Meet your Nominees for the 2014 Syndicate Board Elections!

Hey everyone! It’s that time of year again, Elections!

This year is slightly different for elections since the current Austin Swing Syndicate board wanted to make sure that each year moving forward we would have some continuity within the board. For example, major projects or initiatives that span longer than a year could be continued by the next board. Also, as we grow as an organization we wanted to make sure that our current board is armed with historical knowledge of previous board members. In that light, we have made the named positions (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary) alternating 2 year terms. So this year, President and Secretary will be elected to 2 year terms. Vice President and Treasurer will be elected to one year terms, and in 2015 they will be for 2 year terms.

Also, something to note this year, the current Austin Swing Syndicate board has made recommendations for the named positions for who they think will best serve the community and help the Austin Swing Syndicate grow and continue to move in the right direction. Please keep in mind the board’s recommendation when voting.

With that cleared up, here are your nominees!

President – one person elected for 2 years

Jonathan Jow

Jonathan Jow The Recommended Nominee for this position by the current Austin Swing Syndicate Board

Jonathan Jow always loved jazz music, and in 1999 discovered there was a dance for it! Since 1999, he was hooked and has been dancing at the Austin Swing Syndicate ever since. He has been involved in the local and national swing dance community in many ways, such as:

  • The Current President of Austin Swing Syndicate Board (2013-2014)
  • Previous Vice-President of the Austin Swing Syndicate Board (2012-2013)
  • Teacher Coordinator for the Austin Swing Syndicate
  • 2013 Austin Lindy Exchange Committee Chair
  • 2012 Austin Lindy Exchange Committee Co-Chair and was in charge of many aspects for the previous Austin Lindy Exchanges
  • Teacher at Four on the Floor (Also previously taught at The Lindy Project)
  • Winner and Finalist at major Lindy Hop events (Camp Jitterbug, Lindy on the Rocks, ILHC, ULHS, Lone Star Championships and more)
  • Official Videographer for major national Lindy Hop events (ILHC, ULHS, Lone Star Championships and more)
  • Founder of LindyLibrary (

Jonathan Jow is a strong candidate for leadership in any type of group dynamic. Pulling from his work experience as a Business Consultant, he has a prevailing sense of logic and concise communication skills that make everything run smoothly and successfully. In addition to all this, Jonathan has a desire to make the Austin Swing Syndicate a strong and growing community (not to mention, keeping it cooler during the HOT Texas summers), and leave it in a better state than he found it.

Vice President – One person elected for 1 year

Paula Martin

Paula Martin The Recommended Nominee for this position by the current Austin Swing Syndicate Board

Paula Martin has always loved swing dancing but finally found her way to lindy hop, balboa and shag in 2010. From just about her first lesson, she became obsessed with learning to swing dance. She not only loves dancing and jazz music, but she cares deeply about building the local Syndicate community and spreading the joy that comes with learning to swing dance.

Paula has started and run several companies that have specialized in helping leaders to better manage their own organizations. She has worked with profit, nonprofit and governmental organizations in many parts of the world, and she has written numerous books on how to lead and manage projects, business processes and the organization as a whole. Her leadership expertise will help her make a contribution to the already successful Syndicate Board.

Treasury – One person elected for 1 year

Eric Lim

Eric Lim The Recommended Nominee for this position by the current Austin Swing Syndicate Board

Eric started dancing in Houston in 2004 to try to find something in common with his then-girlfriend. Little did he know that he would still be dancing and loving it 10 years later, and to his surprise, what once started as a quirky hobby has blossomed into a quasi-obsession. Eric has been a part of the Austin swing dance for several years, and has contributed to the dance scene in several ways:

  • A teacher at a local swing dance studio (The Lindy Project)
  • Served on the Austin Swing Syndicate board in the 2011-2012
  • DJ’ed for the Austin Swing Syndicate for several years
  • Helped open and close the Fed for a couple of years as a volunteer staff
  • Helped organize Austin Lindy Exchange 2013 (housing committee)

By day, Eric is a lawyer, and he believes his legal experience would help him serve the Austin Swing Syndicate community. Eric would be honored to serve as treasurer for the upcoming term.

Robbie Meshbane

Robbie Meshbane

Robbie loves dancing, especially at the Fed. He has been helping to set up the Thursday dance for years and is excited with the opportunity to become more involved by running for the recently vacated Treasurer position. As a professional tax advisor and swing dancing enthusiast, he’s as good a candidate as any for your board.

Secretary – One person elected for 2 years

Dale Simpson

Dale Simpson The Recommended Nominee for this position by the current Austin Swing Syndicate Board

Dale Simpson has been hooked on swing dancing and jazz music since taking his first beginner class at the Austin Swing Syndicate Weekly Thursday dance in 2004. He had discovered a diverse and welcoming community as well as a hobby that naturally led him to discover new bands and clubs in the Austin music scene.

However, the opportunities to explore did not end there. He soon began traveling nationally to attend events such as Swing Out New Hampshire and Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown in New Orleans. When he then quit his job and backpacked across the world for a few years, he found the swing dance communities in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Swing Camp Oz in Adelaide, Australia; and even ended up on a month-long tour of Tibet with a couple of swing-dancers from Austria.

Dale Simpson is now looking to further the success of the Swing Dance Scene as a member of the Syndicate Board. With a background in Engineering Consulting, he will contribute strong organizational, collaborative, and analytic capabilities as well the ability to see projects through to completion. As a long-time member of the Syndicate, he has seen the scene grow through the leadership and vision of previous Syndicate Boards. He would like to continue that tradition.

At Large Board Members – Please vote for Three people out of the list (nominees are not listed in any particular order). Elected for 1 year

Jill Benavides

Jill Benavidez

I am from New Mexico and have studied neurobiology at the University of Texas for the last five years. I have only been a part of the Austin swing dance scene for the last year, but have found it addictive and want to contribute however I can to keep it was one of the best around. Currently, I volunteer at the Austin Swing Syndicate as a Shift Lead and I have opened and closed the Fed on Thursdays for the last year. I have also volunteered to help out the Austin Lindy Exchange.

Justin Lin

Justin Lin

Hello, I’m Justin Lin. I’m currently serving on the board as at At-Large member, and I’d like continue serving as an At-Large member. As a board member, I was a part of organizing and leading the flash mob performance at the Alamo Drafthouse. I also was on the Austin Lindy Exchange housing committee, and am reliable to help out whenever things need to be taken care of. I look forward to another year of serving the community, and would appreciate your vote.

Sarah Pederson

Sarah Pederson

Sarah’s first swing dance took place at the Fed, August 2007. She was ecstatic to find a new outlet for her love of dancing. Today, in addition to attending Thursday night dances, Sarah also enjoys occasionally dancing to live swing music around town, taking local dance classes, and attending workshops and exchanges across the country.
Sarah is passionate about implementing great ideas. She views each social dance as an opportunity to creatively collaborate in order to create a unique and enjoyable artistic experience. Similarly she views the At-Large position as an opportunity to actively collaborate with members of the community in order to continually improve your experience at Austin Swing Syndicate events.

Leadership Experience

  • Austin Lindy Exchange (ALX): Volunteer Committee Co-Chair (2013)
  • UT Austin – Engineering Chamber Orchestra (EChO): Co-Founder (2009), Vice-President (2009-2010), President (2010-2011)
  • UT Austin – Student Engineering Council (SEC): Service Committee Co-Chair (2008-2010), Vice President of Special Events (2010-2011)

Daniel Orr

Daniel Orr

Daniel “Agony in Austin” Orr is one of the newer dancers on the scene. But he has decided to take one of the first opportunities available to him to keep this community growing and healthy. Because he is new he does not have any leadership experience within the dancing community. But he spent two years as the senior patrol leader of the Boy Scouts Troop 48 and learned the importance of good leadership