Here we are in 2015; it seems like just yesterday when I began my career at Oklahoma State Reformatory in 1996. This is my first message to all of you as the President of Oklahoma Correctional Association.
First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge Past President Jerry Chrisman and his Conference Chairs and Committee Chairs and the individuals behind the scenes that made the Oklahoma Correctional Association Conference of 2014 a great success. Congratulations to you all, without your hours of hard work, dedication and willingness to succeed this success would not have been accomplished.
While the financial woes of our State continues, I will not focus on things we have no control over, instead I will remind you all what we do have control over: Our work ethic and our attitude! With these two things there is so much we can accomplish.
While attending the Oklahoma Correctional Association conference in Oklahoma last year, I had an opportunity to participate in some wonderful training sessions and meet other correctional professions that all throughout my career I have heard their names but never had the opportunity to meet them. I also, had the opportunity to get acquainted with new faces and names. While I was standing in the foyer waiting to attend a training session I heard a corrections professional say, “What can ACA do for me? One of the members spoke up and responded, “What can you do for ACA?” At first, I was a little taken back by the response but then it dawned on me. She was absolutely RIGHT!
ACA/OCA provides us a platform to do all kinds of wonderful things. It allows us so many opportunities to network with other correctional professionals and it’s a name that stands behind us in anything we would like to do. For example: Supporting the annual Jeff McCoy Memorial Golf Tournament, educational scholarships and many other platforms that assist in staff development, training and recognition.
I challenge all of you to embrace this time of uncertainty with a spirit of excitement and innovation. The Correctional profession is a noble one and we have a great deal to be proud of. I look forward to serving as president of OCA for the 2015 year, and to having the privilege of helping any of you in any way that I can in this next year, and in the future.
Carl Bear, President