To say the last two years have been a challenge is an understatement. I hope you were able to survive the upheaval and craziness we've all had to endure. I'm a firm believer that no matter how bad things are, there is always good to be found if we look for it. I don't know about you, but during this time of uncertainty I've developed deeper relationships and experienced happiness and joy as a result. So, as we move into 2022, let's focus on the good things that have come out of the last two years and look into the future.
OPPA has experienced many good things the last couple of years. We were able to seamlessly transition to online competitions - which allowed us to bring in jurors from all parts of the country. We also added virtual events, giving us the opportunity to continue offering you some of the best educational programing out there. Last year alone, we offered over 30 virtual educational and social events, enabling us to reach people outside the Portland area and grow our membership.
Some noteworthy accomplishments for our OPPA members this year - Marcela Limon, Thea Martin and Brian Pasko all earned their Master of Photography degree. Our members also had a great showing at IPC this year. 87 Merits, 23 Image Excellence designations and Janel Laidman Vaisbort received a GIA Nomination in the Reportage category. Beth Brinston, Danyel Rogers and Marcela Limon earned a platinum medal. Cindy Kassab and and Pete Hansen earned a gold medal. Amy West and Nancy Smithman earned a silver medal. Mike Busby, Raj Sarda and Sam Tarrel earned a bronze medal. Congratulations to everyone for all of your outstanding achievements this year.
As we look into the new year and the possibility of being able to meet in person, OPPA has some new things on the horizon. This past fall, the Board of Directors approved the addition of a new Tech Committee. The purpose of this committee will be to offer hybrid events - both in-person and virtual simultaneously - so those of you who can't make it in person will still be able to participate at home. While it will take a while to get this off the ground, I am excited about the opportunities it will create for our members and our ability to reach beyond the Portland area. Our new Education Director, Julie Jacob, has been hard at work putting together an impressive education program for this year. And there are some increased social opportunities in the works. OPPA EVENTS
I am also working to put together a Volunteer Program. OPPA is 100% volunteer run and your help is greatly needed! We have opportunities available that can fit almost any schedule. If you are interested in being in a more active role in OPPA, please contact me. I would love to chat with you about how you can help strengthen the organization.
As for me and my new role as the President of OPPA, I look forward to working with many of you as we move this organization forward and bring new and exciting things to our members. I remember attending my very first OPPA meeting in early 2019. While sitting in the meeting I felt like I was home, that this is where I belonged. I love this industry and the opportunities being part of OPPA has afforded me. It is an honor to serve as your President this year.
-Teresa Hunt, LPC