President’s Message

Denise Zito Smith, OCRA Past President

Now that I’m nearing the end of my tenure, I’m reflecting on my journey and how it led me to become the 2018- 2019 president. As I’ve shared before, in my 20-plus years, I’ve worked as a CART writer, in settings such as grand jury, federal court, mental health hearings, depositions, and even a short stint as a closed captioner for television.

Choosing court reporting as my profession has been such a blessing, so it seemed only fitting to give back by serving on the board and committees. Next to the presidency position, volunteering as the fall convention chair for years 2017 and 2018 has been the most rewarding; a lot of work, but very rewarding. By volunteering, I’ve learned so much and have gained greater confidence in my abilities, which has expanded beyond the court reporting realm.

At this year’s fall convention, we will be celebrating OCRA’s 70th anniversary. We will be celebrating the accomplishments and progress that have been possible because of all of you who believe in the simple premise of “together we do better”—70 years of professionals committed to court reporting—each year building on each other. Some years gaining more momentum than others, but still focused on performing our duties consistently and with a high level of professionalism, and each year creating a cornerstone of strength.

This year has been a great year! Our public relations committee did a phenomenal job with outreach, we formed an A to Z ad hoc committee, and our lobbyist has initiated projects towards building relationships with other stakeholders in the legal system, including the Oregon State Bar. She has also arranged for an invitation to present to the Oregon Public Defense Services Commission.

As Ryan White transitions to presidency, and new board members are installed, the goal is to build upon progress made, to create new goals, and to continue the momentum for future boards. Each year is but a small part of decades of work and commitment of board members, such as yourself, which is why your volunteerism is so critical. Volunteer and make a difference! We are entering a new season, and with new season comes change. We are excited about the future of OCRA and the possibility of new directions and new opportunity in our organization.

And, lastly, I would like to sincerely thank all the board members, committee members, and those who have worked behind the scene this year. I would also like to thank the volunteers who have come before me and helped guide me along the way. There is much to learn, but I never felt alone. It’s been a pleasure serving you.

Warmest Regards,