Florida JETAA

Welcome New Officers!

Posted by President

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 president@floridajetaa.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!


Office of International Services (OIS) Student Programs Coordinator Position Opening

Posted by President

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 https://gems.fastmail.usf.edu:4440/psp/gemspro-tam/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_CE.GBL?Page=HRS_CE_HM_PRE&Action=A&SiteId=1

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Translation Job Opportunities

Posted by President

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.

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Hariyama Bridge: Morikami Speaker Series

Posted by President

Upcoming event at the Morikami in Delray Beach

Morikami Speakers Series Presents:
Film Showing & Discussion
Friday, February 21, 2014

Time: 6:30pm, museum doors will reopen at 5:45pm
Discussion led by Director Aaron Woolfolk

The Harimaya Bridge is a drama about an American man who must travel to Japan to claim some important items belonging to his late son, from whom he was estranged. While there, he learns several secrets his son left behind. The story takes place in Kochi Prefecture, a deeply rural part of Japan where traditional customs remain strong.The movie addresses the bond and conflict between father and son, as well as the prejudices that often exist between people of different backgrounds. In addition to theatrical releases in Japan and the United States and several festival appearances, The Harimaya Bridge was invited to screen at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

The San Francisco Examiner named it "one of the best films of the year," while Los Angeles Times called it "powerful" and "a unique complex, consciousness-raising accomplishment."

About the Director
Aaron Woolfolk is an American film director and writer. For his first film, the short Rage!, Woolfolk won a Director's Guild of America award. His short films Eki and Kuroi Hitsuji won several awards, screened in international film festivals, and played on cable television. Woolfolk was the recipient of an ABC Talent Development Grant, and was later a Walt Disney Studios/ABC Entertainment Writing Fellow. His first co-written play, Bronzeville, premiered in Los Angeles to a sold-out extended engagement and was an Ovation Award nominee in the catergory of Best Playwriting for an Original Play. Woolfolk recently directed and co-wrote the award-winning short film Nico's Sampaguita.

With his feature debut The Harimaya Bridge, Woolfolk became the first African American to make a  feature film in Japan, and one of the few non-Asians to direct a movie in the Japanese entertainment industry. His next feature film projects will be the American southern dramedy Summer SOULstice and the Japan-set comedy The Christmas Lights of Tosa. He is also presently writing his first novel.

Event details

Cost: $10 (Members $7) (Advance ticket purchase required)
Please note that the Cornell Café and Gardens will be closed for the evening.
Museum doors will reopen at 5:45pm.
Advance purchased tickets will be held at the door, under your name.

To purchase tickets for the lecture please visit www.morikami.org or call 561-495-0233 x. 235.

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Japanese Operations Production Associate position at Golf Channel in Orlando

Posted by treasurer

Our international department at Golf Channel is looking for someone with a background in golf and strong Japanese language skills for the position of production associate. You can apply and find the full job description here. Feel free to email me at the Treasurer email address with any questions you may have.


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Job Opportunity at the Miami Japanese Consulate: Consulate Assistant

Posted by President

Deadline: Friday, February 7th, 2014


Consular Assistant
The Consular Section at the Consulate General of Japan in Miami has an opening for a Consular Assistant. This is a full-time contract position.
Work Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 A.M.-5:30 P.M.
Lunch Hour: 12:30P.M.-1:30 P.M.

You will not be required to work weekends unless a special event is taking place. In such cases, you will be given advance notice.
Benefits: This is a full-time salary position. Over-time is available when approved. Health benefits are included.

-Answer phone calls and e-mails regarding Japanese visas, re-entry permits, Japanese textbooks, and request for investigation of lost articles.
-Collect and revise all visa application packages at the Consulate.
-When necessary, interview the applicants to verify information they have provided for their visa application.
-Process all Japanese textbook orders from Japan for the two Japanese schools in Florida, and for all individual home schooled children.
- Assist the Consul with Japanese nationals in the State of Florida who are in need of Consular services.

-Assist in Consular events in the community
Minimum Qualifications
-High School Degree or equivalent
-Fluent English and Japanese (reading and writing)
-Moderate computer skills (Excel, Word, Outlook)
-Hold a green card, resident visa or are a US citizen legally allowed to work in the States


Application Procedure:
Please submit a cover letter (400 character max), and resume by no later than February 7, 2014.

Please send all information to: info@mi.mofa.go.jp          

or MAIL TO:  Consulate General of Japan, 80 SW 8th Street, Suite 3200    Miami, FL 33130

If you are chosen for an interview, you will be notified by email or phone.

基礎的なパソコン操作必須(Microsoft Word, Excel,Outlook 等)

住所:Consulate General of Japan   80 SW  8th  Street Miami FL 33130




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2014 Election Nominations

Posted by President

t's an exciting time of the year! Several officer positions are opening up for Florida JETAA this election cycle!  If you are interesting in working more closely with FLJETAA and helping to grow our community, please consider running for a position.  Elections will be held during mid-February and a later email will confirm the candidates, how to vote, and the voting deadline. To avoid conflicts of interest, our outgoing secretary who is not running again will be collecting the nominations and handling the elections.

