President’s Message

Denise Zito Smith, OCRA President

As I sit here pondering over what to write, I’m reminded by the hummingbird outside my window that spring is here.  Flowers are beginning to bloom, baby calves are basking in the sun with their mamas, and winter once again has passed.  Spring convention is just around the bend.  How appropriate that the theme is “April Showers Bring May Flowers.”

Speaking of spring convention, we are in for a great treat.  We have the privilege of having Mike Miller (DepoMan) as one of our speakers.  I personally have not heard him speak in person, but I’m looking forward to his teaching.  I understand that he’s a must-see for all reporters!  Not only do we have Mike “DepoMan” Miller for two seminars, we will also learn about forensic epidemiology and earthquake preparedness.  So mark your calendars for May 18th and join us for a day of education and fun!

In the last President’s Message I mentioned a few areas that I was going to focus on this year, so I wanted to give you an update on the progress we’re making.  It’s very exciting:

  • The A to Z ad hoc committee is up and running. They have received several donated machines and are ramping up to lead their first A to Z class.
  • Our public relations committee attended the CTE Summit in Salem in January and got great feedback. The next event they will be attending is the NW Youth-Career Expo which will be March 19th.
  • The legislation committee and Elizabeth Howe, our lobbyist, are still diligently working on starting a Bar workgroup. The Oregon State Bar of Directors has not yet taken up our workgroup proposal, but there’s always next month.  The goal is to hold four workgroup meetings prior to August because the Uniform Trial Court Rule Committee accepts proposals before September 1st.

Those are just a few examples of how members of OCRA are working to expand and strengthen our profession.  And thank you so much for the volunteers in all of the committees willing to give their time to do so.

Also, there are many of you “silent partners” diligently working every day to expand and strengthen our profession by the professionalism and work ethics that you demonstrate during every job and every transcript produced.  You are greatly appreciated as well.

On a personal note, next to my family and my career, my heart and my time is committed to Noah’s Sanctuary.  Noah’s Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization that my husband and I formed in the fall of 2018.  Our mission is to adopt rescued farm animals and provide a “sanctuary” for youth in our community to learn about a variety of animals and farm life through discussion and hands-on interaction.  Our farm family is near complete.  I’m still on the lookout for a small donkey who needs a loving home.  That will make 12 farm animals (not including our roosters/chickens and two indoor dogs).   Our goal is to open this spring, so wish us luck!