It is with a great sense of honor and privilege that I greet you as the 2016-2017 President of the Ohio Counseling Association. I have been involved with OCA for the past couple of decades and know that I have big shoes to fill, as so many excellent men and women have filled this role. I am especially grateful for the wisdom and guidance that Dr. Kara Kaelber and Dr. Victoria Kress have given the organization during their terms. I will do my best to serve you and the profession well and to continue the work that they have begun.
When I think about what the next year will bring, I am aware of many changes that our profession is facing. There are legislative changes that impact how we do business, there are the demands that we face in our workplaces for productivity and reimbursement, there are problems in our communities of all kinds. Each situation calls us to respond as counselors with professionalism and with the hope of healing and restoration. How can we speak into these situations? How can we make a difference when there are so many demands around us?
The answer for me, at least in part, to those questions is “together.” We come from various disciplines, we come from different world views, we face varying challenges, and have differing priorities. All that being said, we answer the chaos of the world best when we answer the challenge together. All of us are stronger when we work together. All of us have resources that other counselors need. All of us together speaking in one voice as counselors can influence society, the government, and the community, for the better.
To that end, one of my goals is to look for new ways for us to connect as counselors across disciplines and to find collaborative ways to work together. We all will need your help in doing this! Maybe you’re thinking that you don’t have much to offer, or not enough time to do anything important. Believe me, if you have a desire to be a part of something bigger than yourself, if you have any experience or skill that you would like to offer to the organization, we will find a way to help you make a difference! It may be a one-time experience, or it might be a more involved relationship, but all working together can have a huge impact. If you want to learn more, please feel free to email me email@example.com, or call me at 216-462-0270, ext. 12.
Another goal for the coming year is to continue to build the next generation of leaders in the profession. OCA has been a forerunner in the nation in this area, with initiatives such as the Leadership Development Institute, Legislative Advocacy Day, and the Emerging Leaders Program. Our membership committee is actively working on connecting students with established professionals. I will be looking for other possibilities, too, to encourage new leaders to find a voice in OCA.
I am looking forward to the coming year, and invite you to join me in serving the profession. If there is anything that I can do or that OCA can do to help you in your professional life, please reach out to me. I remain,
Martha S. Flemming, MA, LPCC-s, LICDC