Nominating Yourself

To run, simply nominate yourself for the position that you are interested by emailing our outgoing Secretary, Alison, at secretary@floridajetaa.org with a brief 1-2 paragraph bio about yourself and why you'd be a good candidate. Bios are due by January, 30th, 2014.

Nominating Others

If you know who someone who would be perfect for a position you may nominate them by emailing their name and what position you are nominating them for to Alison at secretary@floridajetaa.org. Nominations of others must be received by January 25th, 2014, to allow us time to contact the nominee to find out if they will accept the nomination and get their bios by January 30th. Nominees will not be told who nominated them and are free to accept or decline the nomination.

Open Positions

Here are the openings and a description of the opening positions:


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. 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.


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. This position carries a 2-year term.


The Secretary shall keep minutes during Board meetings and disseminate information to all Board of Directors, maintain FLJETAA documents, vote on issues presented to the Board of Directors, and represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event. 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.

Information Officer:

The Information Officer will collaborate with the Board of Directors, especially the Webmaster, and the JETAA community to post Facebook, email, and blog content and arrange for guest bloggers, vote on issues presented to the Board of Directors, and represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event.  They also assist the president and webmaster with membership management. 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. Position carries a 2-year term.

Regional Representatives:

There are also openings for regional representatives in Gainesville, Treasure Coast, and Tallahassee. These positions are appointed by the elected officers. Regional representatives act as a point of contact for Florida JETAA and the JET Coordinator at the consulate regarding events and recruiting in your area. Reps are encouraged to plan one event a year if there is interest in their area.  Please contact Bahia at president@floridajetaa.org or Alison at secretary@floridajetaa.org if you're interested in being a representative for these regions.


Regional Conference Update 2014

Posted by President

Our Vice President Allan just returned from the JETAA Regional Conference that was held in Boston last week. Please enjoy the following message about his experience:

Let me start by saying it was both a great honor and humbling to attend the conference in Boston. I met JETAA alumni from around North America, enjoyed many great discussions, and the camaraderie was refreshing and fun. NEJETAA did a great job hosting and they have lots of good people in their group.

The conference had a wide range of workshops and discussions that centered on acquiring and maintaining membership. One important discussion was the "JETAA Initiative" which is to create a national 501(c)3 JETAA organization. Here is the URL for the "prezi" presentation:

Additional discussions were on how to structure your chapter to meet your needs, delegating duties, creating of sub-chapters for wide geographical areas, tools for chapter/member communications, how to bring in alumni, how to maintain and encourage present alumni, how to hold a professional event, fostering relations with Japan-focused organizations, and a senpai/kohai program for alumni and present JETs.

Thank you again for allowing me to represent FLJETAA and please contact me at vicepresident@floridajetaa.org if you have any questions or would like copies of the conference notes. Thank you and have a nice day/evening.

Allan M.
Vice President Florida JETAA


Tampa Annual Shinenkai

Posted by President


Our annual Shinnenkai will once again be held in Tampa hosted by alum Michael Maloney (1992-1994, Toyama) at his residence. This event features Micheal's special sushi rice and sushi from Yoko's Restaurant.

When: Sunday, January 26th, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location: Michael Maloney's residence (Contact Micheal for address and directions)

To RSVP and get the address and directions please contact Michael Maloney directly at maloney_m@hotmail.com by January 25th. You may RSVP via Facebook, but to officially RSVP please contact Michael.


2013 Florida JETAA Bounenkai in South Florida

Posted by President

Dear JETAA members,

It's that time of the year for our annual JETAA Bonenkai!

This year's JETAA Bonenkai will be once again held at Sekita-san's restaurant, Koume in Plantation (just outside of Miami). Sekita-san was once the former JET coordinator for the Japanese Consulate and helped many of us get into the JET program. He makes delicious food and is an awesome host!

This will be a pre-set meal of $20 per person, which involves several courses: soup, salad, appetizers, sushi, other dishes and desert. That is a lot of food for that amount of money especially since Japanese food is so expensive. Each year, he surprises us with a unique menu. Last year we had nabe and oden on our menu among other things.

The cost of drinks and tip are not included into the deal, so that would be paid separately by you.

This will be a cost-sharing event, meaning that some of the meal will be paid from JETAA funds that will cover part of the meal and you will cover the rest. So the cost can vary depending on how many or how little people come and what drinks you order.

Location: Koume Japanese Restaurant
11905 W. Sunrise Blvd.
Plantation, FL. 33323
Tel: 954-577-9277
(located in the Petsmart Plaza)

Date: December 21, 2013 (Saturday)
Time: 6:30pm

Please RSVP to Wendy, deadline to RSVP is Dec. 13th and tell us if you are bringing a guest. You can RSVP by emailing me at wlo01[at]hotmail.com or on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1433986693484452/

I hope you can all make it!

If you RSVP and later cannot make it, please have the courtesy and let us know by Dec. 19th, because once we give the final numbers to Sekita-san we have to end up paying for the person who doesn’t show up, which is not fun for those who have to foot your bill.

Hope to see you there!

Wendy Lo

FL-JETAA, S. Florida Regional Rep.