their duties April 1.

Duties and responsibilities vary according to the posts, but the main goals are to:

  • Maintain JET alumni connections to the Program
  • Communicate with National JETAA and other chapters
  • Create and advertize events and get-togethers for JET alumni to attend
  • Assist with helping new JETs prepare for their journey (as schedules allow)
  • Help promote the program at university information sessions (as schedules allow)
  • Attend annual JETAA conventions

Board Positions

President:

 The President shall attend the JETAA USA yearly conference and report important information back to the Board of Directors and members, vote on issues presented to the Board of Directors, act as a tie breaker in the event that the Board is unable to reach a majority decision, and represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event (if possible in your local region). The President will also work with the Secretary and Information Officer to create and distribute an annual report on the chapter’s activities to all FLJETAA members.

This position carries a 2-year term.

Vice-President:

The Vice-President shall attend the JETAA USA yearly conference if the President is unable to attend and report important information back to the Board of Directors and members, vote on issues presented to the Board of Directors, and represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event (if possible in your local region).

This position carries a 2-year term.

Treasurer:

The Treasurer shall maintain the financial record of FLJETAA, be responsible for preparing end of the fiscal year reports, vote on issues presented to the Board of Directors, and represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event (if possible in your local region).

This position carries a 2-year term.

Secretary:

The Secretary shall keep minutes during Board meetings and disseminate information to all Board of Directors, assist with scheduling quarterly board meetings (held online), maintain FLJETAA documents, vote on issues presented to the Board of Directors, and represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event (if possible in your local region). The Secretary will also collaborate with the President and Information Officer to create and distribute an annual report on the chapter’s activities to all FLJETAA members.

Position carries a 2-year term.

Webmaster:

The Webmaster will be responsible for maintaining and updating the FLJETAA website, voting on issues presented to the Board of Directors, and representing Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event (if possible in your local region).

This position carries a 2-year term.

Information Officer:

The Information Officer will collaborate with the Board of Directors, especially the Webmaster, and the JETAA community to maintain blog content and arrange for guest bloggers.  They will also work with the Secretary and President to create and distribute an annual report on the chapter’s activities to all FLJETAA members. They will represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event (if possible in your local region).

This position carries a 2-year term.

Regional Representatives:

Regional representatives/chapters are required to organize a minimum of one (1) event per calendar year in order to be considered active (if possible in your local region).  Regional representatives must report the event attendance to the Board of Directors.

This position is appointed and does not have a term limit.

If one of the positions appeals to you, or if you know someone perfectly suited for one of the jobs, please send in a nomination!

If you’re looking for your local JETAA contact, please visit the regions page.

Header photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash.