President’s Message

Debby Bonds – OCRA President

As we enter the holiday season, the season of giving, I always find myself looking back over the past holidays.  I like to think back over the year and remember where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and who I’ve met. When I pull out the Christmas decorations, I find my list of gifts I gave last year.  I was always obsessed with keeping my three kids’ gifts even.  Now I do it to remember what the heck I gave last year so as not to repeat myself.   Finding that list always takes me back to the years before.  I actually found the notebook this year that has Christmas gifts given since 2007.  Maybe it’s time to clean out some Christmas stuff!

Looking back over the years made me, of course, think back over my court reporting career.  I started in Southern California, where I grew up, but after a few short years, our family moved up to Oregon to be closer to my husband’s family.  My career allowed me to move where we needed to be.  This profession has been great to me and given my family some great opportunities.   I got to work with a great company in Eugene and met many of my close friends that I have today.   After attending convention after convention, I finally decided to accept the position of board of director, which led me to accepting the invitation to go to Boot Camp.  And honestly, I can’t say enough about NCRA Legislative Boot Camp!  It was the hardest, most challenging, rewarding, fun – yes, even fun – experience I had.   I met many other court reporters across the country and now because of social media, we still stay in touch.  I would have missed out on that great experience by saying “No” to being on the board.  I gave some of my time, but I got so much more back!

So when I was asked to be president, I wanted to say yes – not because I felt qualified – but because I wanted to give back.  My first thought upon being asked was, “Yeah, right.  No.  I cannot do that!”  But after some thought, I decided to do it.   I wanted to give to this profession because it has given so much to me.    I love being a court reporter and now I want to give back even more by spreading the word about our great profession.   My partner at CC Reporting has held our first A-Z steno program and one of the students actually wants to go on to court reporting school.  We hope to do even more in the next year.   I’d encourage you all to give back to our profession in one way or another.  You get so much more back than you give!

I wish for you all a happy holiday season.  Thank you for the chance to be your president and I look forward to a great year.